Populus is formed by dots in the order of four matching lines of double dots, creating the appearance a traditional domino.
While the term populous means “people” in Latin, this geomantic figure is almost exclusively a symbol that represents independent learning. The formation of the dots creates the appearance of many people standing together, some could say in a line.
This is one of those interesting geomantic figures, like Puella, that you have to keep in mind the age of this divination tradition. The modern world is faster, more advanced, than ancient times. We now understand planetary motions, have notions of worlds beyond our view and can actually address the concept that there are aspects of the world so small that the human eye cannot see it, without having to apply superstition to the meaning.
All of this, of course, affected their world view and would lend an almost supernatural quality to this figure, whereas many modern geomancers prefer an advanced adaptation of the meaning of the figure.
For example, ancient philosophies, especially those heavily influenced by ancient astrological beliefs, connected this figure with similar attributes as one would with retrograde planetary movement. Their argument would be that since all elemental functions of the figure are not active and no element is ever unmoving that the effects of Populus are often only felt, or more literally, sensed. It can represent the intuitive nature of man or the inherent truths of the world around, depending on what other figures it is paired with or what layout method is used.
Even the planetary, tarot and astrological influences mingle together, without taking the lead or pulling the energy down. Essentially, on it’s own, Populus reflects a slow transgression, building upon whatever it is paired with. The figure requires additional resources provide influential context. You can’t do a reading of any kind, with any spread with Populus alone.
That being said, Populus relates to the Moon and the zodiac sign of Cancer, both known for having strong psychic qualities and intuition. The watery aspect can act as a mirror, with the figure reminding you that you get what you put in. Considering that the figure is specifically matched with the waning moon phase, it represents the hidden truths in the world. Modern geomancers often relate this card to the need to unplug or that one needs to be mindful of outside influences.
They see this figure as a mutable and fluid indication, that hints to over complication or getting bogged down with the ever changing world. It is almost as though Populus acts as a reminder that while you live in an advanced and modern world that we are all still people. This can sometimes mean that you need to get back to nature or simply that you need to stop checking your Facebook so often. For this reason, many modern geomancers link this symbol to depression and the downward spiral of humanity as it gets bogged down by a world that is too advanced for the human soul.
The influence of Populus has most assuredly changed over time, yet it can still be seen in protest marching, townhall meetings and even concerts, where people come together on a large scale. The influence on the crowd is essentially the energy behind this figure.
It could also be argued, that the effects of this symbol can be felt even more closely today, mainly because you no longer need to be in a crowd to be connected with hundreds, let alone thousands or millions of people at one time.
When you see this figure in a reading, whether you prefer the older or newer interpretations, nearly everyone can at least agree that Populus is ultimately about people. The uniqueness of the symbol speaks to the inherent individual intricacies of the human soul.
There is strength in both humanity and the culture that they create, encouraging human interaction on a personal level. None of us are complete on our own, but connected in a way that no one journey can be done entirely on your own.
When you see this Populus in your reading, keep in mind that nothing is beyond your control, but you may have to ask for help in a time of need. There is no shame in asking for help and in fact, by focusing on support relationships in your life and through being involved in your community, you are likely to find the solutions that you need at present.