Go big or go home, right? I’ve been having a useful discussion with Iago over on this post from a few days back and it’s getting complex enough that I want to start talking about some of the issues being raised as independent posts, some of them a bit long.
I’ve been thinking about what exactly a geomantic chart tells you about a spirit or spiritual issue a bit lately. I use geomancy a good bit in my spiritual practice as a means of identifying and understanding with what I am working, so the question is fairly important. I want to talk about this a little bit. That means wandering a bit into some talk about spiritual typologies, so please keep in mind some of my caveats about that sort of thing.
Some of my posts about things like the relationship of texts and experience are informed by this geomantic work. More than once, I have had to prune back my ideas about a spirit or a working because the conceptual tools I brought to the work from my geomantic study cast a speculative shadow that I mistook for the spirit or work. I have also retooled my geomantic understanding so that it seems better calibrated to the sort of work I’m undertaking.
I have had this on the back burner for a while, so in the new year spirit of cleaning out the old, here you go.
Stacey pointed out to me this article which maps the MBTI types to the sixteen geomantic figures. I have considered making a similar effort before but come at it from a much different direction. Rather than attempt to map any sort of one-to-one figure to type correspondence, I have tried to map each type onto two figures, an ‘introverted’ figure and an ‘extroverted’ figure.
I’ve talked a bit about my peculiar reworking of the geomantic planetary affinities based around my study of Sefer Yetzirah and the alignment of some of my personal gnosis with the Lurianic currents of Kabbalism (main post here, a correction here). While there are logical reasons for these sorts of changes, they also just better articulate the spiritual structures within which my spiritual work unfolds. When I revisited old charts taken to study spirits, they became much more intelligible once I read them in light of these assignments.
My writing head is mostly at noodle lately. I have been thinking about some bigger things, some of which I have already talked about here, others which are big and sweeping and a little scary. I don’t like to let the practice of writing here languish, so, yep, noodling it is. Let’s talk a little more about that book shrine.
I’ve always liked this oldie but goodie from Runesoup. My partner and I have probably played the game a dozen times or more while talking about one thing or another, and I have often thought about doing a post themed on it. But I’ve never quite found the angle that worked for me.
I have one now. What makes this one different than the previous efforts is that it feels like something that could lead toward what I do, but also might lead elsewhere. It feels more open and genuine thereby.
This is the post where I begin to move (I think) from interim phase toward whatever the next cycle is. There are a few distinct pieces that I want to highlight and talk about in that regard. This is sort of a notebook post and sort of not.
First, after I had mentioned Frater Acher’s recent article on magical tools in a recent post, a correspondent of mine asked if I knew much about him, mentioning that they had been doing some work with the Quareia material with which Frater Acher has been involved. It felt like one of those little nudges, so I went back and took a second look at his website (and Quareia’s, but that wasn’t where I found the hook). This little gem of an ebook caught my attention.
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.
In the Meccan Revelations, Ibn al’Arabi distinguishes between two equal orders of numbers, the odd and the even, in answer to a debate as to whether two or three is the proper successor to one. Two is the successor to one among the even and three is the successor to one among the odd.
This sort of thinking can be applied to compare and contrast the (1) relationship between the rule of three and its relationship to four (2+2 and 2×2) that yields both the rule of seven and twelve in the Saadia diagram and (2) the relationship between the rule of two in geomantic operations and the relationship to three that produces the sixteen signs of the shield.
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.