I started writing my daily forecasts, the #SeriousDailies, last October. To make them relevant and ensure accuracy requires using multiple systems. I had been studying date selection for awhile and finally reached the point where I felt I could have something coherent and hopefully helpful to say. Besides, the only way to get better at something is to practice.
At the time I didn’t realize that committing to writing the dailies was a commitment to stay aware of the particular usefulness of each day. Not every day is a good day but every day is good for some purpose. I have faith in that.
Around the end of March I was talking with my teacher Richard Ashworth about my unpreparedness for the challenges of the month despite my analysis. I look at the month in advance to do forecasting. I don’t write the dailies each day. I asked Richard about it and he added important nuance to the elemental interactions. Then he gave me some general parameters for the calculation for homing in on a similar point in time in the past. I worked with the calculation and there was March of 1999. It seemed so obvious – how could I need a calculation to point out the connection? Emotions and feelings I thought I had completed were live again, brought on by similar events. The distinction between similar and same is crucial I think.
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.” – Shirley Jackson
Many people who go beyond the surface level of Feng Shui are ultimately deterred from continuing by the excessive amount of reality to which one is exposed. This might be a lack of comfort with examining and assigning different levels of meaning. Sometimes you can bring a more helpful meaning into existence by proceeding through calculation into something like a dream state. If you want to find a different meaning you can’t just rely on what you already know. Not everyone is comfortable with that.
To have a successful career in Feng Shui means realizing that, in practice, it is an attempt to shape fate; to hasten human evolution. The paradox is that the right time will come but you may have to wait. That’s always my approach in my work. It’s usually my last choice to go against the prevailing energy.
The Rabbit month that just ended was a peak of Wood. I’m talking about the elemental Wood pattern: Pig Rabbit Sheep. The order is important. The Pig begins the cycle. There’s something different about the timing of this year’s reveal. It seems like there are endings in the middle. Earth day stem people and those with an Earth heavy BaZi know what I’m talking about. Wood’s peak is their valley.
There’s an argument to be made that this year began back in the Pig month of November. That’s when my dog Buck first started limping. Then he became very ill. He was so sick he wouldn’t even eat a treat and was obviously in pain. The vet said he had hookworm so we treated him and he bounced back. His limp disappeared and we guessed it had been a muscle strain. Buck has eaten many nasty things in his 8 years so a problem in his digestive tract was nothing new.
If the Pig is the beginning of the Wood pattern that makes the Rabbit in the middle the peak. March would be the appropriate month to celebrate Mother’s Day, but in this year’s Rabbit month, mothers and the Mother were under attack. In the U.S. we celebrate Mothers in the month of the Snake. That says something doesn’t it?
In terms of date selection, timing indicated March would be a difficult month for many. Even Rabbits who were having breakthroughs got a bit tattered. Events with women, religion, our planet and the world in general seemed to mark a peak of Wood attacking Earth. March is when Buck started limping again. His digestive upset came back too. Back to the vet. The Dog branch is Yang Earth. These metaphors are hard to ignore.
Since November there have been many signs of impending endings. If date selection has taught me nothing else, it’s that whatever is happening now, either endings or beginnings, is just preparing me for what I’m supposed to learn/do next.
The vet does a biopsy high on Buck’s chest where the hard swollen mass seemed to appear almost overnight. She finds a mast cell on the slide from the biopsy. This is not good news but we have to wait for more definitive results from the lab. They give us painkillers and antibiotics to take home. We start giving him Benadryl for the inflammation. Still, Buck can barely get around for the next two days. I bring his water bowl to his bed and hold it while he drinks. He’s so thirsty but it hurts too much to get up. He says thank you with his eyes.
I will tend to pick up the feelings, physical and otherwise, of whatever or whoever I’m around. That means people, animals, trees, locations, houses…When there’s pain or sickness I fail at compartmentalization. I can’t ignore it. If your stomach hurts so does mine. I feel compelled to try to do something to alleviate suffering. I can’t rest. I can’t stop thinking. It’s in my nature to cook and clean in these times. I become very focused on the practical and pragmatic. These characteristics are my kun – my challenge and my power. For better or worse I’m a great nurse. I’ve been through this process before.
The power of Yin is resilience. Those operating within Yin principles are always working on a comeback – either their own or someone else’s. They are always getting broken, broken into two, coming back, doing it again. That’s the power and purpose of Yin.
We get the lab results back and a referral to the oncologist along with stronger pain medications and instructions to continue the Benadryl. The aggressive tumor in Buck’s chest is flooding him with histamines and creating lots of inflammation. We have to wait a few days for the next appointment. Sometimes all you can do is wait with someone and hope that somehow it makes things better. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing in the world.
I put Buck’s bed in the tai chi of the house because it’s the best place to be. That’s not only because of the Flying Stars. I purposefully make it awkward for us to move around the house without paying attention to him. He’s right in the middle. If you want to know where to put the elephant in the room that is probably the right place this month. Take a good look at it and watch your step – or trip over it again. Buck starts feeling much better and even regains his playfulness.
If the Rabbit month is the peak of Wood in the Pig year then in a sense the year begins to fade in the Sheep month of July.
Buck will have been gone for some time by then, but right now it is hard to believe he is really dying. Then again there are things he just can’t do any more and he has to rest most of the time. He seems to know his pain medication schedule which tells me he’s in more pain than I realize. At the maximum Buck has months to live. The tumor is inoperable. Chemo and radiation are not an option.
We will be sending Buck on to his next assignment soon. Looking into his eyes I think he knows. The softness and presence in Buck’s eyes were why I first fell in love with him. He’s going to be a human on his next round, no question. Maybe he’s ready to get on with it.
There’s a selfishness in waiting to let him go and a selfishness in just wanting it to be over. I’m impatient.
This month’s Hexagram, number 43 (Lake over Heaven), tells me it’s too late to stop the transformation from happening. And why would I try? It feels like a moment when, as Richard says “things that have always been one way suddenly have always been another way”.