De Geomanteia: Puella (draw me like one of your French girls)

Since one of my most favorite topics in occultism and magic is divination, specifically the divinatory art of geomancy, why not talk about that? I know a lot about it, and not many do, so let’s go with it. If nothing else, you’ll come away slightly more educated, and I’ll come away with something looking like productivity. With that in mind, let’s continue this little series of posts on geomancy, “De Geomanteia” (On Geomancy). This week, let’s talk about this figure:



This is the figure Puella.  In Latin, its name means “Girl”, but is also named “gracious” or “beauty” in some Islamic traditions, as well as “purity”.  If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like a hand-mirror or a vulva.

First, the technical details on this figure.  It’s associated with Venus in direct motion, the astrological sign of Libra, and the sephirah Netzach.  It has the fire, water, and earth lines active and the air line passive, and is overall associated with the element of Water due to its passive and reflective nature.  It is an odd figure with five points, relating to subjective, inner states of the soul and experienced reality rather than objective, independent, or external situations.  It is a stable and entering, showing it to be slow-moving and long-lasting where it appears.  In the body, it signifies the lower back, buttocks, and kidneys.  Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Rubeus, Red, showing that this figure is not superficial, not flighty, not angry.  Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is Puer, the Boy, showing that this figure is not rash, not outgoing, not adventurous.  Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is Albus, White, showing that it is similarly calm, introspective, peaceful, and accepting.  It is generally a favorable figure, emphasizing pleasantness, harmony, and balance.  Due to this, however, its influence is fickle and its favor can go in any direction based on what’s around it.  It is especially good in matters of friendship, love, and acceptance; it is unfavorable in matters needing permanence, stability, or constancy.

In my meditations on Puella, I saw myself walking into a massive pyramidal hall, an ancient temple with smooth golden sandstone walls neatly fit together rising up to a square hole in the ceiling, with a light shining down into it illuminating everything the temple with a rich, warm, delicate light.  The whole of the temple was filled with treasures, rich tapestries, delicate statues and figurines, and piles of paintings; it was a temple in the old style, a warehouse and storeroom for all the holy treasures a temenos or church would’ve accrued over the centuries.  At the end of the temple, meandering through a forest of statues and stacks of gold, kneeling down in prayer was a young maiden, dressed in the finest dress, modest but alluring, sweet but experienced.  I approached her, and she looked up at me with the most genuine, kindest, warmest smile I’ve ever seen; she stepped up, took my hand, and walked me around the temple.  It was bliss, even for me who doesn’t go for women, but she told me about how she had been expecting me, preparing all this for me, watching out for my arrival; she told me that she wanted to make sure I was alright.  I told her that I was, and by then, she had led me to the entry of the temple and gently guided me out with the kindest and warmest of farewells.  I left with a smile on my face, both in my mind and in my physical body.

John Collier's "Tannhäuser in the Venusberg"

Now, I’m going to warn you: geomancy, being an older art and an art that incorporates gender binaries in its symbolism, is going to seem a little sexist at times, especially in its presentation of the highest feminine ideal.  That said, bear with me and keep going.  It’s just as bad (or as funny) when we get to Puer, the Boy, later on.

Although geomancy and astrology are separate systems, they borrow liberally from and into each other.  Puella, in this case, is pure Libra, pure Venus, pure Aphrodite in its energy and symbolism.  Puella is beauty, harmony, good company, pleasantness, grace, graciousness, and a good time.  On the other hand, because it’s so focused on pleasing all parties involved, it’s going to try and balance things out with everyone, Puella may help you out one second and pass you up the next.  It’s like Puella’s a good hostess, and can only focus on pleasing everyone equally and harmoniously to make sure everyone’s okay and that everyone’s having a good time.  She doesn’t mean to be conspiratorial or two-faced, but in order to please everyone, she may have to pass someone up to keep up good relations with everyone.  At the very least, though, Puella’s energies are pleasant and beautiful, and usually bring that influence wherever Puella appears.

Elementally, Puella is ruled by Water, showing her acceptance of everyone and everything on a deep, emotional level.  Plus, like Albus, her emotional nature also gives her the ability to reflect on herself and others to allow better relating to others.  Going by her elemental structure, she lacks only Air, leaving fewer active elements (fire and air) than passive (water and earth).  Though it might sound sexist, yes, dear reader, the Woman lacks a brain (air); she feels and is emotional, and receives the thoughts and talks of others to reflect them upon themselves.  She receives, and is a figure of human receptivity; what she lacks (thoughtful communication and human interaction) she waits to receive, though she has the force of will, emotional capacity, and material grounding to live on her own.

Unlike the other Cytherean figure Amissio, Puella is not emotionally upset, and in fact attempts its hardest to prevent that kind of thing from happening.  While Amissio is about loss, Puella is about balance and pleasantness.  While Amissio is focused on material and emotional needs, Puella is focused on communicative and emotional fulfillment.  Amissio and Puella, though they are both ruled by Venus, are ruled by drastically different aspects of the planet.  They both share the fire and water element, Puella has the earth line filled while Amissio does not.  Amissio’s lack of material realization prevents the stability and focus that allows Cytherean energies to act as a balance to smooth things over; Puella, because she is satisfied in all ways except through interaction, is empowered and endowed enough to fulfill that purpose of Venus, which is to make things better for all involved, including oneself.

Incorporating Puella’s energies into one’s life or a given situation is always a good thing, but it’s better to use it to brighten or freshen things up a little instead of using Puella to lay good foundations for things.  Anything that needs a short-term infusion of beauty, grace, good looks, or a strong glamour can benefit from Puella.  However, when it appears in a reading, expect that things will be pleasant though it may not say so; Puella may go your way or it may go another way, like Lady Fortune herself, since it exists to maintain a balance.  Unlike the balance and focus of the Sun and its high-level beauty (the meaning of the word “Tiphareth”, the sephirah of the Sun), Puella is a temporary low-level humane beauty that insists on the here-and-now needs of people.  Once someone has their need fulfilled and Puella has received what they can from someone, Puella moves on and see who else is disturbing the balance with their needs.

17 responses

  1. “It has the fire, water, and earth lines active and earth line passive” is all typographic and stuff.

    I am intensely loving this series. There’s nothing like seeing how the parts fit to make the tool useful (and beautiful).

    • Yerp, that should read “…air line passive”. Good catch, and thanks! There aren’t many thoughtful descriptions of geomantic figures or topics online for discussion, so I decided why not for my own blog? Stay tuned next week for a bit on geomantic technique, the Via Puncti; I’m thinking of doing four cycles of posts, four figures plus a technique, so this series should last about five months total (20 posts, 20 weeks).

    • Greer is the de facto prime geomancer, as I consider him, and his knowledge and expertise in the area is more than formidable, especially since he’s done no small amount of translation of geomancy texts from their original Latin and medieval French. He’s amazingly well-learned, not just in geomancy but in most occult and a good number of more mundane and practical fields, and I really look up to the man.

        • Funny story. I wrote England last year asking for the official title of Arch Satanist, but they told me I couldn’t have it because I wasn’t a citizen. I felt it was a cop out. They were polite about it however.

      • I figured you’d say approximately that so that I could throw in a resounding “DITTO!” Greer also translated the Latin Picatrix, and hisown books tend towards the seriously awesome .

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