The geomantic figure of Tristitia is represented by the dot formation of double, double, double, single.

In Latin, it means “sadness” and for most geomancy purposes, this meaning is apt. However, ancient Arabian traditions saw a darker side to this symbol and for this reason it is sometimes also translated to mean either “diminished” or “damned”.

Geomancy Symbols

The energy of Tristitia is one of consequence and it is associated the downward direction, as can be seen from the formation of the symbol itself. Some say that it looks like a pit, while others refer to it as a sinking or collapsed building. In both cases, these are both indicators that there Tristitia is up to no good.


This is probably because the figure is ripe with strong, direct internal influences. The zodiacal properties of both Aquarius and Scorpio represent the passive influences of the air and water elements.

Combine this with passive fire, which equates to an inward flame that is likely either burning the querant or simply dying out, as well as the sometimes tyrannical influence of Saturn’s planetary energy and you are dealing with some serious life lessons at hand.

Furthermore, the element of Earth is the only active element, which knows nothing else other than grounding and stability. It sounds like it shouldn’t be so bad, but when you look at the bigger picture, it’s easy enough to see that this geomantic figure means business. Consider a situation where a person is feeling stable and comfortable, they are doing okay financially and maybe even not bad in romance, but life just seems to be going slow and passing them by. Without the motivation of fire to spark them into action, they just sort of lay around.

Their emotions, which were once active and allowed them to connect with others or to be spiritually open, slowly shut down. Then, as they limit their social circles because they just don’t have it in them to go out, they are stuck home alone with nothing but their thoughts to keep them company. Over time, what do you think will happen?

If you guessed that they would likely either spiral or sink into a funk, becoming consumed with their thoughts, taking on a distorted world view and maybe even growing a little bit bitter then you would probably be spot on.

While this is not always the case, especially if Tristitia shows up in the first couple of houses that refer to money and housing. The strict energy in these areas can sometimes be positive because the strong Earth energy and strict Saturn do well when rules need to be followed and there is a potential for financial security.

There is nothing wrong with balance, but having an earthy influence as your main driving force is a tough road. Earth energy focuses on the three comfort areas of humanity, which are health, wealth and finance. Without a strong motivation in the other elements, it doesn’t take long for humors to become unbalanced.

For this reason, more often than not, Tristitia is associated with depression. This is especially so when you consider that Saturn, whose energy can be somewhat dark and forboding doesn’t let up and is by no means quick. With passive influences tied down to a grounding force, not only are things usually pretty bad when you see this geomantic figure, they aren’t likely to get better any time soon.

It sounds quite depressing, because in reality, it is. That being said, the challenge of Tristitia is rising above. The world has hit a low spot, for sure when this evil bit of geomancy appears in your reading, but without the darkness there can be no light.

Without good there can be no evil. Secrets are hidden in dim obscurity and if you are mindful of the lessons that are trying to be taught to you at this time in your life, when you get through this stormy season, you are likely to be placed back on top.

By Florance Saul
Feb 19, 2017