The last post dealt with some basic techniques; this post deals with some of the conceptual underpinnings of them. The emphasis I made in my last post about this being my personal blend applies even more aptly here. I have taken a geomantic approach to describing my spiritualist work and, as far as I can tell, that isn’t too common.
So, right, remember geomancy? When you look at any given geomantic sign, you will see that it is composed of four lines. From bottom to top, those lines are associated with the earth, with water, with air, and with fire. The four lines are an intensification of the binary nature of geomancy and the elements each represent a particular expression of the core binary. If we think of the core binary as distinct vs, indistinct, latent vs. active, then each line describe one phase of latency and actuality, one phases of determination.
Earth is fully latent, water is the latent becoming active. Air is the active becoming latent, while fire is fully active. While it’s easy to treat these states as strictly symbolic, in the spiritualist work material expressions of the elements sympathize with and intensify spiritual states. You can do the work without the elements, through prayerful attitude alone, but the incorporation of the physical expressions of the elements makes the process easier.*
A geomantic sign complicates this because it gives each line its own valence that tilts it toward latency or activity. A line with two dots emphasizes its latency while a line with one dot emphasizes its activity. The overall character of the line, however, is unchanged. Earth with a single dot is still generally latent, except it has a slow spark of activity, acquiring clearly defined structure, like a salt cube. This emerging triune structure merits contemplation, but I will leave that be for now.
Okay, so let’s turn to the basic techniques discussed in the last post. A spirit that is ‘strengthened’ is a spirit that is being made more active. On the whole, the spirits of the dead are self-involved and focused on their own memories, while in spiritualist work they are connected to the present. Their general latency becomes focused, acquires something toward which it can actualize itself. The spirits acquire a fresh taste of life.
The elements favored by the spiritualist work are the active ones–fire, prayer, and water. Earth appears either in its most passive state (vessels for containing water) or as that which the work consumes (the candle consumed by flame). The water is activated by the sweet perfume, so that it acts upon the general latency of the spirits in a gentle fashion. It loosens and distills. The fire eliminates heavy blockages, destroying them to energize the spirits.
The prayers are, comparably, passive. As an expression of the air line, they possess a basic active tendency, but the prayers used are well-established, the prayers of habit and convention. They serve as something of a buffer between the intense activity of fire and the gentler activity of the water,
There are thus two movements in this work. One destroys the impurities (the candle) while the other softens the material body so that impurities may be more easily dislodged from, and healthy spiritual impulses implanted into, the earth that remains (the cool water in the bowl).
It is the work of Amissio.
Amissio is only one of the sixteen signs in geomancy. What is more, the spiritualist techniques described in the last post are only one of several possible ways to realize that particular constellation of forces. Not only are there fifteen other constellations through which spiritual powers can be engaged, but there are many ways to realize each of those constellations.
The most obvious variation upon Amissio is simply a matter of intensification. Candles can be replaced with fires, for example. However, if the work of Amissio is to be maintained, the rest of the work must be intensified to match. Prayers must become more fervent, the amount of water and sweet scent increased, and the presence of actual earth (dirt and soil) introduced.
The work can also be qualitatively modified. The candle’s color can be changed, a different scent added to the water, the sorts of prayers spoken of a different sort (just take a look at the Psalms to get a sense for how diverse prayers can be). The quality of the work should be altered in common until you have a clear sense of how to employ alterations to dynamically counterpoint each other.
As you get a handle on this, it should become a little easier to see how you can transform a working from one energy’s sign to another. You can do entire working in a different tone, or you can engage in a single work that passes through several transformations. The simple movement from prayers to direct address of the spirit(s) pushes the working toward that of Cauda Draconis, which both settles and releases spirits rather than holding and energizing them (i.e., it becomes a touch more funereal).
*[Brief tangent: I suspect we have come to treat the elements as symbolic because they seem so simple compared to the elaborate periodic table of elements we now have. What that overlooks, though, is that the core four element system remains a vital part of contemporary scientific thinking and of our basic intuitions about the nature of the material world.
The four elements are not (and were not, even for the Greeks) the same thing as the elements on the periodic table. They describe states of matter. If we were to give the geomantic lines a contemporary spin, we would call the lines, from bottom to top, the line of the solids, of the liquids, of the gases, and of plasma.]