I hesitated about posting this. It is tangential to the development of my personal geomantic practice and mostly reflects a time in my life when I had a time on my hands and needed a distraction. I have had a request for more bibliographical information, though, and it is a part of my intellectual development.
This bibliography represents a meaningful cross-section of the material that I have read in an effort to develop some sense of how geomantic techniques developed and circulated historically. It isn’t a full bibliography of my reading, but it’s definitely a substantive portion of it.
Most of this material relates directly to geomantic practices, while some of it relates to (1) individuals and groups that might have participated in the circulation of geomantic practices, (2) historiographic material informing how intellectual practices develop in dialogue with each other, or (3) scientific conceptions of the evolution of language and religion that inform the transmission of ritual practices, especially those like geomancy.
Works on various facets of West African culture predominate, reflecting where I first encountered geomancy as well as my general sense that West Africa represents one of the richest and most vital centers of the practice.
Inclusion does not constitute endorsement.
Allman, Jean Marie and John Parker. Tongnaab: The History of a West African God. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2005.
Anderson, Jeffrey E. Conjure in African American Society. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge, 2005.
Astley, Thomas, ed. A General Collection of Voyages and Travels Comprehending Everything Remarkable in its Kind in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America (in 4 volumes). Frank Cass and Company Limited: London, 1968 [1745-47].
Bakhtin, Mikhail. “The Problem of Content, Material, and Form in Verbal Art” in Art and Answerability: Early Philosophical Essays ed. by Michael Holquist and Vladimir Liapunov. University of Texas Press: Austin, 1990.
Ballard, Eoghan. Ndoki Bueno, Ndoki Malo: Historic and Contemporary Kongo Religion in the African Diaspora. University of Pennsylvania: Unpublished Dissertation, 2005.
Bascom, William R. Ifa Divination: Communication between gods and men in West Africa. University of Indiana Press: Bloomington, 1969.
—”Ọba’s Ear: A Yoruba Myth in Cuba and Brazil” in Research in African Literatures, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Autumn, 1976), pp. 149-165.
—Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination from Africa to the New World. University of Indiana Press: Bloomington, 1980.
Baudin, P. Fetichism and Fetich Worshipers, trans. by M. McMahon. Benziger Brothers: New York City, 1885.
Bay, Edna G. “The Kpojito or ‘Queen Mother’ of Precolonial Dahomey” in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 810: 19–40. New York Academy of Sciences: New York, 1997. (doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48123.x:)
—Wives of the Leopard: Gender, Politics, and Culture in the Kingdom of Dahomey. University of Virginia Press: Charlottesville, 1998.
—Asen, Ancestors, and Vodun: Tracing Change in African Art. University of Illinois Press: Champaign, 2008.
Birdwell, April Frawley. “Kingsley Plantation: A Legacy Revealed” in Florida: Magazine of the Gator Nation (online; Posted October 14, 2011).
Bladel, Kevin van. The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2009.
Boggs, Ralph Steele. “Spanish Folklore from Tampa Florida” in Southern Folklore Quarterly 1: 1-12. University of Florida: 1937.
Bondarenko, Dmitri M. “Advent of the Second (Oba) Dynasty: Another Assessment of Benin History Key Point” in History in Africa 30: 63-85. African Studies Association: 2003.
Brenner, Louis. “Muslim Divination and the Religion of Sub-Saharan Africa” in Insight and Artistry in African Divination ed. by John Pemberton III. Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, D.C., 2000.
Bristol, Joan Cameron. Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth Century. University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, 2007.
Brown, David H. The Light Inside: Abakua Society Arts and Cuban Cultural History. Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, D.C., 2003.
—Santeria Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2003.
Brown, Diana DeGroat. Umbanda: Religion and Politics in Urban Brazil. UMI Research Press: Ann Arbor, Mich., 1986.
Brown, William Lacy. Races of Maize in the West Indies. National Academy: Washington, D.C., 1960.
Capone, Stefania. Searching for Africa in Brazil: Power and Tradition in Candomble. Duke University Press: Durham, 2010.
Chakrabarti, Pratik. Materials and medicine: trade, conquest and therapeutics in the eighteenth century. Manchester University Press: Manchester, 2010.
Chireau, Yvonne P. Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition. University of California Press: Berkeley, 2003.
Clarke, Erskine. “‘They shun the scrutiny of white men’: Reports on Religion from the Georgia Lowcountry and West Africa, 1834-1850” in African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic and the Gullah Geechee edited by Philip Morgan. University of Georgia Press: Athens, 2010.
Clarke, J. D. “Ifa Divination” in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 69:2. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and London: 1939.
Clastres, Pierre. The Archeology of Violence. Semiotext(e): Cambridge, 2010.
Codecasa, Maria Silvia. “Of Knots, Dots, and Coconuts: Divination in Micronesia,” found on her website.
Coffin, Charles Carleton. Our New Way Round the World. Fields, Osgood, & Co.: Boston, 1869.
Conrad, Robert. “The Planter Class and the Debate over Chinese Immigration to Brazil, 1850-1893” in International Migration Review 9: 41-55. The Center for Migration Studies in New York, Inc.: New York City, 1975.
Davidson, James M., Erika Roberts, and Clete Rooney. “Preliminary Results of the 2006 University of Florida Archaeological Field School Excavations at Kingsley Plantation, Fort George Island, Florida” in Africa Diaspora Archaeology (online; Posted September, 2006).
Davies, Owen. Grimoires: A History of Magic Books. Oxford University Press: 2010.
Dawson, Allan Charles, ed. Shrines in Africa: History, Politics, and Society. University of Calgary Press: Calgary, 2009.
Dayan, Joan. Haiti, History, and the Gods. University of California Press: Berkeley, 1995.
Dianteill, Erwan. Des Dieux et Des Signes: Initiation, Écriture, et Divination en les religions afro-cubaines. Ecole des Hautes-Etudes en Sciences Sociales: Paris, 2000.
—La samaritaine noire: les églises spirituelles noires américaines de la Nouvelle-Orléans. Editions de l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales: 2006.
Dodson, Jualynne E. Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba. University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, 2008.
Ebstein, Michael. Mysticism and philosophy in al-Andalus : Ibn Masarra, Ibn al-‘Arabī and the Ismā’īlī tradition. Brill: Leiden, 2014.
El-Tom, Abdullahi Osman. “Drinking the Koran: The Meaning of Koranic Verses in Berti Erasure” in Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 55: 414-31. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 1985.
French, Jan Hoffman. Legalizing Identities: Becoming Black or Indian in Brazil’s Northeast. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2009.
Friedson, Steven M. Remains of Ritual: Northern Gods in a Southern Land. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2008.
Frisvold, Nicholaj de Mattos. Palo Mayombe, The Garden of Blood and Bones: A Grammary of Creole Sorcery. Scarlet Imprint: U.K., 2010.
—Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila. Scarlet Imprint: U.K., 2011.
—Exu and the Quimbanda of Night and Fire. Scarlet Imprint: U.K., 2012.
—Obeah: A Sorcerous Ossuary. Hadean Press: 2014.
Galison, Peter. Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1997.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Historical Division. “Case Study: Silk Hope, Cherry Hill, and Dublin/Richmond Hill Plantations.”
Girard, René. Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. Stanford University Press: Palo Alto, 1987.
Girschner, Max. “Die Karolineninsel Namoluk und ihre Bewohner” (Part I) in Baessler Archiv 2: 123-215. 1912.
Gleason, Judith. A Recitation of Ifa, Oracle of the Yoruba. Grossman Publishers: New York City, 1973.
Gomez, Michael A. “Africans, Culture, and Islam in the Lowcountry” in African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic and the Gullah Geechee edited by Philip Morgan. University of Georgia Press: Athens, 2010.
Goody, Jack. The Myth of the Bagre. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1972.
Greer, John Michael. Inside a Magical Lodge: Group Ritual in the Western Tradition. Llewellyn Publications: St. Paul, Minn., 1998.
—Art and Practice of Geomancy: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance. Weiser Books: San Francisco, 2009.
Hale, Lindsay. Hearing the Mermaid’s Song: The Umbanda Religion in Rio de Janeiro. University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, 2009.
Hall, Robert Burnett. “The Société Congo of the Ile á Gonave” in American Anthropologist 31:4. [Blackwell Publishing?]: 1929.
Hauptman, O. H. “Spanish Folklore from Tampa Florida: (No. VII) Witchcraft” in Southern Folklore Quarterly 3: 197-200. University of Florida: 1939.
Henley, Paul. The Adventures of the Real: Jean Rouch and the Craft of Ethnographic Cinema. University of Chicago Press: 2010.
Herskovits, Melville J. Dahomey, an Ancient African Kingdom (volumes 1 and 2). J.J. Augustin: New York City, 1938.
—with Frances S. Herskovits. Dahomean Narrative: A Cross-Cultural Analysis. Northwestern University Press: Evanston [Ill.], 1958.
Hilton, Anne. The Kingdom of Kongo. Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1985.
Holbraad, Martin. Truth in Motion: The Recursive Anthropology of Cuban Divination. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2012.
Hopkins, J. F. P. and Nehemiah Levtzion, eds.. Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History. Markus Wiener Publishers: Princeton [N.J.], 2000.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, collected and edited by Carla Kaplan. Anchor: 2003.
—Mules and Men. Harper Perennial Modern Classics: New York, 2008 .
Idowu, Bolasi E. Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief.
Ikhwan al-Safa. On Magic: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistle 52a. Part 1, trans. by Godefroid de Callatay and Bruno Halflants. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2011.
Izevbigie, Alfred Omokaro. Olokun: A Focal Point of Religion and Art in Benin. University of Washington: Unpublished Dissertation, 1978.
James, Joel, José Millet, and Alexis Alarcón. El Vodú en Cuba. Ediciones CEDEE: Santo Domingo, 1992.
Joseph, J. W. “African American Archaeology” in The New Georgia Encyclopedia (online).
Kennedy, Stetson. “Ñañigo in Florida” in Southern Folklore Quarterly 4: 153-56. University of Florida: 1940.
—Palmetto Country. Florida A & M University Press: Tallahassee, 1989 .
Kenyon, Susan M. Spirits and Slaves in Central Sudan: The Red Wind of Sennar. Palgrave MacMillan: 2012.
Kopytoff, Igor. “Ancestors as Elders in Africa.” 1968.
—The African Frontier: The Reproduction of Traditional African Societies. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1987.
Kramer, Fritz. The Red Fez: Art and Spirit Possession in Africa. Verso: London/New York City, 1993.
Lal, Brij V., and Kate Fortune, eds. The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia. University of Hawai’i Press: Honolulu, 2000.
Landers, Jane. “Not 1619: The Much Longer History of Atlantic Creoles in Early America” (presentation). Richard S. Wells Lecture Series: University of North Carolina-Greensboro Department of History, April 7, 2011.
Lessa, William A. “Divining from Knots in the Carolines” in Journal of the Polynesian Society 68: 188-204. Polynesian Society: 1959.
—”The Chinese Trigrams in Micronesia” in The Journal of American Folklore 82: 353-62. American Folklore Society: 1969.
Levi-Strauss, Claude. The Raw and the Cooked trans. by John and Doreen Weightman. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1983.
Lewis, I. M. Ecstatic Religion: A Study of Shamanism and Spirit Possession. Routledge: New York, 1988.
Lipman, Philip Neaman. Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China. University of Washington Press: Seattle, 1997.
MacGaffey, Wyatt. “The Eyes of Understanding: Kongo Minkisi” in Astonishment and Power. Smithsonian National Museum of African Art: Washington, D.C., 1993.
—Kongo Political Culture: The Conceptual Power of the Particular. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2000.
Maier, Donna J. E. Priests and Power: The Case of the Dente Shrine in Nineteenth-Century Ghana. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1983.
Majriti, Maslamah Ibn Ahmad. Picatrix: Ghayat al-Hakim (Goal of the Wise), Volumes 1 and 2, trans. by Hashem Atallah. Ouroboros Press: Seattle, 2002.
Martinez-Ruiz, Barbaro. Kongo graphic writing and other narratives of the sign. Temple University Press: Philadelphia, 2013.
Mason, Michael A. Living Santeria: Rituals and Experiences in an Afro-Cuban Religion. Smithsonian Books: Washington, D.C., 2002.
—Baba Who? Babalu! blog. Various posts.
Matory, J. Lorand. Sex and the Empire That Is No More: Gender and the Politics of Metaphor in Oyo Yoruba Religion. Berghahn Books: New York, 2004.
—Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism, and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomble. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2005.
McNeal, Keith E. Trance and Modernity in the Southern Caribbean: African and Hindu Popular Religions in Trinidad and Tobago. University Press of Florida: Gainesville, 2011.
Mendonsa, Eugene L. The Politics of Divination: A Processural View of Reactions to Illness and Deviance among the Sisala of Northern Ghana. University of California Press: Berkeley, 1982.
Miller, Ivor. Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson, 2009.
Morton-Williams, Peter. Introduction to “Two Studies of Ifa Divination” in Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute 36:4, 406-21. Edinburgh University Press: 1966.
Nadel, S. F. Nupe Religion: Traditional Beliefs and the Influence of Islam in a West African Chiefdom. Schocken Books: New York City, 1970 .
Ocha’ni Lele (B. Stuart Myers). Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santeria. Destiny Books: 2001.
—The Diloggun: The Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santeria. Destiny Books: 2003.
Ochoa, Todd Ramon. Society of the Dead: Quita Manaquita and Palo Praise in Cuba. University of California Press: Berkeley, 2010.
Olajabu, Oyeronke. Women in the Yoruba Religious Sphere. SUNY Press: Albany, 2003.
Palmie, Stephan. Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition. Duke University Press: Durham [N.C.], 2002.
Parés, Luis Nicolau. “Shango in Afro-Brazilian Religion: ‘Aristocracy’ and ‘Syncretic’ Interactions” in Religioni e societa 54: 20-39. Firenze University Press: 2006.
—The Formation of Candomblé: Vodun History and Ritual in Brazil. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2013.
Parrinder, G. “Yoruba-Speaking Peoples in Dahomey” in Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 17: 122-29. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 1947.
Paton, Diana. “The Trials of Inspector Thomas: Policing and Ethnography in Jamaica” in Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing. Duke University Press: Durham, NC, 2012.
Peel, J. D. Y. Religious encounter and the making of the Yoruba. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2000.
Peterson, Joseph H., ed. and trans. Grimorium Verum. Createspace: 2007.
Powell, Timothy. “Summoning the Ancestors: The Flying Africans’ Story and Its Enduring Legacy” in African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic and the Gullah Geechee edited by Philip Morgan. University of Georgia Press: Athens, 2010.
Putnam, Lara. “Rites of Power and Rumors of Race: The Circulation of Supernatural Knowledge in the Greater Caribbean, 1890-1940” in Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing. Duke University Press: Durham, NC, 2012.
Ramos, Miguel Willie. “La Division de la Habana: Territorial Conflict and Cultural Hegemony in the Followers of Oyo Lukumi Religion, 1850s to 1920s” in Cuban Studies 34:1, pp. 38-70. University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh, 2003.
—Obí Agbón: Lukumí Divination with Coconut. Eleda.org Publications: Miami, 2012.
Rattray, R. S. Tribes of the Ashanti Hinterlands (volumes 1 and 2). Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1969 .
Restall, Matthew. The Black Middle: Africans, Mayans, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatan. Stanford University Press: Stanford, Calif., 2009.
Richman, Karen. “The Vodou State and the Protestant Nation: Haiti in the Long Twentieth Century” in Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing. Duke University Press: Durham, NC, 2012.
Rochberg, Francesca. “Divine Causality and Babylonian Divination” in A Common Cultural Heritage: Studies on Mesopotamia and the Biblical World in Honor of Barry L. Eichler. CDL Press: Bethesda, Md., 2011.
Rosen, Norma. “Chalk Iconography in Olokun Worship” in African Arts 22:3. pp. 44-53+88. UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center: Los Angeles, 1989.
Rosenthal, Judy. Possession, Ecstasy, and Law in Ewe Voodoo. University Press of Virginia: Charlottesville, 1998.
Ryan, Michael A. A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 2011.
Schiltz, Mark. “Yoruba Thunder Deities and Sovereignty: Ara versus Shango” in Ṣàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora ed. by Joel E. Tishken, Tóyìn Fálọlá, and Akíntúndé Akínyẹmí, pp. 78-108. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2009.
Shelton, Austin J. “The Meaning and Method of Afa Divination among the Northern Nsukka Ibo,” in American Anthropologist 67:6, pp. 1441-55. Blackwell Publishing: 1965.
Sigal, Peter Herman. The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture. Duke University Press: Durham, NC, 2011.
Simpson, George Eaton. “The Shango Cult in Nigeria and Trinidad” in American Anthropologist 64:6, pp. 1204-19. Blackwell Publishing: 1962.
—Yoruba Religion and Medicine in Ibadan. Ibadan University Press: Ibadan, 1980.
Singleton, Theresa A. “Reclaiming the Gullah-Geechee Past: Achaeology of Slavery in Coastal Georgia” in African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic and the Gullah Geechee edited by Philip Morgan. University of Georgia Press: Athens, 2010.
Skinner, Stephen. Terrestrial Astrology: Divination by Geomancy. Routledge & Kegan Paul: London, 1980.
Smith, Richard J. Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World: The Yijing and Its Evolution in China. University of Virginia Press: Richmond, 2008.
Smith, Theophus H. Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America. Oxford University Press: New York, 1994.
Some, Malidoma. The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose through Nature, Ritual, and Community. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam: New York City, 1998.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravarty. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1999.
Steegstra, Marijke. Resilient Rituals: Krobo Initiation and the Politics of Culture in Ghana. Lit Verlag: [place?], 2005.
Sterner, Judith, and Nicholas David. “Pots, Stones, and Potsherds: Shrines in the Mandara Mountains (North Camaroon and Northeastern Nigeria)” in Shrines in Africa edited by Allan Charles Dawson. University of Calgary Press: Calgary, 2009.
Stewart, Diane M. Three Eyes for the Journey: African Dimensions of Jamaican Religious Experience. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2005.
Sweet, James H. Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World, 1441-1770. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2006.
—Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2011.
Thornton, John. “Traditions, Documents and the Ife-Benin Relationship” in History in Africa 15: 351-62. African Studies Association: 1988.
—Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1998.
Tigay, Jeffrey H. “The Role of the Elders in the Laws of Deuteronomy” in A Common Cultural Heritage: Studies in Mesopotamia and the Biblical World in Honor of Barry L. Eichler. CDL Press: Bethesda, Md., 2011.
Visona, Monica Blackmun, Robin Paynor, and Herbert M. Cole. A History of Art in Africa 2e. Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2008.
Voeks, Robert A. Sacred Leaves of Candomble: African Magic, Medicine, and Religion in Brazil. University of Texas Press: Austin, 1997.
Volavka, Zdenka. Crown and Ritual: The Royal Insignia of Ngoyo. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1998.
Wilson, Eddie W. “The Gourd in Folk Symbolism” in Western Folklore 10: 162-64. Western States Folklore Society: 1951.
Young, Jason R. Rituals of Resistance: African Atlantic Religion in Kongo and the Lowcountry South in the Era of Slavery. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge, 2007.