Posts Tagged ‘feng-shui’

Erewhon Two Three

June 21, 2019

For the record, Lunghu has been nowhere near the City of Brotherly Love for several months –in fact, as cell tower records will show, not since last year.  So when he remarked that the Horse Month (June) would be characterized by Fire under Metal, and mentioned that the Horse is associated with the South direction, Lunghu didn’t have anything particular or specific in mind.  Certainly nothing that could be considered targeting guidance.  And when he noted that June 21st and 28th are Metal days during the Horse Month, he was just stating facts known throughout the Sinosphere.

Morgan & Morgan are gonna get a lot of new clients out of this!

Therefore, your humble author can in no way accept responsibility for today’s solsticial butane bonfire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions.  Tort claims should be aimed in an entirely different direction, although where that might be is difficult to say.  Perhaps we should look for some non-ASCII characters (UTF+8?) embedded in the refinery’s process control code.  Or maybe the initial spark was something as innocuous as an unanticipated static discharge under conditions of unusually low atmospheric pressure.  We may never know for sure.

In bygone times, there were horse pastures here …

Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), the largest and oldest refinery on the U.S. East Coast, emerged from bankruptcy last year but has continued to struggle under a heavy debt.  Sunoco formed a joint venture in 2012 with private-equity firm, the Carlyle Group.  The joint venture declared bankruptcy in January 2018, and completed a $635 million financial restructuring on August 7.  The two largest creditors, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Halcyon Capital Management, now hold about 70 percent of the shares in the new company.

The price of regular gasoline jumped one dollar per gallon (to $3.69) at some Sunoco gas stations today, but for the moment other brands seem to be holding their fire (so to speak).  The way things are going, Lunghu should probably be headin’ to the bunker for the Fourth of July –the Sheep/Goat Month will have begun.  Yin metal above yin earth, for what it’s worth.  Lunghu will reflect deeply on this.



May 30, 2019

Earlier this year, in quite another context, Lunghu warned that:

“This year Tai Sui (the Grand Duke of Heaven) is presiding over terrestrial affairs from his seat in the Boar’s north-northwest home.  That means he’s looking directly at the south-southeast … with potentially unfortunate consequences for those mortals beneath his gaze.”

Well, Lunghu was –until recently– blissfully unaware of the existence of an entertainment industry personality who has rashly appended three particularly significant letters as a suffix to his hiphop persona/moniker.  Talkin’ ’bout a guy whose baptismal/official name is Tyriq Kimbrough … but who styles hisseff ‘Fatboy SSE.’  Tai Sui, however, seems to have noticed.  Truly, the ways of the Tao are indeed wondrous and mysterious:

pretty sure Tai Sui would reprove the brand of leisurewear our hero is sportin’ here

New Jersey rapper and social media star Fatboy SSE had marijuana in his car and was driving while his license was suspended, according to Jersey City police, who arrested him Monday night.  Fatboy SSE, whose real name is Tyriq Kimbrough, has more than 5.5 million followers on Instagram and has a role in the forthcoming film “I Got the Hook Up 2.”  He was charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and bail jumping after he was pulled over for a traffic violation at 8:51 p.m. Monday evening.  Kimbrough was also issued summonses for failure to observe a traffic signal, driving while suspended, and having controlled dangerous substances in a vehicle.

Never mind that marijuana will probably be legal in the Garden State by the time the Year of the Rat rolls around.  As long as it’s still the Year of the Boar, don’t be callin’ yourself ‘Fatboy’ and don’t be flyin’ the South-southeast banner all up on the internet.  That’s askin’ for double trouble: the Boar’s self-penalty on top of the SSE Snake’s elemental clash with the Boar Year.

Furthermore, Lunghu believes he scarcely need remind y’all which pejorative colloquial term would be used to characterize the Jersey City po-leece down around Ocean Avenue and points South-southeast.  Sheesh!!  Looks like Mr. Kimbrough would benefit from having some custom-made feng shui remedies installed in his personal vehicle.  And maybe a chauffeur with a clean MVC sheet.

Snakes on a Plain

May 7, 2019

As of Cinco de Mayo, the Snake Month has begun.  Let’s review:

  • Snake is in clash with the Boar: generally speaking, May will be a tumultuous month.
  • Snake is associated with the South-southeast direction.
  • People, places and things in the South-southeast direction are confronting Tai Sui (in the NNW).

In 2019, the Snake Month is characterized by yin earth above yin fire.

  • Fire creates Earth in the feng shui creative cycle: increased geothermal activity should be expected.
  • Fire beneath Earth: underground/mine shaft fires are possible in addition to the aforementioned volcanic eruptions and lava flows .
  • May 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th are Fire days.

In four weeks, the Yang-Metal-above-Yang-Fire Horse Month will begin.  Last week’s North Korean missile tests (metal over fire) are thus a trifle premature.  So is last Sunday’s Aeroflot aviation disaster (metal over fire) at Sheremetyevo airport.  Perhaps that’s because both incidents actually involve yin metal (aircraft-grade aluminum, etc.) above Yang Fire.


Hare-Brained Scheming

March 4, 2019

Professor Longhair was certainly correct when he announced for all time that “you will see the Zulu King/down on Saint Claude and Dumaine,” but the upcoming week brings us much more than Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday:  arrival of the new moon on March 6/7 also ushers in the lunar year’s Rabbit Month.  Feng-shui fanciers will probably be happy to learn that the Rabbit is widely known as a friend of the Boar, and that this year’s March Hare generally appears to be in harmony with the elemental configuration of 2019.  Thus, feng-shui soothsayers have predicted that the Rabbit Month will be a relatively auspicious one. Details to follow.

Waking the Dragon has previously noted that the Year of the Boar is shaped by the presence of the yin earth Celestial Stem [ 己] above the yin water Earthly Branch [hài 亥].  Overall, this is not a beneficial arrangement, because the two elements are in a destructive relationship with each other: earth obstructs water.  The fact that both are “weak” yin elements helps to mitigate the negativity … somewhat.  In this context, the Celestial Stem and Earthly Branch associated with the Rabbit provide a bit of counter-balance, because the Rabbit’s yin wood Branch [mǎo 卯] is in a positive relationship with the Boar’s yin water Branch: water nourishes wood.  And the Celestial Stem for March 2019 is yin fire [dīng 丁], which is in harmony with the annual Stem yin earth: fire creates earth.  Thus, the Stem of the Rabbit Month is supporting the annual Stem, and the annual Branch reciprocates by supporting its terrestrial counterpart for the duration of the month.

What might this mean in practical terms?  Let’s accentuate the positive.  On the one hand it implies that low-intensity volcanic eruptions may become more frequent during March, as fire goes about its business of creating earth.  Furthermore, the concept of water nourishing yin wood suggests that crops –drought-stricken or otherwise– may receive much-needed rain.

In the un-natural world of commerce and capital, yin fire may briefly warm the chilly hearths of people active in Earth industries: agriculture, real estate, landscaping, mining, insurance, and software enterprises.  Yin water may nourish the tender spring growth of Wood industries: lumber, paper, apparel, media, publishing, education, and environmental enterprises.  Remember, though, that these are transient/ short-term effects that will be felt only during the Rabbit Month.  So although the SAP will flow during maple sugarin’ time, it could be a different story when the Dragon Month rolls into town.

Meanwhile, things look good for the Rabbit all year long: the #6 Heaven Star is in the Rabbit’s home sector [East], which helps to attract allies, friendships and all-around good fortune.  That’s good news for people like Igor Dodon, Eva Longoria, Veselin Topalov,, Delphine Arnault, David Beckham, 50 Cent, David Ortiz, Paloma Herrera, Charles Michel and Tiger Woods –they were all born in the 1975 Rabbit Year.  Certain other folk had the misfortune to be born during a Snake or Monkey Month in 1975, so they’re gonna need all the #6 Heaven Star luck they can get: Enrique Iglesias, Lauryn Hill and Angelina Jolie (Snake) or Charlize Theron (Monkey).

As for the rest of us, we’ll just have to eke out our Rabbit luck any way we can, by moving our beds to the East side of the house, getting up early to watch the sun rise, and savoring the Rabbit’s trademark warm-and-fuzzy feeling whenever possible.  That ought to be enough.

Meteoric Lies

February 19, 2019

When your run-of-the-mill feng shui soothsayer is running low on inspiration during a slow news day, s/he can always have recourse to Flying Star prognostication in order to fill in the blanks.  This is also a useful technique to distract attention from the inconvenient instances in which particular prophecies deviate from subsequent events. For example:

  • Prediction of possible August flooding (Yang Water) in New South Wales (south-southeast Australia) –> actual January flooding in NW Queensland (north-northeast Australia)

All of the above predictions were originally predicated on the assumption that Tai Sui‘s north-northwest throne would provide a direct line-of-sight to the south-southeast, with unfortunate consequences for those mortals beneath his gaze.  These particular predictions chose to de-emphasize the feng shui “fact” that Tai Sui is also keeping a close eye on what’s happening near his celestial seat: noisy disturbances such as construction/ renovation (“moving earth”) in the north-northwest sector [e.g., St. Petersburg] are therefore extremely ill-advised.  Furthermore, this entire group of offhand/ superficial predictions basically ignored or minimized the potential influence of feng shui’s nine Flying Stars.

The Dao’s complexity, together with (thus far) an absence of algorithmic precision in humanity’s feeble attempts at feng shui prophecy, is at least one small part of what makes life interesting.  Adding the Flying Star factor to feng shui calculations is either a valiant effort to attain greater precision in our predictions … or a desperate detour down a dead end path that in no way improves our scanty ability to foresee the future.  Permutations of 10 Stems and 12 Branches are strain enough, but to add permutations of 9 Flying Stars as a further complication? That would seem to muddy the waters considerably.  It also gives the self-styled seer much of the wiggle-room s/he needs to operate.

Therefore, let us linger a while in the luminous glow of Flying Stars, seeking a way to discern portents from among the meanings we have assigned to their invisible annual presence in imagined locations.  Here’s a quick re-cap of what each Flying Star brings to the table:

  • #1 Victory Star: personal success and triumph over the competition
  • #2 Illness Star: risk of health problems and overall danger
  • #3 Conflict Star: hostility, arguments, misunderstanding and litigation
  • #4 Peach Blossom Star: knowledge, creativity and amorous interaction
  • #5 Yellow Misfortune Star: chaos, tumult, bad luck and potential danger
  • #6 Heaven Star: good luck, personal power, helpful mentors and lucky assistance
  • #7 Robbery Star: monetary losses, increased violence, aggressive behavior and political confrontation
  • #8 Wealth Star: auspicious financial success, prosperity, happiness and joy
  • #9 Future Prosperity Star: benefits will accrue in the future

Each year, each Flying Star occupies a specific cardinal or semi-cardinal point of the compass, and one Flying Star is located at the center.  Each of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are also associated with one of the cardinal and semi-cardinal directions, but in order to get 12 animals to fit into 8 slots, four pairs of animals are positioned flanking each of the semi-cardinal directions: ox/tiger; dragon/snake; sheep/monkey; and dog/boar.  Rat/ rabbit/ horse/ fowl have N-E-S-W all to themselves.  The animals’ permanent association with a particular direction implies that the attributes of a specific Flying Star may become especially relevant when it takes up temporary year-long residence in the home base location.  This is where professional feng shui specialists hear the sound of “kachinnnng” ringing in their ears: once a negative Flying Star arrives in your celestial neighborhood, cosmic security countermeasures can be monetized almost immediately.

Here’s what to look out for in 2019.  First, the good news: all of the good stuff is clustered in the Northern Hemisphere this year, with only one negative star located north of the celestial equator.  Takin’ it from the top, the auspicious #4 Peach Blossom Star is in the North. Creativity, knowledge and general sexiness will accrue to those in the Northern regions: Canadians, Russians, Scandinavians, Greenlanders and Alaskans won’t mind their long winter nights, and will revel long hours in summer’s midnight sun.  People born in the Year of the Rat may also benefit, since they’re associated with the North direction.

In the East, the #6 Heaven Star will bring good luck, personal power, helpful mentors and lucky assistance to residents of Bermuda, Eastern Europe, East Africa, and East Asia.  Maybe even Brazil, where it will probably be needed most.  People born in the Year of the Rabbit can rub both of their rabbit’s feet for good luck.

During 2019 the #8 Wealth Star is located at the center, bringing financial success, prosperity, happiness and joy to those who reside in central areas of continents, landmasses and nations.  China (zhong-guo –the central nation) probably doesn’t need the #8 Wealth Star to get even richer, but maybe the poor folk in Szechuan and Hubei provinces will finally benefit.  Bolivia, Paraguay, Panama, Congo, Switzerland, Austria, Kazakhstan and maybe even Nepal or Bhutan should see an uptick in their GDP or Gross National Happiness.  How about the American Great Plains states?  Perhaps not: Tai Sui knows who you voted for.

In the West, the #1 Victory Star portends personal success and triumph over the competition.  Good news for Ireland, Portugal, Ecuador, Peru, the Azores, Cape Verde, West Africa in general, Ukraine and Turkey.  Hawaii.  California?  Uber alles.  Despite their association with the West, people born in the Year of the Fowl should avoid the temptation to crow too loudly or preen their feathers in public..

The #9 Future Prosperity Star is in the Northwest octant this year.  Even if the present doesn’t look too bright, people in places like Iceland, Scotland, Morocco, Mauritania, and Colombia can expect the future to be better.  Washington State will probably sell more apples, jetliners, computer operating systems and overpriced weak coffee next year even if sales are down right now.  This also applies to people born in the Year of the Dog or Boar: the former is just emerging from a year of self-penalty and the latter is just beginning one.  Hang in there at least until 2020.

Now the bad news. The #2 Sickness Star is in the Northeast sector during 2019.  This is not good for the Ox (hoof-and-mouth disease) and Tiger (hunted for its body parts and driven to extinction), nor will this be auspicious for residents of Egypt, Sudan, Kamchatka and Chukotska, Manchuria, Guyana and Newfoundland.  Anti-vaxers from Maine to New Jersey will be spreading measles, flu and who-knows-what throughout the northeastern United States.  Beyond its usual effect on health problems, the #2 Sickness Star is often manifest as non-specific malaise or outright danger in manifold forms.  It’s a general feng shui menace, second only to …

The #5 Yellow Misfortune Star.  This year the #5 Flying Star is in the Southwest, spelling trouble for people born in the Year of the Sheep or Monkey (among others).  Here’s why: the Yellow Misfortune Star brings a year of chaos, tumult, potential danger and just plain bad luck.  Who’s in the Southwest?  People in Chile, Angola, Namibia, Mexico, Spain, Mysore state in India, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.  Probably Malaysia too.  Closer to home, Arizona and New Mexico will need more than a border wall to avoid the #5 Yellow Misfortune Star.

It doesn’t get too much better in the deep South: the #3 Conflict Star will bring rampant hostility, fervid arguments, mutual misunderstanding and outright litigation.  People born in the Year of the Horse are already associated with Yang Fire, but tempers are gonna get even hotter.  The kettle is likely to boil over in places like Italy, South Africa, Argentina, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia.  In the USA, the Gulf Coast states –Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama– will reap as they have sown.  I don’t mean cotton, either.

Last, but scarcely least, the #7 Robbery Star will alight in the Southeast.  People born in the Year of the Dragon or Snake are likely to endure financial losses or be confronted with menacing behavior when they least expect it.  The Robbery Star also brings increased violence and political confrontation, which we might see developing in Greece or Bulgaria; Mozambique or Madagascar; Uruguay; Thailand, Cambodia or the Philippines; or perhaps (let’s hope not) Fiji and Tonga.  The Greater and Lesser Antilles won’t fare so well either.  Back on the mainland, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina will be rollin’ sevens when they’re trying to make their point: shooting loaded dice in a rigged crap game is a sucker’s way to get robbed. Just ask Stagger Lee.


But wait,” you interject: “what about the southeast region of Lesser Britain?”  You must be referring to the City of London and its extended environs, where the lager lout populace is doomed to be robbed of its current prosperity and future prospects by gin-addled Brexiteer politicos on Comrade Bear’s payroll.  April and May (the Dragon and Snake months) will seal all their fates.  Since you asked.


Where The Woodbine Twineth

February 4, 2019

During the Year of the Boar, the Snake is deemed to be “in clash with the year” because of traditional enmity between the two animals. This culturally-ascribed antipathy is derived from –and/or symbolized by– their location 180° apart on the circular Chinese zodiac.  In addition, the yin water Boar is always trying to extinguish the yin fire Snake because their respective elements have a destructive relationship to each other (water quenches fire).  Of course, there is also some “real-world” basis to these traditions: feral hogs have been observed to use their hooves to pin the heads of venomous snakes to the earth before decapitating them and eating the bodies.  And the foodchain relationship is reciprocal, because pythons, anacondas and their kin on at least three continents consider a juicy little piglet or capybara to be a particularly filling meal.  So all in all, little love is lost between the two animals whether in the celestial realm or here on earth below.

For these reasons, Snake affiliations do not bode well for individuals or collective entities with something serpentine in their background (or foreground, for that matter).  Some feng-shui soothsayers rely on celebrity cachet to make their annual predictions more pressworthy.  Thus they hasten to note that several current political figures were born in a Snake Year and may encounter misfortune during 2019:

Bashar al Assad
Dimitry Medvedev
Bernie Sanders
Donald Trump Jr.
Xi Jinping (Comrade Eleven)

It is Lunghu’s view that such individuals are merely manufactured strawmen whose avidly-promoted prominence in official media is little more than lavishly-painted scenery on a theater stage: the actual action occurs in the wings and among the audience. Therefore, let us instead concentrate our attention on others imperiled by the belligerent Boar –organizations and commercial enterprises that have chosen some variety of Snake as their emblem.

Copperheadism was a highly contentious grass-roots anti-war movement in the 1860s.  It had its strongest base in the area just north of the Ohio River as well as in some urban ethnic districts.  The Copperhead movement attracted Southerners who had settled north of the Ohio River, merchants who had lost profitable Southern trade, and the poor.  Some historians have claimed that it represented a traditionalist element alarmed at the rapid mechanization of society.  The largest Copperhead group was the Knights of the Golden Circle.  Formed in Ohio in the 1850s, it reorganized as the Order of American Knights in 1863 and again in early 1864 as the Order of the Sons of Liberty.

Smooth Boar Musk-etry

January 31, 2019

With the arrival of a double yin Ox Month, the year of the Double Yang Earth Dog is straggling toward its inevitable finale.  This particular January’s Celestial Stem –stubby yin wood– rises (just barely) above the ox’s perennial yin earth Branch.  Wood depletes Earth, the ancient adage says: it’s a degenerative/entropic aspect of the Dao’s perpetual cycle.  The double Yang Earth energy of the Dog Year is dwindling away.

Yes, but … yin wood is grassy, brushy plant growth (Yang Wood is the mighty oak, majestic sequoia and so forth). And yin earth is meadow, cropland, fruited plains (Yang Earth manifests as vertiginous mountain ranges or towering volcanoes, etc.). So January’s yin wood/yin earth combination can also be seen in the two-inch-tall shoots of winter wheat bristling above the frozen soil: July’s harvest is already in the making. If we look far enough ahead, the news ain’t all bad.

In the meantime, we earthbound peasants will have some tough rows to hoe. The Year of the Boar will arrive in less than a week, so it’s time for Lunghu’s (long overdue) annual feng-shui forecast. As usual, and as is traditional, we begin with the cosmic ‘big picture’ –the alignment of the year’s Celestial Stem with the Earthly Branch.  Longstoryshort, yin earth [jǐ 己] over yin water [hài 亥].  Not particularly auspicious, because Earth obstructs Water, as the saying goes.  At the same time, from a 21st-century geophysical perspective, water erodes earth.  Thus, obstruction and undermining are simultaneously occurring.  If you catch my drift.  What better image of the Dao could you possibly want?

Yin earth above yin water. A grassy riverbank beside a sluggish stream. A levee or earthen dam.  A fen, marsh, swamp, brackish bayou or wetteland.  These are landscapes that inspire mosquitoes, blues lyrics and the brushstrokes of Aelbert Cuyp, but perhaps not much else.  We should therefore not expect 2019 to excite or enthrall us by providing external stimulation:  instead, the Year of the Boar is a time to release the inner yin water that is stored within each of us, washing away weak earth obstacles that vainly attempt to impose constraint on ever-changing flow.  The yin earth [己] Celestial Stem is an emblem of the center and of the self, so its attributes are most relevant to changes within our inner being –particularly the ways we perceive the “external” world and the illusory obstructions that seem to block our path.

But ice must melt before Water can begin to move. In the Northern Hemisphere, that means another month or two of stasis and confinement.  This is appropriate, because hài and the Boar [] are traditionally associated with the winter season and the north-northwest direction from which cold winter winds descend.  And, of course, because ice is just about the yin-est yin water available anywhere.

The Year of the Boar begins (as does every lunar year) with the Tiger month.  Many feng-shui soothsayers claim that the Tiger is on neutral terms with the Boar (unlike the Snake and Monkey), but I think it’s possible that this is more of a “frenemy” relationship.  After all, the Tiger is located 90° clockwise around the zodiac from the Boar (often an orthogonal angle of conflict), and the two animals are not very chummy in the natural world.  Furthermore, although February’s Celestial Stem is Yang Fire, the element that creates earth (the year’s Stem), Tiger is a Yang Wood animal –nourished by the Boar’s (Earthly Branch) yin water, but simultaneously sapping the energy of Earth.  So it seems likely that the first month of the Boar Year may be one of struggle and contention.  Be ready for something bad in the one or two days around Valentine’s Day.

Things look better for the month of March, because the yin wood Rabbit (at 120° counterclockwise relative bearing around the zodiac) is a friend of the Boar.  The Boar’s other ally this (and every) year is the yin earth Sheep/Goat (120° clockwise), whose month is July.  The yin earth Sheep/Goat is in harmony with the year’s yin earth Celestial Stem, and should enjoy doubly good fortune as a friend of the Boar.

Two other animals are in constant conflict with the Boar: the yin fire Snake (May) directly across the zodiac, and the Yang Metal Monkey (August) at 90° counterclockwise.  Since yin water quenches yin fire, we should perhaps anticipate price weakness in financial markets during May (“sell in May and go away,” as the old Wall Street saying goes).  We almost certainly won’t have to wait until the Snake Month to see it, but England’s not-so-PM Teresa May is in big trouble too.

And the Monkey?  August this year aligns the Yang Water Celestial Stem above the Yang Metal monkey.  In the feng-shui creative cycle, metal produces water (via vapor condensation on metal objects).  Yang Metal producing Yang Water implies the possibility of heavy flooding.  This year Tai Sui (the Grand Duke of Heaven) is presiding over terrestrial affairs from his seat in the Boar’s north-northwest home.  That means he’s looking directly at the south-southeast … Miami.  Buenos Aires/Montevideo.  Lourenço Marques.  Athens.  Stockholm.  Irkutsk.  Madras. Fuzhou.  New South Wales.  It all depends on your line-of-sight perspective.

Then again, Yang Water is associated with the north direction, and the year’s weak yin earth is at the center. So southward-flowing August flood waters may instead erode terrain in the central region of your favorite landmass:  Saint Louis/Memphis.  Stalin/Volgograd.  Bangui.  Qongqing.  Jabalpur.  Cuiabá. We’ll have to wait to see which way the Monkey swings.

From General to Specific

As in previous years, individuals and collective entities identified with the annual animal [Boar] and its opposite [Snake] will be in particular jeopardy during the current year.  That’s because the Snake is in clash with the year (the Boar), and the Boar is said to be “in self-penalty.”  Basically, the Boar will be trying to attack the Snake all year long, and Tai Sui will be all over the Boar’s case (for making trouble) at the same time.  As usual, there will be considerable collateral damage among lowly earthlings affiliated –however tenuously– with these two animals. Although no nation on earth is foolish enough to have an actual pig for its national emblem, a handful have chosen a pig-like creature as their national animal.  Here are some countries that can expect Boar self-penalty trouble in 2019:

Canada:   beaver
Belize:   Baird’s tapir
Costa Rica:   West Indian manatee
Papua New Guinea:   Dugong

These last two countries may be able avoid disaster by claiming that the manatee and dugong were traditionally called the “seacow” (or mermaids) by European mariners, but Tai Sui may believe that they look much more porcine than bovine. It’s a toss-up.

The Snake is another animal whose qualities are such that national legislatures almost never select it as a patriotic emblem.  But there’s always an exception to prove the rule:

India:   King cobra (national reptile)

Two neighboring nations in the Western Hemisphere have included images of the snake on their flags, but both have wisely chosen the eagle as their national animal. In both cases, the Snake is part of the national founding myth.

Aztec wayfarers at Lake Texcoco

the banner of right-wing “patriot” zealots


But enough of such trivial matters!  Let us now return to omens of true peril. Here are some commercial enterprises that have rashly chosen the Boar as their business emblem:

Next time:  serpentine stress and feng-shui flying star omens for the Year of the Boar.


Moon-Qi Business

August 16, 2018

On August 11, with the arrival of the new moon, the Double Yang Metal Monkey succeeded the yin earth sheep, beginning the seventh month of the soli-lunar/luni-solar year.  You probably didn’t even notice, but people in East Asia have been paying attention and calibrating their actions accordingly.  In case you’ve forgotten, Yang Metal is strong metal –generally associated with materials like iron and steel (or their alloys). Yin metal (which we’ll begin to encounter in mid-September) evokes thoughts of malleable, ductile substances such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead etc.  This year, August is a Double Yang Metal month because both the Celestial Stem [gēng 庚] and Earthly Branch [shēn 申] are associated with the Yang Metal element.  August’s Earthly Branch is always 申 Yang Metal, but the Celestial Stem varies from year to year because each successive month advances one more step through the endless cycle of the ten stems as they alternate between yin/Yang aspects of the five elements.  So: what should we expect from August’s double dose of Yang Metal?  And what should we expect from the lively, likeable, clever and inventive problem-solving Monkey during the coming weeks?

First, the glaringly obvious: although the transition from double yin earth (as we saw in July) to August’s Double Yang Metal appears at first glance to be doubly in accordance with cosmic ‘rules’ of yin/Yang alternation and the succession of earth by metal in the five elements creative cycle, it’s sometimes possible to have a little too much of an ostensibly good thing.  Earth (mineral ore) creates metal, but how much metal do you actually need?  Too much of any one element creates imbalance in the Dao, and the inexorable process of rebalancing can be abrupt or jarring.  We may find ourselves looking beyond the arrival of double yin metal in 3+ weeks, toward mid-October’s mix of Yang Water and Yang Earth.

But some people can’t wait that long.  In Korea, August 15th is Liberation Day, a national holiday marking the day when thirty-five years of Japanese colonial oppression was finally ended (more or less) in 1945.  It’s usually the occasion for political speeches and bold pronouncements about the nation’s destiny:

President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday used his Liberation Day address at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan to [promote] his Korea peace initiative, calling for railway, energy and economic cooperation with the North as a cornerstone for Northeast Asian peace and prosperity. He renewed his commitment to end the division of the Koreas, saying, “We must overcome [this] division for our survival and development. Even though a political unification may be a long way from here, establishing peace between the South and the North, freely visiting each other, and forming a joint economic community is true liberation to us.”

“[As the next step in this process] I propose an East Asian Railway Community in which the six countries of Northeast Asia — South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia– in addition to the United States, would participate,” Moon said.

“This community will extend our economic horizon into the lands to the north and will become the principal artery of coexistence and co-prosperity in Northeast Asia. This will lead to an energy community and economic community in East Asia and will be the starting point for a multilateral peace and security system in Northeast Asia,” Moon said.

And so on and so forth …


Over at Chaebol Central, the eager foot-soldiers of economic progress have already sharpened their pencils and ribbon-cuttin’ scissors:


Hyundai Glovis is introducing regular nonstop express freight train service over the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) between the Russian cities of Vladivostok and Saint Petersburg. On August 14, Hyundai Glovis held a commemorative ceremony for the departure of 64 freight containers from Vladivostok, marking the beginning of regular weekly express “block train” freight service [to western Russia] via Siberia. [The first shipment consisted of] 64 FEU (forty-foot equivalent units) of knock-down automobile parts ordered by a Hyundai Motor factory in Russia. The shipment will take 22 days to arrive at its destination: two days from Busan to Vladivostok; eight days for unloading, customs clearance, and reloading in Vladivostok; and twelve days via rail from Vladivostok to Shushary Station near Saint Petersburg. Marine transportation from Busan to western Russia via the Indian Ocean, Suez Canal, and Mediterranean Sea currently takes forty-three days.


Yo: where the feng shui at?

To those of you who don’t yet see the connection between Double Yang Metal and this flurry of railroad-related commentary, I would merely ask: what part of ‘Iron Horse’ do you fail to understand?  Double Yang Metal = twin ribbons of transcontinental steel.  The Horse = the friend of this year’s Dog.  The Horse is a Yang Fire element, and thus is able to control Yang Metal (Fire melts Metal).  As if that weren’t enough, the horse is also the corporate symbol of Yandex, Russia’s version of Google.  Thus, even though these initiatives have been planned for months, it’s no coincidence that they’re being publicized at the beginning of the Double Yang Metal Monkey month.

But seriously, folks: even without the feng shui ‘elements’ of these developments, people in the United States should be paying much more attention to what’s happening in Korea.  In the broader geo-political scheme of things, this initiative is just the latest sign that South Korea’s government fully recognizes that it has been abandoned by the United States, and must now make its own way in a world dominated by China and Russia.  Another win for Comrade Bear.  For the moment.


Quick Sand

July 25, 2018

Feng shui update: we mere mortals are currently experiencing the vagaries of fortune that characterize the Sheep Month during the Year of the Dog (YoDog).  Traditionally, the Dog and Sheep are bitter foes –not merely because the former preys upon the latter unless domesticated as a guardian, but also because the two creatures are located 90 degrees apart on the circumference of the Chinese zodiac.  This orthogonal angle may be useful for earth-bound architects and builders obsessed with stasis, but it’s in fundamental conflict with the necessarily constant dynamics at work and play in the cosmos above.  Thus, animals separated by an arc of 90° in the celestial firmament are fated to have a relationship fraught with clash and confrontation.

In this particular year, the Sheep-Dog conflict is intensified and made manifest by the specific configuration of Celestial Stem and Earthly Branch during the Sheep Month (July).  Recall that YoDog is a double Yang Earth year: strong Earth energy is heaped up upon itself into a mighty mountain.  All well and good for the Dog, except that the Sheep is a yin (weak) earth animal –and the Celestial Stem for the Sheep Month this year is   [ , meaning ‘unravel threads’ ] a yin earth phase in the celestial cycle.  So in July 2018, virtually at the peak of the solar year, we have a double yin earth month appearing on the scene in cosmic contradiction and refutation of the Dog’s mighty Yang Earth mountain. This is the beginning of the Dog’s inexorable decline, but the interactions of strong and weak earth energies bring misfortune to the Sheep as well.

F’r Instance


A hydroelectric dam under construction at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy power project has collapsed, killing at least 19 people as it swept away dozens of homes in flash flooding.  More than 3,000 people need to be rescued in a remote part of southern Laos, where at least seven villages were submerged in muddy water on Monday.


An enormous landslide on Fagraskógarfjall mountain in Hítardalur in West Iceland [has blocked] a well-known salmon fishing river with mud and rock and almost completely changed the face of the landscape.  The landslide is thought to be the largest that has ever occurred in Iceland.  Local farmer Erla Dögg Ármannsdóttir said that the landslide has formed a dam across the Hítará river.  “The dam is a few dozen meters high —I’m not exactly sure— and several hundred meters long and it’s completely blocking the Hítará, which is a serious problem.”  The blockage has caused a lake to begin forming above the debris.  “The water level is rising with every hour.”


At least 27 people are feared dead following a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar, police said Wednesday, as heavy rains hampered the search for survivors. Dozens of people have been killed by landslides this year in the Hpakant region of Kachin state, with 15 deaths and 45 others injured by a mine cave-in just a week earlier.


Dozens of people have been killed and two million forced to flee their homes after record rains pounded southwest Japan, triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides.  At least 75 people are dead and 40 have been reported missing or are unaccounted for, according to Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency.


The project manager of Ethiopia’s 6,000 megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was found dead in his Toyota Landcruiser in the capital Addis Ababa on Thursday. Simegnew Bekele was the public face of the dam being built near the country’s western border with Sudan which, when completed, will be Africa’s largest. Two of its 16 turbines are scheduled to start producing electricity in 2018.

Simegnew’s death is the second of a high-profile company official in recent months: in May, gunmen ambushed and killed Deep Kamra, the country manager for Nigeria’s Dangote Cement, alongside two others in the Oromia region outside Addis Ababa.


What’s next?  Well, during the August Monkey Month, we’ll have double Yang Metal to deal with.  Be seeing you.

Dog v. Dragon

March 28, 2018

Now is not the time for a nostalgic look back at how much better things used to be: it’s the Year of the Dog (YoDg for short), and the Dragon Month is just a few weeks away.  Why does that matter?  Mere mortals may soon learn.  As any friendly neighborhood feng shui soothsayer can tell you, the Dragon and Dog are fierce enemies.  They directly confront each other across the boundless sky from their respective positions in the celestial zodiac, and since each is a Yang Earth animal, they’re scrapping for possession of the same contested turf (so to speak).  When the Dog is the ruler of the year and the Dragon Month rolls around, their conflict is inevitable and immediate.  We humans must strive to minimize the collateral damage by exerting our feeble powers to protect what little we can.

Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes: here are a few salient features of this year’s Dragon Month which may provide some guidelines for what to expect.  The first thing to know is that Lunghu calibrates the beginning of lunar months with the new moon phase, which means that the Dragon Month will “officially” start on April 15th.  In the United States that’s also the day your federal income taxes are due, but that’s undoubtedly(?) just a coincidence this year.  Secondly, in 2018’s YoDg the Dragon Month is governed by the Yang Fire celestial stem, which means that the Yang Earth Dragon will writhe beneath (strong) Yang Fire.  Furthermore, the Dragon is associated with the East-Southeast direction, while the Dog is located in the West-Northwest.  So there you have it: a convergence of time, vector and what we might call “cosmic meterological conditions.”  In the Lorenzian brane-space of our puny little bubble adrift in the infinite multiverse, these things may actually “matter.”

So … what kinds of material manifestations should we anticipate for this coming April, “the cruelest month“?

East-Southeast is all relative, depending on who and where you are –>

  • Bermuda seen from New York?
  • Kazakhstan from Moscow?
  • Jeju-do relative to Beijing?
  • As Bern and Basel are to Paris, or Budapest to Bonn?

Bearing all that in mind, it’s worth noting that very soon we’ll be getting a preview of fire-over-earth, when a certain “Celestial Palace” tumbles from high in the sky to the ground far, far below:

“China’s experimental space station Tiangong-1 is now orbiting at an [extremely low] altitude of approximately 126 miles, and is expected to deorbit between March 31 and April 2 2018. The station will re-enter the earth’s atmosphere between 42.7°N and 42.7°S latitude, at an unknown longitude.”

Eighty-five degrees of latitude is a rather large swath of Mother Earth, so this broadly indeterminate splashdown zone will inevitably be ESE of somebody.  It also just so happens to include the Southern Ocean area where MH370 is almost certainly submerged.  Is this some kind of a cosmic April Fool’s joke?  Or is Tai Sui calibrating his version of the lunar calendar according to the full moon rather than the new moon?  Just another mystery of the Dao.

However, once Tiangong-1 has landed, we’ll still have the entire Dragon Month stretched out before us, giving us (at least) a further four weeks of fire-over-earth.  April 1st or April 15th: does it really matter when the Dragon Month begins?  If we’re lucky, the Yang Fire/Yang Earth combination will manifest in relatively harmless forms such as intensified displays of the aurora borealis or a few dramatic volcanic eruptions in sparsely populated regions of the globe.  Dragons in clash with the Dog Year may not escape so lightly.

अवतु वक्तारम्।
तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः


“The [text] shifts between voices of satire and prophecy featuring abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location, and time … while conjuring a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures.”