Rediscover geomancy, astrology's long lost daughter!
Considered a “daughter” to astrology, the system of divination known as geomancy was an incredibly popular and well-regarded form of divination in early modern Europe. It applied what occult philosopher Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa called the “use and rules of astrology” (which is to say, the symbolism but none of the astronomy of astrology) to create answers using a process both apparently simple and deceptively subtle.
Geomancy as a system consists of only sixteen figures, each attributed an astrological identity. These figures are combined in specific charts (known as shields) to render very particular answers, often using versions of the Houses of the Heavens. These shields are set by various means of generating random numbers and developing them using mathematical operations.
While geomancy’s earliest origins arguably lie in Arabic traditions, it swiftly became popular across Europe in the late medieval period, as well as bearing many similarities to traditional African forms of divination. Likewise, the mathematics underlying geomancy contributed to the development of calculus and, eventually, binary code and the computer chip. Finally, the talismanic use of geomantic figures was considered by many Renaissance magicians to bridge a divide between divination and operative sorcery: offering a range of elemental, planetary and zodiacal magical techniques. This workshop will explore some of these ways in which various divination tools can be used in operative astrological magic.
Although geomancy has suffered a decline in status in the modern age, Dr. Alexander Cummins – a historian of magic and a practicing geomancer – hopes to help remedy that! In this introductory workshop we will ground ourselves in the history, practice and magic of this art. Whether you are a professional astrologer, a seasoned card-reader, or a newcomer to divination tools and techniques, this class will offer you further useful skills and resources for your own practice and understanding.
Dr. Alexander Cummins is an historian of early modern magic, astrology, and culture. His first book, The Starry Rubric: Seventeenth-century English Astrology and Magic was published by Hadean Press in 2012. He has also written on the cultural history of Apocalypse, occult botany and magical herbalism in the grimoires, the material history of amulets, planetary sorcery, necromancy, and various forms of folk magic.
He curates a storehouse of early modern occult texts scanned from archives at grimoiresontape.tumblr.com.