There are a few geomantic charts that I have taken over the years to which I will return. They were the ones taken at key moments or directed toward understanding important elements of my spiritual work. Sometimes, when I feel like I need to pay especial attention to one, I will recopy it and walk through the mathematics of it. It sounds silly, I know, because the chart is right in front of me, but the act of thinking it through again with eye and hand deepens my appreciation of what is going on in the chart.
Today, as I finished doing just that, I sat there with the chart in my lap, looking at it anew. My hands are sitting to either side of it and it suddenly stands out that the chart is like a dramatically foreshortened view of two hands cupped together. The mothers are the fingers of right hand, the daughter the fingers of the left hand, the nieces form the palms, and the witnesses the thumbs. The judge, nestled in the back of the hand, is the figure of the diviner looking down at their hands.
You can read the chart against the grain, too, from the perspective of the left hand. You can read the 8th house as the 1st and proceed to mirror the chart precisely, right down to extracting a secondary, ‘left hand,’
judge result of the result and planetary influence. Because the right-handed chart reflects the productive and generative aspect the chart (the mothers create the chart), it’s important to recognize that the left-handed perspective is a commentary (perhaps even a perverse and shadowy one) rather than the organizing principle of the chart, but it has some potential thereby.
If we want to carry the family metaphor a little further, the left-handed reading is the perspective of the daughters on the mothers, most specifically the perspective of the most junior daughter upon the eldest mother. It’s the restless voice that often sees what the voice of experience has become habituated into overlooking.
This seems to be especially true when you look to the cardines that the left-handed chart would project on an astrological conversion. The two sets of cardines, right- and left-handed, tell two perspectives on the same story. So, two stories, one ‘left-handed’ and the other ‘right-handed.’ Sounds a little familiar, right? Like the pillar of severity and the pillar of mercy? Well, you can project the two sets of cardines onto a map of the tree of life. It becomes a joint between the communication of two with three.
The left-handed cardines trace the path from Keter to Yesod along the pillar of severity, while the right-handed cardines trace the path from Keter to Yesod along the pillar of mercy.
So, following the right-handed cardines:
1st House follows Keter to Chokmah.
10th House follows Chokmah to Chesed.
7th House follows Chesed to Netzach
4th House follows Netzach to Yesod
Following the left-handed cardines:
1st House (8th House) follows Keter to Binah.
10th House (11th House) follows Binah to Gevurah.
7th House (2nd house) follows Gevurah to Hod.
4th House (5th House) follows Hod to Yesod.
This is geomancy, so we can construct the middle pillar out of the two cardinal patterns. Following the same pattern downward:
Keter to Daath is the sum of the two 1st Houses.
Daath to Tifaret is the sum of the two 10th Houses.
Tifaret to Yesod is the sum of the two 7th Houses.
Yesod to Malkuth is the sum of the two 4th Houses.
That last step is really interesting because the gate into Malkuth only opens with the combination of both mercy and severity.
Considering the sefirot themselves as apophatic features of the chart, I’m not sure how easily this sort of approach would work for charts taken about fairly practical and direct matters. For matters that have a great deal of depth, this seems like it would layout the groundwork for further ritual work to explore the unfolding of the divine within these situations. In short, it provides a rough toolbox for pathworking and permutation.
Of course, if you take seriously the idea that you can begin the work anywhere, then perhaps there is no reason why you couldn’t unpack the most banal chart and wind your way down into a deeper portion of creation’s mysteries this way.
I lost my keys and found an angel.
(Small edit 4/28; left-handed result of the result, not judge. The judge derives from the generative structure of the mothers proper and shouldn’t be recalculated.)