Geomantic Kaf (Sun, Sunday, Right Eye)

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Geomantic fortunaminor.svg          Geomantic fortunamajor.svg

Within the planetary circuit, Kaf is the anchor and center for all circuits and is the interface between planets and stars. In the sequence of the week it follows Bet and precedes Tav. Upon the plane of orifices that constitute the face, Kaf defines the field of vision along with Dalet. Within the Tree of Life, it is the central element of the middle pillar, crowned with Tifaret and resting upon Yesod. In all of these assemblages, it finds expression through the geomantic figures of Fortuna Major and Fortuna Minor.

In the planetary circuit, Kaf manifests as the Sun. Through the Sun it reveals the power of gravitation, that which makes the planetary circuits possible. It provides a counterpoint to Bet as the center which defines the circumference (Fortuna Major). Properly a star rather than a planet, it is the point in space through which the constellations are defined (Fortuna Minor).

The Sun is the source for much of the heat (Fortuna Major) and light (Fortuna Minor) within this solar system, the presence and absence of both having a great influence on the bodies within the system. Kaf appears within each planet as its core (Fortuna Major), more or less hot, and the interactions of that core with its outer layers (Fortuna Minor). Kaf is fire, energy of all sorts, whatever provides resources to another system without necessarily playing a direct role within it.

This energy is indiscriminate, and in great quantities can consume as easily as it stimulates. The Sun may burn the crops in drought as easily as nourish them in temperate times. Great fortune, in terms of this excess, isn’t always so great in terms of experiential result. This indifference is problematic even when it supports, because it can energize processes which might interfere with the one we care about. The sun that nourishes our food crops can be the sun that nourishes the weeds and the rot.

On the plane of orifices, Kaf takes up residence within the right eye and structures our visual apparatus. When we talk about vision, keep in mind that it is one of the most complex senses we possess and that it operates through the rapid integration of a lot of information.

At a fairly basic level, we can discern two fundamental axes in visual processing, each with two components. The first is the network of rods (denser in our peripheral vision and operating in a narrower range of the visual spectrum) and cones (denser in the center of the eye we direct in attention and operating across the full visual spectrum) and the second, dependent upon the first, the neural networks responsible for object identification (what is it?) and object location (where is it?). Kaf operates firmly in the domain of the cones (Fortuna Minor) and object identification (Fortuna Major).

The rods and cones are the light receptors in our eyes and thus provide the most basic information out of which our vision will be constituted. The cones are the most sensitive and finely tuned of the two, able to discern colors across the full range of light that defines the human visual spectrum (Fortuna Minor) but possesses their greatest sensitivity around the yellow spectrum (Fortuna Major). This is also (no surprise) the spectrum of our Sun, the light by which we see. Kaf is here breadth of awareness (Fortuna Minor) joined to clarity of discernment (Fortuna Major).

Object identification involves articulating an object or a scene in its detail while object location involves placing the object in space. Obviously, we do both at once, but there are two distinct modalities of attention we employ in vision and each deploys these two axes differently. We can regard a scene by focusing on what it is, parsing out its details by positioning elements in relationship to each other, moving our eyes over the environment, or we can focus on a line of movement within that scene, in which the object being tracked comes into focus to the exclusion of all others except as they help us track and position this moving object.

Kaf expresses itself within the domain of object identification and self-directed attention through a scene. In turn, this relationship to objects lays the groundwork for forms of understanding that are not strictly visual but related to these visual possibilities. From this perspective, the Fortunas lay the groundwork for forms of understanding, proceeding from straightforward visual identification of the situation (Fortuna Minor) to active interpretation and understanding of its implication for we who are seeing it (Fortuna Major).

Kaf, as the power of the right eye, is the power of awareness and insight. Kaf supports strategic awareness and action, powers which are not strictly limited to the eyes but are born with them under Kaf. This visual constitution of space forms part of Kaf’s general role in constitution of an animal’s proto-directional kinaesthetic awareness of space. Through this we can see the linkage between figures like Apollo and the athlete (though I suspect Apollo qua Kaf acquires the bow only through his relationship to Dalet in the field of vision). Kaf is the source of intelligence as a kind of awareness as a capacity for responsiveness. Kaf gives shape to one of the hallmarks of life in both the spiritual and the biological senses of the term.

Kaf is distinctive for the way in which it is flanked by the same letters in both the sequence of days and on the Tree of Life. Kaf follows Bet directly, expressing the special relationship that appears between the letters in the astrological domain. Kaf reflects upon the inheritance of Bet, reveals (Fortuna Minor) within it necessary relationships, structures that it can operate upon (Fortuna Major). Anatomy as the study of the body, as well as history as the study of human life, appear here, but so, too, do their modern correlates of medicine (for which it is useful to consider the role of the eyes and hand, per the field of vision, especially regarding surgical medicine), critical philosophy, anthropology, and so on.

Kaf and the Fortunas give birth to wisdom and cloak the intelligences formed in Bet with consciousness and intelligible forms through which they may be accessed. Kaf makes possible instruction. This should be distinguished from Pe’s grace, which operates in a different field but to which Kaf is related by way of Bet within the sequence of days.

In divination, it is important to break out the Fortunas from a too literal interpretation of their names. Fortuna Minor is not just a small blessing, it is a dawning awareness, a flash of insight, a sense of direction, or a need for them. Fortuna Major, by contrast, is a deep understanding of a situation and the know-how to navigate a complex domain, or a need for them. Where it is a question of being in need of insight or understanding, the Fortunas often shine some light on spiritual or human agents able to provide that instruction. By extension, the instruction can also relate to matters of healing, since most healing relates to subtle understandings and instruction as the modification of what is illumined.

To the extent that they are about fortune, it is fortune in the sense of events that befall you and about wealth. While Fortuna Minor can almost always be turned to good ends, Fortuna Major is more difficult. The great fortune is great as in large, mighty, the tide of history which sometimes can only be ridden out. Inversely, when it can be turned, when it can be set right, the benefits that come from such actions are durable far beyond the minor and often personal dimensions of Fortuna Minor.

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One thought on “Geomantic Kaf (Sun, Sunday, Right Eye)

  1. Pingback: Boston Public Library: Pansophism in Image and Architecture – Disrupt & Repair

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