I finished my first index and it helped me to notice a lacuna in my discussion of the planets. I haven’t given Mars much attention at all and that is quite an oversight. Let me start rectifying that now with this little post.
John Michael Greer notes that the mathematical operations that you use to generate a geomantic shield chart constrains the number of figures that can occupy the 15th position of the chart, the Judge. If you are in an astrological or Kabbalistic mood, you’ll notice that of all the planets with sefirotic associations have at least one sign that can play the Judge, except Mars-Geburah. Neither Puer nor Rubeus can ever appear there.
The 15th position is called the Judge for a reason. It puts its stamp on the entire reading and provides the basis for the shield chart’s final triplicity, the Result of the Result (i.e, the Judge gives its Ruling on the Matter) , joining with the first geomantic figure to form the 16th. This 16th figure completes the chart in a profound fashion, bringing the number of figures in the reading to the same number of figures in the geomantic system itself, producing a tie between the macrocosm of geomancy and the microcosm of the reading.
What does it say that Mars-Gevurah never plays that role? Even though the Result of the Result may be one its figures, it is unable to administer that process itself.
Mars-Gevurah is a force of rupture and outflow and finds its perfect images in violence and birth. It is unsettled and unsettling in its very nature. Its signs taken together produce a triplicity with Carcer, reminding us of the prison we use to constrain the excesses of Mars-Gevurah, but also of the womb and the tomb from which they proceed and to which they return. It highlights the oddity of the Rome’s masculine Saturn despite his deeply feminine role as womb of the gods. On this front, the Lukumi bifurcation of Saturn into the twin figures of Yemaya and Ogun seems a touch more elegant.
Mars-Gevurah stands over the individuality of each living thing, of its clamoring toward its own ends (in both the teleological and eschatological senses of the term). It gathers all of the claims of the individual and specific and lodges them against the forces of the universal. It occupies the place of the claimants rather than the judge. The astrological sympathy of Puer with Aries (naturally disposed to the First House of the astrological chart) is another expression of this.
Mars-Gevurah can’t take on the role of the Judge because Mars-Gevurah represents the rupture that it is the Judge’s task to resolve. Mars-Gevurah represents the break in order that removes the symmetry between microcosm and macrocosm, the birth into freedom that the reading attempts to attempts to relocate in the field of destiny. And it is Mars-Gevurah who makes a final resolution impossible, whose endless claims disturb the peace and prevent a new order from settling once and for all upon our lives. It is Mars-Gevurah who tears down the heavens and breaks them upon the skull of the earth and so releases the Qlippoth that we are.