Geomancy Definition

Divination by the earth.

Geomancy is a word which is derived from a Greek word, Geomanteia with Geo meaning world and manteia meaning divination. It is a form of divination. Geomancy is an old tradition. It is using either pattern in the ground, or tossing soils or rocks and reading the future by a series of patterns. This was one of the most popular methods of future telling in the world. Especially in Africa and Europe in the middle ages. It has been around for almost 3,000 years. Geomancy is mentioned in both Roman and Greek manuscripts.

Originally, people made marks in the sand or ground to uncover the outcome of a battle. Geomancy was refined by Arabs and called Raml. This translates to the science of the sand.  The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn required that one had to study geomancy order to qualify to be a follower of the tradition. There are various forms of Geomancy with the most common one being the process of using sixteen Geomantic figures; it is as a result of a random series of marks by the Geomancer. The figures are interpreted to answer a question the person asks during the divination. It can also be described as one living in harmony with the earth. The earth is considered to be sacred and can be used as a source of divination. In the traditional world. There is a concern of well-being of the earth, thus practitioners live in harmony by utilizing the season cycles. This can include: elements of water, crops and even woods. In today’s world, people rarely pay attention to the earth.

How is Geomancy Done? 

The divination starts with the practitioner thinking of a particular question and once the question firmly in mind, they have to construct a Geomantic figure. This is achieved by the Geomancer making line marks which are small and vertical on a sheet paper or on the ground. The mark is made in a right to left motion - in a random way. All the while, the mind should be relaxed - paying little or no attention to the question at all. The marks should be made as rapidly as possible. A complete Geomancy is supposed to include four rows. After the Geomancer has made the four rows, the practitioner counts the number of marks made. Two dots in an even number and one dot for an odd number. Historically, there used to be a Geomantic dice which had two marks on each face to create a single figure.

The Stick Method of Geomancy

In order to carry out the divination using this method, a casting cloth, and four rune sticks are required - the size is irrelevant. The four sticks are held loosely close to each other in one hand and mixed. They are then tossed gently in the hand as the hand is moved from the casting cloth to the back. The tossing is a spreading out of the sticks. Once the sticks have been cast, the hand which was used to cast them is then used to cover and make them smooth. The two processes are conducted simultaneously. Once the stick is thrown the hand is removed to reveal the Geomantic.

Once the question has been thought of, the next step in this method is to use the randomness (as described earlier) to construct four lines that can be either double or single points.  A book by Israel Regards known as “a practical guide to Geomantic Divination” gave an account of the art of geomancy.

A Beginners Guide to Getting Started with Geomancy

One of the best things about modern geomancy is that it requires little more than a few pieces of paper to get started. One of the oldest and easiest forms of divination, geomantic traditions rely on the energy from the Earth and a bit of knowledge of the geomantic symbols in order to get the answers to all of life’s problems. 

Like many modern forms of divination, this practice stems from ancient times. It was popular in ancient Rome, Greek, and Arabia. The practice is essentially the act of reading the earth. This can be done through symbols that now represent geomantic intentions that are carved into wood, bone or stone or simply by reading the ground itself and seeking figures that indicate a greater message from the Earth’s energies. 

Getting Familiar with Geomancy

Tarot has the major and minor arcana to provide organization to predictions, making the future that much easier to read. It is also a trained and sometimes strict divination method. Geomancy is less structured and has a similar flow of a process to rune reading. It also has some similar talking points as astrology. That being said, there is really no other method of divination that is quite as simple or complex as geomancy. Like astrology and tarot, you have a lot to remember if you want to have an in-depth divination from geomantic practices. First, you need to understand what the practice is and how to incorporate it into your life. The simple answer is that you just need to know the meaning of the geomantic figures and then look for them in the sand or pull one of them out when you need to find an answer about something. They can give direct answers with a simple yes/no or develop into a complex reading, detailing potential future options or challenges. 

So long as you are familiar with the individual meanings of the geomantic figures, you will be able to incorporate them into a belief structure. The best suggestion to use geomancy with your practice is to start using the figures in a simple capacity first, allowing yourself time to learn the meanings of the 16 figures. This process can be difficult, because since there are not many ancient texts that dictate the use of the geomantic figures, it can be hard to identify the meanings as they would be used in modern practices. 

The Simple Meanings of Geomantic Figures

Below you can see the names and simple meanings of the geomantic figures. These shapes are made up of a series of dots and each formation represents a different aspect. Beyond the keyphrase that is connected with the figure, there are also additional correspondences that can be associated in order to get a more in depth reading. If you would like to view a detailed description of each figure, you can read more about them individually here. 

  • Via – The Way 
  • Caput Draconis – Head of the Dragon 
  • Puella – The girl
  • Fortuna Major – Greater luck and fortune
  • Puer – The boy 
  • Acquisitio – Gain 
  • Carcer – Prison 
  • Tristitia – Sadness
  • Cauda Draconis – The tail of the dragon 
  • Conjunction – The Union 
  • Amissio – The Loss 
  • Albus – The whale
  • Fortuna Minor – Lesser luck and fortune 
  • Rubeus – The Red 
  • Laetitia – The Joy 
  • Populus – The People 

Geomantic Figures and Their Meanings

It is said that once you are familiar with the shapes of the figures that it becomes easier and easier to recognize them in nature, such as in rock indents or in the dirt even. Once you recognize the shapes and you get a solid feel for their meaning, you can take a step beyond and learn more about other aspects of geomancy in order to incorporate other tools or methods into your practice that will narrow down the messages that they provide. 

Astrological Houses and Geomantic Correspondences

Geomantic houses provide a location map for reading geomantic figures. Some traditions for divination with the figures involve creating a house grid often referred to as the geomantic tableau. Much like astrology, the houses used for geomancy are responsible for specific life areas in an individuals life. There are 12 main houses plus 2 bonuses houses that create the tableau and their correspondences are as follows: 

  • House 1 is governed by Vita and controls aspects of general life from an all-encompassing standpoint. 
  • House 2 is governed by Lucrum and dictates fortune and wealth.
  • House 3 is governed by Fratres which controls both brotherly relationships and male bonds of friendship. 
  • House 4 is governed by Genitor and controls patriarchal bonds such as those with a father or male mentor.
  • House 5 is governed by Nati which controls matriarchal bonds such as those with a mother or female mentor.
  • House 6 is governed by Valetudo which dictates the direction of recovery after illness and will indicate health issues.
  • House 7 is governed by Uxor and divines for issues pertaining to one’s wife
  • House 8 is governed by Mors and controls all aspects of death
  • House 9 is governed by Itineris which is used for trip planning and all things involving travel. 
  • House 10 is governed by Regnum and divines around topics of the King and/or nation
  • House 11 is governed by Benefacta and controls all aspects of Good Fortune or luck. *This has also been considered the indicator of fate is on your side and usually a good sign when positive, bad when reversed or inverted. 
  • House 12 is governed by Carcer and deals with issues relating to prison

Bonus Houses

  • House 13 is overseen by the witnesses and indicates external influences that may change the outcome of a situation. It can also indicate “that which is seen” and is said to reflect the outward dealings of a person, reflecting the most basic concerns of a situation, and warning of things that you need to watch out for that may be hiding in plain site. 
  • House 14 is governed by the judge and establishes a watchful eye for the reader. This house often correlates with life lessons and indicates paths of fate or events that have the potential to alter a person’s life. This is a good house to check on if you feel pressured or you feel that much is going on in life, s this house can indicate the reason for your troubles while providing possible ways to alleviate burdens. 

Tips for Working with Geomantic Figures

Once you understand the figures and the houses, there is a lot of additional information that you can receive from this form of divination. As you get comfortable with your readings you can incorporate definitions to the figures, allowing them to reveal specific information such as spellings of names, time frames for questions and additional details that are pertinent to the query. While the practice is a little more from the hip than other divination methods, the simple and straightforward language of geomancy is bound to speak to many. This is especially true in a technical world that wants instant answers. In fact, your computer and geomancy has a lot in common. The language that they respond to is both binary. It works best if you ask a controlled question, a binary sentence. The more you use the system, the more you will be able to tailor it to your needs. Just remember to start simple and to not incorporate too many bells and whistles into your process before you feel confident. Start slow and steady, just like the Earth.

Method of Geomancy

Grab a pen and a piece of paper now. Think of a situation and a question. Try to allow this method to give you a yes or no answer. Try to make the question simple. Do not count the marks or the lines on the paper. For example:





Count the dots you have drawn on each of the lines. If an odd number then place a single dot on the line. If even two dots.

So the result might look like this:

Mark circles on paper, don’t count, just think of the question and stop when you feel ready.  So once these dots have been drawn how do we read them?  There are a number of methods to interprete the dots. 

The results of Geomancy

Puer - the male. This is associated with the man and the zodiac sign of Aries. This is the first house. It is enthusiasm and is great to get this for new beginnings and when action is needed. Puer is associated with the boy. It is associated with being a youthful figure. It is associated with the youth, that someone is ready to go out in the world and make something special, this could be a business project or a career. The dots make a sword and it is associated with positive energy. Fighting life in a positive way. Sometimes lacks the maturity required in life and is associated with possibly being reckless. The connections are with Aries and air. It is exciting.

Amissio (loss) the second house. This is associated with possible loss and moving on in lie. There will be something lost.

Albus (White) the third house is associated with great business ideas and fortune. Clarity will be yours.

Populus (crows) Is associated with being neutral in life. This is associated with positive energy and a good outcome.

Fortuna (Greater fortune) Strength will be yours. Victory and a great outcome.

Conjunctio (Meeting) There will be a meeting in life. This may bring both positive and negative aspects.

Pullea (Female) this is associated with being creative. Great things will happen in life.

Rubeus (red) this is associated with passion, violence and possible new beginnings. It is not good to get this unless the question was focused on one’s love life.

Acquisitio (Gain) Great business ideas that will be successful. Money and material success. Profits and if you want to gain anything this is good, if you want to loose something this is a negative omen.

Carcer (prikion) terrible times ahead. Restriction and binding. Not good for questions but ok for questions of stability.

Tristita (Sorrow) something will go wrong and make you unhappy. Possible tears and secrets. 

Laetitia (joy) Secrets will be revelled but great in most situations. Hope also.

Cauda Draconis (Dragons tail) this means that things may need letting go. Moving on. Something coming to an end. Letting go of something in life. 

Caput Draconis (Dragons head) New Beginnings. Generally positive, if the question is around gain then this is a great sign. New ventures. Protection from spirit above. 

Fortuna Minor (Lesser Fortune) Not for something long-lasting. Quick and great for questions about change.

Via (Road) This is associated with journeys. Possible travel. A mix of both good and bad for most questions. Great if asking for travel or moving home. The spirit wants to travel This is great in association with protecting possible energy.

So grab a pen and paper now and start drawing your dots. Come here to find out the meaning. We hope you like this article and all we ask is to like us on Facebook for support. Thank you. Check out our other cool areas on the website - like our tarot reading section.

By Florance Saul
Jan 30, 2017