# De Geomanteia: Geomantically Calculating Time (so slowly for those who wait)

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, just to keep things exciting, let’s talk about technique instead of figures.  Specifically, let’s talk about geomantic methods of calculating time and when a queried event will happen.

Just like last time, this is gonna be another doozy of a post, so you might want to grab something to sip and something to munch.  Ready?  Good!

Built on binary mathematics, geomancy is well-suited to answering binary queries, especially those of the “will event X happen given condition set Y?” variety.  Instead of asking “when will event X happen?”, geomancy is often better suited to asking “will event X happen by date Y?” or “will event X happen within timeframe Z?”, which are both binary questions that give a yes-or-no answer.  In that case, one just has to rephrase a “when” query into a “will” query with an appropriate time condition, and look at the normal methods of perfection and determining a yes-or-no answer.  This can be done multiple times to whittle down and refine the timeframe inspected: if we know something won’t happen until time period A but will happen by time period B, we can set a midpoint between A and B and see whether it’ll happen before or after then.  This is by far my most preferred method of answering time questions, and the one I find to be the most reliable and direct.  However, this can only really work when the querent is willing to guess at the timeframe or time boundary, which they may not always be willing or able to do.

When the querent insists on asking a geomancer a “when” query, all hope is not lost; there have been many methods of finding out how soon or how far off an event will happen or has happened using geomancy.  One old method of calculating time is by assigning general timeframes to the figures.  When one is asked a “when” query, check out the significator of the quesited.  The figure there determines the rough span of time it’ll take for it to occur:

• Hours: Coniunctio
• Days: Amissio
• Weeks: Cauda Draconis
• Months: Puella, Fortuna Minor, Populus, Via, Puer, Rubeus
• Years: Fortuna Maior, Acquisitio, Tristitia, Carcer, Laetitia, Albus, Caput Draconis

Probably the most common method of calculating time is to assign a set of numbers to the figures, much as any other correspondence or association they’d have.  Assuming one has a specific unit of time in mind (e.g. hours, days, weeks, months, years), look at the figure in the house of the quesited for a “when” chart.  If the figure and chart is favorable to the querent (a favorable Judge, aspects figures make to the significators, the chart perfects or denies according to the querent’s wishes, etc.), use the more favorable number; if unfavorable, use the more unfavorable number.  For instance, if the querent wants something to happen quickly, but the quesited’s significator is unfavorable to the querent and the situation, use the larger number.

Figure Greater Number Lesser Number
Populus 7 5
Via 5 2
Albus 12 5
Coniunctio 10 4
Puella 82 6
Amissio 6 6
Fortuna Maior 66 56
Fortuna Minor 41 1
Puer 120 79
Rubeus 19 9
Acquisitio 79 13
Laetitia 25 11
Tristitia 58 30
Carcer 43 30
Caput Draconis 11 3
Cauda Draconis 8 2

A note on perfection here: the last post on technique stated that perfection is not a factor in favorability, which is true, but only in terms of “yes/no” or “will/won’t happen” types of queries.  “When” queries are distinct from that, when perfection itself doesn’t answer the query (“when” can’t be answered with “yes” or “no”), but is instead treated as another favorable or unfavorable influence in the chart, according to the querent’s wishes.  For instance, if the querent doesn’t want something to happen, but the chart perfects (implying that it will), then this is considered an unfavorable influence, even if the figures themselves are favorable, and especially if the figures themselves are unfavorable.

A similar method to the above comes from the English occultist Robert Fludd, who uses three sets of numbers to determine lifespans or other similarly long timeframes.  In this case, it goes more by planet, with Caput Draconis taking on the values for Venus or Jupiter and Cauda Draconis taking on the values for Mars and Saturn.  When looking at someone’s life chart, or for the longevity of something for a certain unit of time (normally years, but can be used for days, weeks, etc.), look at the house representing the thing asked about (the first house for someone’s lifespan, or another house for another kind of long-term timeframe):

• If the house of the significator is cardinal (houses one, four, seven, or ten) and doesn’t pass elsewhere, or if the significator passes to a cardinal house, use the maximum number.
• If the house of the significator is succedent (houses two, five, eight, or eleven) and doesn’t pass elsewhere, or if the significator passes to a succedent house, use the medium number.
• If the house of the significator is cadent (houses three, six, nine, or twelve) and doesn’t pass elsewhere, or if the significator passes to a cadent house, use the minimum number.

Fludd occasionally gave two numbers for a given value, and no method to choose between them, so one might do well to average them or use them both as equally good estimates.

Figure Maximum
Number
Medium
Number
Mininum
Number
Populus 108 or 101  76½ 25
Via 36 25 8
Albus
Coniunctio
68 30 8
Puella
Amissio
82 45 8
Fortuna Maior
Fortuna Minor
120 69 9
Puer
Rubeus
60 40½ 15
Acquisitio
Laetitia
75 or 59 55 or 45½ about 12
Tristitia
Carcer
57 43 30
Caput Draconis see the hours of
Venus and Jupiter
see the hours of
Venus and Jupiter
see the hours of
Venus and Jupiter
Cauda Draconis see the hours of
Mars and Saturn
see the hours of
Mars and Saturn
see the hours of
Mars and Saturn

The use of figuring out whether a figure passes to a cardinal, succedent, or cadent house is also applicable to the other two methods above by splitting the individual timeframes into thirds.  If the figure passes to a cardinal house or is naturally found in a cardinal house without passing, it’s in the first third of the timeframe; if succedent, the second third; if cadent, the last third.  Alternatively, it could represent something happening extraordinarily fast if cardinal, middling or on schedule if succedent, or slow or delayed if cadent.

The issue with the above numerical methods is that I can’t find any basis for assigning the figures the numbers they have.  They’re certainly not found in the old texts, and I can only start to find them in the late Renaissance period onward; though the planets in astrology have some numerical attributions similar to this, I haven’t had much experience working with them.  Fludd and other geomancers may have found them out through sheer experimentation and noting down things in their experiments and readings, but I can’t find any rhyme or reason why the figures have these numerical associations and not others (like, say, numbers based on their binary structure).  Moreover, the numbers they have are limited to denote extremely large periods of time. and though that can be tweaked slightly to allow more flexibility (more on that later), they’re still drastically limited.  To that end, I don’t like using these numerical methods of finding out when questions, and though I’ve heard of other geomancers getting decent results with them, I haven’t had much luck getting them to work in my own practice.

Instead, when doing “when” queries, I prefer to use the tried-and-true astrological associations of the figures to figure out times of events.  Like the method above, the querent should select a different “unit” of time, such as a zodiac sign, weekday, or planetary hour.  By asking “in what zodiac sign/weekday/moon sign/planetary hour will event X happen?” the geomancer would inspect the house of the quesited and give an answer based on the astrological associations of that figure.  Since there are two figures for every planet, each with a direct/retrograde or increasing/decreasing association, we can fine-tune the planetary hour association with each figure’s planet by assigning it to a diurnal hour or nocturnal hour of the day.  Keep in mind that there are two major zodiacal attribution systems to the geomantic figures, one given by Cornelius Agrippa and one given by Gerard of Cremona.  I prefer the latter, but so long as you stick to one system, you’re good to go.

Figure Planetary Hour Weekday Zodiac Sign
(Agrippa)
Zodiac Sign
(Gerard of Cremona)
Populus Moon
(daytime)
Monday Cancer Capricorn
Via Moon
(nighttime)
Monday Cancer Leo
Albus Mercury
(daytime)
Wednesday Gemini Cancer
Coniunctio Mercury
(nighttime)
Wednesday Virgo Virgo
Puella Venus
(daytime)
Friday Libra Libra
Amissio Venus
(nighttime)
Friday Taurus Scorpio
Fortuna Maior Sun
(daytime)
Sunday Leo Aquarius
Fortuna Minor Sun
(nighttime)
Sunday Leo Taurus
Puer Mars
(daytime)
Tuesday Aries Gemini
Rubeus Mars
(nighttime)
Tuesday Scorpio Gemini
Acquisitio Jupiter
(daytime)
Thursday Sagittarius Aries
Laetitia Jupiter
(nighttime)
Thursday Pisces Taurus
Tristitia Saturn
(daytime)
Saturday Aquarius Scorpio
Carcer Saturn
(nighttime)
Saturday Capricorn Pisces
Caput Draconis North Lunar Node
(Venus and Jupiter)
Friday or
Thursday
Virgo Virgo
Cauda Draconis South Lunar Node
(Mars and Saturn)
Tuesday or
Saturday
Sagittarius Sagittarius

Speaking of planetary hours, there exists a derivative of them specifically for geomantic figures, the geomantic hours.  As far as I can tell, this was a fairly late innovation in geomancy, and the only Renaissance literature I can find this in is John Heydon’s “Theomagia”, though it’s been said that it can be found in at least one other geomantic work of the time.  Generally, one assigns each planetary hour to a figure that planet is associated with, with the Dragon’s Head and Tail being thrown in here and there, but either it uses a very obscure method to assign which figures to which hours that I can’t discern, or it actually is as haphazard as it looks.  It’s helpful as a geomancy-specific refinement, though I prefer the simpler and more regular planetary hours that work just as well for me.

Hour Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1  Fortuna
Maior
Via Rubeus  Albus Laetitia Puella Tristitia
2  Amissio  Carcer  Fortuna
Minor
Populus  Puer  Coniunctio  Acquisitio
3  Albus  Laetitia  Puella  Tristitia  Fortuna
Minor
Via  Rubeus
4  Populus  Puer  Albus  Laetitia  Amissio  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
5  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
Via  Puer  Albus  Laetitia  Puella
6  Acquisitio  Amissio  Cauda
Draconis
Fortuna
Maior
Populus  Puer  Coniunctio
7  Rubeus  Albus  Acquisitio Puella  Tristitia  Fortuna
Minor
Via
8  Fortuna
Minor
Populus  Puer  Coniunctio  Acquisitio  Amissio  Carcer
9  Puella  Tristitia  Fortuna
Maior
Via  Rubeus  Albus  Laetitia
10  Coniunctio  Acquisitio  Amissio  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
Populus  Puer
11  Via  Rubeus  Coniunctio  Acquisitio  Puella  Tristitia  Cauda
Draconis
12  Tristitia  Fortuna
Minor
Populus  Rubeus  Coniunctio  Acquisitio  Amissio
13  Laetitia  Puella  Tristitia  Fortuna
Minor
Via Rubeus Albus
14  Puer  Albus  Laetitia  Amissio  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
Via
15  Fortuna
Maior
Via  Rubeus  Albus  Laetitia  Puella  Tristitia
16  Amissio  Cauda
Draconis
Fortuna
Maior
Populus  Puer  Coniunctio  Acquisitio
17  Albus  Laetitia  Puella  Tristitia  Fortuna
Minor
Via  Rubeus
18  Populus  Puer  Albus  Acquisitio  Amissio  Carcer  Caput
Draconis
19  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
Via  Rubeus  Albus  Laetitia  Puella
20  Acquisitio  Amissio  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
Populus  Puer  Coniunctio
21  Rubeus  Coniunctio  Acquisitio  Puella  Tristitia  Fortuna
Maior
Populus
22  Fortuna
Minor
Populus  Cauda
Draconis
Coniunctio  Acquisitio  Amissio  Carcer
23  Puella  Carcer  Fortuna
Minor
Via  Rubeus  Albus  Laetitia
24  Coniunctio  Caput
Draconis
Amissio  Carcer  Fortuna
Maior
Populus  Puer

Another method of finding out when something will happen within a day’s time is to use the zodiacal attributions of the figures and look at the figure in the first house, the house of the ascendant.  One can use this method to determine the sign on the ascendant  of when the event will actually come to pass.  Again, be sure to pick one system of zodiac attributions and stick to it.

To recap, there are a number of ways to determine when something can happen using geomancy.  Say a querent wants to know when she and her fiancée will marry (a query for the seventh house).  Lots of methods abound:

1. Rephrase the “when” query into a binary query.  The querent might ask instead “Will I and my fiancée be married within the next year?” or “Will I and my fiancée be married by the end of 2016?”.  Follow the rules of perfection, favorability, and the like as normal to get a yes-or-no answer; repeat until satisfied, refining the timeframe or time boundary as desired.  If we use the latter question, and the chart perfects between the first and seventh houses, we can say that the two of them will be married by the end of 2016.
2. Use the lesser or greater number of the figure with a unit of time, depending on how favorable the chart is to the querent.  The chart perfects (a favorable sign) with a favorable court and the figure Laetitia appears in the seventh house.  Since she’d like to marry her partner sooner rather than later, look at the lesser number of the figure; in this case, assuming the querent phrased the query in terms of months, we might say that they’ll be married in 11 months’ time.
3. Use the maximum, medium, or minimum number of the figure with a unit of time, depending on whether the figure is found in or passes to a certain kind of house.  Use the maximum number if the significator passes to a cardinal house or is naturally in a cardinal house without passing, the medium number if succedent, and the minimum number if cadent.  The figure in the seventh house, Laetitia, passes to the ninth house, which is cadent.  Assuming the querent phrased the query in terms of months, we might say that they’ll be married in about 12 months’ time.
4. Use the astrological correspondences of the figure to determine the planetary events going on (Sun sign, Moon sign, ascendant, planetary/geomantic hour, etc.).  We might have to draw several charts to figure this out, perhaps in conjunction with the binary query conversion method above.  The figure in the seventh house, Laetitia, is associated with Pisces or Taurus, either late winter or mid-spring (I’d go with the late-spring, since I prefer Gerard of Cremona’s attributions, but your mileage may vary).  The first house contains the figure Via, which is associated with either Cancer or Leo (I’d go with Leo), so we can say that the sign on the ascendant will be one of those, leading to an answer of about midday (when Leo would be rising, implying Taurus would be near the midheaven, middayish).