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 Laetitia. In Latin, its name means “Joy”, which is pretty common in lots of other traditions, but can also be named as “healthy”, “upward motion”, or “bearded”. If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like an arch, tower, or rainbow.
First, the technical details of this figure. It’s associated with Jupiter in retrograde motion and the astrological signs of Pisces or Taurus, depending on whom you ask; due to its Jovial qualities, it’s also associated with the sephirah Chesed. It has only the fire line active with all others passive, and thus is corresponded as a whole to the element of Fire. It is an odd figure with seven points, relating more to internal states of the subjective mind than external states of objective reality. It is a mobile and exiting figure, showing things to be dynamic, fast-moving, and fleeting in influence. In the body, it signifies the feet and fat of the body. Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Caput Draconis, the Dragon’s Head, showing that this figure is not lasting, not prepared, not focused on the physical. Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is Tristitia, Sorrow, showing that this figure is not sorrowful, not stuck, not self-limiting. Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is Cauda Draconis, the Dragon’s Tail, showing that it is similarly fast-moving, intent-driven, and has the capacity for change in radically new directions. Laetitia, true to its name, represents joy, happiness, and elation in all its forms. It’s an emotional state, and a fleeting one at that, but it’s readily apparent for all to see and quite uplifting and contagious to everyone involved. It represents upward motion (lifted spirits, promotions, looking upwards), and so isn’t great for keeping secrets, keeping things tied down, or making things stable; otherwise, it’s fortunate and cheerful, though fast-moving.
A band of settlers, weary from the long roads and tired of being alone and separated from their town of origin, finally find a new place to settle down. At first blush, the land is clear and clean, with easy access to green grass, nearby forests, and local streams, and so they at long last decide to hitch their wagons down and claim the land as their own. They immediately start celebrating, most of the settlers focused on ending their journey, looking forward to their new-yet-unplanned home, and celebrating. With the exception of a handful of elders and engineers, the whole group is more focused on having fun and relaxing rather than being productive or actually setting stuff up for later. Children run around playing, freer than they have been in months; the adults start tapping the best of their ales and roasting their fattest hogs to celebrate the choosing of the site for their new town. Nothing is built yet, but that doesn’t matter: things are good, and they’re going to enjoy that goodness for today with lots of partying, drinking, looking forward, and joy.
Much like Amissio, whose name (Loss) describes the figure pretty well, Laetitia’s name of “Joy” is pretty straightforward. It’s about happiness, it’s about joy, it’s about having fun, it’s about looking up and keeping your chin up. It represents the emotion of happiness in every way, from passing and ephemeral giddiness to the deepest states of spiritual enlightenment. In any context, it represents good times, though not necessarily long-lasting ones. It’s definitely one of the more favorable figures of geomancy, and it’s not hard to see why: everyone likes happiness and people who are happy, who make them happy themselves. It’s pretty simple when it comes to that.
Laetitia has only the fire line active, with all other forces in the figure passive. As a result, Laetitia is associated with the element of Fire, indicating the drive, the will, and the mind to actually do something. It’s been said that happiness isn’t found as the goal or result of an action, but found in the process of doing something; when we start to work our wills on the cosmos, we start doing what’s right for us, which has one effect of making us happy. Will is the force associated with the element of Fire, and reflects that Laetitia is an expression of happiness through action, actually doing stuff in the world. However, as a mobile and exiting figure, Laetitia’s effects are not long-lasting at all, which also tie in well with its fiery nature. Events and actions are processes that last for only moments at a time, changing their state from moment to instantaneous moment, and without anything actually produced to cement that action in the material world, without any other party involved to work with to continue the action, and without any emotional involvement to contextualize and understand it, the passing elation and activity of Laetitia will remain for only a short while and burn up in itself. After all, fire needs some kind of fuel to burn in order to keep going.
Despite its fiery nature, Laetitia is also assigned to the beneficent Jupiter and Pisces astrologically, which are more airy and watery than Laetitia would imply. Pisces, to me, speaks of nebulousness and mistiness, able to accept and reflect while clouding and uplifting. Pisces, being the final sign in the zodiac, leads one to wander out of one cycle and into the next, being a figure of transition and change that is neither ending nor beginning; it’s a figure of the imagination, being associated with the traveling feet of the body, as well as of illusion, being too caught up in its own dreaminess and clouds. However, it’s this lack of clarity and ability to dream, and thus to plan and will things into existence, that gives one an ability to feel joy and optimism. People often find happiness in the what-ifs and plans just being made, though enacting these plans might be difficult later on when the harsh realities of the world come into play. However, the luck and grace of Jupiter, though turned retrograde and nocturnal for Laetitia, help keep spirits and minds buoyant at the world, come what may.
Laetitia is a pretty awesome figure, though its benefit is limited. The shape of Laetitia resembles an upwards-pointing arrow, often like a tower or an arch, and from this derives its secondary meaning of “uplifting” or “upwards motion”. Whether it’s a promotion (going up at work), better health (lifted vitality), or just general happiness (high spirits), Laetitia signifies going up. It signifies any high place, especially any well-lit or cheerful place, often in view of all people due to its raised stature. Because of that, Laetitia is not good when one wants to keep things hidden or secret, since something is in the view of everyone, and because gossip spreads like wildfire. Due to its fiery and flighty nature, Laetitia isn’t good for long-term involvement or stability, especially anything that involves actual hard work and sorting out details. Magically, Laetitia helps increase or improve the mood or general good feeling of anything, and can help with giving someone hope or opportunity, but also to uncover secrets and keep things active enough to keep moving.