Geomantic Bet (Saturn, Saturday, Left or Inner Nostril)

ב

Geomantic carcer.svg          Geomantic conjunctio.svg

I begin with Bet’s figures because Bet occupies a privileged place in all of the assemblages of double letters. It is the first letter after Alef and it gives shelter to the first letter and through its relationship to the other doubles begins the process of differentiation in creation. Carcer and Conjunctio bear witness to Bet’s character and it is from that character they arise and to which they return. In that movement of going and returning, they develop a network of affiliations which develop and modulate that character.

In the planetary circuit, Bet precedes all of the doubles but firstly Gimel. In the sequence of the week, it is the Sabbath, the bezel and treasure mounted in the series of days, between Pe and Kaf. Upon the plane of orifices that constitute the face, it is the left nostril and with Tav is the secret to the regulation of the vital breath. Within the Tree of Life, it is the highest double, crowned with Keter on the central pillar and resting upon Tifaret. Carcer and Conjunctio accompany it in all of its operations.

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Geomancy, Elemental Lines, and the Saadia Tree

I have talked a little about this, but I want to resume the discussion at a different level. We can look at the individual signs as a map of affinities, yes, but we can also look at the structure of the sign itself as a model of the middle pillar. To do this, though, we need to take a look at the conflict between the rule of three and the geomantic sign.

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[NB] Tlazolli and Populus

The tlazolli (‘trash’) compex that Sigal describes in The Flower and the Scorpion sits in my head with the dynamics of Populus, with its dark mysteries and potencies. Here, in brief, is Sigal’s sense of the tlazolli complex:

“Tlazolli first relates to trash. Second, it forms excrement, waste. Third, it creates life through its use in fertility (fertilizing the crops). Fourth, it takes life, allowing a gateway to death. Fifth, it is specifically gendered: the Nahuas link tlazolli to women and femininity, but also to an indeterminate, in-between notion, perhaps moving femininity beyond gender. Finally, as Burkhart points out, tlazolli signifies chaos.” (24)

That the tlazolli acquires ties to the moon through some of the goddesses associated with it is also of interest on this point.

The fertility of the trash puts us back in Philip K. Dick territory, too.

The association between tlazolli, dead mothers, and infant souls also provides one more way in which the mysteries of the lunar Populus and Saturnian Carcer entangle.

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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