Time running out on discounted divination services!

Just FYI, there’s only a few days remaining on my discount for divination services through my Etsy! Through January 31, my divination services are 20% off:

If you’re looking for a thorough, clear, and understandable forecast for the year of 2018, or if you have other issues and questions you’d like to resolve through divination, now’s the time to do it!  You can even book ahead and schedule multiple readings with the discount rate, and use them as you need to throughout the year, so if you think you need multiple readings in the near future, you should consider stocking up and get the offer while the getting’s good.  Normal prices will resume starting February 1.

Also, don’t forget that I also do full consultations that aren’t limited to just divination!  If you need a one-off mentoring session, guidance or help with ritual works, or have a larger problem that can’t be solved with just one divination session or a short email reply, you can book me for a 60-minute or 90-minute video/voice chat where we can talk about anything and everything you might need, divination and other help all included in the price.  For those, check out my Services page over on the site!

On Confusing Geomantic Charts and Geomantic Competency

I started studying geomancy in college, and I was blessed to go to a university with a huge library and good connections.  I’ll always fondly remember hauling my ass to the Old Stacks on grounds, and walking up the claustrophobic submarine-esque stairwell to get to the parapsychology and occult aisles, and finding tomes of occult knowledge from a variety of traditions across the world, including geomancy (which was often mixed up with feng shui manuals written in Classical Chinese and Korean as well as African divination that was only tangentially related).  Of these books, I have to credit Stephen Skinner and his out-of-print book Terrestrial Astrology: Divination by Geomancy with really getting me started in my research.  His up-to-date version of the book Geomancy in Theory and Practice is something every geomancer should have in their library; it’s a wealth of knowledge on the historical development and context of geomancy, as well as some of the major names in geomantic history dating back to its earliest mythological Arabic roots.

However, as I’ve come to learn and practice geomancy over the years, I’ve realized that Skinner’s book on geomancy has its major shortcomings.  The book is far better a history on geomancy than it is a guide to practicing it, and what little there is on actual practice is focused on a very late Golden Dawn-style of geomancy.  This isn’t bad per se, but it doesn’t draw on all the research Skinner has done in Arabic and European geomancy, especially all the new texts that have come to light since the publication of Terrestrial Astrology in 1980.  It’s one technique in particular that Skinner describes that I take major issue with, and it’s based on a fundamental issue with geomantic practice that I find to really hinder geomantic practice.  Skinner says that the Sentence, also known as the 16th figure or the Reconciler or superjudge, should only be used as a last resort if the Judge and the rest of the chart is unclear:

Who could ask for greater clarity?  If the answer were ambiguous, don’t forget that you could always resort to that back-stop, the Reconciler (figure XVI), which is formed by ‘adding’ together figures I and XV, that is, the first Mother and the Judge.  However, don’t form a Reconciler if you have already got a satisfactory answer, as this is rude persistence in the face of a perfectly adequate reply by the oracle!

The idea behind this is that the Sentence is “extra” and not needed by a geomancer except when the chart is confusing, and shouldn’t be part of the normal reading process.  As I’ve come to practice the art, I find the Sentence is always something to examine and is crucial to forming a complete answer.  In Arabic traditions, the Sentence is called “the result of the result”; if the Judge is the result of the query and how the situation resolves itself, then the Sentence is the effect of the resolution on the querent and how things go from there.  In other words, I treat the Sentence as a long-term post-mortem retrospective view on the situation and see how the querent will be effected by everything that happens, and it completes the chart by giving us a final sixteenth figure to round everything out from beginning to the end and afterwards.

The notion of using the Sentence to clarify the Judge does the role of the Sentence a severe injustice, since it belittles this noble figure way too much.  While the Judge does, of course, take precedence in giving an answer to the query, the Sentence is vital in seeing how things continue even after the situation comes to a close and gives us a final view on how the querent will be personally affected by the situation.  This differs from the rest of the chart, which describes what happens or how things happen.  To say that the Sentence is to be used as a “back-stop” doesn’t accurately describe the role of this figure, and to say that it should only be used in the case of a confusing chart is to insult it when it’s far more useful than that in every chart.

It gets worse, though.  Behind this technique of using the Sentence as a last-resort clarification to the Judge in the case of a confusing chart is the underlying notion that a geomantic chart can be too confusing to interpret with the usual methods and one must use “extra” figures in order to make sense of the thing.  I cannot overstate my disagreement with this notion, so let me make my point clear:

In a well-constructed geomantic reading, the symbols are always correct.  It is up to the geomancer to make sense of the symbols and soundly interpret the chart.  The chart in a geomantic reading is not wrong on its own, but the interpretation of the geomancer will be correct or incorrect depending on their own competency.  If a chart in a geomantic reading cannot be interpreted, the fault lies with the geomancer and not the chart.

When I say “well-constructed”, I don’t mean a chart that is drawn up correctly (though that is a necessary condition of a reading that is constructed properly).  I also mean that the reading is performed in a proper mindset: a clear, detached mind that isn’t afflicted by taxing concerns or worries.  The reading should also be performed when the geomancer isn’t physically afflicted with illness that would cause distraction, and other distractions to the geomantic process should also be minimized: the reading should be done when the weather isn’t violent or otherwise bad, in a place that is not moving (i.e. don’t do a reading in a moving vehicle), in a place that is relatively calm and peaceful, without obstruction from outside influences including spiritual adversaries or an unethical reader that stacks the deck or manipulates the generation of the Mothers or a person working maleficia against you to mess with your divinatory skill, and so forth.  This also includes heeding the usual warnings of Rubeus or Cauda Draconis appearing as the First Mother, though how one takes that warning is dependent on tradition.  These are all crucial things to be aware of, and while mental clarity and stability can neutralize many of these concerns ranging from a raging storm to raging emotions, they should all be heeded to construct a reading in the best possible way.

Assuming you’ve heeded the weather and your own well-being, the chart is going to have all the information you need to answer the query.  However, while the chart gives you the figures to interpret, it’s still going to be the geomancer alone who develops the interpretation.  This is where geomancy turns from a mathematically-rigorous technical practice into a spiritually-refined oracular art, and this is where things like intuition, emotional understanding, and perspective come into play.  If what the geomancer says is wrong, then it’s not the chart’s fault that the reading went wrong; the blame for an incorrect interpretation lies solely with the geomancer.  It’s up to the geomancer to give a proper interpretation of the figures; and that requires the geomancer to be competent in their knowledge of the figures and the techniques of geomancy.  You do not need to relegate certain figures to be last-resort interpretive methods, nor do you need to add the Sentence to the four Mothers to get another set of Mothers to draw up a new chart that can potentially be clearer than the first; you don’t need any other figures besides the first set you got.

This notion of a chart being too confusing to read is, as I understand it, an excuse for an incompetent geomancer who lacks the finesse to put together the pieces of the geomantic puzzle before them into a coherent interpretation.  Sometimes charts will be hard to read, and this is to be expected when we have only 16 figures to represent all of the myriad myriad things in the cosmos; however, I can solidly say that there has never been a chart constructed properly that was wrong in my own practice.  I’ve had a number of readings go awry with incorrect interpretations abound, but hindsight is 20/20 and I can always point out what went wrong after the fact and see how I could have interpreted the chart better.  It might take me five minutes to develop an interpretation for a chart or it might take me five hours, but there is no such thing as a chart that is too confusing to read.

As a result, I find this notion of having techniques to resolve a confusing chart to come from a very bad understanding of geomancy, since it pushes the blame of not being able to read a chart from the geomancer to geomancy itself.  This is not the case, and never has been!  If you’re not competent enough to properly read a chart, then become competent with more practice and trial-and-error.  It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to go well every single time.  That’s why we practice and build up our knowledge of the figures and techniques of geomancy, and while geomancy is an art that can take a week to pick up and start practicing with good results, it can take years and years to actually become competent at it.

Consider this from the point of view of an alchemist.  In their art, they deal with the subtle forces and changes in material components to drive spiritual changes in the world, and it’s an excruciatingly fine art and science to practice.  Some alchemical processes can take months to complete and must be performed time and time again, and not all these attempts come to success.  If an alchemist’s experiment comes to failure, it’s not alchemy that was at fault, but the alchemist; they didn’t perform their calculations or their processes correctly, or they used the wrong set of materials, or they did things at the wrong time or in the wrong state.  To say that it’s alchemy itself that doesn’t work is, quite simply, wrong, and no alchemist would say such a thing of their art.  For us to say that about geomancy is misguided at best and hypocritical at worst.  Don’t do it.

If the chart is confusing, it’s because you’re the one confused.  While it’s lamentable, it’s not irreparable; there are plenty of things you can do to resolve a “confusing” chart that don’t involve these problematic techniques.  Take a step back, take a deep breath, and try looking at the chart from another perspective.  Think more deeply about the query put to the chart, and see if there’s something you missed in an assumption you made or if there’s something you aren’t aware of when the query was asked.  See if you missed something in your understanding of the techniques or the symbols in geomancy, if you misapplied a particular technique, or if you’re using the wrong set of meanings for a particular symbol.  Consider your own state of being and that of the land and area around you to see if there are negative influences surrounding the reading.  If you need to, take a nap and sleep on the chart for a bit (literally or otherwise) and come back to it later.  If, even after looking at the chart from every angle, you still can’t come to a satisfactory answer, wait at least a day and draw up a new chart for the same query, but save the old one for reference to compare results later.

Over time, competency will come, but it’s up to you to work on it.  There are no shortcuts and there are no substitutes for this.  Trying to make your life easier by geomantically begging the question with “clarification” techniques does neither you nor geomancy any favors.  Research the techniques; meditate on the meanings; practice the process.  That’s the real way to resolve confusing charts.

Yearly Readings Special for 2015!

About this time last year, I had the notion of doing a discounted special for yearly geomantic readings covering people’s lives in 2014.  I got a goodly amount of attention and business from that and it gives me a fairly good chance to bust out the divination and vision oils and burn through a bunch of people’s futures in a single sitting, the rush of which is something I enjoy.  Add to it, I’ve gotten several requests from various people recently asking if I’d be doing them again, but of course I’ve been on vacation for the past few weeks and have been luxuriously enjoying time off and away from the world.  So, I won’t disappoint; let’s do this again, shall we?

This time, I’m using Etsy to set up my divination readings, both for my regular readings and the yearly readings special.  For the time being, unless I have a good reason to, I’ll stick to using Etsy and not PayPal as my divination reading business medium, so be sure to get an Etsy account and follow my shop!

So, the rules are pretty much the same as last year, folks.  You pay me US$20.00, and I’ll draw up a geomantic chart and interpretation for your coming year!  This offer is good through 11:59 PM EST January 30, 2015, so if you’re interested, you only have a limited time to get in on the reading special!  Just be sure you’re looking at the right divination listing.  I’ll try to keep the turnaround time to a minimum, but expect a few days to a week depending on the influx for me to get through all these.  (Bear in mind that I maintain a full-time office job with a lengthy commute.)

What are you waiting for?  Head over to my Etsy page and get a 2015 Yearly Geomancy Reading!

New Divination Reading Offers Available!

My little side-business in selling my crafts and ebooks has gotten off to a modest start since opening up my Etsy shop earlier this year, which is awesome.  Still, what I really want to focus more on is divination, and people haven’t sprung for that nearly as much as I’d like.

Yes, if you didn’t know, I provide divination services and have for some time now.  Surprise!  I also offer other ritual services and planning, too, but divination is something I want to focus on today.  I’ve been offering two services up until this point:

  • A full geomancy reading.  This reading focuses only on one question at a time, but fully explores all the relevant symbols in the chart, as well as offering advice on how to proceed in a particular matter and what actions one can take to induce a particular resolution.  Was US$30, but is now at a lower price of US$20!
  • A horary-geomancy reading, combining horary astrology overlaid with a geomancy chart.  This is preferred for natal queries, long-term situations, or similar deep and complex matters.  This provides more detail than a geomancy reading, as it incorporates Renaissance astrological techniques woven into the standard geomantic interpretations offered.  US$60.

That said, I’m now offering several new selections outside geomancy:

  • A minireading for US$10, combining a pared-down 2-figure geomancy reading and a single-letter grammatomancy reading to indicate a general progression of events as well as advice on what to expect and how to maintain yourself in your affairs.  This is best for general questions to get a good feel for a situation at a high level, and you can go more in-depth with a follow-up reading if desired after this.PayPal Button: Minireading
  • Skype sessions (voice or webcam) for US$50 for half an hour.  We’ll go over as many questions as you have and how to resolve them.  I’ll use a mixture of geomancy, shell divination, grammatomancy, and other methods as I see fit for the queries asked.PayPal Button: Half-Hour Skype Divination Session

Some of you might be wondering, “o polyphanes, why don’t you just offer simple grammatomantic readings?”  Well, back in the day, grammatomancy (drawing a random Greek letter) was a free service that you could do in any forum that had a post with oracles inscribed on it and a bowl with pebbles marked with the Greek letters.  As far as I can ascertain, there was no fee nor charge for this, and it’s such a simple system that I don’t see the need to do what you can easily do for yourself.  There are free resources online to study the art, but I also suggest buying my own ebook on grammatomancy for US$10 which covers all the basics and a number of advanced interpretive techniques.

If you select a Skype reading, please be aware that my most available times tend to be:

  • Wednesday afternoons
  • Friday afternoons
  • Saturday evenings
  • Sunday afternoons and evenings

I go by US Eastern time (observing daylight saving as is custom).  Once I receive notification of payment, we’ll schedule a time slot and I’ll give you a call at the appointed time.  I’ll also record the session (once I can figure that out) and send it to you for your records.

Also, let’s get something fancy going here.  If you refer someone to my site for any divination service, have them let me know your email address.  You’ll be entitled to one free minireading for every person you refer!  Just make sure they tell me that so-and-so@blah.com referred them to me for a divination, and I’ll send you an email afterwards letting you know that you’re eligible for a free minireading.  Of course, you’re under no obligation to refer me to anyone if you don’t want to, but if you like what you read here and what I write or make, consider nudging some business my way or consider donating.  Any little bit helps, and after all, divination is why I’m a magician in the first place.

So what are you waiting for?  Want to get a reading?  Check out my Services page today, or send me an email!