As everyone who reads this website knows, Geomancers perform divinations by the signs and symbols of the Earth.
Traditionally, the concept of Earth was ‘elemental’ – the things in and on the physical plane itself (and with those things affecting the physical plane). I’m deliberately staying away from the elemental discussion as it relates to ‘ceremonial magic’ here.)
I believe that the definition of Earth should be wider than this, however.
I believe it should encompass not only the physical objects, processes and principles governing the physical plane but also our interactions with all of the wider biosphere: Gaia.
And even this definition or understanding should, I feel, go still further…
Your earthly interactions include thinking about, developing and expressing your unique combination of skills and abilities in order to help Gaia evolve.
Your actions, your effort, how you decide to help, what you choose to do (or not do) and all your thoughts, including how you express your purpose in life – all of it – is part of Gaia.
If you don’t develop, if you don’t grow, if you don’t express your purpose then we all lose out.
But if you do… Well, you can change the world!
This is a reprint of an article I was asked to provide for the Cornwall School of Mystery and Magick newsletter. The chap who runs it is Alan Jones, one of the Astrogemanti, and he wanted to include an introduction to Astrogem geomancy. I’m not sure he was ready for what he actually got… Even by my own estimation I can be somewhat of a wide-eyed ranting loon when it comes to talking about geomancy.
Anyway, I thought you might like to see the article, so I’ve printed it below. The first part concerns Astrogem itself and is a quick introduction for those new to the subject. Then I go a bit deeper into Gaia and the Geomantic Way.
I’d love to know what you think, so please leave a comment at the end.
And do sign up for Alan’s newsletter. There’s a lot of useful folk and background information in there in addition to articles on magic.
Geomancy for beginners
Alan asked me if I would like to contribute an article in order explain a little more about Astrogem Geomancy. I’ll start by saying that if you cut me in two you would see the word ‘Geomancy’ running through me like a stick of Blackpool rock, so it’s a tremendous pleasure to be able to have this chance to tell you about it. I know Alan is a big fan of geomancy and it’s all to the good that we spread the word.
Geomancy is ancient. It started, as best we can tell, some 3000 years ago in Chaldea. ‘Geomancy’ means divination by the signs and symbols of the Earth: ‘ge-’ or ‘geo-‘ meaning ‘of the Earth’ and ‘-mancy’ meaning divination. In geomancy we read combinations of 16 possible geomes (geomantic figures) each comprising one or two taps (dots or spots) on each of four Levels, like this:
They look like a cross between the I Ching and dominoes! There are many ways to create these figures.
Traditionally geomancy involved a somewhat laborious process of computation for creating the figures. First, it required the magician-reader to repeatedly and unconsciously strike the ground with a stick and then to count the number of marks made. An odd number of marks would give rise to one ‘tap’ or spot and an even number would yield two taps. This was repeated for all four levels and for fifteen figures in total. These were calculated by various additions and permutations to create the full chart to be interpreted.
It also required a lot of memorisation to interpret the reading. Each geome has a particular meaning and an astrological component that is added into the divination. That, combined with the meanings of the houses in the geomantic chart made this process quite cumbersome and not very intuitive.
Fortunately all that has been updated and simplified. Now there is a new approach to creating and interpreting the figures — Astrogem geomancy. Now the meaning of each geome can be worked out very simply and with no need for memorisation. This makes it perfect for beginners as they can start getting results from readings very quickly.
Just to give you an idea of how quick it is to learn the system I have put a video on my website showing a lady learning the system for the first time and then begin to give me a reading using it… all in under eight minutes!
That’s just the core of the system, of course. It takes a little longer to develop full working knowledge of the possibilities of geomancy, as with any Oracle. When it grabs you, you never stop learning, however. The nice thing is that even with just a basic knowledge you can give readings. You just add additional depth as your intuition develops and as your interest grows.
In Astrogem geomancy we use gemstones to represent both the geomes and the corresponding astrological body. Using the gemstones as markers like this makes the process of creating a reading faster and more attractive. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s keep to the basics…
The heart of the Oracle is something called the Four Levels model and it shows how to interpret the geomes to enable you to sketch out a reading. Let’s take a look at this simple layout, for example:
In this case a gentleman was going through a redundancy at work and asked if he should take a new job that had been offered to him. Here’s what I told him:
“What the sequence indicates is that you are feeling trapped and underappreciated in the current circumstances. You’re having to do a lot of the running and, frankly, you seem to be putting in a lot of effort and not getting much back in return. The job which is offered seems, in some ways, too good to be true and you feel uncertain as to whether you will be able to live up to its expectations. This is probably based on your current and completely understandable feelings of being undervalued. On balance you should take the new job which is being offered. Not only will it be well within your capabilities but you will actually end up feeling quite inspired about it and its creative opportunities. You will be able to personally and professionally grow in ways you never imagined!”
Can you see that story in the geomes?
It’s all pretty much all there if you know how to read them. The Four Levels model will make it clear.
How can these three geomes give such a detailed and decisive reading? If you click on the gemstone picture below or follow this link it will take you to the registration page on the website. Just pop your name and email address into the boxes and I’ll send you four free PDFs to teach you the core of the system.
Armed with just the Four Levels model and without the need for any special tools or equipment you will learn how to give detailed and specific readings just like the one above. Any time, anywhere, anyone.
Unlike other oracles there really are no ‘special tools’ required for geomancy. And while it’s nice to have your gemstones, Oracle cards or dice they are not essential. You can use almost anything to create the geomes, the more natural the better: twigs, a Pendulum, leaves, coins or just a single business card and a pencil. I have found that it’s almost like the Oracle provides the tools for you as the need arises.
Most people understand the purpose of an Oracle is to give readings. I believe there’s much more to geomancy that this, however. I believe that the principle behind the Oracle can be extended further to provide a way of seeing the world and our place in it. If I may I’d like to share my personal view of this. The following is not part of any organised philosophy and acceptance of these notions is in no way a pre-requisite of using the Oracle. They are simply my own musings and approach to finding meaning in the subject.
Firstly, instead of thinking of just the Earth as the physical ground beneath our feet we could consider the whole of the living biosphere as being ‘the Earth’. Not only that, but we can extend our understanding still further to include all the mental and spiritual causes and effects around us as part of that whole. And for the sake of simplicity we can refer to this whole Earth concept as ‘Gaia’.
We move in a sea of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual influences every day in which we try to move and work in harmony. Where this takes an interesting turn is in considering that we have a part to play in this.
I sometimes refer to geomancy as ‘Taoism with attitude’. By that I mean that living in harmony with all of nature and circumstance is well and good (‘Taoism’, in a nutshell) but I don’t believe that goes quiet far enough. It’s almost too passive for me. I think it is important to recognise our part in the process of life.
We are part of nature/Gaia. Each of us is an extension of Gaia and we are uniquely probing, changing and developing ourselves and the world around us. If we (our ideas, changes and developments) prove beneficial to the whole of Gaia then we will naturally flourish just as a plant does in a beneficial habitat. If we are destructive of ourselves and others then ultimately our efforts and schemes will die out. We have a part to play and we can influence and even direct life. What we do, our thoughts and how we grow and develop our lives, is important. How we interact with others and express our uniqueness can enrich our life and theirs. I think that is our duty, actually.
We each have a vital spark, our unique contribution, development and talents. And we have these for a reason, whether they are genetic, developed through practice, inherent or some combination of all of these. Whatever is your restless urge to be and to express is Gaia seeking a unique outlet through you. Your uniqueness, your inner fire must be developed and expressed, otherwise it will be lost forever!
Each of us is a channel, and our driving fire within is our passion and our gift to the world. This is what we were born for! I believe we must develop and express whatever driving, urgent spirit makes us feel alive. We must do this not only for our own benefit (to stop ourselves going crazy with frustration otherwise) but for all our sakes. In enriching Gaia it helps the whole Earth grow and evolve. We need you!
And that is why I believe, what I call ‘the Geomantic Way’, matters. There is an interplay — a dance, if you will — between the world and our unique gifts, talents and drive. That dance is the interplay of all the circumstances in your life. We can know those circumstances best when we listen to the voice of Gaia. And, for me at least, the voice of Gaia is the Oracle. And because Gaia is all around us so is her voice. The Oracle gives us a raw, fresh and vibrant picture of what is happening. It doesn’t tell us what to do, but it gives us provide food for thought and a big hint about how we might best learn from experience and capitalise on opportunities. All we need to do is listen and think — then act. That interaction between Gaia and us makes the dance come alive. That is the Geomantic Way.
As you can perhaps now see from the brief reading I gave above, geomancy shows not only the answer to a question, but also reveals the context of that answer. As far as I know, no other Oracle will do this (with the possible exception of the I Ching which gives some hints in its interpretations — nobody wants to be “the Inferior man”, right?). With geomancy a look across the layout will reveal, at-a-glance, not only the context in which your life circumstances are operating but also where circumstances may develop next.
Ultimately the accuracy and success of any reading method will always depend on the skill of the reader to interpret the Oracle fully and correctly. And while we may not be perfect in our interpretations, it is a possibility we try to ‘live into’.
These ideas are not a religious doctrine in any way. I refer to this ‘whole Earth’ / living / cultural / cause-and-effect-web-of-interconnectedness as Gaia only for the sake of brevity. The purpose of the Oracle is a way of coming to think through, understand and deliberate on our place in our circumstances and how best we might respond. It’s our choice in the end, however.
OK, back to the Oracle…
As you can see, the geomes are simple and interpreting them is straightforward. As I said, if you want to know how to interpret them just click the link above and I’ll send you the free lessons to do so.
The geomes then give you a pencil outline of the context of that person’s life related to their question. To flesh out the details you have to then draw on your intuition. This is a natural process of feeling the right answer to tell them, based on the very strong hints and nudges the Oracle has just outlined for you. This really is an excellent way for the beginner to start to develop their intuition.
If you are more advanced, then the creation of something called the Active Transforms will push your intuition into areas it doesn’t normally go. Active Transforms are outside the scope of this article and are only something that the practiced reader should use, I believe. That’s because it requires not only personal development and experience on the part of the reader but also sensitivity towards the querent in looking beyond the ‘what’ of the reading and delving more into the ‘where next and how to make the best of it’ aspects of the situation. As you might imagine, this is something that should not be undertaken lightly.
If you’re a beginner though and you’ve tried to learn other Oracles but found all the memorisation an effort, or if don’t want to spend a huge amount of time researching the deep mystical symbolism with which they are sometimes surrounded, then geomancy might just be for you.
After learning the system you can then add detail and depth to your understanding of the subject as your interest grows. You can use it for simple readings at coffee-time for friends or develop it into professional readings of an hour or more for paying clients.
If you’re already an experienced reader you might want to learn more in order to flesh out your all-round knowledge of the Oracles, or you might want to add some additional detail into (and in conjunction with) your existing preferred Oracle. I recently gave a talk at the international Tarot Conference in London on how to do that and people got good results with two new Tarot spreads using the system. You’ll find that mixing geomancy into a Tarot reading is not only simple but powerful.
Geomancy is a wonderful Oracle with a potentially huge audience. Whether you are just getting started with readings or you are already an active reader or you are looking to connect with Gaia and to develop your own geomantic way, the door has been opened to you.
I’d love to hear from you.
Reprinted with kind permission of the Cornwall School of Mystery and Magick newsletter – thanks Alan!