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 Acquisitio. In Latin, its name means “Gain”, which is pretty common in lots of other traditions, but can also be named as “grasping” or “incoming fortune”. If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like a bowl collecting money or an old-style bag of money.
First, the technical details of this figure. It’s associated with Jupiter in direct motion and the astrological signs of Sagittarius or Aries, depending on whom you ask; due to its Jovial qualities, it’s also associated with the sephirah Chesed. It has the air and earth lines active with the fire and water lines passive, and is overall associated with the element of Air. It is an even figure with six points, relating to objective situations rather than internal or subjective events. It is a stable and entering, showing it to be slow-moving and long-lasting where it appears. In the body, it signifies the hips, thighs, and liver. Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Amissio, Loss, showing that this figure is all about gaining, getting, obtaining, amassing, and having things stay within reach as opposed to loss or losing things. Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is also Amissio, showing that there is no other kind of state between loss or gain except loss or gain. Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is itself, showing Acquisitio to be unique in how it expresses its geomantic symbolism. Acquisitio is all about gain in every way, from getting more money to catching a cold; as a figure of Jupiter, it’s extremely favorable except in any case when one wants to lose, get rid of, or avoid something.
In my meditation on Acquisitio, I found myself walking down a cold city street swathed in grey: grey buildings, grey skies, grey windows, all very elegant but all very uniform. All around me, people are walking in black suits and clothes, and I can’t see anyone’s face. Out of nowhere, a hand presses a gold oblong coin into my own; though I can’t find who gave it to me, it’s the only thing with color here. It doesn’t really affect my mood and I don’t feel attachment to it, but it does feel nice to have the wealth; it’s still just a coin, a symbol of value. Walking past the shops, no two alike but all busy yet bleary inside, I find another coin, and then another on the sidewalk. It’s nice, but it’s really just a distraction from all the loud non-communication non-interaction going on around me. I spot a bit of color amidst the grey at the end of the street: a toy store or a pawn shop, with people inside smiling and laughing and interacting with each other. I see everything that I could possibly want, and settle on some books, inks, pens, and parchment; the jolly shopkeeper, asking me playfully what took me so long to get there, readily accepts some of the coins as payment and follows me over to the table where I start drawing: plans, code, blueprints, layouts, whatever. He looks over my results, trades me another gold coin, and wishes me good luck and a good start. I leave; the skies are blue, and I find an empty lot on which I make my own building and storefront. People come in steadily and pay me for services I perform for them, giving me even more of the gold coins. Eventually, I leave, and sell the building and lot to another customer, and keep on moving.
Like its inverse figure Amissio, Acquisitio is a fairly straightforward figure, implying all that its name implies. Acquisitio, meaning “gain” or “within reach”, represents obtaining, increasing, taking, getting, receiving, and finding things. In all cases and in every place in a geomantic reading, Acquisitio means gettin’ it. Whether this is a good or bad thing, however, depends on whether you want to get it or not. Generally speaking, people like augmenting, increasing, or getting stuff, so Acquisitio is solidly set in the more favorable of geomancy figures, behind Fortuna Maior and Caput Draconis, though they have their own difficulties, as well.
Acquisitio is a figure of Jupiter in direct motion, Jupiter at its strongest and most beneficial, as well as its most expansive. Being so powerfully Jovian in nature, Acquisitio reflects these in the most concrete way possible: good luck and good earnings. Jupiter is the Greater Benefic in astrology, being one of the most fortunate planets (at least when fortunately placed), and is often used in magic for expansion, increase, wealth, and fortune. These qualities of Jupiter are ancient even in worship, and he was often supplicated for all the good things and benefits in life, especially those of a material nature. Quoth the Orphic Hymn to the god of Jupiter:
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-formed from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health,
with peace divine and necessary wealth.
Acquisitio is all about transactions and goods. It has the focused and material elements of air and earth active, with emotional water and spiritual fire passive, and is overall associated with Air. As such, Acquisitio is a figure that indicates a need for interacting and working with others. While wealth can simply be found on the street or by happenstance, which is always nice, wealth and benefits are more reliably and regularly found in working with others, giving so that you can get in return. This is how businesses turn a profit, after all; all service-providers require someone to serve, all producers require consumers, and nobody works in a vacuum or on an island. When there’s no interaction, there can’t be any real exchange, and without exchange, material goods just sit there motionless without any use or value. Even money is a symbol that needs to be exchanged and used in order to be useful; amassing a Scrooge McDuck-like vault of money won’t do you any good unless you actually use it. Again, this has distinctly Jupiter connections (itself a planet associated with Air): just as grace is a gift freely given, we only find ourselves in grace when we give it to others. Then again, keep in mind that money alone won’t buy you happiness; without water or fire in Acquisitio, it’s strictly a figure for worldly fortune and gain without any deeper help.
Still, Acquisitio isn’t always favorable. There are lots of times in life when losing something is much more helpful, especially when one is overwhelmed. Consider a walled garden: with the proper planning and layout, the entire garden can be covered from one side to the other, filling the entire place with rich, lush, productive, healthy plants. However, try to plant more than that, or let the garden grow on its own uncontrollably, and it starts to cause problems like fighting over resources, luring pests or rodents in, and having things die off without the proper attention and care being paid to them. Expansion is good but only to a certain point, after which things become too much to handle. And even then, sometimes contraction and cutting stuff off is still helpful; when one wants to clear away the extra, trim off the fat, or make do with less, Acquisitio is not helpful. Saturn, too, has his role to play (we’ll get to those figures next).
When Acquisitio appears in a reading, it generally indicates gain, increase, and good fortune. It often indicates patience and prudence in character, and it signifies success when trying to find lost or missing objects, goals, and people. It’s not great in matters of health, often indicating catching some disease or other, but unless the rest of the chart is dour, it indicates strength as well. Needless to say, it’s favorable in the houses of ownership and finances: second for money and movable possessions, fourth for real estate, fifth for gambling and speculative ventures, sixth for pets and small livestock, eighth for inheritance, tenth for career, and twelfth for large livestock and wild animals. When found with the Part of Fortune, expect easy access to resources, whatever you may need. Magically, Acquisitio is awesome for wealth and financial magic, especially in money drawing or money holding rituals, as well as trying to find lost or misplaced things. It may have the side effect of gaining weight, but then again, that’s Jupiter for you.