After having recently decided to take up learning Geomancy as a new tool of divination, I have set Tarot aside for now and dove headfirst into the art. I started with the material of John Michael Greer, who always has excellent books for newcomers in my opinion, and it got me prepared for the basics so that I could start immediately. However, after researching some other sources and speaking to some friends who are well versed in this practice, I ran into a bit of frustration concerning the attributes. Turns out that there were inconsistencies in almost every set of correspondences I checked out.
Usually I am in favor of simply picking the system that personally makes the most sense and sticking to it. Thankfully, I have some rather in depth comparisons to check out in the material offered over at The Digital Ambler to help, so I’ve chosen to go with his associations. He gives some particularly helpful advice on using this form of divination in various posts, and I encourage everyone interested in giving meaning to random arrangements of dots to go see what he has to say, there is a lot to see there and he makes the system very approachable.
For those of you unfamiliar with geomancy, it’s a system of creating a random number of dots, say, on a piece of paper or in sand or dirt, which, after being easily calculated and manipulated, go on to compose one of the geomantic figures seen here in the chart below.
These figures all have their own meanings with which one creates a chart in order to assign meaning to their positions in relation to each query. Greer recommends starting with a simple approach and generating one or several figures to get the hang of it, even though traditional geomancers usually look for details within either the Shield chart or the House chart. What’s nice about geomancy is that it can be as simple or complicated as you’d like. I won’t get into a lot of these specifics because one can read these details in much better sources than what little insight I have to offer, so instead of regurgitating any of the already widely available material on geomancy, I’ve made convenient links as appropriate along the way.
What’s also interesting is that you can use geomantic figures as fully fledged sigils as well, either in their original simple form of dots or their associated sigils, which lends itself to simplified magic uses very nicely. Balthazar’s Conjure vlog makes the great suggestion of combining geomantic figures with candle magic by carving or writing them onto each candle. If you’ve picked a set of associations to use, you can then go a step further and use the appropriate Elemental, Planetary, or Astrological colors to reinforce your working. I seem to be gravitating towards using the Planetary/Sephirotic associations (see graphic and explanation ahead), mostly because I work within Planetary/Qabalistic assignments anyway and its the best lens through which I can currently understand them. I’ll use this as a springboard to memorize and go from there.
This essay on Geomantic Magic treats the figures as if they are full entities in and of themselves, and the author even claims to have evoked their presence, and it is a great (albeit necessarily brief) list for deciding which figure to use for specific magical ends. The Digital Ambler also extrapolates the Hebrew words given by Skinner and assigns Angelic names to each figure as well. This makes things even more interesting and provides us some more correspondences to use, if you’re willing to get creative and experiment. I do this as a primary invocation source in the candle magic ritual that I detail at the end of this blog.
There is also a graphic floating around the net that aligns the geomantic figures with the Qabalistic Sephiroth, but there is an error on it, so I made my own version, as it quite helpful for me to contemplate the nature of the figures. While some in the magical community find the classifications of the Tree of Life arbitrary and outdated, I still find it useful for meditation so, ya know, sue me. Those still working within a GD or Hermetic Qabalah framework may find it helpful as a visual aid like I do.
So, on to my personal plans for geomantic workings. I use a version of the Ciceros’ prayer found in their Self-initiation book, which invokes the Divine Name Adonai Ha-Aretz, Auriel, and then can be fashioned to invoke a Planetary Intelligence and Spirit to guide the divination, matched up as the most appropriate Planetary force which resonates with the nature of your query. So for instance, if you were looking to ask a question about love, the hierarchy of Venus may be appropriate, etc. Here is my working version of the prayer to be said before generating the figures:
“In the Divine Name of ADONAI HA-ARETZ, I invoke the great Archangel AURIEL, come forth and invest this divination with truth, that I may gain the knowledge of hidden things, that their secrets may become revealed to me through sacred signs and by enlightening my intuition. I hereby invoke the guidance of the Planetary Intelligence ______, ruling the Spirit ______; to come forth and invest this working with truth so that all may be made clear through sign and symbol.”
I suppose that if you were to invoke an Elemental Hierarchy instead of a Planetary one, using the Angel and Ruler of whatever Element governs the nature of your query, that would probably also work just as well. I plan to experiment with this idea myself.
Notice the importance of invoking the forces of Earth beforehand, not just because geomancy was originally used by manipulating dirt or sand, but also because this element represents full manifestation and expression of higher forces brought into material creation, being grounded in the Active realm. This is the force we should look to in order to manifest divinatory answers, if you’re going to use this ritualized approach to begin with. I am a sucker for prayer-oriented work and I also have little faith in my own power alone to manifest results from universal forces, so I see these invocations as quite necessary for divination and magic, even if they may seem forced or formulaic to others. Those not too keen on this approach will rest easy knowing that you need not bother with such preparations if this is not your style.
As for divinatory material mediums, instead of using sand, dice, or sticks, I really liked the idea of using coins, thanks to Greer’s suggestion. Luckily, I already had some decent sized wooden pieces that would work out perfectly, those which I drew one dot on one side, and two on the other. There would be 4 of them, one for each element, colored Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black, and this way I would generate the figures by each element instead of using just one coin.
I also decided to dedicate a very thick and large wooden tablet to my geomantic work, making it the official plate upon which I would spin the coins and generate each figure. I worked out a simple design for this, shown below, using the appropriate Golden Dawn Divine Names of Malkuth and Earth, and of course the hermetic hexagram which stands for the union of elements.
Now, as for taking Balthazar’s ideas and running with them, I began to arrange little ritual setups for a main working. After giving some thought to the possibilities of candle magic provided in the classic Master Book of Candle Burning, I thought of a simple way to use the principle of manipulating the candles over a period of time that incorporated the geomantic figures/sigils themselves and an arrangement of 3 candles. This approach would also include some Psalm Magic(my list includes Psalms that would work for each Element and also for Divination in general).
My setup is rather simple, and I’ll include the ritual here, though it can easily be fitted to your own alterations of course. The template is as follows: First you’d want to figure out your intent and express it as succinctly as possible, then choose three Geomantic figures. The first would represent your goal, and the other two would be the influencing factors that would manifest this goal, or those that would represent steps along the way. Maybe they stand for other people or situations, so get creative. My intent for the ritual itself was to manifest a prosperous venture toward a new career path.
So, for my ritual, I chose the figure Via as the goal figure, which signifies change and movement, as I am looking for significant change in my own attitude and character in order to accomplish my goal. This is a Lunar force, which reflects the influences surrounding it, revealing truth as mirrors and water always do (sometimes the difficult but necessary harsh truths which we must overcome in the form of external and internal trial), and is also fitting in its symbolism because the Moon is a very fluid and Watery force that is cyclic and fluctuating, becoming purified in its nature along the way. I chose this as my goal to represent the changes I need to go through on a personal level. Some would warn that asking for change in this form is asking for upheaval of comforts and consistencies in life, but honestly, that is exactly my problem and I am looking for the assistance to persevere through such a transformation. A quest isn’t worth anything unless the journeyman is transformed by the end of it, we are alchemists and spiritual Masons after all, working on ourselves. For Via I chose a purple candle, relating to Lunar forces and the sephirah of Yesod.
The next figure I chose was Albus, due to its association with Mercurial mental faculties and their connection to the virtues of academic value that I am after. Albus has been described as being the influences in life that act as a guiding force on our paths, an elder of some sorts, or a spiritual guide that has all the experience needed to pass on knowledge and wisdom. For Albus I chose an orange candle, relating to Mercurial forces and the sephirah of Hod.
The last figure was Acquisitio, which is favorable for business and school investments, and represents gain and long-term establishment and fortune of all kinds as a manifestation of the Jupiterian current and the Qabalistic force of Chesed. For Acquisitio I chose a blue candle, relating to Jupiterian forces and the sephirah of Chesed.
Since I also planned on using the angelic names for each figure as linked earlier, this process would entail the invocation of those three figures through their respective names. For the physical set up itself, I put the Goal figure Via, inscribed in gold color on a wooden disc, in the middle of the altar. Flanking this, inscribed in silver, would be Albus and Acquisitio. On top of all three would rest their respective candles, with a chosen sigil carved into each.
The two supporting figures, positioned with enough space between them, would act as a sort of gateway, while the goal figure would be eventually positioned in the middle after three intervals of movement, marked by the use of Psalms. So, we start with the candles in a downward pointing triangle, and end up with all three in a horizontal line.
After an opening prayer, I invoke the two supporting figures through their angels, and move the goal candle up a bit toward the gateway, reading three Psalms. After everything in its final position, I declare my intent, and petition for assistance from the final angel. After a period of meditation where I visualize my ultimate goal, I give thanks, read Psalm 150, and close the whole operation.
The Psalms I chose were selected from my own list of associations and related to prosperity, manifestation, trust in God, Divine mercy, and guidance. The order in which I use them for the candle movement intervals was Psalm 20, 16, and 25. This time I opted for reading the entire chapter instead of using verses.
As for the knocks used at the beginning and ending of the ritual, I start with 1, and end with 10. Those familiar with Qabalistic symbolism will note the numerology of Kether and Malkuth. Not only are these sephiroth intimately connected as reflections of one another, this action is basically calling on the purity of the Divine Consciousness and watching it manifest fully into the Material plane.
You should be able to tell that the real meat of my brief ceremony rests in the petition section, and I almost did not include this as it gets a bit personal with my needs and my requests, however, after some contemplation, my words are honest with much sincerity for such a simple ritual, and I have nothing to hide from anyone who happens to be reading, so enjoy the ritual in full. Thanks for reading.
Holy art Thou, O Lord of the Universe, Holy art Thou, Whom nature hath not formed. Holy art Thou, the Vast and Mighty One, Ruler of the Light and of the Darkness.
O Thou Who art from everlasting, Thou who hast created all things, and doth clothe Thyself with the forces of Nature as a garment, by Thy Holy and Divine Name ADONAI HA-ARETZ, I beseech Thee to grant unto me strength and insight for the search after the hidden light and wisdom.
I invoke thee, Albus, LABANIEL
[Light orange Albus candle, visualize Albus and meditate on its figure and meaning]
and I invoke thee, Acquisitio, HASHIGIEL
[Light blue Acquisitio candle, visualize Acquisitio and meditate on its figure and meaning]
I invoke your influences over my passage to good fortune through a new career path. May you guide my actions toward a successful venture of prosperous change.
I invoke thee, Via, DEREKHEL
[Light the purple Via candle and read Psalm 20, 16, 25, moving the Via candle accordingly]
Labaniel, spirit of Albus, invest me with the keys of knowledge and wisdom I need to make good decisions in approaching new and unfamiliar things, meeting new people, communicating my needs and desires, and gaining the necessary council of those more experienced in order to develop the mental faculties I need to succeed. Assist me in the art of memory, that I might make profitable progress in academic understanding and professional success.
Hashigiel, spirit of Acquisitio, invest me with the ever-expanding good fortune on my path toward genuine change. My needs are simple and my tasks are direct, yet I need to develop the fortitude to interact profitably with others, and even myself, in order to see my investments pay off. I desire the grace and mercy of the Lord in this venture as He has led me with strength through trial and tribulation with an opportunity of a wonderful gift ahead of me. Help me to gain the recognition for working honestly, and grant me the purity of heart needed to undertake that work in a positive manner. I seek also the patience necessary for these undertakings, so that my skills will become sharpened and my value of worldly contribution will increase.
Derekhel, spirit of Via, invest me with the quality of motion, as I have been stagnant in my undertakings and slow in my progress toward a better life. Invest me with light in my journey out of the darkness of ignorance. It has been my natural inclination to stay comfortable, out of a deep fear of change. I wish for you to help me develop the confidence needed to overcome the obstacles in my path, both internal and external, and also to overthrow the influences weighing me down, closing the paths of opportunity. I seek to be motivated and eager for positive and active change, and I ask that you assist me through transformation of the Self.
Lord, I have laid bare my soul with honesty, search my heart for sincerity in the words that I speak.
[Read Psalm 150]
In the Worship of Holy Conformity and Obedience to the Divine Will:
* * * * * * * * * * Consummatum Est!