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Wednesday, 30th of June


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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE WALL, last day of the Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  Its name comes from the shape delineated by the two stars forming the left side of the grand square in the constellation, Pegasus, The Winged Horse.  The full name of this asterism is “The Eastern Wall;” the other side of the grand square is the “The Western Wall,” which is an alternate name for THE HOUSE, yesterday’s Lunar Lodge.  This indication is even more favorable than yesterday’s, as it points toward the ending of winter, and symbolizes the turn of the seasons towards the renewal of life, and the happy warmth of receiving the first rays of the morning sun.

These associations make it favorable for all sorts of activities:  commerce and the expansion of business, artistic expression and accomplishment, indulgence in luxuries and sharing them with others, and negotiating or fulfilling of contracts.  Since it’s associated with the time just before Spring begins, it’s not a time for making promises, or for throwing out things (which might prove necessary or useful once the change of the time has been accomplished.)  Like the days just before Spring, which are filled with anticipation and preparations for celebration, there is too much energy abroad on such days to make retreat, meditation, fasting or other austerities suitable.

The spirit animal for THE WALL is the Porcupine ( 豪 猪 háo zhū ), which means literally “bristled pig.”  This is perfectly harmonious with most European languages, in which the various versions of “porcupine” usually mean literally “thorny pig.”  Another term for the Porcupine is 箭 猪 ( jiàn zhū ) meaning “arrowed pig.”  The character for “bristled” also means “brave,” “heroic.”  Covered in hundreds of sharp and stiff long spines (or “arrows”) such a beast can afford to act brave.  When pressed by attack, they actually move towards the attacker, in order to wound them with their spines.  Even braver would be the predator who tries to take him as prey!

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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.

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  You may as well forego any ambitions to match your savvy with this Pig’s, and simply enjoy the banquet of pleasures he’ll be offering you.  The earthy realm of satisfactions is where you will find your agreement, and any attempt to turn enjoyments towards more profitable or practical ends, will only display the fundamental differences in your views of the world.  Take the position of a welcome and charming guest, and everything will progress smoothly, with a peppering of surprising delights to keep your interest high;  let your opportunism come forward, and your hopes will only fall flat, and your appreciation turn sour.  Tomorrow’s Rat will have some difficulty giving you a foothold for your plans, but might make a virtue of that seeming disability.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This is such a competent and knowledgeable member of the Clan of the Curly Tail, that you may be surprised at his knowledgeability about your attributes and aims, and be delighted to discover that his hospitalities are unerringly aimed in your direction.  Don’t take the honor lightly;  when the Pig throws even the most unassuming of parties, it’s not to be missed.  And this one—honoring the ardent willingness of the Horse, and the powerful repose of the Tiger—is going to be one for the record books.  Your indulgences today will be quite temporary, but all the more enjoyable for their shortness of duration;  take a break from your labors and sense of due diligence, and allow yourself instead to be duly rewarded for them.  Tomorrow’s Rat will rely on your willingness to turn back to profitable action, and speed your way with the options of several clever shortcuts.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  By now—given the age of the Horse Moon—you must admit to the truth of your progress in the year, and with the Pig on duty, that awareness will come with a solid sense that some celebration is well-justified.  If you feel that a congratulatory atmosphere is inauspiciously premature, or that you’d prefer to wait until more results had come to full fruition and certification, you have the benefit of being able to blame the festive atmosphere filling the day on the attitude of the Pig, to which you must ultimately acquiesce.  Allow him to see to the introductions, and try to show your Feline Friendliness as he waltzes you around the room, widening your social circle, and praising your abilities and agreeability to each of your New Acquaintances.  You’ve not foregone your Fangs and Claws, but this is a day to keep them hidden and well-sheathed.  Tomorrow’s Rat will have a few favors to ask you, and a few bits of well-researched intelligence to offer in trade.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This member of the Clan of the Curly Tail has such a competent grasp of what it takes to Make A Party, that you’re very likely to spend most of the day in Simple Awe at the smoothness and subtlety with which your daily affairs move forward.  Even better, the Pig has such an intuitive regard for your nature and needs, that you’re likely to feel a Magical Serendipity guiding your every action, bringing you the item you desire, the connection you wished to make, the person you wished to see, almost before you realized the aim yourself.  Bask in the Luck of the Day, and don’t fall into suspicion or doubt;  sometimes the Universe demonstrates its Generosity as a matter of chance, and trying to figure it out would be fundamentally disrespectful.  Tomorrow’s Rat has a number of pleasures to offer you, as well, but they’re liable to be a little off the mark, and harder to take with a true spirit of gratitude.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  The Pig has a natural grasp of even your mysterious and aerobatic ways, and as long as you don’t spend the day trying to over-compensate for yesterday’s obstructions, you’ll find that the party he’s throwing in celebration of our progress through the Tiger Year, will seem at least partly designed to make sure that you have your Proper Place, and that you receive the deference to which you feel entitled.  The danger here, however, would be in taking the departure of the Dog as an invitation to demonstrate your authoritative style without checking to see if the audience is actually in a proper state to observe and acknowledge it.  In a word:  they’re not.  The Pig is demanding the Center Position at the dais, and will not brook your objections or interventions.  Take some time to make your full recovery today, and prepare yourself for tomorrow’s Rat, who will be inviting you up to the microphone with an introduction that will make you choke up in appreciation and affection.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This Pig will be throwing another party—this one in particular appreciation of the Tiger, and celebrating everyone’s progress through the Year, so far.  While he’s cognizant and appreciative of everyone’s proper position at the table, and appreciates the contributions each guest can make in the festivities, the tether he’s willing to grant you in paying your polite respects to the Guest of Honor, is extremely short.  Some might say, in fact, that the only reason he’s included you on the guest-list is due to the possibility that you’ll do something offensive, and give him the satisfaction of being well-justified in tossing you out on your ear.  Don’t rise to this level of political drama;  maintain your low-profile, minimize your speech, and decline to take any action or stance that would justify any sort of interpretation at all.  Tomorrow’s Rat will allow you much more freedom of movement, but you should take it with a presumption that you’re not at the top of your game.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This member of the Clan of the Curly Tail will be dedicating his redoubtable command of social niceties and sensory satisfactions to the sole task of honoring his Great Friend, the Tiger, and asking everyone to join him in appreciating the blessings and benefits the Year has brought so far.  Given your deep affinity with the Clan of Stripes and Claws, you’ll not have to be asked twice to raise your glass and lead some of the toasting;  if you are also, however, asked to raise more than your glass, take it as a more concrete and demonstrative opportunity to express your exuberance and gratitude for a year that seems to be turning in your direction, and relieving you of the burdens and fetters you’ve suffered through in the recent past.  The work you’re asked to perform today will no doubt seem trifling to you, in any case, and the faster you get it done, the sooner you’ll be back in the center of the Hard Partying.  Tomorrow’s Rat may come with the sense of a bit of a hangover, but relying on the confidence you naturally derive from the Friendly Tiger will minimize your discomforts.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This member of the Clan of the Curly Tail has a special appreciation of your talents and high ambitions, and will be most convincing in his appeal that you take up the major portion of the logistical details which need to be attended to, if the party he wishes to throw in honor of the Tiger Year—and its progress so far—is to go off without a hitch.  He couldn’t turn to a more competent—or more willing—lieutenant, as Officer-In-Charge for the day.  You have only to dive into the tasks presented you with your full will, and your unbridled authority, to find that the Pig has saved this particular gift in secret for you:  the chance to make a fully recognized and highly valued contribution.  Try not to dwell on the honor too much;  you’ll find it harder to take care of matters with tears welling up in your eyes.  And make sure that you too have a glass in your hand when the Pig makes his Honorific Toast;  you too are being honored, and an attachment to self-sacrifice would spoil the Pig’s day.  Tomorrow’s Rat might bring you some misgivings, but they’ll only help you turn more successfully back towards the demands of the Tiger Year that you have still to master.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This particular member of the Clan of the Curly Tail has such competence and sophistication that you might imagine his graciousness in including you on the guest-list for the party he’s throwing, signals an aristocratic and diplomatic intention to give you safe-passage for the day, inviting you to enjoy the pleasures he’s arranged to honor the Tiger Year, without reference to your previous transgressions and misadventures.  You can, in fact, make this imagination a reality, but only by remembering the dangers of displaying your Long Tail when the world is only paying attention to Stripes, and by considering the possibility that the Pig may have laid a few booby traps for you amongst the canapés and party favors, hoping perhaps that you’ll display your penchant for spontaneous shenanigans, thereby providing a theatrical interlude in the party proceedings, highly diverting to the crowd, and extremely embarrassing to yourself.  Thwart this half-hearted and mean-spirited intent of the day’s Host, and decline to offer him such cheap entertainment.  Even the Tiger will be impressed if you can pull it off.  Tomorrow’s Rat will usher you safely out of danger, and give you a chance to leap about and make a bit of noise, just to refresh your spirit.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  The Clan of the Curly Tail holds the special ability to recognize and appreciate the full range of embodiments of Human Nature, and this particular member holds a special regard for the attributes and aptitudes of Roosters, even if he feels they do require special handling and an extra amount of latitude, in order to allow their refinement and precise elegance to come forward correctly.  He’ll be holding a day-long celebration in honor of the Tiger Year, and you can be sure that he’s arranged a special way in which you can come forward to make your respectful gratitude known;  but you will have to maintain high discretion and a low profile until that time arrives.  You’ll recognize it quite clearly, because suddenly all eyes will be on you, and the spotlight will be making it difficult to look back at the crowd.  Do your crowing, and stand proudly in the light for the moment;  your surprise contribution having been delivered, you can sift back into the crowd, and continue to avail yourself of the tasty tidbits and charming conversation everyone really came for.  And, of course, it wouldn’t hurt either if you >ahem< had a Cocktail.  Tomorrow’s Rat will usher everyone out of the Party Salon, and might bruise your sensibilities by doing so.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This member of the Clan of the Curly Tail will be hosting a relaxed After-Party in honor of the Tiger Year, and it will give you the chance to wind down from yesterday’s High Festivities, and feel that—while you’re still definitely enjoying yourself—you’ve got your feet firmly back on the ground.  At this sort of shindig, you’ll have a much better opportunity to do a bit of casual mixing-and-mingling, and—with the spotlight off you—to appreciate the sophistication and wealth with which the Pig so successfully surrounds himself.  Talk to as many people as you can today, and don’t be shy about satisfying your curiosity about their histories, philosophies, and interests.  Even if you feel like you’re interrogating them, they’ll only think you your inquisitiveness demonstrates your Good Taste.  Tomorrow’s Rat will turn you back towards the workaday world, but that may inspire your curiosity even more.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Metal Pig on duty today is truly savvy concerning the ways of the world and the full range of human appetites, and has a crispness of style and a depth of substance that will make great use of the Horse’s strengths and the Tiger’s confidence.  This extremely competent and prepossessed member your Clan will be hosting a sort of After-Party to the Dog’s affair of yesterday, allowing you to sink into a more relaxed and casual style, circulating at will amongst the crowd, gathering stories and new social connections, and regaling the guests with tales of your exploits, repetitions of your latest gossip, and explications of your newly hatched ideas.  Make sure you wander widely, and leave no Point of Interest unexamined;  everywhere you turn your gaze will bring you re-assurance and satisfaction.  But save some special time and attention for those for whom you hold deepest affection;  they can not help but see straight into your Heart, today.  Tomorrow’s Rat will have a lot of work for you to attend to, but your attitude will be much more attuned to making sport instead.

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

Though the days are long, and the shadows still short, the Dark has achieved its conception.

The heat is still to come, and the growth of the year can not rest;  still, that power is passing.

The diligence of parents is rewarded first with trouble, then with complaint, then with departures.

The joy of the world is in its changing;  that which rises needs supporting, that which falls returns to the Great Mother.

“One buys, one sells, both profit.”

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Tuesday, 29th of June


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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE HOUSE, next to last in the week-long Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  The asterism for which it is named is composed of two stars of Pegasus, The Winged Horse.  They form the right side of the large square that’s usually taken as the horse’s chest.  For the Chinese, this square formed the confines of a ritual enclosure, and the right side of it was the “Western Wall,” which it was sometimes called.  In ancient tradition, an enclosure was made of four “walls” of earth and cut saplings, within which a ritual pyre was constructed for a sacrifice to the gods before the end of Winter.  The square of stars then, does not depict a house, per se.  For modern understanding, it would be perhaps more accurate to this image to use one of its other names:  ”House of Fire,” “The Encampment,” or “The Enclosure.”  But the character used for this Lunar Lodge is the common one for “house” ( 室 shì), and this is the way it’s referred to in modern almanacs and common speech.  Indeed, capped by yesterday’s “roof,” the four walls, holding a fire, fulfill completely the rudiments of what humans need in a “house.”

The association of this Lunar Lodge with the close of Winter (and the promise of the coming Spring), and the image of the ritual offering to the gods (both the construction and the fire), make this a sign of extremely good auspices.  Beginning activities or businesses (particularly, beginning construction), holding weddings and their celebrations, moving house or business, and—as one might expect—performing religious rituals, all derive benefit from the energy and timeliness of the day.  In keeping with its association to ritual actions, THE HOUSE is a time for maintaining the “middle way.”  Thus, both avoiding social interaction at one extreme, and over-indulging at the other, are inappropriate.  Yesterday’s Lunar Lodge having been so favorable to burials and taking risks, today is devoid of such auspices.

The spirit animal for THE HOUSE is the Pig.  This seems quite natural, since the character for “household,” or “family,” ( 家 jiā ) is a picture of a dwelling with a pig inside it.  Then again, ritual celebrations and offerings (at least in the domestic sphere) are virtually required to include pork.  The Pig means prosperity and proper hospitality, and adds, to the uprightness and good demeanor necessary in the “House of Fire” ritual, the warmth of social welcome, and the strengthening of community relations and friendliness.

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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.

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  This condition leaves you free range to work within the variabilities of life, and to take advantage of smaller opportunities left unattended by others.  Be careful, however, not to be too complicated in your strategies, or too ambitious in your appetites;  if cornered, you’ll have to be forth-coming with an honest declaration of your aims and purposes, and it’s better if they seem perfectly harmonious with your unassuming—though unrelenting—needs.  You can easily gain access to Great Favors, but only if you join into the festive and friendly spirit of the day.  Tomorrow’s Pig will be even more festive for the Clan of the Round Ears, but it will be very hard to get anything productive out of your enjoyments.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  The Dog’s appetite for relaxation and efficiency may seem a tad too much on the “uncommitted” side for you, but with the backing of his Best Friends, you can hardly expect to make much of an argument against his Wisdom of Laziness.  Consequently, any success you had in striking a slower pace should simply be taken around the course for one more day;  you’ll find that once you harmonize with his refusal to Pull Hard just for the sake of it, that you too get some benefit from Focus On Efficiency.  You’re going to need extra resources to make it successfully through the Sheep Moon coming up in just under two weeks, and this could be an important opportunity to start building them up.  Tomorrow’s Pig will delay you even more, but have far more satisfying rewards to justify any sense of lost momentum.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  This arrival of Three Best Friends will not recur until October, so don’t even think of devoting its pleasures to anything less than Full Enjoyment of your nature, appetites, and favorite pastimes.  The prerequisite for you taking action is always the resolution of your inner sense of timeliness, and that in turn rests on the proper balance of Taking Things Seriously and Just Toying Around.  You’ll have plenty of opportunity today for the latter, and you can afford to take that opportunity Quite Seriously;  don’t be surprised if it shows you how the labors and duties you’ve signed yourself up for through the rest of the year can also be a source of Full Enjoyment.  Relax today, and see how much strength that gives to your sense of purpose, and how much resilience it adds to your spirit.  Tomorrow’s Pig will bring you more personal satisfactions, and guide you to an energetic investment in your social connections.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  These Three Best Friends have such a tight complementarity, that you might imagine you’d be left out of their camaraderie and ad hoc celebrations;  but that could not be further from the truth.  The stimulation you offer the Canine Clan will be well-rewarded today, and events will go so favorably for you today, that you’d be well-justified in thinking that the Friendly Trio have come together specifically to make you the Guest of Honor of their partying.  Don’t be shy in taking a leading role in the direction of things;  you may not be perfectly predictive of the way the party will progress, but it will only be a short negotiating distance from your instigations that will bring things to Universal Satisfactions, and “a good time had by all.”  Tomorrow’s Pig will have a much more intuitive grasp of what will please you, and will allow you to sit back, and have it all brought forward for your enjoyment.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  When the Dog is in this sort of well-positioned strength, you might expect that your access to advantage is at its deepest ebb, and that your best expectation would be the lucky chance that you might simply Be Ignored.  However, you do have attributes that impress the Horse and Tiger, and as long as you accept a position at the low end of the table, you’ll find that you’re entirely welcome to the party this Friendly Trio will be throwing.  That requires, of course, that you table your ambitions and hold your fireworks in abeyance, in expectation of a more appropriate time;  but there’s a certain theatrical flair demanded to carry off the “beggar at the banquet” to convincing effect, and I think you’ll find the role as fulfilling as it is difficult.  Tomorrow’s Pig will allow you to unfurl your grandeur to a small degree, in preparation for a fireworks display on Thursday.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  The party this Friendly Trio will be throwing is an open affair, and there’ll be nobody checking credentials at the door, so you have the opportunity to join in the festivities, and slide through the crowds, schmoozing it up with the best of them.  Just make sure that you don’t find yourself at the canapé table, hoarding goodies, or badgering the waiters for yet another glass of champagne.  Any way in which you reach for excess today will be responded to with immediate ire, and you’ll find yourself in deep Social Embarrassment—and perhaps in legal difficulties, as well.  Keep your aim low, and you’ll be able to succeed richly;  aim high, and you’ll only invite a farther drop, from which you may need weeks to recover.  This is particularly to be considered since tomorrow’s Pig will be taking over duty from the Dog, and he’d like nothing better than to feel fully justified in giving you a Harsh Sentence.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  The festivity the Dog is hosting for you and the Tiger is the sort of affair great novels are written around, and your chance for a life-altering insight into your appetites and their fulfillment has never been higher.  The important thing is for you to remove Second Guessing from your agenda today, and to follow every whim of yours as if it were an Order From Heaven.  You can be assured that the Tiger and Dog will not let you go too far, and that your sense of yourself will verge on the oceanic, and your wisdom of belief in the physical will shine like a bright star for all to see.  If you can arrange to view the sunset this evening, and stay for the appearance of the first few stars, you’ll find the stillness of the night is like a cool drink amidst the heat, and you’ll go to your rest with expectation of a night full of empowering dreams.  Tomorrow’s Pig will also bring an atmosphere of festivity, but you’ll no doubt be pressed into service to help accomplish some of the heavy lifting.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  This trio of Best Friends will be insisting on a party atmosphere, without the fuss of agendas or guest-lists adding stiffness to the affair, or limiting the availability of Spontaneous Happenings bringing a spirit of creativity to the enjoyment of time.  You, of course, will be entirely welcome to this shindig, but it will inspire your appetite to step in and handle all of the Small Details which you are among the first to notice, and never the last to be ready to deal with.  Do try not to make your service a Main Event;  the attendees have not come to witness or applaud your excellent attention to logistics and social niceties, nor should the under-pinnings of a Ripping Good Party rise to such prominence that they become the Floor Show.  Your anonymity of contribution will bring you the greatest satisfaction, and enable to you to feel no distinction between Helping Out, and Joining In with the revelries.  Tomorrow’s Pig will recognize your talents, and make a much more public to-do of pressing them into service.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  This member of the Canine Clan has an unusual appreciation for your viewpoint and talents, and even if the party he’s throwing for his Two Best Friends were not a perfectly open affair, he’d be making sure that you were admitted—though it might have to be through the gate at the back of the garden.  Try to harmonize with his generous discretion, and take the day as an opportunity to enjoy that anonymity that’s only available at a masked ball, or in a public place where you’ve never been, and you’ll never go again.  If you succeed in suppressing your appetite to make a show of yourself, the conversations you’ll be admitted to will be extremely informative, and the furtive glances you’ll catch from the curious party-goers will deepen your belief in your power to Maintain Mystery.  Even if you can’t show up in Stripes, at least keep your Long Tail well-concealed.  Tomorrow’s Pig will have an interest in you remaining at the party, but it will mostly rest on the chance that he can make you blow your cover.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  The Fabulous Affair this most clever of Dogs will be throwing in honor of his reunion with his Two Best Friends will be perfectly open for the enjoyment of all.  However, even though you’re to be not just admitted, but welcomed, to the enjoyments of the day, you’ll be risking a Happy Opportunity if you rest in your own presumptions, and rely confidently upon your personal predilections to guide you through the day.  The truth is that your natural attitude is liable to look rude, and your best efforts to offer compliments will easily be misconstrued as veiled insults.  Your best approach would be to imagine yourself as a catering critic, or perhaps an under-cover reporter on the Social Affairs desk:  mix and mingle as much as you can, and don’t call any attention to yourself, even if it means biting your tongue.  Don’t answer any questions that aren’t specifically aimed at you, and even then, make minimal response.  Be an embodiment of Yogi Berra’s famous aphorism:  “You can observe a lot just by watching.”  Tomorrow’s Pig will be show far less antipathy to the Clan of Feathers and Claws, and may even recognize you, despite your best efforts to continue to remain incognito.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  The party atmosphere brought in by this member of your Clan will be like heady wine to your senses, and will ensure a complete blending of the normally differentiated categories of Work and Play.  In celebration of the rare reunion with your Two Best Friends, you should drop all formalities, and treat the entire world as populated by long-time chums, the over-whelming majority of whom, you just haven’t met yet.  If you feel that might put you in jeopardy of mistreatment, or might lead to an indulgence that could only prove embarrassing, then you’re not showing much faith in the Bold Immediacy of the Horse, or the Fearless Authority of the Tiger.  Let your Earthy Wisdom come forward, and follow your spirit and whims;  the results will convince you of the strength of your position this year, and bring forward both your creativity, and a more proper assessment of your ambitions.  Tomorrow’s Pig will have his own Earthy Wisdom to bring forward, which will be no less satisfying for you to observe, and very instructive for you to attend to.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Metal Dog on duty today has a bright attitude, a quick grasp of essentials, and a bone-deep reliance on the power of repose, and he’ll find himself near bliss under the energetic support of the Horse Moon and the reassuring protection of the Tiger.  As far as you’re concerned, the sort of party the Dog will be throwing in honor of his Two Best Friends, is Not To Be Missed, and is very likely to rank high in your social calendar for the entire year.  While the Dog will be so happy as to be almost disoriented, your enjoyments will be in a much more attentive and sophisticated vein, focusing on the delicious distinctions of one thing against another, and cataloguing the whole carousel of sensations for later examination and appreciation.  Your wide ranging awareness is going to be heightened, and your senses will be so filled as to make mental calculations or philosophical considerations clearly impossible, and moreover, entirely missing the point.  If you’ve been waiting for a day to indulge yourself, dive in;  if you’ve felt the lack of something in your experience of the world, start snooping around, and I’m pretty sure your Luck will take you to it.  Tomorrow’s Pig will bring the lovely afterglow that sometimes follows a Grand Affair, and give you the chance to gather those you hold Most Closely, even closer.

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

The peaches are hanging heavy on the bough that droops over the fence in the garden;

Still they’re green, and hard as wooden balls, but they show already a blush of red, a furring of velvet.

In her Celestial Orchard, the Ancient Lady must consider the limit of her crop, the worthiness of those who wish to taste it.

When I sample the first of mine, I’ll feel her gift of immortality, if only for a moment.

“When eating, stop before losing appetite;  when daring, stop before losing means of escape.”

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Monday, 28th of June


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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE ROOFTOP, fifth day of the week-long Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  The name comes from an asterism consisting of three stars:  one is the second brightest of Aquarius, The Water-bearer, and the other two are from the forelegs of Pegasus, The Winged Horse.  They form a flattened triangle, like the shape of a gable-roof.  This asterism has an ancient tradition linking it to funeral rites and burials.  As yesterday’s Lunar Lodge was known as “Tomb of the Sun,” THE ROOFTOP represents the time for human burials and memorial for the deceased.  A passage in the ancient Book of Rites ( 禮 記 Lǐ Jì) describes a funerary ritual in which the folded clothes of a deceased person were carried in a bundle up to the roof of the house, on the eastern side, and then across the apex of the roof, to be lowered down again on the western side.  This ritual was done in mimicry of the passage of the Sun, and in demonstration of the arc of human life.  It ritually ensured that the spirit of the deceased would pass on to its “tomb life” in the Northern Realm of the “Tomb of the Sun.”

This Lunar Lodge is fundamentally inauspicious for activities not harmonious to its funereal tone.  Opening a business (or making a start of any kind) is unsupported, and doomed to bad results, if not failure.  Legal proceedings, taking steps towards promotion, or expansion of business, are similarly inauspicious.  However, this image of the ritual “going over the roof,” seems to give permission for house repairs (particularly up on the roof), and for outdoor work of any kind.  Commerce and routine business affairs are favorable, but only in so far as they are truly “routine.”  The character with which THE ROOFTOP is written ( 危 Weí ) is a picture of a person on a high place, taking pains not to fall.  It is the same character as the Solar Index of DANGER, that being the character’s most common meaning.  Consequently, this Lunar Lodge makes the dangers of working high-up—or of any other kind, actually—safer.  Dangerous activities are therefore to be undertaken today, so as not to have to accomplish them under riskier, “unprotected” conditions.

The spirit animal for THE ROOFTOP is the Swallow, which can easily be imagined soaring and wheeling above the roof, and nesting under its eaves.  The Swallow is also an icon with a funereal meaning in Chinese culture.  In virtually all cultures across its extremely wide global range, swallows are the symbol of return according to the seasons, or return from long travels.  They symbolize happy and active community life, as well as diligence in parenting.  And of course, the elegance of their tapering bodies and long forked tails, along with the swooping and darting characteristic of their flight, make them instantly recognizable and enduringly memorable.  As they also return to northern climes with the warmer weather of Spring, one would have to have a hard heart and an anti-romantic spirit not to long for their return.

In Chinese culture, the Swallow holds a special iconographic place in the long-standing tradition of “burial clothes.”  These are a specially selected and prepared set of garments in which one is to be buried, which may be completed even decades before death is expected.  Having them completed is not regarded as unlucky, or morbid;  in fact, having them on the ready is regarded as increasing the longevity of their owner.  Swallows are a traditional part of the embroidery embellishing and beautifying these garments.  Like the passing of bundled clothes over the roof, they symbolize safe passage out of life, completing the arc of life, and achieving rest in death.  Whether it’s this practice which has resulted in the attribution to THE ROOFTOP, or the other way around, is unclear.  What is clear is that the Swallow depicts not grieving and sorrows, but well-wishes for the departing spirit completing its journey to the North, and provides an amulet of protection to those family members performing the funeral rites.

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The Solar Index today is LEVEL, the character for which ( 平 píng ) could also be translated “even,” “balanced,” or “calm.”  It implies a certain sense of placid boredom, which (to the Chinese way of thinking) is essential to healthy and proper conduct, if one wishes to achieve the deepest, sweetest, and most lasting end results.  LEVEL is the quality of the second month of Spring, from early March to early April, when the weather begins to warm appreciably, and the sweetness of the season starts to make itself visible.  The high labor of the previous month continues, and can be applied to the actual planting of crops.  Keep up your drive today, and focus on following through with the intentions and actions of yesterday.  Don’t push too hard;  drama is only distracting, and you’re going to need the same “level” of exertion tomorrow.  Sounds “boring,” maybe, but:  ”Just keep up the good work.”

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  Keeping to a simple agenda today will be helpful to the Fowl, and will keep you from damaging the benefits he can bring to the day’s balance of high energies and narrow tolerances.  Deal with things one-at-a-time, and don’t trust your usual capacities to play differences against each other, or to operate in the grey areas where contingencies have not yet gelled into limitations.  You can strive for you own benefit, but not by pretending that your motives are more altruistic than is strictly true.  Ask permission first;  it’s going to prove much more successful than asking for forgiveness afterwards.  Tomorrow’s Dog will leave you access to contingencies again, but you’ll need to stay open-hearted and guileless to get the best out of the day.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  You’re due for a lucky day, after all the constraints you’ve had over the last week, and the brightness of today’s Fowl will have plenty of left over energy to devote towards your benefit.  For your part, you can pay him back by sticking to the Slow Road, and suggesting that others tread it with you.  The Clan of Feathers and Claws can easily err by acting beyond a speed others can conveniently digest, and the more you act as Braking Officer, the more the harmony of Horse and Tiger will redound to everyone’s benefit.  You’ll find it easy to fit one or two of your favorite activities into your schedule today, if you just take the time to look for a convenient slot;  canceling something you don’t want to do would be one way to do that.  Tomorrow’s Dog will make it important for you to keep to your slower pace, but for a completely different—though no less rewarding—reason.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  The Tiger Year has brought extra burdens to you—as well as some extra dangers—and some of them are like an itch you can’t reach to scratch:  you need someone else’s attributes and capacities to take care of them for you.  Behold, the Earth Fowl!  Nobody better at dealing with very small distinctions, or at handling the tight niceties of negotiation in a completely knowledgeable, but eminently diplomatic way.  If you can summon some more of your willingness to hand off control of details to others, you can trust in very good results coming in today.  And besides:  we’re on the waning side of the Horse Moon now, and you should spend some time devoted to Sheer Fun before it passes.  Lighten your load today, and the Dog arriving tomorrow will make it quite clear just how much fun is still available.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  This will be a energy-positive day for most, even though some characteristics of the Fowl will seem ill-suited to the time.  For you, however, the failings of this Fowl—such as they are—will seem to be landing totally on your back, bringing you blame for complexities and disturbances that you’ve had nothing to do with, and have no idea how to begin to approach, let alone resolve.  Don’t take the bait and fall into agreement with the apparent Bunny-Haters Convention;  when you have no answer, silence is a perfectly good response, and when you see no productive steps to take, Doing Nothing is probably a very good idea.  If you can summon even this simple level of quiet tolerance today, you’ll get big rewards tomorrow, when the Dog arrives to insist that Good Feeling and Festivity must be observed.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  There are times when you can’t really lean on the Trusty Fowl and his high acumen for sharply defined results;  usually that’s because his agenda is already full, or because he’s got his hands full with a complexity that demands his undivided attention.  However, today we have exactly the opposite condition, and your needs, instructions, and even demands, can make strong contribution to his success, forcing him not to run ahead of his commission, and keeping him at the slower range of his natural speed of progress.  You could easily get away with acting like the Emperor of Everything today, tossing orders around and delegating even the most simple or personal of tasks, and still end up with people marveling at how much diligence you apply to your work, and how generous your spirit is towards the lives of others.  It’s all true!  But don’t expect that awareness to survive past midnight tonight.   The Dog arrives at the tolling of twelve o’clock, and you’re going to feel as if you’re suddenly short one glass slipper, and your elegant gown has turned into tattered rags.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  Your affinity with the Clan of Feathers and Claws will undoubtedly bring forward your spirit of Helping Out today, and that will mean taking a much more managerial position than you’ve had for most of this Moon, and being much more forthright—and even bossy—about what should be done when, and how.  Don’t hang back;  this Rooster—for all his competence and breadth of understanding—will need some guidance to most profitably navigate the day.  The pay-off for you will be a reciprocal awareness about your own upcoming plans, and a reflected insight about “what should be done when, and how.”  You’ll have plenty of time today to go for your favorite enjoyments—particularly the earthier ones—so don’t think it’s an All Work Day.  Tomorrow’s Dog will be bringing an energetic glow to the social sphere, and a sense of extra willingness to the Workaday World, but you’ll have to aim for small results to keep the party atmosphere from turning sour.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  If you feel a drop in your interest in Amazing Possibilities today, it will at least be counter-balanced by a sharpened attention to Necessary Actualities.  In that sense, yesterday was a bit like a mind-expanding brain-storming session, and today should be devoted to the questions about what steps to take in concrete terms, and in what order to take them.  You actually have a deep appreciation for this sort of clarity and definition about your Real World Self, but it will still feel like a bit of soggy biscuit compared to the Grand Potential you’re tuning into while we’re still in the Horse Moon.  But if you focus down on the Due Diligence the Rooster is making so easy to deal with, your rewards will only be bigger tomorrow, when the Friendly Dog arrives to sponsor a party in your honor, and show you how close “Amazing” and “Necessary” actually are to each other.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  You’ve definitely had some passing triumphs this year, and your healing process—following the travails of the Dreadful Ox Year—is coming along nicely.  I mention these points because the attitude of this member of the Clan of Feathers and Claws is likely to feel rather stinging from your point of view, and you may feel that the information he brings you today is unfairly skipping over your true accomplishments and sometimes under-used capacities.  Summon your bravery and toughness of dedication today, and you’ll see that the critiques and fault-finding flying at you are both well-intended, and highly appropriate to the accomplishment of your Ultimate Aims.  Do indulge your interest in explanation, justifications, and argument—the philosophical kind, that is;  this Fowl needs as much help slowing down as he can get today, and having to offer you an impromptu seminar or two would help him enormously.  Tomorrow’s Dog will be bringing a festive air to all the realms of life, and you should plan on enjoying yourself—but also on having to do more than your share of the work involved.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  If you were at all successful in under-doing yesterday, this Rooster will feel to you as is he’s arrived just to congratulate you and give you an encouraging Post-Game Analysis, from which you can greatly tune up your strategic understanding, and even get that most rare of gifts, insight into How You Appear To Others.  If you couldn’t resist The Monkey Way yesterday, you’ll feel more like you’re getting a complete dressing-down, from someone who know exactly where to poke to make it hurt.  In either case, if you let your triumphs—or tragedies—pass into your history today, the Fowl will help you resume your Monkey Magic as a cloak of invisibility, and show you that its deepest power comes from not having to demonstrate its use.  Tomorrow’s Dog will test your understanding of that deep power, and invite you to a party you can only enjoy if you stay fully incognito.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  You’ll be handed a great ball of snarled problems today, and your task will be to work them free from each other, if only to be able to determine which are yours—and should be seen to with all deliberate speed—and which belong to others—and should be dropped like hot rocks.  If this sounds like a Dire Prediction, it isn’t;  it’s just that your affinity to the Horse-and-Tiger scale of things is too weak to allow you to profit much from making quick work of the tasks in front of you, and the slow, steady, careful attention required to get things separated first, will help you keep you in synchrony with those larger forces.  Besides, you know you like this kind of Close Concentration Work, and you’ll most likely be humming happy tunes by the time you finish lunch.  Tomorrow’s Dog will demonstrate the importance of Hot Rocks [see above, in re: dropping], and reward you for recognizing where you should not be putting your hand in.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  Your nature is being stimulated in the sweetest of ways while we’re cruising through the Horse Moon—to say nothing of the longer term benefits coming your way due to the Tiger—but you may have some difficulty appreciating that today.  The Fowl’s attitude and style of action seem at times to be completely designed around the requirement that they make you feel uncomfortable, unappreciated, and untolerated.  However, it is true that one of the things making the Rooster Thing so irritating to your sensibilities is the fact that it’s very close to your own scale of energy and action, and on that ground you might consider the irritations as “almost comforting.”  So take today as a brief trip to the groomers, and endure the pokes and commandments with a philosophical attitude.  When the Dog arrives tomorrow, all your attention is going to be on the festive atmosphere your Clan-Mate is sponsoring, and everyone else is going to be admiring your appearance, and asking you:  “Who does your hair….?”

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Earth Fowl on duty today has a mature grasp of proportionality and a brilliant mastery of precision, but will have to use them judiciously in order not to get ahead of himself, guiding the grand forces brought forward by the friendship of the Horse and Tiger.  The problem the Fowl is facing today is actually one of your favorite Board Games:  how do you reconcile completely different requirements of scale, speed, and size, in order to get the most satisfying net results?  Consequently, the day will seem something like a sort of slow saunter through the lengthy hallways of a Grand Museum, giving you lingering access to one diorama after another, showcasing the varieties and variations of this whole set of problems, and allowing you to reason and imagine through the whole range of potential solutions, without the burden of having to actually try them out, and without the complication of them actually being your problems.  Since this Fowl will also benefit from a bit of diversion from his penchant for attacking all problems Head On and Immediately, you can feel free to ask as many questions as you like, and to roam off into the discourse of any Philosophical Considerations that might occur to you as interesting.  For once, you’ll not need to aim for Actual Results to feel that the day was well-spent.  And really, it’s only time spent in a Waiting Room:  tomorrow’s Dog will be hosting a Must-Attend Party, and when the doors to the room he’s hired are finally flung open, you’ll have no trouble leaving Puzzling and Philosophizing behind.

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

The First Heavenly Master had strong Fate, excellent ancestry, and the gift of precious teaching;

His ways were eccentric, but his vision was clear, his pathway determined, his action unhesitating.

His long lineage bespeaks the strength of his offering, and his tireless grasp of Human Nature.

Now we burn incense, and it rises to Heaven.  We bow in respect, and treasure the Earth.

“Repair the roof before it rains.”

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Tong Shu Time Workshop • June 27th • Sunday • 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

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Sunday, 27th of June

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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE VOID, the fourth and central day of the Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  The asterism which gives its name to this Lunar Lodge is composed of only two stars, the second brightest of Aquarius, The Water-bearer, and the brightest of the small, dim, and not well-known Equuleus, The Little Horse.  As THE VOID falls in the center of the Northern Palace, it is associated with due north, and with the Winter Solstice.  In the oldest traditions, THE VOID was associated with death and burial, and was regarded as the “Tomb of the Sun,” because it marked the point in the year when the Sun was weakest, or “died” and achieved its rebirth.

The character with which it is written ( 虚  ) depicts a hill or promontory with tigers roaming on it.  This is an ancient image of a place with no people, and therefore “empty,” “void,” “deserted.”  Tigers also have a long iconographic tradition linking them with death and burial, and may be here the guardians of the Tomb of the Sun.  All these associations make it unsurprising that this is an inauspicious sign, suitable only for the most austere and solemn activities.  Neither frivolities such as gambling and flirtation, nor important legal or social pursuits, are supported by THE VOID.  Religious rituals (but not public ceremonies), solitude, contemplation, and stillness, all make proper use of the temperment of this Lunar Lodge.  ”Cautious Romance” is acceptable, because after the moment of the “Death of the Sun,” the Yáng will be rising.  It’s not a day to meet with or pursue romantic engagement, but the first questions can be well inaugurated:  ”Do you know, ….is he ….attached?”

The spirit animal for THE VOID is the Rat, naturally enough, since the Rat Moon always contains the Winter Solstice, and thus he points to the principal of resurgence implied in this Lunar Lodge.  The Rat is a Yáng animal, and though small and weak of body, he has cunning and intelligence, wide ranging interests, and an inveterate ability to gnaw through obstacles.  (“Rodent” comes for the Greek for “growing teeth.”)  The Rat is diligent, social, curious, and opportunistic.  When he’s not sleeping deeply, he will be bustling about locating resources, memorizing terrain and pathways, and evading the many predators who would pounce on such a nourishing little morsel.  Though the Winter Solstice is a time when humans must desert the world, the mind is still active, and much can be contemplated, re-considered, planned for.  Solitude and rest on such a day serve to nourish intelligence, refresh spirit, and reconnect understanding to nature.  From inactivity in this time, much will come.

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The Solar Index today is FULL, named for the first month of Spring in the agricultural calendar, from early February through early March.  While the onset of Spring, in the Chinese sense of the seasons, does not bring abundance of flowers and balmy weather, it has a vitality and promise which must be taken when offered, if the greatest results are to be obtained from the farmers labors towards the distant harvest.  Many plants are not ready to be placed in the soil, but still there’s much activity to be seen to.  The lengthening days make working more and more productive.

The FULL day offers this same opportunity to “get things going,” so as not to miss warmer and more fertile conditions when they do arrive.  The character for FULL ( 满 mǎn ) also has the meaning of “entire.”  This day calls for whole-hearted commitment of mind and resources, and for the “gung ho spirit.”  This phrase ( 工 和 gōng hé “work together”) was, incidentally, brought into usage in the English language by the U.S. Marines, who picked up the phrase from the Chinese in the Pacific Theater of operations during W.W. II.  To coin yet another Marine usage, it’s a good day to “see the hill,  take the hill.”

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  It’s easy for you to get wedged into a difficult position when Monkey and Tiger square off;  all the more so, when the Horse is the toy over which they’re squabbling.  You’ll have plenty of opportunities to pursue advantages of your own, but the more you’re demonstrating diminished ambition, and showing how to take a small portion safely—leaving the rest for some future contingency—the more you’ll help ease the tensions of the day for all concerned.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will raise the general level of tension, but you’ll get through it fine if you decline most invitations, and maintain scrupulously correct social etiquette.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  This triangulation will set a high state of tension for the day—which won’t bother you very much—and will cause most around you to pause in reflection or worry, keeping them for the most part out of your way.  If you just want to take the opportunity to get more of your agenda accomplished, there’s no harm in that, but there’s also the option of slowing down a bit yourself.   The Monkey Mind will have a strange effect on your consciousness, if you’re not All Business today, bringing you to a high state of creativity, and allowing you to consider a much wider range of options than is your normal bent.  This could be particularly beneficial in regard to your physical regimen, diet, and sleep patterns.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will present the perfect opportunity to try such new ideas on for size and satisfaction.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  The Monkey’s deft touch and nimble escapism will be disturbing your normally solid connection to the Horse Moon, and there’s not much you’llbe able to do about it:  lashing out or raising objections will only satisfy the Monkey’s appetite for theatrics, and glowering in silence will only inspire larger and deeper attempts to irritate you.  If you don’t wish to subject yourself to the pestering and the clamor, then I can only suggest that you minimize your social engagements, and aim to spend the day in the back corners of your Personal Lair.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will resolve your spiritual disturbances, but may still hold a few fire-crackers ready to go off when you least expect them.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  This triangulation of tensions will put you in a mystified state of attention, and while you don’t really have to spend the day hiding out, you will be required to operate at your highest efficiency—and with your mind clearly focused on just what’s in front of you from moment to moment—if you want to avoid getting drawn into the Private Battles of others, or having your own temper inadvertently pressed to the breaking point.  Slowing down, offering your hasty excuses, and backing out of things might be your best options, particularly considering the arrival of the Fowl tomorrow, when excuses will be ineffectual, and your participation in most things will be on an awkward footing, to start with.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  You’re one of the few who can add something positive to this Tense Triangle, and if you were successful in handing over the control of details yesterday, you will have earned some Proper Positioning from which to make your beneficial contribution.  If you aim to maintain a Fair Witness perspective, you’ll be able to squelch the Monkey’s pesky acrobatics before they become Major Irritants, and allow the Horse and Tiger to continue the energetic stability they’ve dedicated themselves to.  Speak out of Impartial Observation, and don’t think of coloring your comments on the basis of your own motives.  There’s plenty of opportunity for you to pursue those tomorrow, when the Fowl will be offering you excellent service as ramrod for your day’s agenda.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  Your affinities with the Monkey, and your fascination with All Things Horse, will put you clearly into polarity with the Tiger, and so you’ll be playing a delicate game of Doing-and-Daring through the day.  If you keep your ambitions small, you’ll not run into a situation where the Monkey and Horse have gotten out of hand, and all your plans end up trampled or shredded.  Keeping small will also steer you clear of the Tiger’s Irritability, avoiding the need to sacrifice longer-term plans in order to maintain your current safety.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will drop the scale of energies at play to a much more manageable level, and offer you crystal-clear information as to your next, most profitable steps.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  This is a stressful alliance of forces for you, with the Monkey encouraging you to take a thoughtless leap forward, and the Tiger demanding stability and responsiveness to longer-term goals.  You can try to strike the mid-point by putting your full exertion into whatever has already been going on successfully for the last two weeks, but you’ll have to keep checking on your state of action through the day to make sure that’s actually what you’re doing;  the Monkey Magic can easily have you off-course and lost-in-the-weeds, if you don’t take responsibility for Attention To The Path.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will actually support that responsibility, but the result will feel rather mundane, and not the least bit magical.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  This sort of tension is the litmus test for your diplomatic and managerial skills, and the hinge of the difficulties lies—not surprisingly—with the corner of the triangle held by the Monkey.  Fortunately, you hold a fairly complete dossier of his tricks and triumphs, and if you’ll take it as your task to forestall his over-inquisitive meddlings with the progress of Things That Need No Fixing, then you’ll save the day for all concerned, and earn another merit badge for your Striped-Scouts uniform.  Under most circumstances, a simple and direct “No” will be sufficient, but it would be wise of you to keep a small quiver of Very Important Tasks to place under the nose of anyone who’s in danger of damaging the equilibrium you’re trying so diligently to ensure.  Tomorrow’s Fowl may bring you some congratulations, mixed with notices that—in a few places, at least—you “missed a spot.”

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  The problem for you with the Tense Triangulation will be the almost irresistible logic of “striking while the iron is hot,” and doing your Monkey Thing before the chance of making it work passes.  This would be a mistake.  We’ve got seven more months of the Tiger Year to squeak through, before your Innate Intelligence will start functioning correctly again, and trying to kick-start it today will only cause the engine to sputter, cough, and wheeze to a stop.  Worse, it would damage the delicate humility you’ve been working hard to develop, and ruin your reputation for the rest of the year.  It’s better to leave people wondering about your failings, than it is to take action and demonstrate them.  That being said, a small bit of Monkeying Around will be completely forgivable:  just make sure it doesn’t last long, you don’t ask anyone to take it seriously, and you stop instantaneously at the first notice of displeasure or disapproval from any onlookers.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will show you the wisdom of the Un-Monkey Way, and allow you to clothe yourself in Deeper Mystery.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  You’ll see quite clearly the nature of the tensions held in place by this triangulation, and if you don’t take any risky chances in how you go forward, you will be able to lower the level of tension as securely as a Master Explosives Specialist, defusing a long-buried bomb.  Just make sure to observe three rules:  1.) Don’t do anything hastily.  2.) Don’t do anything on a guess.  3.) Don’t let anyone help you.  Even a small increase in relaxation for the day will be note-worthy, and it probably won’t matter to you whether anyone even notices that you were partly responsible.  Tomorrow’s Fowl will also have some tensions, but they will already be in the process of unsnarling, and your efforts to help will be available for all to see.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  The energies cranked up by this Tense Triangulation will make your world seem like a carousel gone crazily out of control, spinning at a faster and faster rate, and going very speedily nowhere.  Getting off will be as impractical as jumping on, and if you feel you’re expending most of your own energies just to keep yourself from becoming infected with Rotary Lunacy, you’ll know that I, at least, understand perfectly.  The hardest part will be in feeling that the Whole Thing looked like it was going to be So Much Fun, and discovering that it Just Isn’t.  Soothe yourself with the realization that it’s a Temporary Madness, and while tomorrow’s Fowl will not give you a ticket back to Fun Land, at least he’ll have no interest in whirligigging.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Earth Monkey on duty today is normally well-centered and well-organized, but while the Horse will be stimulating his eagerness to pursue possible advantages, the Tiger will be pulling his attention in the opposite direction, testing his ability to balance opportunity to move forward against reason to withdraw.  Your sensibilities are liable to be seriously disturbed by the senselessness of this Triangle of Tensions, and your enmity for the troublesome pestering of the Clan of the Long Tail may have you hunting high and low for some tool with which to blast the whole thing to smithereens.  A wiser course of engagement would be to simply withdraw from the sphere of action, and spend the day considering the weakness of any position, and the ephemeral quality of any state of Perfect Balance.  In one way, the true value of the Whole Monkey Thing—from your perspective—is that it leads inevitably to this sort of philosophical distance from your appetites, and inducts the broadest, most-inclusive understanding of your wide-ranging spirituality.  As they say in the zendo:  “Discomfort while sitting helps keep you awake.”  Tomorrow’s Fowl will present a similar Triangulation, but with the elegance and clarity of a finely cut crystal.

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

When Yīn and Yáng are apart, they are nowhere;  when they come together the Universe falls into being.

The Bright spins around the Dark, and the Receding invites the Entering to come forward.

I sat once on the shade of a hill, where the grave markers tilted amidst over-grown grass and weeds;

Across the valley, sunlight splashed onto the far hillside, where the trees swayed in the wind, then lapsed to stillness.

“There are good ghosts and good tigers, but still:  they should be left alone.”

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Saturday, 26th of June


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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE MAIDEN, third day of the Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  This Lunar Lodge is named for an asterism composed of four relatively weak stars of Aquarius, the Water-bearer, and was originally connected to women’s duties indoors, once winter had set in.  The character with which it is written ( 女 ) means ”girl(s),” or “virgin(s),” or “woman (women),” depending on the context.  In this context, since it applies to the work of spinning, dying, and weaving, the Lunar Lodge is sometimes rendered as “The Weaving Maiden.”

This produces a mild confusion, however, as “The Weaving Maiden” ( 織 女 Zhī Nǚ is also the name of a separate asterism, not on the zodiac’s ecliptic, but well north of it, and on the eastern edge of the Milky Way.  It includes Vega, second brightest star in the northern sky, which is the embodiment of the daughter of the King of the Sun in the tragical story of “The Ox-herder and the Weaving Maiden.”  Over the many centuries of star-lore in China, the similarity of name and meaning of the two asterisms have caused both to be associated with the famous romance of the “star-crossed lovers.”

And in any case, the indications of this Lunar Lodge are as dark and sad as yesterday’s, striking a similar note of solitude and resignation to duty.  One difference is that THE MAIDEN is regarded as favorable to religious ritual (though not public ceremonies).  It is also a day when generosity is both appropriate and well-placed;  gift-giving and hospitality can be made with an easy grace, and will be received with respect and gratitude.  Among activities forbidden under this sign, sewing is noteworthy.  One might imagine that as part of the tradition of “women’s work” it might be favorable;  but since it involves cutting of the woven material, it is in a sense the opposite of producing the cloth, and therefore inauspicious.

The spirit animal for THE MAIDEN is the Bat.  Both “bat” and “blessing” are pronounced the same ( ), so the Bat ( 蝠 ) is a rebus for ( 福 ) “blessing,” “happiness.”  (The two characters share the same phonetic—that is, the right half of each character—which when written by itself means “a roll of cloth.”)  Bats are, therefore, ubiquitous in Chinese iconography, indicating the arrival of (or wish for) happiness and blessings.  The Bat, as an attribution to this Lunar Lodge, suggests a lightening of the sad story of the separated lovers.  They are, after all, re-united once a year on Double-Seven Day (the 7th Day of the 7th Moon), when all the magpies in the world are supposed to fly up to the heavens, and form a bridge for them.  The two cross over the Celestial River (as the Milky Way is called) and are allowed the “blessing” of one day of “happiness.”

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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.

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  Don’t set your sights too high today:  this member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns has his own style of organization and accommodation, and yours will be universally regarded as either inefficient or too narrow in view.  You may have a significant contribution to make, but you’ll have to wait to be asked to ensure that your message actually gets across.  Speak briefly, and without elaboration;  it’s the bottom line that counts today.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will give you much more command of your own energies and drives, and put your style of “organization and accommodation” back into gear.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  This member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns is so energetic and self-assured that you’re most likely going to feel his influence even before you’ve gotten to the first tasks of the day.  There’s no amount of pushing, prodding, or pleading that’s going to make your way easier, so my advice is to summon your self-control, and use it to get your foot off your own accelerator.  If you can arrange some lengthy private time for yourself, you could find that eminently healing;  but if not, at least try to minimize your social interactions without being gruff about it.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will offer some health benefits, even if you can’t get off by yourself, and reward you for giving others the Benefit of the Doubt.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  This member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns can prove to be quite complementary to your natural powers, at least while the Horse Moon is passing.  Show your confidence by allowing small details to be handled by others, and by only stepping in again if you find you need to clarify requirements you may have inadvertently skipped over earlier.  Do try not to drop into roaring today;  it offends the delicacy of the Sheep’s style, and will only disrupt the smooth completion of your own plans.  Your purring, however, will be taken universally as both charming and encouraging.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will be teasing you mercilessly, and your only recourse may be sullen silence.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  The broad comprehension and vigorous attention to detail that this member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns brings so easily to his duties, are almost invariable harmonic with your natural desires and personal style;  consequently, you’ll be walking a Lucky Path today, and—if you’ve set yourself up correctly for it over the last two weeks—you might even be riding, rather than walking.  That being said, this is a day to summon your confidence, and to lower your reliance on spontaneous decisions;  the Sheep is working mightily to both calm and encourage the Horse Moon at the same time, and it’s your warmth and ability to rest easy, that will help the most.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will make spontaneity a most obvious option, but you’ll have to keep your wits about you, and your speed of attention dialed up, in order to avoid minor disasters.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  As competent and energetic as this member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns is, it’s going to be difficult for you to rely on his efforts with deep confidence.  This is only natural, as you have you own view towards the same range of problems-and-solutions as the Sheep;  but his style of approach is so different from your own, that you’ll have to back off and support that difference today, rather than try to bring things around to your way of Getting Things Done.  If you like, you can think of it as “an opportunity to give people such ample room to fail, that they realize they need you to step in and help;”  but don’t be surprised if failure is not at all what the day produces.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will require you to step in again, and the sooner the better.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  The Clan of Fleece and Horns specialize in an overview of all possible resources to be applied to all contingent problems, and they therefore have an inveterate respect for your wise and practical ways.  Consequently, it won’t be at all difficult for you to use the Sheep’s managerial musterings as a shield for whatever path you wish to take today, as long as you don’t cause any disruption to the Overall Plan, or try to push yourself to the head of the line.  Everyone has equal status and importance in the cosmology of the Sheep, and this particular one has such deft grasp of the possibilities, you can rest in your trust that your needs will be met, and—if you’re truly doing what you can to helping things to go more smoothly for everyone—a number of your desires will be offered up to you on a plate.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will turn things more recreational, and raise the need to attend again to your camouflage.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  The Clan of Fleece and Horns can be of great benefit to you under most circumstances, but during the Tiger Year, the Sheep has the special knack of rounding out your relationships with all the other Animals, and channeling the power that the Tiger releases in your character, into extremely pedestrian and practical circuits, making you seem at once Grandly Powerful, and Approachably Friendly.  Consequently, any way in which it’s convenient to widen your social circle today will be extremely auspicious;  and if you have business or family matters to attend to, you can just relax, and let your inner Heart speak out for you.  Do try to be open to new things, and to alternative suggestions;  being Approachable sometimes attracts the weird and the challenging, but today they will come to you with the best of intentions.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will put you in the mood for exercise and exertion, but might cost you a bit of today’s sense of relaxation.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  Just as the Horse is being encouraged and emboldened by the Tiger, the Moon will be shining particularly brightly on your fundamental strengths and natural aptitudes today, giving you perfect position—and perfect justification—to Do It Your Way.  Let out all the stops, and take up your conductor’s baton;  the world is ready to make a symphonic harmony under your direction.  Of course, you already know that this metaphor implies that everyone’s playing different instruments and different parts;  but there’s nobody as masterful as pulling all the differences together into one Grand Result, and you have an almost completely unobstructed shot at making that demonstration today.  There’s going to be applause, and there’s no reason you have to look “sheepish” while you’re bowing.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will disturb the balance you’ve so carefully accomplished, but not in any way you can’t master now that you’ve been warned about it.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  The bad news is that the Sheep is well aware of all your proclivities and penchants for Producing Complexity, and will be on the watch, ready to put you back a notch or two if your curiosity and spontaneity become a bit over-heated.  The good news is that this ensures your proper placement in relation to the Horse and Tiger, and removes the possibility that you’ll crash into some wall with Stripes and Teeth all over it.  Granted, you may feel a vague sense of disappointment through the day, a sense of Lost Opportunities, even if you don’t see where they are, or know what you would have done with them if you’d gotten them in your mitts.  But as long as you will put up with that downside, you can pretty much hang loose, and follow the Zendo Rule:  do anything, until you’re told not to.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will give you exactly the opposite problem, and the sense of today’s little restrictions will prove to be a good thing to have memorized.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  The Clan of Fleece and Horns always has an interest in your perspective and preferences, but it’s important to remember that they’re never really put ahead of anyone else’s—even if that would seem not just well-justified, but downright imperative, to you.  Consequently, today’s going to be something of a test of your patience, watching the Sheep’s Grand Machine crank through its permutations without direct reference to what you feel you have to offer.  Fortunately, you don’t really have to remain mum or disengaged;  your arguments and suggestions will not at all be unwelcome.  Just don’t expect them to win the day.  That being said, this particular Sheep is really, really good at what they do best, and as long as you can satisfy yourself with some ineffectual kibbitzing—instead of Indispensable Contributions—you’re really going to enjoy the results.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will give you the opportunity to be effective again, but mostly through editing and forestalling the actions of others.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task,a taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  If you’re suffering the happy complaint of Exhaustion From Too Much Fun, then you’ll truly enjoy the opportunity the Sheep is bringing you today to take up Irresponsibility as an art-form.  This member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns is so downright competent at managing resources and playing the terrain, that he’s already planned for the possibility that you’ll be handing over your duties for him to deal with, without your direct involvement.  Consequently, you’ll never find a more forgiving time to Cancel Everything, and see to your own recuperation, or to hold a little celebration of A Dog’s Life.  Just make sure that you’re not leaving your Deep Promises unattended, or violating your own sense of Loyalty;  it’s the details we’re letting slide here, not the fundamentals.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will have very little resting time available;  and if there’s the time, not the place.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Fire Sheep on duty today has all the verve, diligence, and organizational skills necessary to step in, take charge, and see that things get done, but will find it a delicate task, taking command of the Horse Moon without bruising the sensibilities and authority of the Tiger.  This particular member of the Clan of Fleece and Horns is so well-versed at organizing and managing that he’s going to put you in the very satisfying position of having very little to point to as Needing Improvement, and whatever critique or commentary you feel inspired to offer today, is going to be filled with notice of Perfections Approached and Appetites Well-Sated.  You may find that others around you are not so sharp to the Sheep’s Elegant Accomplishment, and therefore it might be your task to help usher them through the experience, pointing out little niceties of arrangement, or aesthetic principles which are being profoundly demonstrated, and directing their attention to those Things Not To Be Missed.  I can’t imagine you finding something more satisfying to do.  Tomorrow’s Monkey will bring in a crowd of louts disturbing your peace, and dropping trash all over the gallery floor.

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

The afternoon before the Full Moon fades to clear twilight before the Bright Yīn arises;

The dawn thereafter brings a dim grey light, revealing that clouds cover the broad sky.

The grandeur of Earth seems whimsical and unresponsive;  the stillness of Heaven seems vast and indifferent.

Asking for divination, one makes an offering, and waits with respect:  feet touching Earth, head towards Heaven.

“A comfortable position for meditation;  a calm breath for ritual observance.”

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Friday, 25th of July


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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE OX-BOY, the second day of the Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  The character for this Lunar Lodge means simply “ox” (牛 niú ), and in the most ancient tradition, it was related to the time when the oxen were freed from their labor in the fields, and from transporting goods by wagon, because of the onset of winter.  It was also associated with the sacrifice of an ox—dedicated to the sun, moon, and stars—as part of the winter’s feasting, and to prepare dried meat for storage.

Naming this Lunar Lodge for the lad minding the ox (rather than the ox himself) comes from a later tradition linking this Lodge (and tomorrow’s) with the romantic story of “The Ox-Boy and the Weaving Maiden.”  In the old folk-tale, these two are separated by her disapproving father, the King of the Sun.  He places the unlucky lovers at distance from each other in the sky, on opposite banks of the Celestial River (as the Chinese call the Milky Way).  The astronomical results of this sad affair are represented by the bright star Altair, in an asterism actually called “Ox-Herder,” and the brilliant Vega, second brightest in the northern skies, in an asterism called “Weaving Maiden.”

In keeping with the sad theme of this story, THE OX-BOY is an unlucky day, particularly for diversions from duty, and relying on others.  Consequently, new beginnings, contracts, and ceremonial events are inauspicious.  The austerities of fasting, retreat, and stillness are suggested by the lovers’ punishment, and can yield better results today.  Romance is “not to be trusted” today, though flirting is actually favored.  It could be said this way:  if everyone knows it’s “only flirting” ….then no harm done!  Real estate negotiations might seem a strange addition to the favorable activities, but they are in one sense like flirting;  the “romance of the deal” isn’t sealed, until the deal is accepted and signed-and-dated documents are exchanged.

The spirit animal for THE OX-BOY is, of course, the Ox.  This is the animal icon par excellence of a life of hard work, borne with a good spirit, and without complaint.  The Ox has huge reserves of strength and stamina, and they make the Ox the foundation of whatever wealth can be brought forth from the land through labor.  The Ox, however, also has the winter-time away from the fields, and so he is also a symbol of serene solitude, and favors a life partly devoted to contemplation.  Through this attribution, THE OX-BOY is a day for resignation to duty, but in happy anticipation of the time when work will be over.

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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 .

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  With the rampant excesses of the Double Horses so likely to demonstrate themselves today, you’ll do best to pull down your flag, reef your sails, and slink into the nearest safe-harbor to wait for the Big Winds to pass.  If you must stay out in the weather, be ready to dodge-and-dart out of the way if something—or someone—Larger Than Life comes along.  Do not agree to anything new, or out of the ordinary pattern of your life-style;  your vision is cloudy today, your hearing is muffled, your good sense is barely functioning.  Tomorrow’s Sheep may make you feel as if you’ve snapped out of it, but it won’t be until Sunday that your ability to read the terrain will be back up to snuff.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  With the team of Double Horses pulling against your plans, your best expectations of the day should be somewhere around the B-minus level;  and even to get that high, you’ll have to agree not to struggle against the forces which will be buffeting you, keeping your from your preferred Straight-Line Furrow.  The more you slow down today, the more whatever control is available will drop into your hands, and the more prepared you’ll be for the test of tomorrow’s Sheep, who will be dropping your average down at least a full letter grade.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  Finally, the Tiger Year produces a day that’s a true challenge for your boldness and Moral Strength, without limiting you to half-successes and Lessons To Be Learned.  For whatever you’ve got clearly framed in your imagination, the powers of the team of Double Horses will be at your command, and your lengthy considerations of timing and tactics will pay off handsomely.  Make sure you bring your Direct Intention to bear, and offer Statements rather than Explanations;  these Two Horses are not perfectly well-matched, and they’ll need to feel your power to give their best results.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will help you bring today’s exertions to a refined completion, as long as you are willing to hand over control of a good portion of the details.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  This team of Double Horses is not perfectly well-paired, and it’s lucky for you that the Tiger is going to be lending a strong hand to their direction and control.  You have your own “tender sensitivities,” but it would be a great mistake to assume that they are of the same variety as exhibited by the members of the Equine Clan, and a much greater mistake to think that you’ll easily “fit right in” with the energies bounding over fence-and-field today.  It’s a good day for you to satisfy your appetite for exertion, but you’ll have to make sure that you’re Following Along, again, in order not to put your plans—and perhaps, your person—in jeopardy.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will throw a halter on the Great Steed, and lead him at a pace that will prove much more productive—and safer—for you.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  This team of Double Horses is not perfectly well-paired, and therefore your authoritative demeanor, and your sweeping confidence, are going to be very important to your correct navigation through the day.  In order not to put yourself in direct opposition to the Tiger, however, make sure you feature boldness of stance more than boldness of action;  it’s the serenity of your appearance that will settle The Horses, and give you control of their great strength today.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will bring some advice as to how to get your results properly installed, and it’s your flexibility that will give you the best access to good results.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  Your natural interest in the powers available through teaming up with the Double Horses will raise your sense of imagination, and stimulate your creative urges to great height.  But, as these Two Horses are not particularly well-paired, you’ll be wise to aim for something well below the peak of your vision, or the summit of your desires.  It will take at least half of your charm and influence just keeping The Two running along together, in the same direction, and at the same speed.  And the more you lower your aims, the more you can use your subtle charm to accomplish the direction you’ve chosen, as well as avoid open competition with the Tiger for command and control.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will give you a chance to raise your results somewhat, but not if you seem a eager to achieve the upgrade.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  This team of Double Horses is not perfectly well-paired, but for you that slight impairment of the day will be over-ruled by the sense that you actually understand this day’s version of the Universe—and it’s Rules.  If you’re eager for recreation, or need to work off some stress through the joys of Pure Exertion, then you can just give yourself your head, and bound forward through the day, without too much attention to the destination at which you may arrive.  If, however, you’ve got something in the fire already, and you’d like to use the great energies of the day to forward its development, make sure you’ve got someone around who’s willing to be the One In Charge;  it could be you, of course, but most likely you’ll do better today being Olympic Contender, and someone else being World-Class Coach.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will see to the safe and proper correction of anything inadvertently put out of place today, and your only job will be to remain open to suggestions.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  Your affinity with the Equine Clan pretty much guarantees a day of great satisfaction, and heightened chances of defined success.  However, you should be aware that this team of Double Horses is less than perfectly paired, and will require some deft jockeying in order to bring forward unity of action, and surety of results.  That being said, there are few more capable of Handling Horses than yourself, and you should not be shrinking from the demands of the job.  Suit up in your silks, then, grab the reins, and get ready to ride.  Just remember that it’s the Tiger who’s specializing in Alpha-Male Command;  your strength is far more about touch, tone of voice, and the power of Proper Timing.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will put the attention of the world on your demeanor and accomplishments;  you don’t have to blush and splutter in embarrassment, but try not to look too self-assured, either.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  Your nimble touch, quick reflexes, and interest in sharing the fun, always give you a certain power where the Clan of Hooves and Mane is concerned, but the options today are suffering under two constraints.  The first, of course, is the attention the Tiger will be showering down on the Double Horses, which you, of course, do not want diverted towards yourself.  The second is that the Two Steeds are not perfectly well-paired, and will require extra attention and extreme delicacy on your part to bring together at the same time, in the same direction, for the same purposes.  These two considerations aside, you’re liable to really enjoy yourself today, both because of the challenge presented—what Monkey doesn’t like a good puzzle?—and because you’re actually beginning to get the knack of sneaking around behind Big Stripey, without getting caught.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will bring a lower level of excitement, but less requirement to be careful about what you do with it.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  This team of Double Horses is not particularly well-paired, and your style of intervention-and-command is not particularly well-suited to bringing them around, and making them fly right.  Your most harmonic attitude for the day will come from aiming to match the appetite for work the Two Steeds share;  pick a task that’s going to last more than a couple of hours—or better, a stack of tasks—and start working through it.  You’ll be surprised at how energetically you’ll plow through the labor, and the more you are pre-occupied, the less likely you are to get into trouble through handing out instructions to others, or trying to “correct” the way things are flying forward through the day.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will be far more interested in what your perspective has to offer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t face some argument about your point of view and approach.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  It’s another Happy Day for you, as your Two Best Friends are calling you to bring your “true-heartedness” to their sporting about.  You should, however, remain aware that the team of Double Horses have some serious differences between them in matters of temperament and style, and may be spending a lot of time acting high-handed with each other.  Most of the Excess Exuberance will be good-natured—if a bit political—but to keep well out of the possibility of getting caught in Frolic Becoming Fracture, make sure you’re not the one called in between them to settle dispute, or to supply direction.  The Tiger’s on duty for that, fortunately, and if you don’t usurp his position, he’s more than competent to the task.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will give you some breathing space in which to accomplish your recuperation and indulge in the well-deserved afterglow.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Fire Horse on duty today has tender sensitivities to his surroundings, and an excessive willfulness where his rights and appetites are concerned, but he’ll find his ample resources of energy and strength re-doubled under the influence of the Horse Moon, and his capacity for true-hearted action stabilized by the authority of the Tiger Year.  This team of Double Horses is not—unfortunately—perfectly well-paired, and will from time to time, be aiming to pull apart as energetically as they strive to pull forward.  The Stabilizing Force however, is—fortunately—your Great Buddy, the Tiger, and as long as you don’t get sucked—or suckered—into refereeing any disputes, or supplying the glue holding things together, you can count on the Great Stripéd One to settle the Two Steeds with not much more than a Glaring Look, and provide you with a smooth carriage-ride in which you can enjoy a relaxing passage through the countryside, a sedate roll down a city street, or a moveable feast in the twilight, while you serve your canapés and cocktails to a lucky coterie of friends.  Tomorrow’s Sheep will carry forward the spirit of enjoyment, and you’ll have the opportunity to take a much more active role again.

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

The young birds are awkward, uncertain, curious:  one hops along the neighbors’ roof-edge, glaring inquisitively through my open window.

Another hops from branch to branch, fluttering expectantly at the other members of the flock, then flying off to follow them.

At my porch-steps, I take up gloves and a rake to meet the unending disarray of the summer’s transformations.

A hummingbird blocks my way, hovering two feet from my nose, as if to ask:  do you have any flowers in there?

“Acting at the wrong time is worse than not acting at the right time.”

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Thursday, 24th of June


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

The Lunar Lodge for today is THE LADLE, the first day of the week-long Northern Palace of the Black Tortoise.  This is named for an asterism of 6 stars, which so perfectly mimic the shape of Ursa Major, The Great Bear, that since that constellation is called “Northern Dipper” ( 北 斗 Běi Dǒu ), THE LADLE is called “Southern Dipper” ( 南 斗 Nán Dǒu ).  In antiquity, it was associated with the part of the year when grain stores were measured out (by the ladle-full), in order to properly plan for usage through the winter, and for payments made in grain.  Ten of the measuring “dippers” made one “bushel,” which is also a meaning of the character 斗 ( dǒu ).

This is an extremely auspicious Lunar Lodge, as might be expected from a sign concerned with “counting out wealth.”  It’s favorable for virtually all matters, from religious rituals, to excavation and construction, to political ambitions and accomplishment.  It is an indicator against nagging and over-indulging, perhaps because both will disturb the proper keeping track of the count.  The auspices of the day are quite favorable, and should not be squandered on such negativities.  ”When heaven sends a good day, don’t insult it with complaints.”

The spirit animal for THE LADLE is the Griffin, which is a rather loose translation for the original Chinese beast.  The Qí Lín ( 蜞 磷 ), as it’s called, is similarly mythological, and similarly composed of the parts of several different animals.  There is no exact equivalent in western language traditions, though it is most frequently translated as “unicorn.”  That’s understandable, perhaps, as one its animal components is the horse.  However, the Qí Lín has not one horn, but two antlers, like a deer, plus the scales of a snake, the head of a lion, the legs and hooves of a horse, etc.  In any case, like the Griffin, it’s appearance in the land is a beneficent sign of protection of the realm—and of its deserving rulers—and a harbinger of the greatest good fortune for all the citizens.  This underscores the highly favorable tone set by its Lunar Lodge.  As long as one can keep a cheerful and respectful attitude, the day is filled with good prospects.

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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!

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  You can derive some support and advantage from the Snake, but not without aligning yourself with his cool and calculating attitude;  romanticism and self-delusion will only put you in jeopardy of being his prey, rather than his partner.  Take a hard look at what you’re trying to accomplish, and make a practical assessment of its feasibility.  Anything that’s not working on this day will definitely not work for the next two:  try something different, and don’t be afraid of looking cunning or conniving.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will think you look highly suspect, in any case, and will require you to hold fast to what actually works for you.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  Your amiable relativity to the Clan of Scales and Fangs will smooth your way today, and the Snake will cooling and calm even the excitability of the Horse, which can so often be a troublesome annoyance—if not a true impediment—to your progress.  Invest your attention and appreciation in your enjoyment of the simple and the fundamental, today;  let the complexities and abstractions fall onto the Snake’s duty roster, and you’ll marvel at the wizardly results he’ll be able to arrange for you.  Today’s a day to “try less, do more.”  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will arrive to prove their capacity to be both troublesome and annoying, but the same catch-phrase will help to keep both difficulties from snow-balling.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  The atmosphere of confidence which the Horse Moon is bathing you in will be somewhat beclouded under the influence of the Clan of Scales and Fangs, so you’ll most likely find it convenient—if not sufficiently comforting—to hold back your engagement with the world, and find a cozy corner of your lair to hole up in.  If you Took Steps yesterday, a bit of rest and re-consideration of results would provide some tactical advantages, and help you to assess what your next action might be.  If you didn’t Take Steps, then you’ll have to dig deeper down into your reticence, and hope your state of irritation doesn’t make you do something rash, today.  And in either case, tomorrow’s Double Horses will bring forward that boldness of action for which your Clan is rightly famous.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  As reassuring as the arrival of the Snake will be for the Clan of the Long Ears, its not particularly likely to sponsor much invention or instigation on your part;  you’re likely enough to be active, but that will be more in the line of filling-in and following-along.  If you put even the slightest intention into Being Satisfied today, you’re liable to be successful beyond your highest expectations;  and if you put your mind to Resolving Details, you’ll have most of them knocked into position well before quitting time.  Aim for romance—or at least indulgence—in the evening hours, but get to bed early.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses are going to set a very high standard for your further “following-along.”

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  This member of the Clan of Scales and Fangs will be taking the relay-baton out of your hands, and shifting into a lower level energy and activity for his leg of the race;  your ambitions and purposes will easily be served by his more subdued style.  Harmonize his actions by shifting your own attitude from Demonstrating to Intending, and your demeanor from Flashy Showmanship to Calm Authority.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will empower your current tactics, but you’ll have to remain serene and sure, in order not to “spook the Horses.”

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  The nature of the Horse is not difficult to analyze, and it can be very tricky to harness;  you however hold the Magic of Mystery, to which the Horse is ever attracted, and by which his attention is easily held.  If you maintain a seductive—that is to say, confident—stance, the objects of your desire and ambition will spend the day falling into your gravity well, and come drifting within your grasp, and even nuzzling up to your hand.  Don’t abuse the opportunity:  take care to honor the worthiness of your partnerships, and to take charge of their well-being as well as your own.  You’re perfectly up to both, and tomorrow’s Double Horses will quadruple your results, if you do.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  As far as you’re concerned the Clan of Scales and Fangs is eternally mysterious, appealing, and empowering, and this particular member of the Clan adds a wisdom to the relationship that springs from his complete understanding of your heart-felt sense of Being Alive.  Consequently, there’s not much you need to do today to have a fantastic time of it:  just present yourself, front and center, and Hand Yourself Over to the drift of the Universe.  That being said, it would be wise for you to bring your highest state of Heightened Awareness with you;  you’re going to be taken through your paces today, and showing up groggy or half-hearted will keep you from your best—and safest—possibilities.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will bring you the joys of camaraderie, and the playful and commanding leadership of the Tiger.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  Every member of the Clan of Scales and Fangs is an embodiment of the Wisdom of Practicality, but this one has the extra attributes of constant attention to the present, and willingness to turn in any new direction that may show itself as available.  Consequently, any way in which you were able to hand over the steering wheel yesterday, will be resulting in a flood of new—and possibly quite surprising—new options drifting by, within easy reach, and at the proper pace for you to pick them up and try them out a bit, before either adding them to your kit-bag, or setting them back to drift away.  The easy pace of the day will also give you plenty of time for talking—whether that means chatting, or taking oral histories—and you’ll find the Snake is perfectly happy to include the consideration of the Deeply Abstruse as well as the Highly Philosophical in the passing palaver.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will give you much to concern yourself with, but that will mean action more than talk—or at least, action while you talk.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  You’ll have to summon a bit of modesty and restraint today—as difficult as that may seem when your favorite Partying Partner is on duty—but if you do, it won’t be difficult to squeak through the day with the continual joy of finding that what you need to do, is what you want to do;  and that what you want to do turns quite elegantly back towards what you need to do.  This effect of Serpentine Serendipity will remain stable through the day, but what you must be careful about is:  to refuse to try to speed the movement of things up, or to raise your own sense of excitement as you go along.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will be adding plenty of excitement to the day, and that will be excellent fun for you, as long as you haven’t called too much attention to yourself before we get there.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  Conveniently following the Dragon’s little seminar for you on Matching Motives and Modalities, today’s Snake will be giving you a number of options through which you can make any adjustments necessary to produce a more exact correspondence between your Inner and Outer Realities.  If that sounds like a Big Deal, you’re not taking into account the Snake’s mastery of subtlety and sinuous stealth;  you’ll liable to be Fully Re-adjusted before you’re finished filling out the top line of the Legal Release Form.  In any case, you really ought to aim at enjoying yourself today;  that will be the only sure-fire way to test your current status.  And besides, it’s the best way to prepare for tomorrow’s Double Horses, who will be pretty much insisting that you apply yourself to working on things, instead.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  If you felt your time and energies were stressed by yesterday’s Dragon, you can take a little solace in the much lower set of demands that the Snake will be placing on you.  It will be harder for you to turn towards Complete Enjoyment, because:  as seductive and magical as the commanding subtlety of the Clan of Scales and Fangs can be, it does leave you most frequently with a deep sense of misgiving and suspicion that something is going on, that you need to know about, and just can’t for the life of you figure out what it is.  I can only advise you to accept your state of concern—by the way, your suspicions are almost certainly well-founded—and calmly bide your time with a knot of consternation darkening your brow.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses are going to be re-affirming your Deep Reasons, and challenging you to rise high in your own estimation.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Wood Snake on duty today has an incisive curiosity, a deep confidence in the power of the present moment, and enough flexibility of style and stealthiness in demeanor to charm the Horse without arousing the ire of the Tiger.  As pesky and obstructive as the entire Clan of Scales and Fangs can be to your state of mind and attention to enjoyment, this particular member has the peculiarly annoying knack of turning the Horse’s great physicality to his own purposes, and blocking your every gesture with a dull—though powerful—restatement of What Is.  Consequently, this will feel like one of those days when your Is, just Isn’t.  If you got the taste of humility in your mouth yesterday, there’s no point in trying to find something to rinse it away with, today.  That being said, Being Annoyed is actually auspicious for you today.  But if you want to find someone to complain about it to, be extremely judicious in your choice of which Someone;  you’ll need to spend as much time listening, as talking.  Tomorrow’s Double Horses will arrive like a fresh breeze, and make you feel like you finally got your hands on some Ennobling Mouthwash.

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

When there are chill lakes high up in the mountains, fed by snow-fields and shining glaciers,

And fires sweep across the valley floor, crackling through the tall, dry grasses, flaming to the river’s edge,

Then the time has arrived for turning back, and for slowly re-tracing the way we came.

Going forward means making return.  Heaven opens the Lesson Book, and Earth turns its Pages.

“Eating makes nourishment; not-eating makes appetite.”

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Wednesday, 23rd of June


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.

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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.

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  This is a day when your quick thinking and flashes of insight will pay off, but only if you don’t delay taking action;  the Dragon will mollify the Horse’s skittishness on your behalf, but can’t be counted on to hold things in order long enough for you to give lengthy consideration to the possibilities.  Take steps while you’re still thinking, and doors will open as you go.  Tomorrow’s Snake will likewise be helpful for you, but you’ll have to drop any justifications for your actions, and surrender any positions that smack of romanticism or wishful thinking.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  The Dragon will be much easier to read than yesterday’s Hare, but also much easier for you to disagree with.  Still, the topics for your argument will be about style much more than substance, and if you’ll agree to delay your objections as to how things seem to be going, at least 50% of them will become immaterial when things work out fairly well, on their own.  The others will easily be taken up by tomorrow’s Snake, and dealt with in rapid order, without rankling your spirit or leaving details irritatingly unattended to.  Patience today will yield progress tomorrow.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  This member of the Clan of Scales and Claws will, in a way, be reflecting your own lack of follow-through back at you;  yours comes not from a wandering or fickleness of your attention, but from your great reticence to make commitment before all investigations and considerations have been completed.  But as we’re more than a third of the way through the year already—and it is the Horse Moon—it’s high time you took at least a testing jab at one or two possibilities, if only to get current calibration on the way things actually stand at present.  My advice is to pick something that’s annoying you, and make a whole-hearted attempt to get it resolved;  and the bigger that something is, the better.  Tomorrow’s Snake will not be such a lucky day to leap, but it would be quite a good day on which to have something to triumph over.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  This member of the Clan of Scales and Claws may have a little trouble with “staying the course,” but he’s perfectly clear about your strengths and weaknesses, and will offer you a clear view towards them without romancing your spirit, or buttering up your attitude.  Information will become available quite suddenly, and pass by you just as quickly, so be prepared to take notice first, and do your processing later;  you can get a great deal of course-correction installed today, but arguing with the style or vehicle of delivery will get you absolutely nowhere.  Tomorrow’s Snake will be much more agreeable to your temperament, and if you absorbed anything confusing today, you’ll have a good chance of getting it well sorted out tomorrow.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  Among the members of the Clan of Scales and Claws, this Dragon is the specialist in what might be called Flash-and-Dash;  his speed of arrival and departure is going to be either startling or mystifying to most who are not members of his Clan, and his velocity and volatility will be whipping up activity and possibilities that all Dragons will be able to turn to their benefit, as if manufacturing Luck out of thin air.  Take a pro-active attitude during this potentially productive condition, and don’t shy away from attending to the concrete and physical conditions within which you want your results to appear;  this is, after all, the Horse Moon we’re cruising through, and nothing will go forward correctly if you’re not really In Your Body, and On Your Feet.  Tomorrow’s Snake will bring a lower level of activity, and will call forward your powers of implication and authoritative command.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  This member of the Clan of Scales and Claws specializes in Flashing and Dashing, and his speed and range of activity can at times be a little hard for you to follow;  what will be quite obvious to you, however, is the numerous opportunities his volatile and darting style will be kicking up.  Lie low, and watch the magic happen, until you see your opening;  then you can show your own mastery of the Flash-and-Dash technique, and accomplish a lot, with almost no effort.  Don’t worry about missing the opportunities you might have to let pass;  tomorrow’s Snake will make many of them walk right up to you, asking to be given attention.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  The reassuring thing about this member of the Clan of Scales and Claws is his deftness at speedy action, and his lack of pomposity in accomplishing a new position or direction;  for you, these attributes make him seem all the more trust-worthy, and convey to you a feeling that you know where he’s coming from, at the same time that you don’t really care.  Stand in your own relaxation for the day, trust your attention, and let the Dragon’s Magic lead you forward;  wherever you find you nose pointing will be a profitable and enjoyable direction.  Tomorrow’s Snake will likewise hold some luck for you, but you’re going to have to increase your attention to the potential dangers on the path before you, if you want to make satisfactory progress.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  Just as your penchant for philosophical musings and rationales was unnecessary yesterday, today it will be entirely counter-productive.  The Flash-and-Dash style of this member of the Clan of Scales and Claws means things will be happening far too quickly for any kind of consideration, evaluation, or analysis to be possible, let alone profitable.  But if you can sacrifice the pleasures of Thinking Things Over today, and summon a Go-With-The-Flow attitude instead, you’ll find that a great deal of fresh opportunities are going to be left hanging in the air as the Dragon vanishes into mist, as suddenly as he made his appearances.  Tomorrow’s Snake will give you a good ground for turning these opportunities into practical advantages, and a chance of a bit of erudite jaw-boning as well, if you’re still so inclined.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  Among the members of the Clan of Scales and Claws, this Dragon is the most capable of matching your natural talents for immediacy of action and sleekness of departure, and will be shifting things around with such deft alacrity that you’ll be like a kid in a candy store, dazzled by all the opportunities for play and/or profit he’ll be leaving hanging in the air, like so much ripe fruit-on-the-bough.  You can take your pick—though I strongly suggest that you focus on those that are closest and most convenient to where you already are.  This is half because I don’t want you risking any unnecessary extensions—you know, on account of Big Stripey—and half because the Friendly Dragon is so wise that he’ll be placing your best opportunities right next to you for easier—and safer—access, anyway.  Tomorrow’s Snake will help you focus on the Dragon’s Gifts, as you turn them from pleasure to profit, and back again.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  Among the members of the Clan of Scales and Claws, this Dragon is the most harmonic with your Constitutional Nature—and given the affinity you share with Dragons of all types, that’s really saying something.  The Flash-and-Dash style that he’ll be featuring through the day perfectly meshes with your capacity to strike with great accuracy, quick delicacy, and sometimes shocking exactitude, and so:  your powers will feel to be at their height.  Beyond that, having such a supportive atmosphere for your Constitution will bring a perfect alignment between what you want in your heart-of-hearts, and what you’re clearly accomplishing in actual and concrete terms. If there’s a discrepancy between the two today, you can’t chalk it up to Intervening Influences;  the discrepancy means some calibration between your aims and your actions is in order.  Tomorrow’s Snake will make any such re-calibration quite convenient, and will open a door to deepening your insight.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  Among the members of the Clan of Scales and Claws, this Dragon is the specialist in what might be called Flash-and-Dash;  given the knack the entire Clan has for causing you irritation and dismay, this cannot come as happy information.  You should prepare yourself for a whole lot of wasted time and energy through the day, and not much results to show at the end of it.  There is an up-side however:  if you can get into the spirit of Just Running, you might actually have a good time.  Dog’s have been observed, after all, dashing about wildly themselves, zig-zagging after nothing, and nipping at the empty air, just for the sheer joy of the exertion.  Tomorrow’s Snake will at least let you catch your breath, but will give you a hard time if you’re trying to keep a smile on your face.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Wood Dragon on duty today is highly engageable, and capable of great vision and enthusiasm, but a little short on following through, and on resisting the tempting diversions of the moment.  The shifting speeds and sudden vanishments that this member of the Clan of Scales and Claws will be demonstrating, will be keeping you in rapt attention, and gasping for breath, without a moment to gather your thoughts, or even straighten your clothes.  This will be all quite fine, as far as your raw appetite for Witnessing the Extraordinary is concerned;  but you do like to have that moment when you can comment on What’s Just Passed—impressing all with your succinct appraisal and your insightful commentary—and that’s probably going to be a frustrated appetite today.  If you allow the frustration to fester, you’re going to end up fuming mad—and looking like “mad” here means “insane”—so take it instead as a healing dose of humiliation, reminding you that the Universe is a Huge Place, and there should always be room for Pure Awe in it.  Tomorrow’s Snake will be a lot easier to take if you’ve already got your Humility Spoon handy, and you’re noticing all the other places you can go to besides where you already are.

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

When great things abound, it isn’t because the Universe favors them, or because the Gods are tired of details;

The grandeur of the world happens naturally, like wind whipping up dust, like bugs hiding under a rock.

When small things prosper, it isn’t because the great are distant, or negligent in their duties.

Chickens or ducks peck about happily even in a small yard, and the stream of eggs is endless.

“Grab the eggs quickly;  place them in the basket slowly.”

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Tuesday, 22nd of June


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 traditional icon of expertise in the martial arts, showing the complementarity of Yīn and Yáng in counter-balancing rotation.  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.

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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.”

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  Unfortunately, it’s rather difficult for this member of the Clan of the Long Ears to recognize the directions of your pursuits, and therefore, while he won’t be absolutely countermanding them, any difference between where you’re trying to go, and the drift of the day, will be something you’ll have to make accommodations for.  Try to feature your flexibility, and don’t presume that what looks like a blind alley doesn’t have a secret doorway at the end of it.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will show an intimate understanding not only of your pursuits, but of your motives as well.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  This member of the Clan of the Long Ears has enough dedication to his interests, to make you feel that you’ll be able to find some traction today towards your long-term goals;  but unfortunately, he also has so many different interests, that from your point of view, his support will be fickle at best, and infuriatingly untrustworthy over-all.  Still, your own momentum is something you can count on, and if you’ll just aim to “stride forward on pavement, and slide forward on mud,” you’ll make satisfactory progress.  Try not to hold it against the Rabbit that he can’t tell you in advance when there’s going to be pavement, and when there’s going to be mud.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will bring clarity back to your pathway, and some challenges to your preferred style.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  There’s enough of Tiger-ish grit and playfulness in the character of this member of the Clan of the Long Ears to make you feel quite at home today;  most likely you’ll have a hard time focusing on the less-pleasurable parts of your personal agenda, and you might as well chalk this one up as a Day for Play.  It will be easy enough to make great headway on those items that you find particularly satisfying—or just damn good fun—to consider the day a success.  And any way in which you spend the day loosening up and not over-working yourself, will prove to be lucky by tomorrow, when the Dragon will insist that you make your choices take on the Reality of Action.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  If you got to relax your attention a bit yesterday—even if you were working up a good sweat and a healthy appetite, completing what the Tiger had lined up for you—then today the tables will turn, and you’ll have more grasp and control over the matters that have been troubling you.  If you’re wise, you’ll take the position of authority, and start issuing commands right and left, just to see who is able to respond.  If you’ve been resistant to take the steps you know you “ought to,” today is the day to make yourself do them;  your commands will work equally effectively with you, as long as they’re not based on lying to yourself, or on cheating others.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will show you any places where you stepped over the line, and give you the chance to apologize and step back.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  This particular member of the Clan of the Long Ears can—at times—display the bearing and attitude of an officious door-guard, and he will make no bones about his right to demand to “see your papers” before letting you through the gate.  He’s going to want to examine every item on your agenda, and will no doubt quiz you closely about your motives and about the order in which you claim the items must be pursued.  He’s not going to help inspire this approach on your part, but the best thing you can do will be to summon your famous flexibility, and season it with a hefty dose of that diplomatic air everyone else wishes they had.  Offering “attitude” back to him will get you nothing but more obstructions and delays.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will re-double your knack for sniffing out luck, and whip up a wind-storm for you to soar upon.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  As dedicated and officious as this member of the Clan of the Long Ears can be, he’ll be showing you nothing but rapt appreciation and support.  You may as well take advantage of the situation, and move your marker forward as much as the opportunity presents itself.  If you take the time to spread your good luck around, greasing the wheels of anyone’s cart you may find convenient, you’ll be doubling your potential for progress, and setting yourself up for an easier time of it over the next week.  Two of the next seven days are going to be tricky for you, and the more you can nourish your social support network today, the better.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will not be so easy to charm, but as he’ll be taking directions that already work into your plans, you can count on stepping back, and still be moving forward.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  Even though this member of the Clan of the Long Ears bears a number of characteristics that make him almost an Honorary Tiger, his ways are almost completely mysterious to you.  Just when he seems to be justifying your confidence by doing pretty much what you expected him to, he does something so completely incomprehensible, that you think your confidence must have been completely mistaken.  So just dump the idea of Predicable Behaviors today, and take what looks comprehensible as the “straight line” that precedes the “punch line.”  If you can lighten up in this way, and seek laughter more than logic, you’ll see there’s some wisdom behind the Rabbit’s Clowning.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will seem much more logical to you, and will balance philosophical considerations with practical steps to be taken.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  As stressful as its been for you this year, trying to earn your degree in Tigerish Arts, the arrival of a member of the Clan of the Long Ears on the scene will bring you both relaxation and a sense of confidence in your natural attributes.  This particular member is so much like a Tiger, anyway, that you may feel that you’re hosting your favorite kind of party, and sitting for your doctoral exams, at the same time.  Toss aside any philosophical or existential concerns you may be carrying, and just dig in to the tasks you see before you;  you’d have to do something completely weird to have them turn awry, and if you simply aim to show the world what Your Way looks like, you’ll get grins, congratulatory applause, and high marks.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will not be quite so favorable to your style, but if you borrow a bit of his flexibility, you’ll easily get good marks again.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  The Clan of the Long Ears most frequently impresses you as a pack of Kwazy Wabbits, but this particular member is so similar in fearlessness and commitment to follow-through, that he may make you think at the same time that he’s a Secret Operative of the Terrible Tigers.  Not to worry:  he may show many similarities to Those Who Wear Stripes, but he’s got none of the enmity for your and your ways.  You’ll have perfect freedom to express your curiosity, and to follow your desires to Try Things Out.  Just remember your excellent ability to Jump Back Suddenly;  if you hit the wrong button today, the Rabbit will come at you like a Tiger.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will be much more appropriate to your interests and intellect, and will to some degree safeguard your actions by limiting them for you.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  This member of the Clan of the Long Ears has such dedication to follow-through, and such fearlessness in going to the core of things that he might very well look like he’s wearing Stripes;  this will not, however, lessen the consternation he will express when looking in your direction.  He’ll be showing not “casual warmth” when he’s reviewing your papers and time-table;  he’ll be thinking that he doesn’t even know what language they’re written in.  Don’t waste your time telling him that the problem is that he’s looking at the documents upside-down:  he will not want to hear it.  Just take the day as a time to meditate on patience, and to practice it with as much calm as you can muster.  It’s only temporary:  tomorrow’s Dragon will look right past your paperwork to your heart, and launch you towards your Highest Aims.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  As if you weren’t having enough fun already under the auspices of the Horse Moon, the harmonic allurements of the Clan of the Long Ears will be borrowing the great vitality and dash of the Horse, and leading you on a merry chase today, keeping just far enough ahead to give it some game value, and just close enough to keep you from losing spirit.  Wherever the chase takes you, you’re going to finish the day with that deep sense of satisfaction you can only find when you’ve collapsed into a favorite comfy spot, safely home, and satisfied with life.  Enjoy!  Tomorrow’s Dragon will have you chasing around again, but with the strange sensation that you’re the quarry.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Water Hare on duty today is bold, brave, and highly competent, demonstrating both the strength of casual warmth and the incisiveness of committed action, and showing equally a deep sense of duty, and the will to pursue it.  This particular member of the Clan of the Long Ears shows so many similarities to Those Who Wear Stripes, that you’re going to find your appetites for enjoyment stretched to the limit, and your many abilities shuffling one-after-another into front-line service.  Your proper attitude under this sort of “stress” should be “happy non-chalance.”  There’s almost nothing you can do today that won’t be taken as a stroke of brilliance, and that includes bumbling into a hopeless embarrassment of confusion, or a hornet’s nest of mistakes.  Play through, and you’ll find that your ability to Reframe and Regroup is operating in perfect order, and ensuring the satisfying outcome of all, most particularly:  your reputation.  Tomorrow’s Dragon will knock your sense of yourself down a peg or two, and showing you how well Humility can balance the rest of your admirable attributes.

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

The Guardians Under Heaven number in their thousands, and their hundreds of thousands;

Most go un-noticed, un-recognized, un-respected by the Dwellers in the Red Dust.

And so we have the festival of the City Gods, when we can make offerings to The Great and The Small without distinction,

Thanking even those we can’t see, honoring even those we can’t enumerate, holding respect for those we can’t even imagine.

“You see a fish, but it sinks out of sight, you see a wild goose, but it flies into the distance.”

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Monday, 21st of June


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.

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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 little free time available;  in fact, “free time” may be the thing on shortest supply.

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Talk to the Animals

Born in the Year of the Rat: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  Your attention to duties will gain you admiration and rewards today, but you will have to admit without whining where your weaknesses have gotten the better of you, and you’ve found you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.  Tomorrow’s Hare will add some tensions to your life, but they won’t come with dark motives.

Born in the Year of the Ox: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  As you’re ever-responsive to your duties, the Tiger’s guidance will assure than you make good headway today, but it will aid you to look around for those whose modes and motives are congruent—if not identical—to yours, and to ask for their company—if not their direct aid—on your way.  Tomorrow’s Hare will soften your work ethic somewhat, but only at the price of some potential irritations as to your scheduling.

Born in the Year of the Tiger: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  This Clan-Mate of yours will be smoothing the spirit of the Horse Moon, and removing pesky details from your agenda, as if by magic.  Use the extra time this allows you to examine your available choices for further forward movement from the point of view of optimum outcomes, rather than potential of failures.  If you check your inner compass, you’ll know exactly what to do.  Tomorrow’s Hare will add some playfulness to your attitude, and help to prepare you for Tuesday’s challenges.

Born in the Year of the Hare: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger’s strengths are so well placed in the Horse Moon, that you’re liable to feel that your own attentions are virtually redundant, on almost any problem that the day might present.  Think of yourself as the Tiger’s operative, and follow your nose throughout the day;  you can relax about what you “ought to be doing,” and just plow into what’s in front of you.  Good results will come of following instead of leading.  Tomorrow’s Hare will put the choosing back on your duty-roster, but you’ll very likely have caught the spirit of the Tiger’s authority by then.

Born in the Year of the Dragon: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger’s in a strong position during the Horse Moon, and will be challenging you to bring your A-Game.  Your best strategy will be to put your cards on the table, and be clear about your willingness to supply the follow-through to the way you’d like things to go forward.  You’ll be challenged to defend your position, but the mental exercise will help to tighten up your resolve, and may elucidate some potential problems you’ve not yet considered.  Tomorrow’s Hare will bring an annoying insistence that all the tiny little details be clarified, but your progress won’t be seriously forestalled.

Born in the Year of the Snake: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger is in a strong position during the Horse Moon, and will be countermanding your influences today.  If you keep your attention on your support of others and their purposes, you’ll manage to slink through on the basis of your camouflage, and your devotion to a workable situation for all the cogs in the machine.  Tomorrow’s Hare will once again find your attitude perfectly charming, and you’ll be able to oil the machinery, as well as crank it at your preferred speed.

Born in the Year of the Horse: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger’s power is strengthened by the Horse Moon, and you’ll be the first to feel its beneficial effects, particularly if you’ll also assume that what’s desired from you is what you most desire.  Go forward on your own recognizance today, and towards your own aims;  you’ll get almost universal applause, if not universal agreement.  Tomorrow’s Hare will add a bit of confusion to your day, but it’s liable to strike you as more comical than confounding.

Born in the Year of the Sheep: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger is in his strength during the Horse Moon, and—though Ox Days are not the time to test this principle—your style and purposes are drawing some support from the fact.  To feel that support today, all you have to do is lean into your responsibilities with the strength that comes from confidence rather than from concern.  Failings will not be faults, as long as you’re not lying about them—particularly to yourself.  Tomorrow’s Hare will smooth your path, and require you to do what you do best, in order to help to smooth it for everyone else.

Born in the Year of the Monkey: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger is in his strength during the Horse Moon, and in some senses that means he’s also in his relaxation.  Don’t test that fact by striving or fretting, particularly when just remaining still and silent is a perfectly acceptable option.  Imagine that whatever Gliding Calm the Ox granted you yesterday has a second page that you can read from today;  it’s just More Of The Same, but it will be your best course for the day.  Tomorrow’s Hare will raise your interest, and provide you with more safety for toying with your options.

Born in the Year of the Fowl: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  In your case, its the question of responsibilities that this Tiger will focus your attention on.  Make a careful examination of what you’ve promised, and what you’ve implied, and what you’ve assumed.  Spend the day scrupulously pursuing the first, communicating about the second, and investigating the third.  That might sound like an exhausting regimen for the day, but if you follow it, you’ll feel the Tiger’s own muscularity rippling through your limbs by the end of the day.  Tomorrow’s Hare will make neither examination nor investigation profitable, and explaining yourself won’t be very easy, either.

Born in the Year of the Dog: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger is in his power under the Horse Moon, and your position as their Best Mate will earn you an almost magical quality of support for whatever you put your attention to.  The more you demonstrate your dedication to your duties, the bigger your rewards will be, and you don’t have to look—or feel—like your labors are a total drag in order to get them.  Whistle while you work;  you’re going to want to.  Tomorrow’s Hare will bring some very pleasant surprises, and while you won’t get to choose the direction you’ll be going, you’ll almost certainly enjoy it.

Born in the Year of the Pig: The Water Tiger on duty today has a cheerful ease concerning the ways of the world, a confident poise in matters where decisiveness counts, and an inflexible irascibility whenever proper protocols are obstructed, or weak excuses aim to replace responsibility.  The Tiger is in his strength during the Horse Moon, and that means he’ll be showing his highest indulgence and appreciation towards the Clan of the Curly Tail.  As long as you’re making Telling The Truth your prime directive, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish on such a day, and almost everyone will fall into the Tiger’s spirit of appreciation.  Tomorrow’s Hare will give you more leeway to take charge of everyone else’s agenda, and make it easy to demonstrate why that might be a good idea for them.

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

The Sun stands at its full height;  the South has reached the limit, and takes its pause.

At full Summer, the time between dawn and dusk seems endless, the hours passing slowly, as if in reverence.

When the brightness of the year has fulfilled itself, the dark of Winter finds its foothold;

The shadows are small and short, but they are darker for that, and their power, like that of a coiled spring.

“Don’t ask the coins if you can ask the person in charge.”

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Thursday begins the Lunar Week:

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