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Wed, Jun. 2nd, 2010, 03:33 pm
A key

My friend Densho wrote recently about the 16 combinations of
traditional elements and how they map visually onto the geomantic
figures. E.g., Laetitia displays "Fire over Earth" with its point-up
triangle in the top two lines and a square in the bottom two. The
other possible "bigrams" are a point-down triangle for water and a
vertical line for air. This gives a quite different way to look at the
figures, one which doesn't neatly map onto the traditional
interpretations but which allows for some new and intriguing insights.

One thing I got stuck on early, though, was the meaning of "over" in
this context. It's obvious (the top two lines "sit on top of" the
bottom two), and yet arbitrary. We traditionally generate the lines
from the top down in a reading, so isn't the bottom just as much
"based on" the top as the other way around?

While spending some time in the Death Posture recently, I got my
answer. The elements corresponding to the four lines are, from top to
bottom, Fire/Air/Water/Earth. The first two feel like a rising
tendency vs. the denser elements on the bottom, so the upper bigram is
tending to be pulled away from the lower one, and the essence of "Fire
over Earth" (or any of the other fifteen) is to be sought in the gap.

Much more is explained if you think of the single-dot (active) lines
as projecting/radiating and the double-dot (passive) lines as
receiving/absorbing. o-o attracts -o- and o-o, whereas -o- attracts
o-o and repels -o-. This asymmetry is reflected in the way of adding
two figures, where -o- + -o- => o-o but -o- + o-o = -o-. There is much
more to be said about the mathematics of geomancy, but I haven't
finished working that out and it is probably only of nerd-wizard
interest anyway.

Thu, Jun. 3rd, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
nocturnalia

I must also be a mega nerd, this is fascinating! I love geomancy, and will be exploring this myself. Makes good sense.

Sat, Jun. 5th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
ulbh

Have a look at J.M. Greer's Earth Divination, Earth Magic: A Practical Guide to Geomancy.

Edited at 2010-06-05 05:42 am (UTC)

Sat, Jun. 5th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
nocturnalia

read it! not bad.

Tue, Feb. 21st, 2012 08:42 am (UTC)
ulbh

It's also in Regardie's book about making and using talismans.

Fri, Aug. 24th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
ulbh

I think this stuff may also be somewhere in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy.