Neither Either/Or Nor Both/And: Turn down the contrast

I’ve been thinking about the back and forth with Andrew on my last post. I realize that I prefer to use binaries in a quite specific way that may not be obvious. It’s easy to see a binary and think dualistic, but that is a habit I would like to subvert, both in myself and others. I’m going to take a stab at describing that better.

Binary thinking can be quite powerful and deep. We seem to think fairly easily with binary structures and that seems to rest in part on our evolution, suggesting that there is some aspects to the world itself that are binary. Binary thinking is not the same thing as dualistic thinking. Binary thinking identifies poles as a means of navigating between them, establishes a plane across which we can arc. To identify two binaries is not the same thing as saying that there are only two sorts of things.

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Clarity and Confusion

I know I have talked about the sort of binary geomancy presumes, but I am not sure if I have said clearly enough what the practical results of that binary are for divination. Similarly, while I have talked about the triplicate structure that drives geomancy, I am not sure that I have explained how it manifests within the core binary of geomancy. So, this is that post. I’ll try to be brief.

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Triplicities & Pairings

I have seen more than one person praise geomancy for its clarity, for its utility in answering questions clearly and directly. No doubt, this is one of the system’s virtues, especially when you transpose the reading onto an astrological frame. The passing of signs and their affiliations with each other provides reams of information about opportunities and obstacles.

That said, that clarity rests partly upon a fixed pattern of meanings and associations which contain a fair number of presuppositions about what is good and bad, strong and weak. Some cross-cultural comparison can be useful here, because the values of the signs shift somewhat between cultures.

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