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Divination - Geomancy

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What is Geomancy?

The word Geomancy derives from the Greek geomanteia ('geo' meaning earth and 'manteia' meaning divination), and is a method of divination which interprets markings on the ground, or how handfuls of dirt land when someone tosses them in the air.  It formed part of the required study of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late 19th century CE, and still survives in modern occult practices.  The Arabic tradition consists of sketching sixteen random lines of dots in sand.

Geomancy deals with subtle earth energies and their relationship with living a balanced, healthy and bountiful life.  It is considered that enhancing these energies or 'riding the dragon' will bring human endeavours into happy relationship with the 'Spirit of Place', which then ensures beneficial and nurturing energies for those involved.

When nurturing, earthly energies harmonise with heavenly creative forces aiding life to flourish.  An artificial distinction between Feng Shui and Geomancy has arisen in some parts of the world.  'Geomancy' means 'divining the earth'.  The theory and practice of Feng Shui in China has a lot in common with the theory and practice of Geomancy in other traditions of the world.  Dowsing and earth acupuncture (similar to acupuncture techniques used to regulate imbalances of energy in the meridians of the human body, earth acupuncture techniques work to balance the earth's energies.  Earth acupuncture, Feng Shui is Chinese Geomancy and earth acupuncture is advanced esoteric Feng Shui.

Getting down to basics, Geomancy is basically comprised of 3 elements:

  • Dowsing of underground and surface energy meridians and the implementation of earth acupuncture to resolve geopathic stress.
  • Design and placement within the visible world and the design of human environments according to common sense as well as subtle methods.
  • Alignment with the time dimensions of astrology and astronomy.
  • As a therapeutic art, the goal of Geomancy is to identify for a client their environmental problems and deal with them. These problems may relate to that client's health, relationships, social life or business luck. Problems are identified using a full range of Feng Shui precepts: noting what the client reports as the presenting issue, taking a case history, looking for tell-tale clues in vegetation such as ivy on the walls, noting the history of machines breaking down, the fabric of the building and noting the health of the client. The health-damaging effects of prolonged exposure to harmful types of earth radiation and geopathic stress is a common cause of disease.

    The geomancer then focuses on resolving damaged or dangerous meridians (channels of earth energy) located through direct observation and Dowsing skills by dowsing with rods or a pendulum to find the destructive lines of earth energy and to find suitable earth acupoints to effect a cure.  A variety of earth acupuncture styles are then used, ranging from simple placement of wooden or crystal wands into carefully dowsed earth acupuncture points, to larger scale ceremonial healing circles.

    Geomancy also involves keeping sacred sites honoured.  Practices will vary from Celtic traditions to druidic, wiccan or shamanic lore with a range of esoteric traditions practiced of which geomancers will find their own style and tools.

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Western Geomantic Techniques

Western occultism defines geomantic technique as marking sixteen lines of dashes or holes in sand or soil with a wand or on a sheet of paper.  The marked dashes or dots should not be counted as they are made, thus constituting a form of spontaneous divination.  The geomancer then counts the number of dashes or holes made in each line and draws either a single dot for an odd number of marks, or two dots for an even number, next to the lines.  The pattern of dots produced by the first to the fourth lines inclusive is known as a 'figure', as are the fifth to eighth lines and so on.  This should produce four 'figures' known as 'Mothers'.

The four figures derived from the sixteen lines are entered into two charts, known as the 'Shield' and 'House' charts, and through binary processes form the seed of the figures that fill the whole charts.  These charts are subsequently analysed and interpreted by the geomancer to find solutions, options and responses to the question, along with general information about the geomancer (unless the geomancer is performing the divination for another, in which case information is shown about the person the charts were cast for) providing an all-round reading into the questioner's life.

The four binary elements of each figure allow for 2×2×2×2, or 16 different combinations.  Since there are four root figures in each chart, the total number of possible charts is equal to 16×16×16×16, or 65536.  The charts are also interpreted differently depending upon the nature of the question, thus making it one of the most thorough kinds of divination available.  With only 16 figures to understand this form of Geomancy is simple to learn and easy to perform.  It was once practiced by commoners and rulers alike, and was one of the most popular forms of divination throughout the Middle Ages.

Because traditional Western geomantic divination was dependent upon astrological technique, it was often referred to as astrological geomancy, the idea being that at the time a question becomes imperative to the inquirer, the conditions of the cosmos, whether in the macrocosm or microcosm, will be reverberating with the inquirer's mind.

There are many sites on the internet explaining the layout of the charts and their interpretation, one such being Accessnewage, so I shall not elaborate on them here.  It could also be worthwhile obtaining a copy of Aleister Crowley's A Handbook of Geomancy for reference.  In it he states:

"THIS MS. is now first printed from the private copies of certain adepts, after careful examination and collation.  It is printed for the information of scholars and the instruction of seekers.  By the order of the A A certain formulae have been introduced into it, and omissions made, to baffle any one who may seek to prostitute it to idle curiosity or to fraud.  Its practical use and the method of avoiding these pitfalls will be shown to approved students by special authority from V.V.V.V.V. or his delegates."

Whichever system you eventually opt for, you will find that practicing geomancy can be great fun, and you will probably be amazed at some of the results.

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