Mishkan ha-Echad

Friday, 19 August 2011

Geomancy Figures & Images

When magicians are first introduced to geomancy the geomantic figures can seem a little daunting, difficult to recognise, and hard to interpret. However, there are some good ways to view the figures that make them easier to remember and understand.

Puer (boy) has a relatively easy image to remember: a sword. This is a very masculine symbol and helps relate it to both the meaning of the figure and the planet associated with it (Mars). However, there is another image linked with this that I found through John Michael Greer's work: "a male figure with exaggerated testicles". This is quite a strong image that reveals the meaning without question, and it also makes sense when taken in context of Puella. The aggressive nature of the sword also ties in with Aries, who was a god of battle  and particularly focused on weaponry.

Amissio (loss) is an interesting one, as it looks like an upside down bag, which lets the coins fall out. This can be related to the earthy aspect of its astrological sign, Taurus.

Albus (white) looks like a cup or chalice, which ties in with the idea of white wine.

Populus (people) is pretty much self-explanatory, as it contains all eight dots possible in a geomantic figure, with each one representing a person. They say three is a crowd, so imagine what eight is. Sufficed to say, it's the most populated of the geomantic figures.

Via (way) is also self-explanatory, as it represents a straight road, which guides the way. Both it and Populus share the same astrological sign, Cancer, and planet, Luna. They are the exact opposite of each other in terms of dots, with Populus showing four pairs of two, while Via shows four pairs of one.

Fortuna Major (greater fortune) has the image of a valley through which a river flows, according to Greer, but I don't think this is a particularly strong image. Personally I liken it to a torch or lamp, which guides the way. Since this represents the inner connection with the Divine, the Spark of Light, it is the greater fortune. The link between a torch and fire also helps cement the relationship with Leo and Sol.

Fortuna Minor (lesser fortune) has the image of a mountain with a staff on top of it, according to Greer, but again I don't think this is very strong. Personally I see it as a lever for the Wheel of Fortune, but since this is a game of chance, it is the lesser fortune in comparison to that of the lamp. It shares the same sign and planet as Fortuna Major.

Conjunctio (conjunction) looks like the astrological symbol for opposition, while the symbol for a conjunction is half of this. However, we can also see it like a pair of handcuffs, which conjoins your hands or the hands of two people together. Another parallel is the planet Mercury, which is also the planet for Albus, which has the sign Gemini. The Twins are an obvious sign of two forces conjoined.

Puella (girl) has a relatively simple image: a sword with point down, symbolising the passive element of the female gender. Greer also gives "a female figure with exaggerated breasts", which is self-explanatory, and "a mirror", which is an interesting one, as it relates well to the planet associated with the figure, Venus, in terms of beautifying oneself. It can also be seen as a scales, indicative of the astrological sign linked with it, Libra.

Rubeus (red) is a cup or chalice upside down, representing red wine. The reason this one is upside down is because of its link with Scorpio and Death. I also sometimes see the image as an X with a line underneath it, like a warning symbol. The colour red helps link it with its planet, Mars.

Acquisitio (gain) is a bag of coins held upright, representing achievement. I link this with the arrow of Saggitarius, which I see as hitting a bullseye. I also see the image as an X with a spot beneath it, as in X marks the spot (where treasure lies). Finally, the link with Jupiter, which we often beseech when looking for gain, is obvious.

Carcer (prison) can be seen as a jail, an enclosure. This links pretty well with the earthy aspects of Capricorn, but even moreso with the planet Saturn, which represents the force of bondage and constraint.

Tristitia (sorrow) can be seen as a wooden stake, which we can imagine putting through the heart of a loved one, which links well with its meaning. The waves of the Acquarius sign (even though it's an Air sign) can be linked to tears, while the planet Saturn is heavily linked with sorrow, particularly in the form of melancholy.

Laetitia (joy) is the exact opposite and can be seen as a tower, where we are high in the clouds, away from the troubles of the world. The link with the joyful, or jovial, aspects of Jupiter is pretty obvious.

Caput Draconis (head of the dragon) could be seen as the head, with the line representing the neck. Its link with the north node of the Moon is inherent in the name.

Cauda Draconis (tail of the dragon) is the exact opposite and clearly looks like a tail. Again, its link with the south node of the Moon is self-explanatory.
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