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Wednesday, 31st of March


Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today, THE BASKET ( 萁 ), is named for the asterism that completes the week-long course of the moon across the Eastern Palace of the Azure Dragon.  The original meaning of the character for this Lunar Lodge was a “manuring tray” or “refuse basket.”  The gatherings held in it would be mixed with soil, discarded plant material, and lime—to lower acidity—and then spread on the fields as fertilizer, and used to sprout seeds and young plants.  (Composting is a very ancient practice!)  Much later, THE BASKET became associated with the harvesting season, and was thought of as a “winnowing basket,” used to separate the grain from the chaff by tossing it up in the air, allowing the wind to blow the lighter chaff aside, and the clarified grain to fall back and be caught again in the basket.  This later meaning may be a transposition of an earlier attribution:  among its many other ancient names, this asterism was also called “Mouth of the Winds” ( 風 口 Fēng Kǒu ), and ruled the Eight Winds, coming from the Eight Directions.

This is a very bright and favorable indicator for the day, which is perfectly understandable when one considers the favorable impact of this very human category of invention:  ”something to carry stuff in.”  The practical utilities of gathering, holding, storing, and transporting, which THE BASKET represents, all contribute significantly to agriculture throughout the year, and so this must be regarded as an auspicious image.  Through this attribution, the day is auspicious for mixing, carrying, storing, transporting in both the literal as well as the figurative senses.

The spirit animal for THE BASKET is the Leopard, smallest of the four Great Cats (tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard), but certainly the strongest for its size.  The Leopard’s ability to drag the kill up a tree, and wedge it into the fork of a branch for storage, is quite extraordinary.  They can do this with prey that are up to 45% of their own weight.  They’re not particularly picky hunters, and will stalk and kill with equal expertise anything from small rodents and birds, to large antelope and deer.  The elegance, power, and agility of the Leopard, make his connection to THE BASKET an indication that it signifies not just lightness and flexibility, but strength,  sturdiness, and a willingness to accept “whatever is offered,” as well.

The Solar Index today is DIVIDE, named for the third month of Winter in the agricultural calendar, from early January through early February.  The character with which it’s written ( 孫 chú ) can also be read as “remove,” “subtract,” “separate,” “exclude,” “discard,” or “to end.”  As Winter draws to a close, the days slowly lengthen, and the grip of Yīn relents.  As the Yáng rises, activity rises with it, and earnest labors for the upcoming Spring must begin.  Inclement weather focuses the work on what can be done indoors: repair of equipment, making of clothes and implements, separation of grain to be used in planting from that to be kept aside for food.  The DIVIDE day captures this energetic quality, and favors separating the important from the unimportant, the immediate from the delayable, the public from the private, the practical and efficient from the frivolous and wasteful.

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  Now that the Hare Moon has begun its waning, the Dragon will lend confidence to your view, and imagination to your projections towards the future.  As usual, you’ll want to leave things as contingent as possible, but don’t be afraid to stake your aims to something definite.  Working will get easier over the next 6 weeks, and you’ll profit from narrowing your ambitions towards rudimentary efficiency.  Snack sparingly, if you have to, but don’t get behind on sleep.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  This situation puts no-one at all in your corner, though you have enough understanding of the Tiger’s fundamental nature to take up his concerns in a general fracas.  You’re not going to want to do that today, however, and it seems to me that you should simply aim to stay out of others’ way, as well as give up the idea of making too much progress on any of your main tracks.  There’s going to be entirely too much cross-traffic for that to be either efficient or satisfying.  That being said, some new opportunities are going to be dropping out of all the hurly-burly, and tomorrow’s Snake will help you make the most of them, without you even having to slow down.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  For you, this means a day of challenges—most of them more thrilling, than frustrating—and an opportunity to test your mettle in a well-matched fight.  Not that the emphasis is going to be on pugilistics or aggression;  this is more of a battle of wits, than anything else.  Your task is to recognize where you’ve had your feet planted for the last 6 weeks, and to test how far you can launch yourself forward, in a single bound.  Don’t be hasty in answering the challenge;  your patience is grounded in an unerring grasp of your own states of readiness.  But likewise, don’t pre-judge what your results are going to be;  even you might end up surprised, today.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  Your critical faculties are going to be at their strongest under this condition, but you’ll be wise to guard your words and temper your actions, as your level of irritation is going to rise as well, while your sense of relaxation falls.  Nothing today will be really worth your wrangling over, so think of it, not as the Grand Regatta—when your competitive ire should truly awaken—but as merely a Shake Down Cruise, when you can note those things that need to be replaced, repaired, or otherwise worked on, before the your craft can safely be put to sea.  Tomorrow’s Snake will settle you down again, and if you haven’t done anything too rash today, you’ll be able to get all the refurbishment done with style and satisfaction.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  Your powers will rise briefly today, and as long as you didn’t spend yesterday so busy that you tossed a lot of dust into the air, you’ll be able to take your true height, and glimpse enough of your surroundings to settle at least 80% of the misgivings you’ve been nursing for the last 6 weeks.  Be very careful not to fall into any temptation to use today as an opportunity to drive your point home, or or an opening to plant your colors on what seems like unclaimed territory.  The Dragon Moon will support the proper follow-through for those aims, but we’ve got two more weeks of the Hare for you to slink-and-dodge your way through, first.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  This is a very complicated situation for the Clan of Scales and Fangs, and you should make sure that you’ve examined any scene from at least three angles, before you decide you’re certain which side you’re on—if any—and from which approach you want to make your attack—if any!  If you wish to be Truly Masterful, then you’ll take a marriage-broker position between the Wrangling Pair (Dragon and Hare, that is) with an eye towards diverting the Tiger from thinking you’re on anyone’s side at all.  Impartiality is not foreign to your nature, though it doesn’t often make itself visible;  today you can alter that part of your reputation.  Tomorrow will be much trickier, but also much more enjoyable.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  The things the Dragon and Tiger have in common, where you’re concerned, is an easy grasp of how to gain your attention, the natural sense of how to summon your trust, and the authoritative gravitas that will give you your highest states of confidence.  This is all quite wonderful, as far is it goes;  but in a situation like today’s, these two like to do all three of these things with you, both at the same time.  Don’t let yourself become the turf for their warfare:  make sure you understand who’s in charge at the moment, before you commit to the task.  If it remains unclear, simply refuse to go forward until things get more settled.  Under your insistence, that won’t take long at all.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  This is a condition under which it will be very easy to fall into the general ruckus going on, as if your contribution would settle things, and turn everyone productive.  I’m afraid this is an illusion.  As much as the Rabbit Moon will give you very clear insight into the nature of The Fight, and clear vision as to each violation of The Rules as they happen, you’ll do better to make this a day for Spectator Sports, exlusively.  You’re not in danger of getting injured, or even more than slightly disturbed, but you’re doing so well in your movement towards the Tiger Way that you’re going to feel disappointed if you sacrifice any of your ability to Stand Aloof and wait for the Better Time.  Tomorrow, you’ll have no such restrictions, and over the weekend, you’ll get to enjoy a bit of an extended romp.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  You are clearly partisan in your observations of this mix-match—or should I say,”mish-mash”?  If you’ve absorbed any of the most fundamental lessons of the Tiger Year yet, you’ll recognize it as a time, not to show your favoritism for Scales-over-Stripes, but to hang back, making observations, and taking notes.  When the Dragon Moon arrives in two weeks time, such information as you can gather today will have proper ground for Actual Engagement, on which you can find the way to take Full Action without getting snagged by either Claws or Fangs.  Tomorrow’s Snake will be test of a different kind, where you can more confidently—if carefully—get your hand in.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  This is a dangerous condition for you to take any presumptions, and in fact to take much action, either.  The Dragon has almost limitless generosity towards the Clan of Feathers and Claws, granting both empowerment and grandeur of scale, but I’m afraid no such gifts will be coming your way today;  he’ll entirely have his hands—er, Claws—full dealing with the Tiger-Rabbit Team.  Not that he’s not up to it!  Satisfy yourself with a diminished field for your own actions, and marvel at the glossy hurly-burly going on around you, today.  Tomorrow’s Snake will bring much more ground for your understandings and actions, if not as much results as you’d like.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  This condition doesn’t so much drive you down, as let you down, and that will be as in: “let down slowly.”  Life won’t be nearly as smooth, satisfying, and essentially trouble-free as it’s been for the last few days, but think of the bright side:  the Tiger-Rabbit Team is certainly taking the jolt out of what could be a thorny Dragon Day, leaving you with only a bit of nostalgia to deal with.  Well:  that, and the anxiety of having to put up with a lot more shaking-and-moving than you’re usually comfortable with.  Chalk it up to “sound and fury, signifying nothing,” if you like, but it would be wiser to hang back and pay close attention.  The Dragon Moon is coming, and this is just the huffing and puffing of the Two Combatants, while they’re still only trying to intimidate and gauge one another.  In two weeks, the bell will ring, and they’ll come out actually fighting.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Metal Dragon on duty today possesses brilliance of style and elegance of manner, but it’s his flexibility and sleek elusiveness that will make him a worthy complement to the Tiger-Hare Team.  This condition has the power to put you in a Truly Bad Mood, as the Dragon’s roiling throws your favorite satisfactions into the winds, and his momentous powers throw your aims and delicacy-of-attention into the dirt.  Don’t take it too hard;  it’s actually a gift to you when the Dragon comes around, as he’s the harbinger of the Snake to follow.  As disappointing as it can be to find your ambitions diminished by the Dragon, it’s much better than having them dashed into bits by the Snake.  Fold things up and put them into storage for a few days;  opening them up again in 3 days time will make it seem like your Artificial Birthday Party.  Special note: arguing today is Not Worth It.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

You’ve got to have a back-yard gate;  friends can’t truly surprise you at the front door.

No need to urge them to set aside formalities :  “Oh, it’s you.”  “Yes, yes.”

Ushered in with barely a gesture:  “Good, you’ve come.  You’ll have some tea?”

Grinning, and from behind his back he prestidigitates a head of lettuce: “We can’t have you going hungry!”

“Perils of the road beyond every curve;  luck lies in starting and finishing.”

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Tuesday, 30th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today, THE TAIL ( 尾 Wěi ), is named for an asterism of nine stars which also form the tail of Scorpio, the Scorpion, in western astronomy.  This is of course, THE TAIL of the Azure Dragon of the Eastern Palace.  As THE HEART represented the emperor and his palace, this Lunar Lodge represented the eastern wing of the palace, where the imperial family resided.  It was associated with the empress (embodied by one of its stars), the first rank of concubines, and the royal princes.  This image supports several of the activities for which this Lunar Lodge is favorable:  childcare, reliance on superiors, and rising in office (meaning, in the classical case, “in the service of the emperor.”)  Similarly:  domestic strife, undue emotionality, and over-indulgence, are all damaging to family order and harmony, and therefore are particularly inauspicious under this Lunar Lodge.

The spirit animal for THE TAIL is the Tiger, who is the complement to the Dragon, on the east-west axis.  Dragon-and-Tiger is a ubiquitous icon of expertise in the martial arts.  Their polarity also illustrates the balance of Eastern (Springtime) and Western (Autumn)  in fengshui practice.  The Tiger is Yáng in relation to most of the other Twelve Animals, but not to the Dragon.  In its attribution to this Lunar Lodge, the Tiger shows that it is Yīn (since it is terrestrial) in complement to the celestial energy of springtime and dawn, represented by the Azure Dragon.  Like the Tiger, an icon of boldness and honesty, this Lunar Lodge is regarded as free of impediments to the pursuit of one’s properly prepared actions, and auspicious for those with strength of heart and rectified character.  Avoid scheming and recriminations today;  the straight-forward path is best.

The Solar Index today is DESIGN, named for the second month of Winter in the agricultural calendar, when the Winter Solstice occurs.  Just as the Yang sinks down to its lowest, and is re-conceived by the depth of Yin, the DESIGN month is a time of low activity, and of the desire for warmth and comfort.  The character for this term ( 建 jiàn ) is a pictogram meaning “writing troop movements”, that is, “to draw up orders on how the troops are to be arrayed in preparation for engagement.”  In modern usage the word means “to establish,” “to design,” “to found.”  The first step in construction in ancient times was actually to trace the plan of the building on the ground.  Concrete foundations for smaller buildings on raw ground are frequently still begun in this way.  So draw out your foundation lines today.  Sink down, as if to your roots;  empower strategy and imagination, and let dreaming and planning launch the new cycle of .

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  You will not enjoy this kind of sharpening, as it will be ruthless in concern of your presumptions and lack of fundamental stamina.  Still, you are adept at contemplation, and if you take the day as a time to trim your sails and re-frame your understandings, you may salvage a bit of “proper conception” yourself.  Do not make any final decisions;  you need tomorrow’s Dragon to lend balance and sanity to your choices.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  Keep your attention on your own long-term aims, and look about you for others who are swinging into the same line of effort.  A word of support from you is all they will need to make their commitment of forces, and you’ll not have to entangle your path with theirs to gain some camaraderie on your way.  Stresses will be low today, but I can’t say the same about tomorrow, when the Dragon comes on duty.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  The Rabbit Way of Things will have you yearning for company and social engagements, but the true value of the day will lie in those times when you’re off in your own world—whether solitary in a room, or not—and sensing the turnings of your inner compass towards the North Star of your deepest satisfactions.  You can afford to be whimsical in your attitude today, as if you’re free-and-easy, and entirely unready to commit.  In fact, don’t plan on making any announcements of your aims;  you’ll need several days to come up with appropriate phrasing.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  This condition will clarify your aims and strategies, as well, and—though it’s not a good time to come forward with any concrete action—you will gain an even greater understanding, the more time you spend running the movies of possible outcomes, in your mind.  Consequently, it’s a good day to make sure you have some time either entirely to yourself, or at least in a place you can comfortably stare off into space, watching your Inner Theater as the movies roll.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  This sharpening will be right on schedule for your plans as well, as you’ll easily find the Big Holes in your theory and practice, even under the most cursory examination.  It’s a good idea to plan for at least 15 minutes of Time By Yourself, in a place where you can consider things without danger of disturbance.  Whether you’ve got someplace that’s your private and inviolable Inner Sanctum, or you just find a quiet corner table at some anonymous café, where you can stare at the wall, you’ll need this solitary quietude today, to keep things from getting totally snarled during the second half of the Hare Moon.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  The bevy of Rabbits will keep the Tiger diverted with Tigerly concerns, and leave you free to shop for the full range of what’s available, what’s needed, and what’s whimsically desirable.  The menu you’ll be perusing isn’t all that expansive, but if you’re judicious and not too aggressive in your choices, you’ll find that everything will appear at table in proper order and to your ultimate satisfaction.  Remember that those about you are testing their choices this Moon, and coming to their final selections for the rest of the year;  if you keep your nose clean, many of those selections will leave you all the space you need to reach your fulfillment without obstruction.  If, however, you demonstrate a state of willful greed, or insensitive me-first-ism, you’ll find yourself cut out of the game, without so much as a by-your-leave.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  This will feel like a moment of pause for you, and perhaps even like a changing-of-the-guard.  The Rabbits are going to be making the Tiger focus in on the Inner World, and on Residues from the Past, and therefore not very concerned with Clear Orders, or Tasks At Hand.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will polarize exactly the opposite style of attention, so take today as a time to gain nourishment and rest, and to prepare yourself for flights of valor, and for tests of rigorous training.  It would not be entirely inappropriate either, for you to consider your own aims.  But don’t talk about them with others, as it’s your own inner understanding that the day is sharpening.  Social affairs can be lovely today, but they should be considered as past-times, rather than soul-searching.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  This condition brings you a number of satisfactions and rewards, and as long as you take their receipt—whether casual or ceremonial—as the main focus of the day, you’ll have plenty of opportunity for sharpening your aims and strategies, as well.  The more you find yourself hanging out with friends and strangers, the better;  but don’t wear you heart on your sleeve, or cough up the Nature of Your Spiritual Quest, even if asked for it.  The atmosphere today will be troubled by the Full Moon—until sunset, anyway—and you should hold your Deep Conversations in abeyance until later in the week.  You’ll know much better what you’re talking about by this weekend, in any case.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  This is an even foggier condition for you than yesterday, and will benefit from your inaction and quietude.  Giggling with friends is entirely allowed, but the more private the circumstance, the better.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will sweep aside the fog enough to show you where the True Problems are likely to lie, but you’ll have to wait until the Dragon Moon itself arrives in two weeks to properly take them up to be dealt with.  Make your major engagement with food, today:  whether cooking, serving, or eating, you’ll find your particular brand of magic is both well-placed and highly-appreciated.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  These Twin Hares are not a good omen for the Clan of Feathers and Claws, and you’ll be wise to spend as much time as possible alone, at home, or focusing on your own thoughts.  That being said, your inward focus is going to be entirely clear and trustworthy, so perhaps that’s the silver lining to this dark cloud.  If you must engage with family, friends, and the public at large, try to comport yourself as a “stranger in a strange land.”  If you think you’re acting weird, don’t worry;  you’ll be barely visible to those around you, and in the vacuum of you Doing Your Thing, they’ll be hallucinating that you’re Doing Theirs.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  The Twin Rabbits will have both your attention and energy keyed up for the day, and your willingness is very likely to follow suit.  Consequently, it will benefit you to put a limit on your range of activity, and a dead-line on your work day, if you want to gather the domestic nourishments this condition promises.  You won’t want to arrive home so exhausted from “having a great day” that you’re incompetent to enjoy a “great evening,” as well.  Don’t eat too much until you get home, and take at least 15 off somewhere private either to:  a.)  breathe and not move much;  or b.)  consider What You’re After.  If it’s b.), then don’t worry about coming up with answers or resolutions;  it’s the considering that counts, today.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Earth Hare on duty today has an inward-turning spirit and a darkly contemplative nature, but will empower the Tiger Year to sharpen the proper conception of aims and strategies.  If you took your medicine with a brave heart and a good grace, yesterday—you’ll know that you did, if you had a terrific time—then today you’ll get to sink into the heart of Plump Pigginess with as much satisfaction as you sink into a warm bubble-bath.  Do not be shy about explaining anything, and plan on every social interaction to take at least 10 minutes longer than you had planned;  there’s a great deal of clarity to be brought into the world today, and you are the Minister of Clear.  That being said, it seems to me that your greatest triumphs will be in the field of assisting others come to their own understandings;  mimic your favorite talk-show host or interviewer, and don’t hesitate to get All Socratic on any guest you happen to have for a moment in The Chair.  Finish up in time for a commercial break, however;  no doubt, there’s someone else behind the curtain waiting to be announced.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

Lǐ Bó-Yáng mounted an old ox, too feeble to plow, too tough for slaughter, and rode to the western-most gate of the Kingdom of Qín.

His days at the Museum of Antiquities were past, his meeting with Kǒng-zǐ was fruitless, his aim was simple:

To ride out into the desert and vanish, unifying with the Way.  His pathway was obstructed, though, as Yǐn-xǐ begged him for a boon.

And so we have the 81 Chapters to puzzle over, or to disregard, terse as raindrops, as mystifying as the ancient Rites of Zhōu.

“Okay to act grumpy, but not in the kitchen;  okay to argue, but not in the bedroom.”

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Monday, 29th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today, THE HEART ( 心 Xīn ), is named for an asterism composed of three of the stars of the constellation Scorpio, the Scorpion, and includes the brilliant red star, Antares.  This asterism marks the “Heart of the Dragon,” (that is, of the Azure Dragon of the Eastern Palace.)  As such it represents the emperor, whose protecting emblem is the dragon.  The brilliant red star in this asterism gives it another name:  “Great Fire” ( 大 火 Dà Huǒ ).  This name is almost a redundancy;  it refers not just to the red color of Fire, but to the heart’s function as well, since that organ maintains the action of the Phase of Fire, and also bears the title “Emperor” among the Five Organs.  In ancient China, there were many regional festivals associated with this asterism, which included ritual bonfires to celebrate and encourage the increasing warmth of weather, and the increased activity in the natural world.

Days ruled by this Lunar Lodge are inauspicious for activities not devoted to honoring the respectful place of humans in the natural world, or the place of individuals within the imperial social and political structure.  Placing personal ambition before social duty and routine responsibilities is to be regarded as “damaging to the emperor,” and through him, damaging to the entire empire.  One could equally say:  ”damaging to the heart,” and “damaging to the entire body.”  It is a favorable sign for distant travel—to the “far-flung corners of the empire,” as it were.  In pursuit of one’s routine duties, it is highly favorable today to request support and guidance from superiors, including through divination.

The spirit animal for THE HEART is the Fox, which in Chinese folklore has many iconographic meanings.  In the north, the Fox is a trickster, capable of invisibility, and devious in all his ways.  In some southern traditions, however, the Fox is an emblem of longevity;   through intelligence, collected teachings, and dedicated practice, the Fox is capable of living many lives—as many as a thousand—and eventually achieving immortality.  In this attribution to THE HEART, the Fox represents the height of human attention, which must be disciplined in order to reach its greatest accomplishments.  Devotion to ambition, or a “me first” attitude, may seem attractive and perfectly justified, in the moment;  but they only serve to cut off access to this higher road.

The Solar Index today is SHUT, named for the first month of Winter in the agricultural calendar.  The character with which it’s written ( 閉  ) is a picture of a pair of doors, closed and barred.  This is the time when the weather grows cold, outdoor labors shrink to almost nothing, and the  slips down into quietude.   The whole natural world is in a state of cold, exhaustion, and rest.  Consequently, the proper pace of human life is interior, inactive, and aiming towards recuperation.  SHUT days are similarly times of deep recuperation and timely withdrawal from the outer world.  Only those who are born on a SHUT day should risk disturbing the when it demands to sleep!

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  You can afford to have some confidence yourself under this condition, but don’t make the mistake of acting entirely on your own whim, and without properly assessing the terrain.  Announcing intentions, following protocols, asking permission, and—most important—fulfilling promises and commitments, are not to be ignored on any account.  Tomorrow’s Hare is going to be something of a test of your patience and command of your dignity, so don’t spend today over-taxing yourself;  eat well, but lightly, and make sure you’re relaxed before you go to bed—and for best results, make sure that’s not too late.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  The Double Tigers will offer you a strange kind of permission to just “go on ahead,” and the SHUT Day will guarantee that most people don’t have the extra energy to get in your way.  It’s a day for an Ox to be an Ox, without pretensions or embarrassments, and that attitude will allow you to tap a quality of confidence that harmonizes perfectly with the year at large.  Try to memorize the sensation, as it will come in handy during the stressful times that turn up later on.  Arguing today will be a waste of time and energy:  either you’re right, and they’ll find that out soon enough anyway, or they’re right, in which case you shouldn’t be arguing in the first place.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  The abundance of Stripes in the mix—yourself included, of course—makes it a terrific day for you to indulge your appetites for exercise, recreation, competition, sporty behavior, and just generally romping around.  Make sure you are cautious when entering spaces and places you’ve never been to before:  you never know when you might find yet another Tiger, who’s claimed the turf for herself already.  Staying all day inside your domestic lair is a good idea, as well, but you’ll need a supply of puzzles of some kind, to keep yourself from getting bored or stir-crazy.  Try to balance-out time in high activity, and time spent lying down.  Napping is definitely called for;  you’re highly unlikely to go so deep, that you wake up groggy.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  Adding yourself to this mix makes a perfect foursome of Double Tiger, Double Hare, and will make it very easy for you to find the mental-physical balance point that you’ve been missing for the last 5 or 6 days.  If you’ve got decisions to settle, today’s just the right day to make them, as long as you don’t engage them until late tomorrow.  The Tigers will give you the confidence to believe your inner feelings, but you should wait until tomorrow’s Hare signs off on them, before you give them your full conviction.  The general level of  will be low today—on account of the SHUT Day—so practice giving people the benefit of the doubt;  taking things too seriously will just lead to a level of rancor and argument that everybody will regret by Wednesday.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  This will be an instructive—though slightly paradoxical—day for you, as the Tigers will inspire clear thinking and understanding of your stance and aims, but the fact that it’s a SHUT Day will—unless you were born on one—keep you from feeling that you can summon the proper energy to do anything with your inspirations.  Play the waiting game:  tomorrow’s Hare Day will give you the chance to have a few corrective Second Thoughts, and the Dragon Day on Wednesday will be a much better resource for your actions.  Be careful to avoid argument for its own sake;  even productive arguments—hashing out differences in proposed approaches on a project, for instance—must be carried forward only so far as you’re not treading on other’s personal feelings or professional reputations.  Make mental notes you can speak from on Wednesday, and even the most vague of resolutions today will yield solid results then.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  You’re still tapping on your account of Happy Good Feeling with the Hare Moon, but you won’t be surprised that the Two Tigers are going to be watching your every move.  If you focus on the sensations immediately available to you (wherever you already are), and don’t get suckered by the notion that Those Over There would be “much nicer,” then you’ll have a delightful day with a minimum of entanglements and recriminations.  If you let your curiosity marry your ambition today, you’re liable instead to stumble into a situation that won’t be dangerous, but it could certainly be highly uncomfortable.  Wait until tomorrow to raise the distance of your aims;  the Hare Day will be covering your flank for you, and appreciating all the discoveries you’ll be bringing to light.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.   This will be another of those days filled with the satisfactions of knowing quite clearly what you’re supposed to be doing, and receiving full permission to head out at full speed.  The only snag will be that you may have to be more than a little patient;  your Mission Statement is liable to be tied up in red-tape until sometime in the late morning, if not even later.  You will, however, be allowed to pace or charge up and down—as long as you don’t get in the way of anyone’s proper functioning—so don’t think you have to just fret and build up Eager Anxiety.  Exercise, as you might imagine, will be very good for you today, and as long as you tell people that’s what you’re doing, you can probably check in at work, find out they’re not quite ready for you, and go get your workout in before lunch.  If you can’t leave, look around for someone to help with their tasks.  You’ll still have plenty of oomph left when your portfolio of duties drops onto your desk.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  This is a very lucky day for you, as long as you look at it as a Moment of Completion, a time when kinetic energy slows, and the pendulum is at pause at one of its extremities of motion.  It’s not that you’re done, of course;  far from it.  But the clarity brought by the alignment of Two Tigers, and the comfortable spacey-ness of the Hare Moon, make for a perfect condition when you can pause and give yourself an honest assessment of how well you seem to be doing so far in the new year.  As long as you’re being scrupulously critical of places where you Don’t Quite Get It Yet, and fair to yourself about ways in which you really are Acting Stripey, then the Tigers will have no problem putting their heads together and coming up with a suitable set of rewards for your diligence and flexibility.  Take some of those rewards tomorrow, by allowing yourself to really sink into whatever Domestic Bliss you find available, and don’t worry about feeling sluggish today.  Industrial Strength Napping is, after all, very Stripey.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confidentatmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  The appearance of Two Tigers on the scene should rightly be cause for you to prepare to quake and tremble in your shoes, but their harmony with the Clan of the Long Ears is throwing a soft, pink-lit fog across the whole landscape, and—if you can summon even an idea of exhaustion, and respond to it—keeping off your feet and out of the running, will mean that you can sneak through the day with a minimum of disturbance and dour looks.  You don’t have to be perfectly still;  it’s actually a very good day for puzzles, as long as they take close concentration to solve them.  Just make sure that you keep your center of gravity from moving across the floor any more than is strictly necessary, and don’t touch anyone else’s stuff without first getting clear approval and permission.  Tomorrow’s Hare will bring denser fog for most of us, and a bit more freedom for you.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  You should take this condition as expressing the need for Continual Caution, and—though that doesn’t mean you need to be stiff about things, or act out of paranoia—it will only intensify tomorrow, when we’ll have not Two Tigers, but Twin Hares to deal with.  Spend the day slowly shutting down your engines, and giving up your normal presumptions, and tomorrow will be much the easier for it;  you’ll be able to coast through on Silent Running.  It’s also true that the more you’re not exerting yourself today and tomorrow, the more crisply your energies will rise up to action again on Wednesday, when the Friendly Dragon will be calling on your best abilities and sharpest accuracy.  You can count on your engines to kick right back in, and run humming through the rest of the week.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  Having had two days in a row when you weren’t in Perfect Dog Heaven, let’s assume that your palate is refreshed again for the savoring of some more Canine Bliss.  That’s what you’re going to get today and tomorrow, so you’ll just have to put up with it in any case, I’m afraid.  Ah, well!  What’s a Dog to do?  Run, jump, lark about, chase things down happily, chow down heartily, and collapse into a comfy heap, before starting all over again.  Remember, however, that your delights where the Clan of Stripes and Fangs are concerned have to do with keeping others relaxed—as well as yourself—and with demonstrating the loyalty and willingness to pursue duty you’re so famous for.  Won’t be too difficult, I shouldn’t think;  duty, after all, is something you can “chase down happily.”  Do I need to mention that you should plan on turning in early?

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Earth Tiger on duty today has a gruff demeanor and a highly secretive style, but his cagey en-garde will relax somewhat, due to the softening influence of the Hare Moon, and the more confident atmosphere set by the Tiger Year.  It’s part of the strength in your dealings with the Clan of Stripes and Fangs, that they have no compunction in telling you What You Need To Hear, and they’re not really swayed by protestations that you’re too delicate or too hard-pressed to be required to listen;  they know you too well to believe that.   And since the day is braced by a pair of them, you may well feel that you’ve stumbled into some kind of intervention session.  Have no fear;  they’re not trying to talk you out of anything, they’re only demanding your honesty, particularly with yourself. Remember, the very last thing you’d be required to do this year would be to act the way you’re not.  So if you can stomach the potential of embarassments today, you may finish it deciding that it’s one of the best days of your life.  Tomorrow, you’ll get your Reward for Bravery, and apologies and hugs all around.  Do not eat to feel better;  it’s better today to just feel “bad.”

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

The Aging Baby doesn’t have use for much more than can be carried in a small satchel, over one shoulder or the other.

As to carriages, he prefers to talk about the wheels, and their marvelous construction:  all those spokes, around a space of emptiness.

Ride up, ride down, and you’ll only find yourself riding up again.  Can one really be the more favorable?

Gain and loss, strength and weakness, perseverance and exhaustion:  there’s just no room for them in a single hand-bag.

“When the stream must stop, it pools:  building up to start again.”

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Sunday, 28th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE ROOM, named for an asterism of four stars, which form a line perpendicular to the ecliptic of the zodiac.  In modern astronomy, they’re part of the constellation Scorpio, the Scorpion.  In its attribution to the center day of the week-long Eastern Palace of the Azure Dragon, THE ROOM represents the position of the Spring Equinox.  The character for this asterism ( 房 fáng ) also means “house.”  It was also called, more poetically, “House of the Sun,” in the sense that at the Spring Equinox, the Sun crosses the ecliptic and begins to be visible in the sky longer each day than it is hidden through the night.  These four stars were also called “The Celestial Four” ( 天 四 Tiān Sì ), or “The Celestial Horses” ( 天马 Tiān Mǎ ), and were seen as drawing the shape of the chariot of the Sun.

The spirit animal for THE ROOM is the Rabbit, which in the Twelve Animal cycle is associated with the month of the Spring Equinox.  Rabbits and hares are symbols of fertility across the globe, and in Chinese culture further represent the balance of a gentle demeanor wedded to a warrior spirit.  The Spring Equinox rituals in ancient China made appeal to the Sun—crossing the skies in his warrior chariot, and moving towards his most extreme strength—kindly to show his gentle and beneficial face on the crops springing up in the fields.

This Lunar Lodge is therefore extremely advantageous for indoor work of any kind, and rites or ceremonies in particular.  As it represents the “center of Spring,” it is auspicious for new ventures, moving house, and taking of herbs for medicinal benefit.  The well-balanced but increasing Yang gives extra potency to such delicate or influential activities, and diminish the naturally inherent potential dangers that may accompany them.  Conversely, THE ROOM is awkward for finishing things (so untimely when the world is awakening and bounding forward in growth), particularly divorce proceedings.  Hurrying and impatience are inappropriate, and are regarded as likely to produce difficulties and mistakes.  The Yang is moving forward;  but like its increase at the time of the Spring Equinox, progress should be made only with “all deliberate speed.”

The Solar Index today is OPEN, which relates to the month in the agricultural calendar directly following the harvest, from early October to early November.  The hard labors and tense worries of the year are largely past, and a season of festivities, congratulations, and camaraderie begins.  The only concerns for the near future have to do with preparations for the depth of winter, and its cold and storms.

The character for OPEN ( 開 kāi ) is a picture of a pair of doors swung wide.  The feeling of this time is adventurous, light-hearted, and free-wheeling.  The Chinese say, “Go out the door to find fortune!” and today certainly feels like the time to do it.  Normal constraints drop away, and new (though temporary) options are suddenly available.  After the harvest, the cleared fields offer little shelter for birds and other game, and hunting becomes opportune.  A sense of repose arises, as the wealth earned through long labors is safe in the granary.  It’s also, however, the time when bandits and thieves may feel that it’s finally worth their time to come calling.  The “open doors” are a welcome to friends to share in leisure and hard-won luxuries, but they are no barricade to wanderers who wish to crash the party, and pilfer a few valuables.  Keep a light heart, but also, a sharp eye

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  Keep your eyes and ears wide open, as new opportunities—which are part of the Tiger’s entourage—will be making their presence known.  You should avoid the temptation to drop what you’re doing to respond to them, however;  play coy—even if they’re playing hard to get—and don’t act in such a way as to express too much interest.  Many of the Big Chances this year will be like “the trout that must be caught by tickling,” and the spirit of today’s Ox will help you polish your mastery of it.  Unless you’re born on a SETTLE Day, try to get out into the public sphere:  there’s luck waiting for you, whether at a market, block party, or coffee shop.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  This is a lucky condition for you, particularly as it falls on an OPEN Day.  Keep up your fundamental course and schedule, but try to summon a wider acceptance of small changes in plan than you normally would.  “Unexpected travel arrangements are dancing lessons from God,” and should always be taken.   You’ll have no such distractions tomorrow getting in your way, so you’ll easily be able to get caught up with whatever it was you were going to do, and a break from your frame of reference will clarify your attention, and refresh your spirit.  This is a day for you to paddle in the direction the stream is already flowing.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  You can take advantage of this situation best by getting out in the world, where you’re an anonymous soul among the masses, and where you can follow your uncanny ability to sniff out luck, without the responsibility of having companions along with you to keep track of.  By the end of this Moon, you’ll have a fairly stable idea of what it is you’re aiming at for the year, but the menu of choices isn’t quite complete yet, and today presents an excellent opportunity to run through some samples and determine whether each is a Yes, a No, or a Maybe.  If you need to make an important decision, turn on the tap at the kitchen sink while you’re finalizing it;  it will help you to feel your confidence.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  You’ll feel more of the stability, and less of the liveliness, most likely, but don’t let that lull you into the idea that there’s not much going on today.  The movement may be gentle, but the course of things is definitely flowing downstream;  unless you pick some reference point on the shore to pay attention to, you won’t be able to tell exactly how fast, and you might not be able to tell in which direction it is that everything around you is sliding towards.  Tomorrow’s Tiger will bring you more resolve, so if you have decisions to make, try to put them off until then.  If you’re feeling a lack of company at home, you have only to get out into the world to feel like you’ve happened onto someone’s birthday party, where everyone in town has been invited.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  You, of course, are also a specialist in Advantage and Lucky Turns, but don’t be presumptuous in your ability to swing around to a new direction, or to dart off along a new line, as if you had zero momentum to deal with first.  The Ox and Hare have inadvertently thrown some tethers across your limbs, and you may find things more tangled than you’d realized, once you start exerting yourself.  Not to worry, slower-and-steadier will actually bring you luck today, so grumble a bit to yourself if you need to, but don’t get so petulant that you think of Parking In Protest.  Strangers will offer you better audience than most friends today, and could ask you some very insightful questions that the people who know you would never consider.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  This is a Lucky Day for you, empowering your charming ways, helping you more correctly to time your entrances and exits, and allowing you to feel the Direction of Flow around you with great clarity.  Don’t be surprised if people around you gasp and accuse you of spying, or of becoming psychic.  Keep non-chalant under either accusation;  you can move directly towards whatever you find desirable, but “slower is better,” and you’re going to have to negotiate your way through whatever objections others in the way may present.  Dial up the charm, and sharpen your intention, and you’ll probably have people magically moving out of your way without having to do anything else.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  This is not as appealing a condition for you as it is for some:  your ideas of “liveliness” and “stability” are not really congruent with the Ox’s, and quite frequently the arrival of Lucky Turns throws you into a state of disturbance, at least at their onset.  Still, it will be an easy day to feel quite clearly the current strength and flexibility of your physical powers, and to feel that even if you can’t tell exactly what’s coming down the pike, you can at least tell almost exactly how far away it is, and from which direction it’s approaching.  Think of the day as an opportunity to ford a stream, with the chance of having to swim part of the way, and you’ll find you know how to progress comfortably through whatever arises.  Tomorrow’s Tiger will have your feet solidly again on terra firma, and it’s your luck things will be turning towards.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  The Ox versions of “liveliness” and “stability” never impress you as being particularly helpful to your purposes, and most frequently, they actually look determined to oppose and obstruct your path.  However, you’ve got a team-mate in the Hare Moon, and he’ll be helping to steer the day to include some Lucky Turns that will seem tailor-made for the Clan of Fleece and Horns.  Your task is to lower your energy, slacken your pace, and simplify your agenda, so that when a tiny opportunity passes by, you can make a direct, purposive, and concise motion to capture it, with a minimum of muss and fuss.  If you make the mistake of seizing such chances by trying to re-organize everyone in the room towards them, you’ll run into that “kick in the gut” I was mentioning yesterday.  Show the wisdom of your meditative restraint today, and tomorrow’s Tiger will be putting another Gold Star on your Progress Report.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  This is a strange condition for you, for it brings you a rather large bit of cover for your own native liveliness, and will empower your zig-zag engagements with the world, without either calling too much attention to yourself, or meddling too much in the affairs going on around you.  That being said, there’s more advantage—particularly where those Lucky Turns are concerned—in hanging out with strangers today, than in palling around with friends.  If you do desire an entourage as you cruise the neighborhood today, make sure it’s no more than two people (one would be better), and don’t act as if you’re joined at the hip.  It’s a day of serendipity for you, and you won’t make much use of that fact, unless you let your attention float free.  Have a bath tonight, and make sure you sit in the water after you pull the plug, so you can watch it all flow down the drain.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  As promised yesterday, today’s Friendly Ox is going to be running blocking for you, allowing you to feel you’re running freely down the field, whatever kind of football you’re carrying.  Make sure you keep your attention and actions focused on The Task At Hand, and don’t allow yourself to make too much of those chance opportunities which will be swimming around you.  You won’t really be able to tell at a casual glance which ones are on Your Team, and which ones Are Not, so regard your duties as Your Duties, and don’t pass them off to others.  If you’ve got information to deliver—yes, even if it’s just Your Opinion—you’ll have clear opportunity to do that.  But pay more attention to the words said back to you, than whether you finished everything you had to say:  Lucky Turns are likely to be in those words.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  You’ll very likely find yourself reveling in the “liveliness” today, but you won’t think much of this kind of “stability,” and you’re probably going to find the “lucky turns” either too startling to be inviting, or rather dangerous once you’ve jumped up and started to chase them.  This is a good day for you to stay close to your home-base, and if you do go out into the world, to make sure you take a Significant Other with you, to keep close to you at all times.  It’s not an unlucky day, but you’ll be much more relaxed as it unfolds if you Stay Connected.  If you get wet today, make sure you dry yourself quite thoroughly before presenting yourself to others—even Significant Others.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Fire Ox on duty today has both liveliness and stability, and easily recognizes how to take advantage of lucky turns when they appear.  In many ways, this is the most Pig-like Ox, and will bring out your sense of cheerful opportunism, with a hefty dash of Oh-Why-Not-? thrown in for spice and spirit.  If you spent yesterday correctly Clowning Around, then today will have a more philosophical air to it, without reaching the extremity of Concerned Consideration.  If you’re staying at home, look around for something you haven’t concerned yourself with for some time, and if you’re going out, try to go at least one place you’ve never been before.  Tomorrow’s Tiger will bring you permission to get Really Serious with yourself, and you’ll be making some Internal Adjustments and maybe dropping some Unnecessary Baggage, so don’t slide into serious today;  keep it happy-go-lucky, and don’t miss an opportunity to act a bit goofy.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

A crow carrying a stick longer than his body angles across the sky, shining in black feathers, dark as night.

Dropping from the highest branch, he slopes towards the south-west on a long, shallow glide.

The clouds above are thin and formless;  the wind is slight but not at all fickle, as if to match that line of flight.

See the departure, but not the destination:  gone now, like an arrow let loose, leaving no track in the air.

“Ceremony and patience are sisters;  music and repose are best friends.”

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Saturday, 27th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE ROOT, the third day of the Eastern Palace of the Azure Dragon.  It’s named for a group of four stars forming a trapezoid, which are part of the western constellation of Libra, the Scales.  The character for this asterism ( 氐 ) originally depicted floating plants dangling their roots into the water, eventually reaching bottom, and making attachment there.  This image also implies its more modern meanings of “sinking down,” “bottom,” “base,” “foundation,” “fundamental.”  It was also called “Celestial Root” ( 天 根 Tiān Gēn ), that is to say, the “Celestial Root of Spring,” as the next day in the Eastern Palace is associated with the Spring Equinox itself.  In the picture of the Azure Dragon, it figures the powerful shoulders and forearms of the celestial beast.

The spirit animal for THE ROOT is the Badger, which likewise has powerful shoulders and forearms, and also specializes in crouching (i.e, “sinking”) down, and digs underground, to “the root.”  Badgers of virtually all species are famous for their physical strength, their solitary habits, and their gruff—not to say, “vicious”—response to being disturbed.  This is a highly suitable image for the quality of THE ROOT, which is an inauspicious Lunar Lodge for all social and legal interactions.  Its only productive capacity is in the furtherance of medical health;  it’s a highly appropriate day to receive a doctor’s assistance and advice.  In keeping with the Badger’s preference for solitude, the day supports spiritual retreat, fasting (and other austere practices), and (sadly, perhaps) finalizing divorce.  The Badger’s stubborn nature suggests the favorability of the day towards the taking of vows, or adopting of new resolutions.  Perhaps on account of the Badger’s physical strength, and because of his close association with his burrow, this is regarded as an auspicious day to move house.

The Solar Index today is HARVEST, which is the name of the second month of Autumn in the agricultural calendar, from early September through early October.  It contains the Autumn Equinox, and represents the time when the vitality of the year distills to an essence;  the plants wither and grow stiff while the fruits and seeds grow plump and ready to drop from their stems.  The labors of humans at this time of the year are hard, and must be accomplished with speed.  The results of the harvest, however, fulfill the labors of the entire rest of the year, and are a source of great satisfaction and relief.

In most editions of the almanac, HARVEST days are printed in black, as their association with Autumn makes them inappropriate for weddings.  In terms of industry and production, however, HARVEST symbolizes the gathering in of the abundance of the natural world, and the fulfillment of human labor, in preparation for the sternness and cold of Winter.  This is a favorable sign for commerce in general, and for investing, borrowing, and lending, in specific.  It is not suitable for medical treatment in the Chinese traditions, as the  is going down and thinning, and though the shēn is ample, its presentation can be misleading.  Better to wait for a day, to determine a more accurate understanding of the patient’s condition, and to make an adjustment more likely to “take.”

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.   Rest in your spirit—whether feisty, or not—and take the path of least resistance to accomplish your highest aims.  If your emotions or sense of judgement rise up strongly, express them first, and apologize afterwards, if that seems necessary.  If it’s your enthusiasm that rises up, don’t second guess it;  you are channeling larger energies than your own today, and your intelligence should follow, rather than lead.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.   This will be a sort of carrot-and-stick situation for you, with the Rat’s eager demands nagging in your ear, on the one hand, and the easy path he’s selected for you seducing you forward, on the other.  Lean into your work with a strong commitment to the present, and for once don’t worry about it’s ultimate aim.  By tomorrow, you’re going to feel all the ways in which you’re exactly where you expected to be, in spite of any misgivings of the past.  Don’t be afraid if you have to wade through deep waters;  the Rat has brought his secret flotation device along with him.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  As you’ve had two days of lounging satisfaction and highly energized play, the Rat will be counseling you to turn again towards matters of productivity and your self-development.  Don’t think you have to start jumping through hoops;  it’s not your activity, but your reconsideration that the Rampant Rodent is after.  If you feel like arguing, make sure you have your position clear in your mind before speaking, and don’t be surprised when every one of you points is neatly countered.  This is not a win/lose situation for you;  the year is young, and you have much left to accomplish.  Spending time with the very young and the very old is particularly auspicious for you today.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  Your own appreciation of the day will rest on your curiosity to sense the depth of your emotional resources, and your willingness to acknowledge that you do in fact have a temper.  It’s not that it’s liable to come forward today;  it’s rather that it’s highly likely to be very gently teased up to that delicate point where you can recognize it, but not act upon it.  A great deal of power will come into your use, if you can catch this moment and memorize it for future reference.  Tomorrow’s Ox will make things seem a little more dull and plodding for you, so sink into the zest for feeling and response that the Rat is showing you, and try to stay philosophical.  Some waters are for striving against;  these are for soaking in, to your deep and guileless satisfaction.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  There’s no-one who knows the ins-and-outs of flowing-along better than you, so don’t be surprised if you get called to the head of the assembly as Rodent’s Exhibit # 1.  Try not to over-do things;  it’s entirely unnecessary, as your merest gesture or indication will glitter like sunlight on the surface of the sea.  If you’re given the opportunity explicitly, you can make use of the opportunity to express your opinions freely, but don’t expect to be given the last word on the subject.  The point of your presence today is to foment argument—in the philosophical sense—and to help clarify the ways in which the Tiger is Not Yet Leaping.  Tease everyone with a bit of your acrobatics, but don’t expect universal applause.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  Your own style is more fascinating than feisty, and your manner of flowing only looks like it’s “flowing-along.”  Consequently, you’ll have to be careful not to assume that most of your actions and motives are well under cover, or at least well-camouflaged.  This is a delicate combination of energies for you, and if you aim to stay low-key, and to harbor your stronger ambitions, you’ll get through it with an equal delicacy of accommodation to the highly divergent forces driving things.  Tomorrow’s Ox will back your position much more strongly, and enable you to cash in that Get Out of Jail Free card the Rabbit is holding for you.  Wait until then to point your finger at what you truly want.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  You’ve had enough experience already this year of the Tiger’s good-will towards the Clan of Mane and Hooves to realize that when you come to a quizzical or tricky turning, the best thing is to keep up your movement, and lower your excitability.  The fluid nature of the day will make this easier for you to accomplish, but it’s essential that you do your part by presuming the Tiger’s support, and don’t focus too closely on what you can’t quite make out clearly.  This quality of Rodent Flow doesn’t match yours very well, but if you give up a little on how you’d like it to feel, it will deliver more than what you were aiming at.  Tomorrow:  more of a satisfying sense of Being At Work.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  Your own appreciation should be fixated on the extraordinary conditions the last two days have offered you, and on the way you can maintain your experience of them by surrendering control, and following the Rodent’s demonstration of Proper Flow.  It doesn’t really need to make a lot of sense to you, and it doesn’t need to be particularly nourishing in feeling;  you just need to be coming down off your Energetic High a bit, so tomorrow’s Ox doesn’t feel like a kick in the gut.  The Rat has perfect congruence with your broad range of understandings, and your even wider range of ambitions—all for the universal good, of course!—but your own style of pursuing them is about to put you in risk of getting into a bit of temporary trouble.  Relent, and let yourself be piloted to a safer harbor for the day.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  This Rat’s energetics will supply a reward for your patience—and constrained impatience—over the last few days, by allowing you a very free range of activities with which to engage your intelligence and refresh your spirit.  Just remember that you do have a tether-length this year, and when you come to the end of it, you will find yourself brusquely jerked back from your pursuits.  If you’re already developing your wisdom in the Way of Stripes, you’ll sense the available expanse of freedom being offered you, and act well-within its extent, on your own account.  The more you strive to accomplish this level of maturity and “willingness to not,” the grander your opportunities will be when the Dragon Moon arrives in a little over two weeks.  Invest in your future;  act as Un-Monkey as you can imagine.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  The delicacy and daintiness demanded of you by yesterday’s Pig will be swept aside by the fluidics of today’s Rat, giving you much more of a free hand to fiddle with things, and to fuss with their resolutions.  You can be much more agressive in arguing your position, as well, as long as you remember the rules of decorum, and don’t sink into personal attack, or triumph in what points of argument you do win with a sense of smugness.  Tomorrow’s Ox will be a kind of shield against retribution for you, so you should save up your own “feisty spirit” until you’re acting under his protection.  Similarly, tomorrow’s a better day to summon your diligence, and feel that you’re putting in a Good Day’s Work.  Today, try to focus more on considering what it is that work should be accomplishing.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  Your own idea of “flowing-along” is usually much less complicated and more sedentary than this Rodent’s;  something with cushions on an oared barge, with mixed drinks being served around, and every now and again, a refreshing splash in the water.  That may actually be available today, but you’ll have to be agreeable to some language you don’t feel you fully understand, and some orders being barked about.  Sometimes, to earn your passage on the sail-boat, you have to allow some jumped up little punk in a fancy commodore’s hat honk demands at you as if you’re part of the crew, because:  for the duration of the trip, you actually are.  Don’t argue with authority, and focus instead on the pleasance of the breeze, and those full, sensory moments of Flying Forward, without doing… anything!

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Fire Rat on duty today has a feisty spirit, but understands the power of flowing-along in response to actual conditions, which will earn him the respect of the Tiger, and the appreciation of the Hare Moon.  You’ve got your own “feisty spirit,” of course, but for today you’ll have to keep that in a box, and let your attentions drift instead to the sheer delight of letting someone else call the shots, and take all the responsibility for course corrections, and cook up explanations—if necessary—to investigating authorities.  You’ll have plenty of mental space to consider productive activities, and your attention will naturally drift towards grand re-arrangements of priorities, and impressive improvements for efficiency, but you should let them continue to circulate in purely mental space.  They won’t be finished gestating until Monday, and in any case, the Rat will have little understanding for you trying to put them into practice—and less patience should you go beyond trying, to the point of insisting.  Keep him instead in a good humor, by aiming to get voted Class Clown for the day.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

The pear tree is shy, and sends forth buds only after fat tufts of greenery have appeared.

When the sun has fulfilled its promise, and the winds turn warmer, the blossoms burst out, thickening the branches with their white petals.

Soon enough the whiteness will droop and fall, and the little pips will swell, slowly, slowly into the cool and dim of the Autumn,

Finally to grow sweet and heavy, inviting the hand:  cupping them, lifting them gently,  seducing their stems to let loose.

“Fasting is for the well-fed,  travel for those who have a home.”

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Friday, 26th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE NECK, second day of the Eastern Palace of the Azure Dragon.  The character for this asterism is a homophone for a word written with the same character ( 亢 kàng ), which still carries its original meaning: “to extend the legs apart,” or “to make an effort.”  When pronounced with a softer consonant and a high tone (gāng) it means “neck,” or “throat.”  In its astrological attributions, THE NECK combines these two meanings.  Clearly, it represents the neck of the Azure Dragon, falling as it does between THE HORN (i.e., the snout) and THE BASE (i.e., the shoulders and chest) of the celestial beast.  But THE NECK also symbolizes the effort taken to extend the neck, and therefore, the sense of risk and jeopardy this extension produces.  ”To stick your neck out” is a cautionary phrase in more than one language.

The attributed advice for the day, therefore, is against construction or building, arguments or obstructionism, advancement or ambition, public rituals and ceremonies, and even against gatherings.  If the time is risky, one should err on the side of caution.  Better not to take steps, than to add more risk to the matter.  On the other hand, caution can be “married to luck” by making use of the day for analysis, planning for future possibilities, and the diversions of artistic endeavors (which can also deepen one’s understanding of human nature, and life at large.)  Purchasing equipment, or shopping in general, do not require such a “commitment to action” that they add danger to the moment.  Retreat and solitude (particularly as they may improve one’s analytical skill, and appreciation of human nature) may be the best route to take for the day.

The spirit animal for THE NECK is the Dragon, that is to say, “smooth dragon,” or “Dragon of the Skies,” famous in Chinese iconography, and the very embodiment of “ in motion.”  The Dragon is the guardian image of the Emperor, and the iconographic emblem of his political and spiritual power.  In this Lunar Lodge, the Dragon depicts the vast power and authority of the imperial regime, and stands as a warning to observe the proper scale of ambition and exertion in relationship to it.  Luck is abroad, under the sign of the Dragon, but only for those who observe their place in the natural world, and within political and social structures.  ”Testing Fate and Luck” may be safe on another day, but not on this one.  ”Lie low and observe the time,” is the watchword of the day.

The Solar Index today is COMPLETE, which is the name of the first month of Autumn in the agricultural calendar, from early August through early September.  This is the time of relaxation of growth and labor, and of the preparations for harvest.  The  of the year begins to shrink back, and the stalks devote their stored energies to the “completion” of the grains.  The vitality of the growing season is being invested into seed-form, partly to nourish the animal partners of the natural world, and partly to ensure that the plants can endure the coming winter, and renew life when spring arrives again.

This day in the Solar Index cycle is a bright indicator, partly because of the lightening of labor it represents, and partly because it captures the hopefulness of the coming harvest.  The character with which COMPLETE is written ( 成 chéng ) can also be translated “accomplish,” “attain,” “fulfill,” “succeed,” “become,” or “finish.” Seeing to the fulfilling of promises, and finishing the preparations for hard work soon to arrive, are both highly auspicious.  “Don’t delay until tomorrow what you can do today,” is very timely advice.  That “tomorrow” is liable to have no free time available;  in fact, “free time” may be the very thing on shortest supply.

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  Your bright results will be easy to achieve, as long as they are more directed towards your enjoyment than your productivity.  You can count on getting back to work tomorrow, but the more you strive towards the bottom line today, the more you’ll lose concentration and will.  Take a breather, step away from the grind-stone, and find something to make you grin, if not giggle.  Make sure you fit at least one of your favorite foods into your meals today.  Don’t pass up any invitations of a social nature, unless it’s because you’ve got something simpler and more satisfying waiting at home.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  This is the sort of situation when others find it easy to slip-stream behind you, harmonizing their purposes to your path, and letting you run blocker for them.  Not to worry;  they won’t put any drag on your progress, and they might add a little hilarity to your life.  If you do feel you’re getting diverted from your schedule a bit, you should relax about it.  Tomorrow’s Rat will have you right back on track, and Sunday’s Ox will give you a power-boost.  Widen the range of your diet a bit today, and don’t be shy of things offered you, especially if they seem a bit weird.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  If yesterday was for leaping, today’s for rolling onto your back, and starting to purr, or for toying with shadows, and dancing around.  You’ll find all your appetites circulating in harmony, and your trust in the world nestling perfectly into the ways in which others regard you.  If you’ve been particular pre-occupied with business for the past week, you’re due a good rest.  Otherwise, it’s a great idea to make sure you fit your normal exercise regimen into the day;  you’re very likely to have such a good time at it that it will change your expectations of results, and give you extra motivation to dig in and discover your true Power In Action.  Do try not to fall into bickering today;  nothing serious will come of it, but you might alarm bystanders who don’t know you, leading to serio-comical complications.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  The Pig always tends to bring you a broader view of the world, and a fuller experience of your tastes and ambitions in it, and that’s going to go double today.  Don’t worry about agendas or clocks;  just settle your attention wherever your gaze lands, and dig in.  Life will feel a bit like one of those sushi-boat restaurants, where the dishes come floating by in front of you, one after another.  Don’t worry if you think one’s getting past you and out of reach;  it will come back around in no time.  And, anyway—there’s something else even more delightful right coming right after it.  And speaking of eating:  once you’ve fulfilled about 80% of your interest in one thing, try moving on to another.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  In any way that you took public stance yesterday, you should strive today to settle back into the shadows, or at least into the periphery of the action.  Your potential for enjoyment remains high today, but your chance of getting into argument, or of suffering humiliation you will not find it easy to take in good humor, will be higher.  Since the Pig is the one ordering from the menu, you should aim to take each dish as a learning experience, and be cautious about asking too many questions, and very cautious about the possibility that others will take your expressions of curiosity as a sign you’re trying to attract attention.   Follow the Great Yogi Berra’s adage:  “You can observe a lot just by watching.”  Tomorrow’s Rat will bring a much better platform on which to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding, and leadership.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  If you skewed off a bit yesterday towards under-statement and caution—like a tipsy party-goer moving just a bit more slowly across the crowded dance floor—then you’ll find today’s Pig in a tolerant and forgiving mood towards the Clan of Scales and Fangs.  If you were, on the other hand, more raucous in your revelry, you’re going to have to put up with a bit of remonstration, and maybe some restriction, today.  Let’s hope, if that’s the case, that it’s not more serious than a metaphoric Time Out, staring at the corner.  In either case, the very best thing today is to relinquish the public sphere, and put yourself into a sort of happy trance, considering very deeply What You Want, and judging the honesty or dishonesty of how you’ve been expressing it, so far this year.  That kind of Time Out will have you thinking this was one of the Luckier Days in the calendar.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  As you’re always happy to figure structurally into the accomplishment of things one must strive towards, this Pig will no doubt have some duties and errands you’ll be quite satisfied to be given charge of.  Don’t over-work them;  it’s your simplicity of approach that’s being counted on, and your directness of style that will see you through.  Tomorrow’s Rat will be equally satisfying for the accomplishment of tasks and duties, but it will lack today’s easy grace and fluid transitions from step to step, and from level to level.  Get in the rhythm of it today, and you’ll be able to coast through tomorrow, just by “continuing to continue.”  Be careful not to eat too much all at the same time.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  You’re going to have one of your deepest experiences of the year today, in that 12-month course for Earning Your Stripes.  The normal borderlines between duty and recreation, and between satisfaction and ambition, and between commitment and reward, are all going to soften and melt, bleeding every category into the territory of its neighbors.  Try to imagine that your hands are very, very big, and not only deft, but extremely powerful.  Think of yourself as the Biggest Bruiser on the Block;  so Big, that you don’t have to do anything towards the world to convince everyone of it.  This, of course, is not who you truly are;  but it’s very close to your proper version of what the Tiger is.  Go on:  try it on for size.  I think you’ll like it.  (Oh, and:  Don’t show off today.  …Very Un-Tigerly.)

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  As much as you love to aim towards bright results, yourself,  it’s most important that you remember the Tiger-part of this triumvirate, and think of the day as a Demonstrator Model of the multi-various ways in which the Things You Normally Do, don’t actually work all that well this year.  If you take the leisurely and self-satisfied path today, on the other hand, assuming that “no doubt the world is unfolding as it should,” then you’ve got a good chance of trading in your itchy will to Do Stuff, for a comfy place to sit and Consider Things, and call it a very good bargain.  Favorite beverages and foods should definitely be indulged in, but be careful to eat and drink more of different things, rather than too much of one.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  This happy Triumvirate will leave you with a sense that there’s not that much left for you to put your attention to, as everything will seem by its nature to be Pretty Well-Handled, already.  Consequently, if it seems that the practice of sharpening your clarity, and gaining new information—which was the Fowl Function yesterday—is continuing today, you’ll have a very light agenda, and will be able to knock off work early, and head home to your beloved domestic concerns.  If you find ways of using newly-won information today, please be sparse with it, and don’t aim to “drive home the message.”  Everything today should be served like Dim-Sum:  little dishes, lots of variety, and happening rather than organized.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  This Happy Trio seem devoted to the happiness and satisfaction of the Canine Clan;  which is serendipitous, as what they’re actually aiming more towards is their own fun and functionality.  How harmonious!  You’ll have a very smooth time of it today, trying to strike that celestial balance between Running Around, and Lying Around, and there will be no shortage of things to lift your attention, or people coming and going, inspiring a continual dance of welcoming and waving off.  Try not to eat too much, and though it’s a good idea to get Formal Exercise, it’s an even better idea—once having gotten into it—not to linger too long at it.  If you don’t follow whims on a day as lucky and easy-going as this, well, …when will you?

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Wood Pig on duty today has a natural expectancy towards bright results, and the worldliness and drive needed to strive towards them, which purpose the Tiger-Hare Team will be more than happy to applaud and uphold.  This Lucky Triangle of natures will not have to take a vote about it:  they’ll just automatically put you in charge of whatever affairs need some sort of decision-making.  So do yourself a favor and aim into the day with as light an agenda as you can arrange.  If you end up canceling a few things, do it on the basis of your own inner feeling, and not on some ideological basis of Shoulds, and Ought-to’s.  You’ve got a magical touch today, turning things that are usually awkward or distasteful, into delectable delights, so let your imagination go a little bit crazy, and forget what you think you used to think, even as recently as yesterday.  The simplicities of yesterday are multiplying amongst themselves, and bringing forth a universe of complexity and wonder.  Don’t think you have to pause to take it all in, or grasp at it to get full command of it for yourself.  The more you’re driving on what feels like instinct, the more you’ll be in direct awareness of your Natural Intelligence.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

It’s the nature of Fire to fly up the chimney, the nature of Water to flow down the drain.

These two have been separating since before there were houses, since before they had names.

In the Way of the World, we don’t meddle with their departures, we don’t long for them to harmonize.

From one we learn slinking down, and from the other, floating upwards.  How long ago I took up the study, and still I’m not yet done.

“Fret over planning, fly into the act.”

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Thursday, 25th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE HORN, the beginning of the Lunar Lodge cycle, and the first day of the Eastern Palace of the Azure Dragon.  THE HORN is an asterism of two stars representing the horn on the snout of the Azure Dragon, the entire body of which is spelled out through the week-long Eastern Palace.  In one ancient tradition, dragons were regarded as sleeping in the ground through the winter months, and awakening with the spring rains.  Using their horns, they would plough up through the earth, and return to the world above.  The character for THE HORN ( 角 Jiǎo ) can also mean “corner,” or “angle.”  In this more modern sense of the word, the return of the beginning of the Lunar Lodge cycle means that we have, as it were, “rounded a corner” and come into a new and refreshed view.

In agreement with its symbolism of a fresh start, the return of spring, and the beginning of the year’s planting, THE HORN is an extremely auspicious indicator for almost all activities.  Things having to do with new beginnings or agriculture take particular benefit from this Lunar Lodge.  As the onset of spring represents the proper balance of rising Yáng, this is an extremely auspicious day for weddings.  The only forbidden activities have to do with delay, and bringing things to conclusion.  These are regarded as “swimming against the tide,” and consequently ineffective, wasteful, and disharmonious.

The spirit animal for THE HORN is the Crocodile ( 蛟 jiāo ), sometimes called “Scaled Dragon” or “Flood Dragon.”  Melting snows and spring rains mount up and frequently cause wide flooding in river plains.  This is a curse and a blessing:  the floods bring much destruction, but they are also vital to the re-nourishment of the land in a river valley, covering the fields with nutrient-laden silt.  The Crocodile, as the image of the “spring at its beginning,” indicates the importance of remembering the dangers as well as the blessings in the annual cycle.  Capture, today, the freshness of the new energy, but keep a “cold heart,” and a “sluggish demeanor,” saving your bursts of energy for when they will really make the difference.  Like the Crocodile, those who do so, will last long and prosper.

The Solar Index today is DANGER, named after the third month of Summer in the agricultural calendar, from early July through early August.  At that point in the Solar Year, the sun is still close to its height in the day’s skies.  Temperatures are even warmer than earlier in the season, and provided there is enough rain or water for irrigation, the crops thrive in it.  However, lack of rain or lack of water in such heat could spell disaster.  The height of heat needs balancing cool.  This is similar to the quality represented by the DANGER day;  the energy is high, and full of potential for accomplishment, but it requires coolness of heart and calmness of action to yield its best results.

DANGER is written with the same character ( 危 wēi ) as the Lunar Lodge, THE ROOFTOP:  a picture of a person standing on the edge of a cliff or precipice.  In the case of the Lunar Lodge, this means “the caution necessary when working on the roof of a house.”  Working on the roof equals danger, as it were.  In more general use, the character can be translated as “danger,” “daring,” “awkward,” “precipitous,” or “tricky.”  This is actually a bright indicator, and is printed in red in most traditional Chinese almanacs, largely because it’s regarded as extremely favorable for weddings.  The excess of Yáng gives vitality and good luck to the couple, and a feeling of happiness to the ceremony and celebrations.  For practical purposes, and more industrial uses of the day, it’s still favorable, but so “close to the edge” that the pair of black dots in the Ming Li Tong Shu is offered as a warning.  It’s safer today to err on the side of under-doing;  just a touch too much, and all may collapse like a house of cards.

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will give you permission for a wide range of appetites and ambitions you’ve had to hold on the back burner for the last week or so.  Follow your own curiosity, and let your sense of hunger be your guide.  You have more allowance to act in ways you think of as aggressive today, but you can polish the results by expressing your enthusiasm, and keeping a cheerful good-nature in your interactions with others.  Where money, investment, or legal decisions are concerned, however, maintain a dour demeanor, and demand clear explication of the facts.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will grease your wheels, wherever they happen to be pointed, and will increase your efficiency, whether you’re striving for that or not.  Don’t let minor annoyances divert your attention from what you most want to get accomplished by the end of the day;  little troubles do deserve some attention, but they should be fit into slack moments when longer-term matters are not pressing.  The phrase, “just wait for a moment;  I’ll get right back to you,” will most likely be used more than once, today.  Accept others’ suggestions without argument, but don’t promise you’ll act on them immediately.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will show you once again what a pleasure it is to be a Tiger, in a Tiger Year.  If you’ve got a clear notion of what there is immediately in front of you to be accomplished, don’t hesitate:  leap now!  If you’re still researching possibilities and weighing alternative paths, then follow your conscience and whim;  both of them will be right on the beam.  Tomorrow’s Pig will be equally agreeable to your nature and perspectives, so dump any sense of desperation or pressure today;  they are both entirely hallucinatory, if they’re showing up at all.  The world is your oyster;  why not order the best champagne to go with it?

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day is going to have you soaring into ecstatic heights of possibility and accomplishment, and giddy with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the generosity of being in the universe.  Try not to let it all go to you head.  The Dog is going to give you a lot of energy, but it’s still up to you to pick something concrete and decisive to do with it.  It doesn’t actually matter what it is, but it is true that you’ll benefit from going through the process of coming up with an Actual Choice.  Tomorrow’s Pig Day may be even better, so whatever you do, don’t fall into the folly of worrying over what today’s results are going to mean eventually.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will put you into a strange sense of your own ignorance, married to the fact that things seem to be going well, even though you’re having the damnedest time figuring out why.  This is a day for you to surrender control, and let the flow of determine your path, in exactly the same way that a surfer has to follow the physical path of the wave.  If you can just get yourself out of your own way—I know, “easier said than done”—you’re going to think this is one of the most alarmingly successful days in the last several months.  And if you can calculate someone to stick with the credit, you’ll feel it’s one of the most satisfying, as well.  Pretend you’re playing Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, and you’re the one in the blindfold.  Everyone will be yelling and laughing because they like what you’re doing.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will divert everyone else’s attention, and leave you perfectly free to pursue whatever recreational or productive pursuits you see as fitting to your opportunities and whims.  Be very careful, however, not to cross any lines of propriety that you couldn’t easily get forgiveness for;  tomorrow’s Pig will have a clear memory of What You’ve Been Up To, and it would be a shame to have to sacrifice satisfaction and results on account of some unacknowledged technical infraction being chalked up to your column.  The most important thing to remember is that your state of attention is a bit skewed by the Hare Moon, and trying to deny that you’re in a slightly tipsy state will only weaken your credibility.  Admit to your transgressions, and make a clear statement of your purposes;  all will be well.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will bring your state of willingness to an equally eager level, and may even infect you with that sort of Puppy-Playfulness that the Wood Dog is famous for.  Don’t hold back;  your spirit will be young, whatever your age, and you have the chance to amaze yourself—as well as any onlookers—with the level of vitality you can summon when the timing and conditions are as right as they are today.  In a sense, today’s the Final Track Test of any directions or ideas you’ve been vacillating about;  practices that suit your nature and your aims will demonstrate their appropriateness without reservation, and engagements that are merely ideas—that is, without agreement to your nature—will show the ways in which they’re not really What You Want.  Try them all, just to get the clear laboratory results, and pack them away for future application if they pass the test.  You’ll have plenty of opportunities to bring them out of the box and press them to full advantage, as we go through the rest of the year.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will increase your appetite for taking on the burdens and ambitions of others, as if they had been yours all along.  Normally, that sort of willingness on your part can be fraught with potential difficulty, and should be tempered by an inner re-consideration and caution;  today, however, it seems to me that you should just Go For It.  The Tiger is scrupulous in placing the Dog into exactly the proper frame for Functional Force as well as Fantasy Fulfillment, and if you’ll commit yourself to the Canine Cause, you’ll derive a similar set of benefits.  The way the Hare is leading the Dog will also lead the directly into the center of your epistemological maze, where your imagination turns towards earthy realities, and balances your sometimes overwrought concern about Varying Possibilities.  On top of that, tomorrow’s Pig Day is going to—dare I say it?—completely invalidate your Complaining License.  Enjoy!

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will help to keep your spirits buoyed up, but there will be the vague sense at the back of your brain that something’s amiss, or that there’s an unattended matter lurking out of view that could potentially cause you grief.  Don’t be concerned;  these are just the natural misgivings which arise in the Clan of the Long Tail when the time condition is so perfectly balanced as to need No Re-Adjustment.  Go with the flow, and do not try to keep your attention on one thing longer than 15 or 20 seconds;  it might linger longer, mind you, but virtually everything you could lodge you gaze upon will be deeply and essentially connected to Everything Else, so your usual tendency towards fractious meddling will be entirely forgiven by all bystanders.  Rapid vacillation between boredom and hilarity will be a sign of your health today.  And if you’re tired:  just sleep.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day is going to keep you in a good mood, in spite of the fact that it will also almost certainly make your normal functioning much less efficient and effective than normal.  The good thing—even if you do feel like you’re getting through the day under the influence of something like laughing gas—is that everyone else’s clarity will be sharpening under your observation, allowing you to test what they seem to have said over the last several days, against what is clear that they really mean.  Try to avoid any opportunities to put the new information into action until at least tomorrow—and, in fact, waiting until Saturday or Sunday would be even better.  Be cheerful and forgiving about what seems like laziness of spirit today;  when the is this well-balanced, one should take it on aesthetic grounds, and not hold it strictly to standards of productivity, or even of propriety.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will infect your spirit, and raise your own curiosities and eagerness to new and giddy heights.  Don’t waste your time asking for permission, or even begging forgiveness should it seem something has gone awry;  the balance of is so nearly-perfect today that any impetuosity or social awkwardness on your part will be barely even noticed, and almost instantly forgiven if it does go beyond some limit of social nicety.  This isn’t, after all, a Day For Niceties;  it’s for exuberance and liberality of feeling, and for experimentation and investigation of action.  That being said, the more you are able to strike your most charming and whimsical pose any time you come to a stop, the more energy you’ll raise amongst those around you, and the more settled you’ll feel yourself.  Do not forget your own “willingness to receive orders;”  following them will get you extra points, and some nice rewards when tomorrow’s Pig comes on duty.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Wood Dog on duty today has the charm of innocent curiosity, with an eager willingness to receive orders, and will be entirely thrilled to gain support for both from the Tiger-Hare Team.  The overall brilliance of the day will put a very bright light on whatever subject you happen to turn your attention to.  For once, the murkiness of multiplying variables will not cloud your view or judgement.  Instead, you’ll see the interactions and interpenetrations of normally discrete things as a grand weaving of patterns, and grasp both their energies and their forms.  Enjoy it while it lasts, because by the time tomorrow’s Pig Day has passed, it’s all going to be murky again, defying your deepest wishes to summon that poise of understanding that made it all So Perfectly Clear.  Still, the moment of True View will truly temper your engagement with the world, and deepen your appreciation of your place in it, whether the moment lingers or not.  And hey!  Is the Tiger Year cool, or what?

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

The Spirits of the Soil await the attentions of the humans, and are ever eager to respond in kind.

They show themselves in the weeds, springing up with a vigor that startles the eye, and a tenacity that frustrates the hand.

If rains come, and the ground turns dark and soft, the Spirits will ask the weeds to yield:  “With apologies, this ground is needed.”

Incense to the Earth God, a song for the birds to hear, gratitude for help from whatever quarter, this is the way we disturb the Universe.

“When knowledge fails, there’s study;  when knowledge succeeds, nothing is known.”

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Wednesday, 24th of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE CARRIAGE, last day in the Southern Palace of the Vermillion Bird, and the end of the Lunar Lodge cycle at large.  It’s named after an asterism of six stars, which also make up the western constellation Corvus, the Crow.  There are four stars making the shape of a broad diamond, with two other stars extending slightly out from the broadly opposite corners.  The ancients in China saw in this shape a carriage or chariot, with the two exterior stars suggesting protuding axle-ends on either side.  “Celestial Chariot” ( 天 車 Tiàn Chē ) was one of its alternate names.  In a later tradition, these protruding stars were also taken as meaning the foot-boards, by means of which one mounted and dismounted the vehicle.  The character with which THE CARRIAGE is written ( 軫 Zhěn) can also mean “to revolve,” pointing to its “dismount” position at the end of the Lunar Lodge cycle, which begins again tomorrow with a new “turning of the wheel.”

Appropriate to its place in the Southern Palace, this Lunar Lodge is associated with the feasts held for the imperial family members at the end of summer, during the relative lull in farming labors before harvesting began.  THE CARRIAGE, in this connection, represents the carts and wagons in which the supplies for the banquets arrive, and also the chariots and carriages in which the various (and numerous) guests make their journeys to the imperial capital.

THE CARRIAGE thus indicates a time favorable for travel of any sort, and more particularly travel in haste, over extended distance, or on official duties.  Its position at the end of the Lunar Lodge cycle gives it favorability to concluding of debts, or resolving outstanding affairs of any sort.  In fact, it is an almost universally favorable indicator, forbidding only things that will delay concluding matters, or that would bar attendance to social and political duties.  Negotiating or signing contracts, arranging or holding weddings, performing religious rituals, applying for (or succeeding in) promotion, purchasing property or vehicles, and any number of other commercial and spiritual matters, all gain benefit from the high energy and beneficial influence of this Lunar Lodge.  And if some sort of festivity can be included in the affair—a toast of wine to seal the deal with, or hosting the client at dinner—so much the better!

The spirit animal for THE CARRIAGE is the Earthworm ( 蚯 蚓 qiú yǐn ), certainly the least romantic or noble of the 28 Animals of the Lunar Lodge cycle.  And yet, given the importance of earthworms to the vitality of the soil, and the corresponding importance of farming to human life and culture, they deserve a special respect.  Feeding exclusively on decaying matter, earthworms aerate and mix the soil, fostering micro-fungal growth (which releases nutrients for uptake by the roots of plants), and spreading nutrients more evenly through soils.  In damp, rich river soils, there may be as many as two million earthworms per acre.  In a year, that many can process as much as 60,000 lbs. of soil, improving its fertility and production, and speeding the return of decaying nutrients to useable form by as much as four times.

The lowly Earthworm adds to the attributions of this Lunar Lodge the reminder that wealth and power at the highest echelons of society are always based on the health and productivity of the lowest.  Thus, this day in the Lunar Lodge cycle is a time to remember with humility the natural relation that human life has to the natural world, and to turn high powers and high accomplishment to the support and benefit of the lowly and powerless.

The Solar Index today is DESTROY, named for the second month of Summer, from early June through early July.  This is the agricultural month which contains the Summer Solstice.  In farming life, the work in the fields can turn to the destruction of weeds and vermin, since the crops have attained nearly their full height, and they can stand disturbance without being damaged.  Weeds have accomplished enough growth to be pulled up by the roots.  As they have not yet set seeds, they can simply be left on the soil to mulch, returning nutrients to the plants, and helping to keep moisture in the soil.

The character for DESTROY ( 破  ) can also be translated “break,” “solve,” or “spoil.”  This is the month when the Yáng reaches its peak, and its rise is “broken.” For the next 6 months, Yáng will be declining, and pouring nourishment into Yīn.  This alchemy is necessary for the crops to gather their  into useable fruits and grains, and for the year to renew itself in the dark depth of Winter.  Like this month, DESTROY days are appropriate for clearing away inessentials, beginning to give up the rule of Yáng, and yielding to the nourishments of Yīn.  Start turning towards ends and accomplishments;  the time for investigation, striving, and “the big push” is not over, but it’s beginning to fade.

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  Keep up your diplomacy, but don’t get caught in the referee position;  you’ve every right to decline to make judgement today, and will find yourself put in an indefensible position if you take up the task of sorting things out for someone else.  You might get away with offering casual advice to “calm down,” but don’t try to defend that position;  this is a day to take information in, not take duties on.  Tensions will ease considerably tomorrow, so anything you can table until then will most likely benefit from the delay.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  Your slow and patient pace will actually look appealing to most around you today, and your advice will be well-heeded by all but the most rampant or angry.  As for them, they’ll have their own entanglements to deal with, so satisfy yourself with the aim of keeping out of their way, and advising others to do the same.  Strangely, today’s a very good opportunity to ask for information—personal or otherwise—that would normally seem an invitation to embarrassment;  be casual in asking, and relaxed in response, and you’ll benefit by both asking, and receiving.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  If you go forth in the world today, expecting everyone to read your attitude and state of mind with perfect clarity, you’ll be half right.  The other half of the equation, however, will be equally on the mark, but more likely to be stinging.  Gird yourself for the painful truth, and don’t be shy on the apologies and expressions of embarrassment, and you’ll get some very valuable correction on your presentations to the world at large.  If you can’t muster that level of balanced aplomb and open-hearted willingness, just be very careful not to put yourself to much into the public eye.  Tomorrow’s Dog will be a much better platform for you to feel yourself upon, with no misgivings what-so-ever.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  This condition will make the world seem a little bit crazy, as far as you’re concerned, and therefore you’ll do well to imagine that you’re actually perusing some ward housing the Functioning Insane;  take everything with a healthy dose of humor and a resolution to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Tomorrow and the next day are going to be quite the reverse, enabling your aims and statements to find their targets with almost perfect accuracy, so anything important that doesn’t have to be accomplished today, should certainly be delayed.  Don’t sign any documents more complicated than a credit card receipt today, without having your legal people peruse it.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  The snarls this kind of condition produces present just the sorts of puzzles you usually revel in solving.  That can be true today, as well, as long as you remember that you’re arguing your case against a hostile jury, and in front of a judge who doesn’t take well to grandstanding by know-it-alls.  Take the position that you’ve got justice and fairness to stand on, and that it’s the details of the situation, and the end result of the process, that truly matter.  Tomorrow’s Dog is going to put you into a position where your normal far-seeing vision is over-clouded, so work today to get things set up for the end of the week, as much as you can.  Your next relatively favorable day will be Saturday.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  If you were at all dedicated to your own spirit of spontaneity yesterday, today’s situation will bring you a whole set of rewards.  Try to act magnanimous, and spread the results out across your complete network of friends and associates.  Credit shared reflects even better on your acumen and effectiveness.  Take the day as an opportunity to look over your field of operation to see if there’s anyone who might be harboring a grudge or nursing a slight you seem to have done them;  handing them some goodies today will prove eminently practical by next week, and you can take some secret amusement in the fact that they’ll also be either embarrassed or mystified by your generosity.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  This condition has the potential of throwing a lot of dust into the breeze, and if people around you start squaring off as if there’s something really important at the bottom of it, your state of serenity is liable to get seriously disturbed.  The stresses are there, but they’re louder and more irritating than they are important, and most of them have very little to do with you.  Try to distance yourself from any ambient kerfuffels, if you can, and cool your own energies by taking up the smallest significant detail you can put your attention to.  Tomorrow’s Dog is going to bring a state of near perfect balance between what you think you’d Really Like To Do and what’s being presented as The Task At Hand.  Exercise is a great panacea for you, today, as long as you can do it with your attention on yourself, and not have to keep time with others.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  The set of stresses that come forward under this condition will either put most around you into a state of lock-up, or else have them bouncing around like prize-fighters, looking for the angle from which they could most impressively land a blow.  Your talents are tailor-made to settle the tensions, and lower the general level of incipient hostilities, not by acting as the referee—though you have plenty of acumen available in that quarter—but by whipping out your hand-held calculator, and giving everyone a clear and thorough break-down of What’s Been Going On Here.  Be gentle with people’s questions, and don’t take it as a personal affront if some require you to go through your explanation a second or third time;  handling others into handling their problems is the essence of Good Management, and you already know how satisfying the end results can be.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  Things will unsnarl a bit for you today, and the general fog of confusion where your interactions with others are concerned will lift, as well.  However, affairs among those around you are liable to sink deeper into the mire.  Don’t be too hasty in volunteering to help them out;  there are some situations which have to find their own resolutions.  To salvage whatever free grace the Hare Moon has to offer you, you’ll do well to keep well out of it, and caught up in your own private activities and musings today.  You won’t feel like you’ve actually grasped the edge of the pool until Saturday, so keep treading water until then, and don’t act like you’ve got extra flotation available to help someone else keep from drowning.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  If you feel you’re about to do anything that might even weakly construed as “prodding” today, you’d better go in with your wits about you, and with something hard on your head to protect against sudden blows.  Either that, or a pair of Ox buddies would do, as well.  In any case, whatever you think you might accomplish will probably only rise to a maximum level of about 30%, and so if there’s any way to put things off until after tomorrow, you’ll benefit from the wisdom of delay.  Trying to explain yourself, or on the other hand, trying to figure out what other people really meant, are both going to be clouded by ambiguity and unstated presumptions.  Better to follow Chuang-zi’s advice, and listen to people talking as is they were “birds chattering in the tree-tops.”  Pretend to understand—that’s only polite!—but delay response if you can until at least tomorrow, when you can double-check to ascertain that there’s actually a meeting of minds going on.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  If you can summon some Industrial Strength Patience of your own, this will actually be a lucky day for you, as it will re-calibrate your sense of reality, convince you that you haven’t been dreaming for the last four days, and give you a bench-mark of the things you should get involved in, and those you should leave for others to deal with.  Unless you’re actually called upon to become involved in the noise and hurly-burly going on around you, you should act today as if you’re in a competition to see who can longest observe the Sit-Stay Command.  Tomorrow’s Dog will give you ample opportunity to demonstrate the rest of the tricks in your repertoire, and to receive ample rewards for them as well.  At that point, it’s to be hoped, today’s Lesson in Patience will keep you from thinking that you’ve just started dreaming again.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Water Fowl on duty today knows what he wants and how to get it, but will find himself obstructed by the Hare Moon, and put on guard by the Tiger’s impatience at any misplaced prodding.  The tensions and minor squabbles arising in this circumstance will have most peoples’ teeth on edge, and everyone else’s patience and good-manners wearing thin.  You, however, are more likely to pull up a chair, with a favorite drink in one hand, and a bag of mixed nuts in the other, taking it all in as if it were your favorite spectator sport.  This will be a wise attitude for you to maintain.  First, because if you were to start taking it all seriously, real mayhem could possibly break out.  Secondly, because the questions being argued and fretted over will have a deep philosophical (and even, spiritual) meaning to you, which you should take off into your own abstruse considerations, working them through until they go incandescent, and bring a sort of enlightenment about your stance in the world, and your purposes in it.  Tomorrow’s Dog will bring you the satisfaction of making practical laboratory examination of your new-won realizations, to find out how you might best apply them under Real-World Conditions.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

There’s a darkness in the depth of the waters, however bright the sky may glow above;

Unknowns abound, and will always mount up, more countless than the stars, as vague as distant clouds.

If you look to what is known, it’s always very clear;  yes, the heart is beating, yes, the breath rises and falls.

When the tiger comes into the tent, well may you be terrified;  but if you insist on staring into darkness, every shadow will look striped.

“Easier to give up wine and meat than to give up gossiping.”

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Tuesday, 23rd of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE WINGS, taking its name from an asterism of more than 20 stars which mark out the tips of the wings of the Red Bird of the Southern Palace.  The shape of this asterism suggests a banner hanging down, as if in decoration for an imperial or royal court celebration.  In antiquity, the time of year associated with this Lunar Lodge included a schedule of meetings and banquets where officials and military commanders would make their reports to the ruler, and receive in turn rewards and acknowledgements, and their general orders for the coming year.  The character for THE WINGS ( 翼 ) can also mean “to shelter,” or “to assist.”  As the superior appreciates and rewards those who “assist,”  the officials and commanders honor the leader under whose rulership they “shelter.”

In spite of the banqueting and the festive mood of this season in the calendar of the ruler and his ministers and officers, this Lunar Lodge is regarded as generally inauspicious.  (Perhaps it’s in reminiscence of the worries eternally born by officers up before their superiors for their yearly job reviews!)  In keeping with this celebratory attribution, THE WINGS is favorable to music, festivities, advancement in work, and relying on assistants (who wish, as it were, to ensure that they will get a good report.)  Showing off, bragging, and gambling, are all unsupported, as this is a time for good deportment before “the boss,” and not for carousing with “the guys.”

The spirit animal for THE WINGS is the Snake, the character for which ( 蛇 shá, or shé ) also means “serpentine,” “sinuous,” or “subtle.”  The Snake is an icon of cool-hearted calculation and sensuous charm, and adds to the character conveyed by THE WINGS, a sense of political acumen, and a lack of romantic self-delusion.  It represents, in one sense, the opposite of the “nobility of heart” expressed by the Stag of yesterday’s Lunar Lodge.  The strength of the Snake comes rather from his clarity of gaze, his accuracy of assessment, and his tactical flexibility.  These characteristics harmonize with the somberness of the Lunar Lodge in regard to most affairs and activities.  This is a good time to keep “a cool head and a keen eye,” and not to feel too assured in one’s own abilities, or to believe in the certainty of one’s actions.  Just because one can see the rippling of the waves “as they are,” does not assure that they are rolling in a favorable direction.

The Solar Index today is MAINTAIN, named for the first month of Summer in the solar calendar, from early May through early June.  This is the time in the agricultural year when work falls into a regulated rhythm, focusing on whatever minor matters may require attention to keep human engagement in step with the state of the crops and the conditions of the natural world.  The character for this Solar Index, ( 执 zhí ) can also be translated “hold,” “grasp,” ”guard,” or “manage.”  So the task at hand, at this point in the cycle, is to “grasp” what has been arrived at, and “manage” its natural progress forward through time, potentially to the benefits of a bountiful harvest.  Today it is auspicious to keep a watchful eye, a meandering path, and a ready hand.  Let the actions of the moment spring up in direct response to the conditions as they arise.  Proper solutions will be suggested by the problems themselves, and cannot come from some over-arching ideology, or from a pre-determined plan of action.

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  Your technical grasp of diplomacy comes to great use under this sort of situation, and you’ll do well to plan on lightening your own agenda to enable you more freely to help others with snarls in plans.  You have the power to call things to a temporary halt, if that will be structurally valuable, and you should not hesitate to do so.  If you’ve never used the phrase, “If you’ll allow me…,” to introduce a sentence, today would be a good time to try it out for size.  Do not, however, use the phrase, “With all due respect;”  it will put you on exactly the wrong side of people’s expectations.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  The quizzical irritation with which the Monkey and Hare are going to be staring at each other will offer just enough space for you to move slowly and surely towards your purposes with a minimum of difficulty.  If, however, you divert your attention even the smallest degree into the affairs of others, you’re almost certainly going to find yourself suddenly encumbered by snares and entanglements.  Keep to your own path today, then, and wait for tomorrow’s Fowl to offer you a clearer way to engage with others, finding more simplicity instead of complications.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  Your patience may come close to its limit as well, and if you make the choice of simply hiding out in your lair—instead of risking dramatics and over-reactions—then you can imagine me off in the shadows somewhere, smiling in admiration.  If you must be in public, remember that your powers are strong this year, and are easy for others to take more forcefully than you may have intended.  Small annoyances should be met with the Grown Up version of your personal style;  this is a day to feature your aristocratic restraint, whatever the scale of your inner energetics.  You can always turn back to snarl and scowl a bit, after you’ve left the room.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  The lack of alignment between you and the Clan of the Long Tail sponsors your own creativity, but it also means that your confidence is wandering in a realm of foggy curiosity and hair-trigger responsiveness;  hence the possibility of suddenly finding yourself at the end of your patience, with no prior indications that you were even getting close.  The more distance you allow yourself from external stressors, under this condition, the better;  try to keep a clear path between you and an exit from the room, and don’t hesitate to make a departure, if necessary, without so much as a statement that you’re going.  Most likely, once away from the source of your irritation, you won’t even need to count to ten (well… eight, maybe) before you can calmly return.  Do not explain your exit;  just pick up affairs again, as if nothing at all had happened.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  As dicey as your attempts to make contribution have been for the last couple of days, this condition offers a platform for your best attributes to present themselves with commanding effect, reminding people that you’re going to be coming forward in Full Armament later in the year.  Don’t expect everyone to drop back in amazement and burst into applause;  more likely there’ll be some grumbling and even cat-calling from the back of the crowd.  But the point will have been made, and the Powers That Be will have taken note.  It’s your own self-confidence and glossy ability to surf the curving flow of events that will most deeply impress.  Your task is to step forward clearly on account of Due Cause, and without the sense that you’re trying to call attention to yourself.  You’ll be getting attention enough, tomorrow.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  If you did your Due Diligence yesterday, applying you estimable capacities towards the wide range of purposes held by others, you’ll get your reward today, with a kind of Universal Permission to strike out for what you want, and to frolic in frivolous excitement while you’re at it.  Try to leave questions of responsibility aside today—shouldn’t be all that hard, really!—and tap into your own flavor of creativity, which will feel like something between a luxuriant hot bath, and the flash of action with which one catch a bottle falling of the counter before it hits the floor.  The direction of your attention is the direction you should go;  just make sure that you’re neither maneuvering anyone else to go along with you, nor capturing goodies and glory strictly at someone else’s expense.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  If you took yesterday as an opportunity for a tiny bit of rest and recuperation, you’ll be in a fine state of preparation and awareness for today’s tests.  The major factor for members of the Clan of Hooves and Mane will be the importance of summoning enough patience of your own, so as to recognize the Right Time when it arrives.  Strangely enough, you’ll actually be deeper in patience than most others in the room, but also feeling the strain against it more strongly.  Don’t give in:  there will be the moment to GO!, and your ability to recognize it is as deep as the marrow of your bones.  Look about for a signal, if you question your own sensitivity;  it will either look quite small, like the single chirp of a bird, or quite massive, like a boulder tipping over an edge, but your vision is faultless today, and you will not miss it.  Tomorrow, more sense of stress, than stress, per se.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  This will be a day of loose details demanding you to juggle them;  some you’ll be struggling to keep vital until they’re ready to drop into the slot, others you’ll practically need sit on, to keep them from bouncing around the room, eagerly demanding: “Now, Coach?  Now, Coach? …Now, Coach??”  Borrow something from the Monkey, and allow your hands and fingers to go forward ahead of your decisions;  you have the power to corral the best attributes of the Rabbit Time we’re in, and apply them to the sheerly imaginative force of Monkey Magic, but you’ll have to summon your most scatter-brain and least self-critical sense of yourself to pull it off effectively.  Tomorrow, you’ll get to run a full de-briefing, with Cost-Benefit Analysis, Time Management Critique, and Future-Pacing Protocols, so wait until then to imagine you’ve got time to Get Clear.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  As much of a conundrum as the Tiger presents to the Clan of the Long Tail, adding Rabbit to the mix makes it a “conundrum shrouded in mystery.”  If you don’t want to wrap that “in an enigma,” you’ll have to cut your allowance of free-wheeling activity to about a tenth of what you’re normally used to, and think of the day as an opportunity to engage in the micrometrics of the world.  This is not outside your realm of expertise, but it’s not usually somewhere you aim for;  more usually, grander scales and larger lee-way seems to fill out your ambitions.  Invest in the delicate-of-force and the sluggish-of-speed today;  it will keep you out of unexpected entanglements, and give you a different idea of what you’re good for.  Ask everyone you bump into if they know a word of Russian to teach you.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  In fact, this is going to be a condition stressing everyone’s patience, and you have a contribution to make by very, very gently pointing out exactly what the Stressor of the Moment happens to be.  This is a bit of a risky game—as people still love to engage in the ancient indoor sport of Kill The Messenger—but I trust your ability to read the situation today quite deeply, and to express your observations with subtlety, and with enough dry objectivity to distance yourself from recriminations and reprisals.  Do not, however, under any circumstance belabor the point or try to repeat yourself, as if you weren’t heard the first time.  Your aim must be to help defuse and untangle;  if you indulge in Correctness For Its Own Sake, they’ll all be arguing over which one of them gets to play the position of First Executioner.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  This is actually a pretty satisfying set of conditions for you, though you’ll naturally find yourself looking back to the last two days of Interstellar Ecstasy, and think today’s a bit shoddy by comparison.  Let it lie low, then, and don’t imagine that getting frisky, trying to scare up a bit of fun, would be the proper step to take in order to launch yourself back into Extra-Galactic Orbit.  The forces at play today are highly explosive and all running on hair-triggers;  your deepest satisfactions will result from turning the adage “Let sleeping dogs lie” around, and aiming to convince everyone around you that there’s “nothing you’re really interested in, anyway.”  Tomorrow’s going to be all kinds of confusing, but the end of the week’s going to be a Happy Hound Time, so try to keep your responsiveness to dramatics at a minimum.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Water Monkey on duty today has an agreeable self-confidence and an acrobatic level of creativity, but they’re both awkward under the Reign of the Tiger, and liable to push the Hare Moon close to the limit of patience.  The tensions and pressures coming through today will feel like a completely new weather system has swept in, and it will be difficult for you not to take the disturbances and disruptions to your plans as personal affronts.  Try to focus on the ways in which annoyances are, by their nature, small in scale, and that satisfactions are, equally, of a naturally grander order.  Even the taste of a small segment of orange—if it’s an excellent orange—can fill your world with forgiveness and generosity.  There are already plenty of forces with fangs and ferocity in them roaming around today, and you don’t need to bother yourself to fill out their complement.  Tomorrow will be a kind of seminar session for you, in which to sharpen your senses of fine differentiation, and you’ll need to summon your deepest objectivity and calm to gain the greatest value from it.  If you think that might mean basically running solo today—”Far from the Madding Crowd,” as it were—then I’d say such solitude would be a good idea, and clever strategy on your part.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

A wind rises up, and the first suggestion of dust this year rides high into the sunlight.

It’s only an illusion:  tiny seeds and their husks dance off into the distance, settling wherever they may.

When the breeze drops off, and the high branches fall again to stillness,

I’ll have to stop gazing out the window, and get back to work:  the front porch will need sweeping again.

“Celestial Note, Earthly Tone:  Proper Understanding resounds in Suitable Action.”

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Monday, 22nd of March

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Master Mouse Says:

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE BOW, or more fully, “The Drawn Bow” ( 张弦 Zhāng Xián ). This name comes from an asterism of seven stars which suggest a shallow curve (the bow) and the angled shape of a drawn (or, “extended”) string, marked by two stars where two fingers would be placed to pull it away from the bow.  When, for purposes of brevity, this Lunar Lodge is written with one character only, it’s Zhāng, “drawn,” “extended.”  Ancient texts connect this asterism to a time in the annual calendar dedicated to hospitality and feasting, when cloth is spread out, or “extended,” on the ground or a table where the welcoming feast is to be laid out.  It’s regarded as a sign of abundance in general;  indeed, one of its other names is “Jade Treasury” ( 玉 府 Yù Fù ), and it symbolized the hall in which documentations of gifts to the imperial court were kept.

THE BOW is therefore regarded as favoring hospitality, whether in friendship or as a matter of office, and the food, music, gifts, and entertainments which complete the festivities.  It’s favorable also for new acquisitions, including property, especially in the sense that they can help to show a sense of higher respect to the invited guests.  Commerce and contracts are inauspicious on such days, in the same sense that inviting someone to join some family event over a meal, and then cornering them to ask if they’d like to buy some of your company’s product, would be both socially rude, and commercially insulting.

The spirit animal for THE BOW is the Stag, the male of antelopes and deer.  This animal image symbolizes poise of stance, grace in movement, strength of purpose, and nobility of heart.  The powerful strength of the stag, and his capacity to leap high into the air, bounding over obstacles, signify “clear aim,” “bold determination,” and “rising to high office.”  These are exactly the qualities which can bring the most propriety and benefit, given the hospitable and friendly atmosphere induced by this Lunar Lodge.  In Chinese folklore, those born under the sign of the Stag are “kind, and fond of eating,” which qualities equally express the graciously welcoming auspices of THE BOW.

The Solar Index today is SETTLE, and represents the third month of spring in the agricultural calendar, from early April through early May.  This is the time when the previous two months of heavy labor show appreciable results.  The character for SETTLE ( 定 dìng ) is a picture showing “moving things until they’re in the right place in the house,” a jostling of things until they’re brought into the correct arrangement.  It could also be translated “fix,” “stop,” “determine,” or “arrange.”  It indicates a time when work can be eased off enough to reconsider the options for work going forward, and adjustments can be made aiming to capture the best benefit.

This is a time to re-tune the intentions laid down during the time of DESIGN, and make sure they stay responsive to the turnings of reality and chance.  As such, this Solar Index is a very bright indicator for the day.  As long as one can shake off any influence of nostalgic pride in “the way it was planned,” there’s still time to meet things as-they-are with creativity and engagement, and to yield great result.  But the brightness of the day comes partly from the fact that a great deal of the work has already been done.  Don’t drop back and re-design the whole thing;  jostling into position is what’s called for.

Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  You, unfortunately, have neither presumptions nor past results to stand on, and will have to comport yourself on a think-on-your-feet basis.  If you expect the day to be a kind of obstacle course, not designed to make you fail, but to make you come up with fresh responses and surprising insights, you’ll have hit the note exactly.  Don’t be fearful;  you’re not very likely to be attacked.  Try to step out of your own skin, and imagine what “someone else” would do in your position.  Tomorrow will bring your expertise and advice back into demand.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  For your purposes, you can’t really count on the Sheep to remain properly grounded;  more likely it will seem that he’s floating off on some flight of fancy, inspiring everyone around you to lose their traction, and you to come close to losing your temper.  Your usual solution to such inauspiciousness is simply to keep your head down, and to keep going, but today I’d advise pulling up short and making a brief (albeit silent) demonstration of your displeasure.  It will take most people most of the day to even begin to notice, so if you start re-establishing your progress by late afternoon, you’ll have gotten a bit of a rest—instead of more entanglement—and left the Sheep Squad with nothing really to carp about.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  While the Sheep Squad works out the decision-making process between these two alternatives, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your famous ability Not To Act.  This will cause no disturbance to your long term plans, and will have the benefit of allowing the excellent results of the yesterday’s Horse Day to season a bit, and find their proper direction towards the future.  Tomorrow’s Monkey Day will require more Not Acting, but by that time it will have to come from patient restraint, rather than cagey strategics.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  Your famous abilities of whimsical investigation, and of not standing on ceremony, will come to the fore in this condition, and you can trust your basic intuition and even your wild hunches to produce worthwhile results.  If you’re feeling truly psychic, you can step in and start directing traffic.  You won’t be telling anybody what they don’t already know, most likely, but you’ll get high marks for having the perspicacity to state the obvious.  Tomorrow’s equally available for following your own feelings and inclinations, but by then you should be doing it not on the basis of authority, but in the spirit of investigation and pure curiosity;  it’s going to be a curious day, in any case.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  This is almost a description of “Sheep not acting like Dragons,” and you should take it as warning to lower your lamps, and to step back and give people enough room to make their own mistakes.  Your abilities will come into fashion and demand again tomorrow, and you’ll be believed sooner, and achieve results much more directly, if you’re operating out of stillness and silence, rather than explanation and presentation of excuses for minor mis-steps.  Keep attentive today, but try to do that from as far off into the periphery as is practical.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  There’s no one quicker than you at dropping presumptions as soon as they stop producing results, so you may have a platform today to offer a word of discreet advice, or to make more public commentary, when things start swinging into the right direction, just to make sure everyone is Getting With The Program.  Your harmony with the Rabbit Moon will give you the deepest access to the Sheep’s managerial skills as you could possibly expect at any time this year, so make sure you make your wants known, and—equally—don’t insist that they be placed at the top of the agenda.  The spirit of the day is Co-Operation, and the more you lean into others’ purposes in your sphere of activity, the more you can be sure yours will be accomplished.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  This is the proper condition for you as well to rely on What Works, and to bring forward your strongest talents for public display and applause.  Even if you’ve been good at them for years, they will shine as impressively today as if you just acquired them yesterday.  Don’t expect your level of activity to rise as high as yesterday;  in fact, the longer you go into the day, the more reasonable it will seem to you to be slackening your pace, and settling your spirit.  If you caught my drift here yesterday and scheduled some nourishing physical repair-work or grooming sometime today, you’ll have reason to thank me by the time you head off to bed tonight.  Try to make that a bit early;  tomorrow has a higher level of activity again, and a higher level of potential stress.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  If you can follow the Metal Spirit of your clan-mate, and look to the practical rather than the imaginative, you’ll have an excellent chance of deep and long-lasting successes filling the day.  More importantly—at least in one way—you’ll accomplish a high-water mark of demonstrating the managerial acumen and coaching talents which were so difficult for you to achieve, and even harder for you to get appreciation for, last year.  Tomorrow, you’re going to have your hands full, dealing with Unexpected Perpendicular Results, so try to wrap up projects by no later than sundown, and do some domestic celebrating before you quiet the house and head off to bed.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  This might feel a bit boring for you today, as you’re likely to be asked to keep re-producing That Thing you do so well that you’ve become famous for it in your circle, instead of being given what you usually consider the far more satisfying task of taking on Something Brand New.  Try to bear the tedium with a good grace, and if you can spot something else to pick up and fiddle with, you probably won’t be shouted at.  Just make sure that whatever it is, it fits in well with what’s going on around you.  The one thing the Sheep won’t put up with is disruption of The Grand Plan;  monkey-shines don’t fit into the Sheep description of “teamwork.”  Tomorrow, you’ll get to try some new things, but I can’t promise you they’re going to be the ones you’d have picked.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  As tricky as any Rabbit Time can be for you, the Sheep’s state of attention is almost a panacea for it.  Your capacity to dart in and back out without disruption will be highly appreciated, and as long as you can assure that your action fits into the over-all scheme of things, you’ll get applause and a bigger set of responsibilities in the next round.  It’s important however not to try to actually Take the Lead, or make critique or correction on the under-pinnings of what’s going on.  You’ll have a bit more space to do that tomorrow, but to be truly wise, you’d have to table your abilities in that area until the Dragon Moon arrives in about 3 weeks.  Satisfy yourself until then with adjustment of more minor and peripheral matters, when that’s suitable.  It certainly is today!

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  For you, there’s a bit of the Glorious Glow of Being Doggish that’s lingering in the air from yesterday, as well as the satisfying comfort of being asked to supply what you already know how to do, to the Sheep’s Grand Array of Forces meshing into productive harmony today.  You can even afford to slack off a bit—as long as you don’t make a big parade out of the fact—and will find support, instruction, and explanations readily available, should they seem needful to you.  Put some of your attention on recognizing threats to Good Working Order, and if any show up, give them a glare, or a growl, to nuzzle things back into their proper slots.  If you need something done that you can’t do for yourself, there’s no better day to ask for it than today.  Be very clear in expressing your gratitude, and try not to imply that you have an endless appetite for what-ever-it-was.  (If you have, they probably already know it.)

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Metal Sheep on duty today has a brilliant grasp of his own energetics, and a glowing harmony with the Hare Moon, but could easily fail to accomplish the aims of the day if they’re placed on the foundation of presumptions instead of the firmer ground of time-tested results.  Your comfort and non-chalance throughout the Tiger Year are not shared by the Friendly Sheep;  where you can relax and let things roll, the Clan of Fleece and Horns is finding it necessary to wriggle and shift and struggle mightily, just to make some sense of what is clearly a very workable but inchoate condition.  This will give you perfect license to offer whatever advice, explanations, demonstrations, and explications of your General World-View, to any degree of depth, and at any duration that you see fit.  Try not to demand that things come to a halt while you make your contribution;  you’ll find that’s not really necessary, and you’ll enjoy it more in a sort of “whistle while you work” way.  Appreciate the happy-go-lucky spirit of the day, as things will lose their levity under tomorrow’s Pesky Monkey.

Text © Robert Fenwick • The Fenwick Academy • (831) 471-0388 • Words to the Wise:

A broad blue sky streaked with thin high clouds;  no promise that they’ll remain for the sunset’s display.

The angle of the shadows alters through the garden, and sweeps out the field of the Spring’s concerns.

What has been wrecked must be brushed aside or rebuilt;  what has moldered to ruin will spring up again in nourishment.

How long we waited for the rains to relent!  How long before we’re eager again for their return?

“A cup of wine, news of joy, a moment of sorrow;  all better shared with friends.”

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