• Anu van Warmelo

Time of Water

This of Hastings Pier was taken on a very wintry day in the middle of July, and it's useful as an illustration of a couple of things. Dog-walkers are not allowed on !he beach at this time of year, but there they are gathered (psst don't tell anyone, but I might have had one too!). The question I kept hearing, was, 'What are the rules now?'. Because of Covid 19, the beaches were largely deserted even on the good days, and nobody seemed bothered about dogs. So it is, in a time of chaos, no one is quite sure about boundaries. Basically, we have to wing it, and this is one of the lessons of the Water element, to not expect structure in a universe that is vast, and unpredictable.

Yet the pier itself imposes its straight line across the water as if conquering it. What is only evident to a dowser is that the pier is following a ley line that crosses the town before heading out to sea. I haven't done any work on the line, so I don't quite know what happened inland, but it's hurting and well on its way to becoming what dowsers call a black stream, which is when the ch'i withdraws from the earth, leaving a hollow void, also known as sha ch'i, 'the life-taking breath'. The pier is only now recovering from a major fire, but from the dowsing perspective the fire was merely the symptom.

One of the difficulties I have with Hastings is the straight lines. These form in Feng Shui what is well-known as killing ch'i. It may seem to defy the obvious, for what could be more beautiful than this scene here? But the ch'i moves too fast, not lingering and nourishing the areas it passes through, resulting in rather a brutal, unfeeling atmosphere. As I wander the coastline here I find myself pining for the more natural, chaotic ramblings of the south-west coast. Yet many people love it here, so each to their own.

But right from when the pandemic crisis was starting, I was aware of how the Water element was making its presence felt even in the heart of summer, and Wiltshire when I was there was very very dry.

People often talk of the need for structure and stability, but in Chinese healing there is a recognition of a need for the counterpoint of risk and fear, of adventure, stepping into the unknown, which is the Water element. Yet it can certainly become too much, particularly as the ultimate risk is that of death, which is what we're being forced to deal with now almost on a daily basis. So we can choose to react by imposing rules that sometimes make sense and sometimes don't, but ultimately there is only one way of dealing with the Water element when it is as strong as this, and that is through meditation.