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Finally, the Fire Monkey fulfills the departure awaited by so many, and the Year Spirit takes up the form-and-flow embodied in the image of the Fire Fowl.


May the New Year bring a rebirth of prosperity and the renewal of satisfaction and success!


The Fire Fowl has an easy-going manner (with plenty of confidence to justify it), but prefers to display a conservative attitude in social affairs, a determined restraint over self-limiting appetites and indulgent ambitions, and a preference not to look too widely beyond immediate circumstances and obvious opportunities. After the Fire Monkey’s pesky and impertinent improvisations (which might very well seem to have been designed to produce sheer consternation, as much as to produce any practical or solid results), the Fowl’s shrewd intensity and close attention to order, precision, and detail will bring great relief to the mind, increased calm to the spirit, and deeper grasp of “things as they are.”

Indeed, the Fowl’s predilections are perfectly suited to considering in turn each apparently random particle of whatever rubble the Monkey tossed into careless arc through empty space, then snatching it out of its haphazard trajectory, and placing it deftly into perfect position, making of the Monkey’s dizzying chaos, an artful mosaic of durable value and illuminating clarity. The Fowl’s entry cannot promise always to feature the smoothness and gloss of well-preened feathers, or the softness and warmth of a down-filled bed, but for those who can summon the alertness, tolerance, and good-hearted patience necessary to endure the exacting gaze and the sharp beak for which the Clan of Feathers and Claws are well-known, the year will bring great promise of insight, wisdom, and —finally!—a working ground of practical results.

If the Monkey left you puzzling over Mystery, welcome in the Fire Fowl to make demonstration of Mastery. Just make sure to stand firmly in that confused feeling that you “don’t get it”—which was, in truth, the Monkey’s great gift to you—and allow the Fowl to work out the world around you, marking out the path to a confident comprehension, a deeply plumbed center-line of placement in the world, and the indispensable wisdom of “knowing not-knowing.”


Blessings Arrive


Many thanks to all those who joined me on the 21st for my Preview Talk for the New Year, hosted by my good friends at Sanford’s Martial Arts in Soquel. We recorded the event on video (which is currently being edited to ensure better sound quality) and the recordings will be available for download through a link at Ming Li Tong Shu Online in a few days. Simply go to the welcome/sign-in page, where you’ll see the link button for “Digital Products” at the lower left. I’ll make an announcement here on Tong Shu Talk once the recordings are available for download, so if you’ve signed up to follow this blog by submitting an email address (that option is available in the sidebar on the left side of this page) you’ll receive an email automatically, letting you know they’re up and ready to go!

I’m so grateful for the Sanfords’ gracious and unfailing support in hosting the event, and I hope that you may find value and enjoyment through the video recordings. Part of the material covers a series of “do-little dates,” and that recording comes with a .pdf of the handout sheet I gave out as a reference for the coming year.





Thursday begins the Lunar Week:

January 2017
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