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Introduction to Astrological Geomancy

 

Moon

Astrological geomancy is an ancient method of divination. The word geomancy means earth divination and is believed to have come from the use of sand to generate the geomantic figures, the basis of prediction in geomancy. This also accounts for its Arabic name, ilm al-raml, literally the science or wisdom of the sand. 
In the modern era the ancient art of divinatory geomancy has been confused with Chinese feng shui which is not a method of divination, but a science of spatial arrangement, architecture and landscaping. Divinatory geomancy has also had its name appropriated by the modern New Age study of ley lines and earth "energies" which are also not techniques of divination. 
Contemporary practitioners of the traditional Western art of geomancy have taken to referring to it as divinatory or astrological geomancy to differentiate it from these more modern uses of the term. Astrological geomancy is a particularly appropriate term as much of the divinatory methodology used in geomancy comes from traditional astrology. 
The origins of geomancy are shrouded in mystery, but the first manuscripts describing the practice appear in the 9th century AD in the advanced Islamic civilization of the Middle East. From there it spread to Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries as part of the reception of many arts and sciences, including the occult arts of astrology, alchemy and magic by the rapidly civilizing West. Known in Arabic as ilm al-raml, literally the science or wisdom of the sand, geomancy became quite popular as a divinatory technique because of its ease of learning and use. Here is an interesting article in pdf form by the Dutch academic Wim van Binsbergen on the Astrological Origin of Islamic Geomancy. Because of its close connection to astrology, geomancy has been called "the Daughter of Astrology" and known as terrestial astrology. 


The 16 Geomantic Figures

 

Geomantic Figures 
16 Geomantic Figures

The basis of geomancy is the 16 geomantic figures, composed of 4 rows of either one or two points. Thus geomancy is similar to the Chinese divinatory system of the I Ching with its 64 hexagrams as well as Ifa divination with its 256 odu or parts, as each of these is a a binary system based on the powers of 2. In geomancy each figure has its own distinct meaning. The combinations and interactions of the geomantic figures for a particular question allows the geomancer to see the underlying pattern of a particular situation and thus to see the past and present as well as predict the future. 
Each of the figures has a name and its own distinct personality. The combinations of the figures and their interactions are like a mirror reflecting the events or question that the geomancer has been asked about. 
Here are the 16 Geomantic figures and their Latin and English names and their planetary rulerships.

  • Carcer, Prison, Saturn 
  • Tristitia, Sadness, Saturn 
  • Acquisitio, Gain, Jupiter 
  • Laetitia, Joy, Jupiter 
  • Puer, Boy, Mars 
  • Rubeus, Red, Mars 
  • Fortuna Major, Greater Fortune, Sun 
  • Fortuna Minor, Lesser Fortune, Sun 
  • Puella, Girl, Venus 
  • Amissio, Loss, Venus 
  • Conjunctio, Union, Mercury 
  • Albus, White, Mercury 
  • Via, Way, Moon 
  • Populus, People, Moon




Asking the Question & Generating the Mothers

 

Geomantic Shield 
Geomantic Shield

The first thing to do is to formulate the question that you wish to answer by geomancy. The best type of question is one that can be answered yes or no, these questions will result in a more precise answer. The vaguer and more abstract the question, the vaguer and more abstract the answer. The question needs to be one that you or the person asking the question, known as the querent, is personally involved with. The more serious the question, the more accurate the answer. Asking frivolous questions or questions like, "Will Madonna get divorced?" unless you are Madonna, will result in inaccurate predictions. 
Once you have formulated the question, then it is time to generate the initial geomantic figures, known as the Mothers and then to calculate the rest of the figures. This process can done manually or you can get a copy ofGeomanticon, the astrological geomancy software, which comes free with theAstrological Geomancy Mini-Course, and have the process done easily and instantaneously for you. 


The Geomantic Shield & 12 Houses

 

12 Houses 
The 12 Houses

Once the geomantic figures are generated they are placed in the geomantic shield and in the 12 astrological houses. The figures are placed in the houses by putting the 1st Mother in the 1st house, 2nd Mother in the 2nd house and so on. 
The houses are derived from traditional astrology. Their basic meaning is as follows:

  1. Querent (person asking the question) 
  2. Money, moveable property 
  3. Siblings, neighbors, short trips 
  4. Father, home, real estate 
  5. Children, pleasure, gambling 
  6. Illness, servants, small animals 
  7. Marriage, romance, partners, open enemies 
  8. Death, inheritance 
  9. Higher education, long trips, spirituality 
  10. Career, government, reputation 
  11. Friends 
  12. Curses, secret enemies, imprisonment 

You can find more detailed explanation by the master traditional astrologer William Lilly at the houses in Renaissance astrology and by the Arabic astrologer Al-Biruni at Al-Biruni on the houses


Delineation & Traditional Geomancy Texts

 

Having placed the figures for our question in the geomantic shield and houses we are ready to begin the process of delineation. One useful method is to look at the meaning of the figures in the house that signifies the querent (person asking the question) which is always the first house and then look at the meaning of the figure in the house that signifies the quesited (the thing or person asked about). 
At this point, in order to master the delineation of geomantic charts it is necessary to consult our traditional sources. You can take a look at what the 16th century mage and geomancer Cornelius Agrippa says about the meaning of the figures in particular house in his On Geomancy. Here is a portion of the very interesting Hermetic text Lectura Geomantiae"Geomantic Lecture". 
 

 

A

HANDBOOK OF GEOMANCY

CHAPTER I

{141}

CHAPTER II

THE MODE OF DIVINING --- MOTHERS --- DAUGUTERS ---
NEPHEWS --- WITNESSES --- JUDGE --- RECONCILER ---
PART OF FORTUNE

THINK fixedly of the demand; with a pencil mark 16 lines of points or dashes. Find whether number of points in each line is odd or even. For odd *; for even **. Lines 1-4 give the first mother; lines 5-8 the second; and so on.

EXAMPLE

Use clean (virgin) paper; place appropriate Pentagram (either with or without a circumscribed circle) invoking. If a circle, draw this first. Sigil of Ruler to which nature of question most refers should be placed in the Pentagram thus:

{142}

Saturn Agriculture, sorrow, death.
Jupiter Good fortune, feasting, church preferment.
Mars War, victory fighting.
Sun Power, magistracy.
Venus Love, music, pleasure.
Mercury Science, learning, knavery.
Moon Travelling, fishing, &c.

In diagram, p. 144, the Sigil of Hismael should be used.
In marking points fix attention on Sigil and on the question proposed; the hand should not be moved from the paper till complete. It is convenient to rule lines to guide the eye.
The daughters are derived by reading the mothers horizontally.
The four nephews, Figures IX-XII, are thus formed: IX = I + II read vertically, added and taken as odd or even. So also XIII = IX + X, and XV = XIII + XIV.

{143}

These last three are merely aids to general judgment. If the judge be good the figure is good, and vice-versâ.
The Reconciler = I + XV
To find the part of Fortune Earth (ready money or cash belonging to Querent), add points of the figures I - XII, divide by 12, and remainder shows figure. Here I + II + ... + XII = 74 points = 6 x 12 + 2 .'. Earth falls with :::  (II)

CHAPTER III

OF THE FIGURE OF THE TWELVE HOUSES OF HEAVEN

THE meaning of the twelve Houses is to be found, primarily, in any text- book of Astrology. Knowledge is to be enlarged and corrected by constant study and practice.

Place the figures thus:

I 10th IV 7th VII 5th X 3rd
II Asc. V 11th VIII 8th XI 6th
III 4th VI 2nd IX 12th XII 9th

 

{144}

CHAPTER IV

TABLES OF WITNESSES AND JUDGE

THE tables are classed by Left Witness.

The judgement concerning a wife (e.g.) will hold good for all demands of the 7th House.

So of the others

.
{145}


{146}

 
{147}


{148}

{149}


{150}


{151}


{152}

CHAPTER V

THE GENERAL MEANING OF THE SIXTEEN FIGURES IN
THE TWELVE HOUSES

HEREIN follows a set of general tables of the sixteen figures in the twelve Houses, for the better convenience of forming a general judgment of the scheme. Under the head of each figure separately is given its general effect in whatever House it may happen to fall.

Thus, by taking the House signifying the thing demanded, and also that signifying the end of the matter (fourth House), and noticing what figures fall therein, you may find by these tables their general effect in that position. {153}

ACQUISITIO
Generally very good for profit or gain
1 Happy success in all things
2 Very prosperous
3 Favour and riches
4 Good fortune and success
5 Good success
6 Good, esp. agreeing with 5th
7 Reasonably good
8 Rather good, not very, the sick die
9 Good in all
10 Good in suits, very prosperous
11 Good in all
12 Evil, pain, and loss

 

FORTUNA MINOR
Good in any matter where a
person wishes to proceed quickly
1 Speed in victory or love; but choleric
2   Very good
3 Good, but wrathful
4 Haste, rather evil, exc. for peace
5 Good in all
6 Medium in all
7 Evil generally
8 Rather good, not very, the sick die
9 Good, but chloeric
10 Good, exc. for peace
11 Good, esp. for love
12 Good, exc. for alteration or serving another

 

AMISSIO
Gd for loss of substance, and sometimes
for love, but v. bad for gain
1 Ill in all but for prisoners
2 V.evil for money, good for love
3 Ill end, exc. in quarrels
4 Ill in all
5 Evil, exc. for agriculture
6 Rather evil, exc. for love
7 V.good for love, otherwise evil
8 Excellent in all questions
9 Evil in all
10 Evil, exc. for women's favour
11 Good for love, otherwise bad
12 Evil in all

 

LETITIA
Good for joy, present or to come
1 Good exc. in war
2 Sickly
3 Ill
4 Meanly good
5 Excellently good
6 Evil generally
7 Indifferent
8 Evil Generally
9 Very good
10 Good rather in war than in peace
11 Good in all
12 Evil generally

 

FORTUNA MAJOR
Good for gain in things where a persion 
has hopes to win
1 Good, save in secrecy
2 Good, save in sad things
3 Good in all
4 Good in all but melancholy
5 Very good in all
6 Very good, exc. for debauchery
7 Good in all
8 Moderately good
9 Very good
10 Exceedingly good, to go to superiors
11 Very good
12 Good in all

 

TRISTITIA
Evil in almost all things
1 Med., but good for treasure and fortifying
2 Med., but good to foritfy
3 Evil in all
4 Evil in all
5 Very evil
6 Evil, exc. for debauchery
7 Evil, but in secrecy good
8 Gd. for inheritance and magic only
9 Evil, exc. for magic
10 Evil, exc. for fortification
11 Evil in all
12 Evil, but good for magic and treasure

{154}

PUELLA
Good in all demands, especially
those relating to women
1 Good, exc. in war
2 Very good
3 Good
4 But indiferent
5 V. good, but notice the aspects
6 Good, but esp. so for debauchery
7 Good, exc. for war
8 Good
9 Good for music, otherwise medium
10 Good for place
11 Good, and love of ladies
12 Good in all

 

ALBUS
Good for profit and for entering into
a place of undertaking
1 Good for marriage; mercify; peace
2 Good in all
3 Very good
4 Good, exc. in war
5 Good
6 Good in all
7 Good, exc. in war
8 Good
9 A messenger brings letters
10 Excellent in all
11 Very good
12 Marvelously good

 

PUER
Evil in most demands, except
those relating to war and love
1 Indifferent; best in war
2 Good, but with trouble
3 Good fortune
4 Evil, exc. in war and love
5 Medium good
6 Medium
7 Evil, save in war
8 Evil, exc. in love
9 Evil, exc. for war
10 Evil rather; good for love and war, else medium
11 Medium; good favour
12 Very good in all

 

CONJUNCTIO
Good with good, and evil with evil
Recovery of things lost
1 Good with good, evil with evil
2 Commonly good
3 Good fortune
4 Good, save for health, cf. 8th House's figure
5 Medium
6 Good for immorality only
7 Rather good
8 Evil, death
9 Medium good
10 For love good, for sickness evil
11 Good in all
12 Medium, bad for prisoners

 

RUBEUS
Evil in all the is good, and good
in all that is evil
1 Destroy the figure
2 Evil in all
3 Evil, exc. to let blood
4 Evil, exc. in war and fire
5 Evil, exc. for sowing seed
6 Evil, exc. for blood-letting
7 Evil, exc. for war and fire
8 Evil
9 Very evil
10 Dissolute, love, fire
11 Evil, exc. for blood-letting
12 Evil in all

 

CARCER
General evil, delay, binding, stay,
bar, restriction
1 Evil, exc. to fority a place
2 Good in Saturnian questions, otherwise evil
3 Evil
4 good, only for melancholy
5 Receive a letter in three days, evil
6 Very evil
7 Evil
8 Very evil
9 Evil in all
10 Evil, save for hid treasure
11 Much anxiety
12 Rather good

{155}

CAPUT DRACONIS
Good with good, evil with evil; gives
a good issue for gain
1 Good in all
2 Good
3 Very good
4 Good, save in war
5 Very good
6 Good, for immorality only
7 Good, esp. for peace
8 Good
9 Very good
10 Good in all
11 Good for the Church and ecclesiastical gain
12 Not very good

 

VIA
Injurious to the goodness of other figs.
generally, but gd. for journeys &
voyages
1 Evil; exc. for prison
2 Indifferent
3 Very good in all
4 Good in all, save love
5 Voyages good
6 Evil
7 Rather good, esp. for voyages
8 Evil
9 Indifferent; good for journeys
10 Good
11 Very good
12 Excellent

 

CAUDA DRACONIS
Good with evil, and evil with good; good
for loss, and for passing out of an
affair
1 Destroy the figure
2 Very evil
3 Evil in all
4 Good, esp. for conclusion of the matter
5 Very evil
6 Rather good
7 Evil, war and fire
8 No good, exc. for magic
9 Good for science only; bad for journeys; robbery
10 Evil, save in works of fire
11 Evil, save for favours
12 Rather good

 

POPULUS
Sometimes good, sometimes bad; good
with good, evil with evil
1 Good for marriage
2 Medium good
3 Rather good than bad
4 Good in all but love
5 Good in most
6 Good
7 In war good, else medium
8 Evil
9 Look for letters
10 Good
11 Good in all
12 Very evil

{156}

CHAPTER VI

OF THE ESSENTIAL DIGNITIES OF THE FIGURES IN THE
HOUSES; OF THE ASPECTS OF THE HOUSES; AND OF
THE FRIENDSHIP AND ENMITY OF THE RULERS IN
ASPECTS, ETC.

 

BY Essential Dignity is meant the strength of a figure when found in a particular House. A figure is therefore strongest in what is called its House; very strong in its Exaltation; strong in its Triplicity; very weak in its Fall; weakest of all in its Detriment. A figure is in its Fall when in a House opposite to that of its Exaltation; in its Detriment when opposite to its own House. The following list shows the Essential Dignities; that is to say, they follow the Dignities of their Ruling Planets, considering the twelve Houses of the scheme as answering to the twelve signs, thus: ASC. to Aries, 2 to Taurus, 3 to Gemini, &c., ... 12 to Pisces. Therefore Mars figures will be strong in ASC. and weak in 7th and so on. Seechapter i. for attribution of figures to planets.

*    *
   * 
   *
   *
is strong in Dignities of Jupiter and Venus
   *
   *
   *
*    *
is strong in Dignities of Saturn and Mars

TABLE OF ESSENTIAL DIGNITIES

{WEH NOTE: These tables of dignities are corrupt in places.  They have not been corrected here, but copied as they stand  in the 1st edition EQUINOX}

--- HOUSE EXALTATION TRIPLICITY FALL DETRIMENT
ASC 1121, 2122, 1112 2211, 1122 2211, 1122, 2121, 1222, 2111 1221, 2221 1212, 1211
2 1212, 1211, 2111 2222, 1111 2222, 1111, 1212, 1211, 2111 --- 1121, 2122, 1112
3 2112, 2212 2111 1221, 222 12212, 2112, 112 1112 2121, 1222, 2111

{157}

TABLE OF ESSENTIAL DIGNITIES---"continued"

 

--- HOUSE EXALTATION TRIPLICITY FALL DETRIMENT
4 2222, 1111 2121, 1222 1121, 2122, 1112 1121, 2122 1221, 2221, 1112
5 2211, 1122 --- 2211, 1122, 2121, 1222, 2111 --- 1221, 2221, 1112
6 2112, 2212 2112, 2212 2222, 1111, 1212, 1211, 2111 2211, 1122 2121, 1222, 2111
7 1211, 1212, 2111 1221, 2221 1221, 2221, 2212, 2112, 1112 2211, 1122 1121, 2122, 1112
8 2122, 1121, 1112 --- 1121, 2122, 1112 2222, 1111 1212, 1211, 2111
9 2121, 1222, 2111 1112 2211, 1122, 2121, 1222, 2111 2111 2212, 2112
10 1221, 2221, 1112 1121, 2122 2222, 1111, 1212, 1211, 2111 1222, 2121 2222, 1111
11 1221, 2221, 1112 --- 1221, 2221, 2212, 2112, 1112 --- 2211, 1122
12 1222, 2121, 2111 1212, 1211 1221, 2122, 1112 2212, 2112 2212, 2112

 

THE ASPECTS OF THE HOUSES

The ASC. is aspected by 11, 10, 9 (as Sextile Quartile and Trine ) Dexter and by 3, 4, 5 ... Sinister, and has 7 in opposition.

The Dexter aspect is that which is contrary to the natural order of the Houses; it is stronger than the Sinister. So for other Houses. Figures have Friends and Enemies: --- Saturn : Jupiter Sun Mercury Moon Friends; Mars Venus Enemies. Jupiter : Saturn Sun Venus Mercury Moon; and Mars. Mars : Venus; and Moon Saturn Sun Mercury. Sun : Jupiter Sun Venus Mercury Moon; and Saturn. Venus : Jupiter Sun Mars Mercury Moon; and Saturn. Mercury : Saturn Jupiter Sun Venus Moon; and Mars. Moon : Jupiter Sun Venus Mercury; and Saturn and Mars. {158}

Also figures of Fire are sympathetic with those of Fire, friendly with Air and Earth; hostile to Water.

So Water symp. Water, friendly Air and Earth, and host. Fire: Air symp. Air, friendly Fire and Water, and host. Earth. Earth symp. Earth, friendly Water and Fire, and host. Air. Again, sign figures are friends to those Sextile or Trine, and hostile to those Quartile or in Opposition.

CHAPTER VII

OF THE GENERAL METHOD OF JUDGING A FIGURE

                        * *     *                          *      *                         * *     * REMEMBER always that if * * or * *    

fall in the Ascendant, the figure is not fit for judgment. Destroy it instantly, and erect a new figure not less than two hours afterwards.

Your figure being thoroughly arranged as on p. 144, note first to what House the demand belongs. Then look for Witnesses and Judge in their special table, and see what is said under the head of the demand. Put this down. Note next what figure falls in the House required (if it spring into other Houses, these too should be considered); e.g., in a question of money stolen, if the figure in 2nd be also in 6th it might show the thief to be a servant in the house. Look next in the Table of Figures in the Houses, and see what the figure signifies in the especial House under consideration. Put this down also. Then by the Table of Aspects (p. 158) note down the figures Sextile Quartile Trine and Opposition, putting good on one side, evil on the other; noting also the strength or weakness, friendliness or hostility to the figure in the House required, of these figures. Then add the meaning of the figure in the 4th, to signify the end of the matter. It may also assist you to form a Reconciler from the figure in the House required and {159} the Judge, noting what figure results and whether it harmonises with one or both by nature (pp. 158, 159). Now consider all you have written, and according to the balance of Good and Evil, form your final judgment. Consider also always in money questions where the part of Fortune falls. Take, e.g., the figure on p. 144, and form a judgment for loss of money in business therefrom.

Tables of Witnesses and Judge say: Moderate.             *           * *           * * In 2nd is  * .  Evil, showing obstacle, delay.                                         *                                       * *                                        * Part of Fortune Earth is in ASC. with * *, showing loss through  Querent's own blunders.   * * * * *  *  Springs into no other House; .'. this does not affect the  question.                                           * *  * *   *       * *                                           *   * *   *        *                                           *    *   * *      * * The figures Sextile and Trine of 2nd are * *,  * , * *, and  * , all good  figures and friendly in nature = Well-intentioned help of friends.                                           *    * *  * *                                          *     *   * *                                         * *    *    * The figures Quartile and opposition are * *,  * *, * *, which are not hostile to  * * *   *  *; therefore shows opposition not great.                           * *                          * *                           * The figure in the 4th is  * , which shows a good end, but  with anxiety.                                *                               *                              * * Forming a Reconciler, we get * * again, a sympathetic figure,  but denoting delay = Delay, but helping Querent's wishes.          

Adding all together ---

  1. Medium;
  2. Evil and obstacles, delay;
  3. Loss through Querent's self;
  4. Strength for evil, medium only;
  5. Well-intentioned aid of friends;
  6. Not much opposition from enemies;
  7. Ending good, but with anxiety;
  8. Delay, but helping Querent's wishes --- we formulate this judgment: {160} That the Querent's loss in business has been principally owing to his own mismanagement; that he will have a long and hard struggle, but will meet with help from friends; that  his obstacles will gradually give way; and that after much anxiety he will eventually recoup himself for his previous losses.

 

Methods of Interpretation

The simplest method of interpreting the geomantic tableau is to determine which house governs the subject of the question, consider the qualities and properties of the figure in that house, and judge the question accordingly. However, most geomantic treatises advise the geomancer to consider a number of other factors before giving judgement. These include, among others:

  • the nature of the figure in the first house, which signifies the querant
  • locus: is the figure in a favorable or unfavorable house?
  • aspectus: are the figures in favorable or unfavorable aspect to one another? (The geomantic aspects, similar to the aspects of astrology, are association, trine, square, sextile, opposition, translation, occupation, conjunction, mutation, and prohibition.)
  • motus: how to the figures pass from one house to another?
  • paternitas: which figures generated the figure in question?
  • the nature of the witnesses, the judge, and the super-judge
  • various numerical procedures, e.g., is the total number of points in the tableau odd or even?
  • the via puncti or way of the point

The astrological method (which is briefly described in Turner's Of Geomancy) involves drawing up a horoscope in which the positions of the planets and signs in the houses are determined by the geomantic tableau rather than by calculations based on astronomical tables or the use of an astrolabe.

How Geomancy works
Geomancy is based on two main principals.Casting and making of lines. They can be drawn on a sheet of paper or simply on sand and calculated in a special way. In both above cases one gets an answer to his question. Now, Geomancy teaches us a very easy way how to learn draw those lines. However, prediction is always a big challenge. Many Geomancy experts went wrong in their predictions. One thing is sure, that the Geomancy is a way to find truth. What makes us believe that Geomancy is true? It may seem difficult to answer this question. Instead, it is very easy. Only a true science can survive such a long period of time. Geomancy does.


Why predicting is so difficult in Geomancy?


There should be some explanation for it too. There is an answer for that: ancient people were very wise. They used to always hide all clues from those who were eager to understand their knowledge. That is how Geomancy is made. Casting that may seem easy is in reality the most difficult part in Geomancy. Ancient people were using one very unique technique called Time knowledge. Its modern name is Time Astrology. In Time Astrology every weekday belongs to a star and every hour of the daytime belongs to a star too. Finally, the hour is divided into 15 different small periods of time that also belong to a star. Eventually we are getting a window of three to five minutes. Casting is done within this window to get a correct answer in Geomancy. For example, you start drawing lines when the minute star was Mars. But when you finished it, the minute star was Sun and as a result you got a wrong answer.


I always calculate time first and only then draw the lines. So during the past  17 years of my Geomancy experience I could always get a correct answer using Geomancy principals. Information technologies and wide computer usage has resolved many technical problems and it enabled drawing and calculating lines in a fraction of second. I hope you too will be able to get correct answers to your important questions using Geomancy.


Once the geomantic figures are generated they are placed in the geomantic shield and in the 12 astrological houses. The figures are placed in the houses by putting the 1st Mother in the 1st house, 2nd Mother in the 2nd house and so on.


The houses are derived from traditional astrology. Their basic meaning is as follows: 
  1. Querent (person asking the question) 
  • Money, moveable property 
  • Siblings, neighbors, short trips 
  • Father, home, real estate 
  • Children, pleasure, gambling 
  • Illness, servants, small animals 
  • Marriage, romance, partners, open enemies 
  • Death, inheritance 
  • Higher education, long trips, spirituality 
  • Career, government, reputation 
  • Friends 
  • Curses, secret enemies, imprisonment 
The first thing to do is to formulate the question that you wish to answer by geomancy. The best type of question is one that can be answered yes or no, these questions will result in a more precise answer. 

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