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Geomancy and Binary Divination Systems

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.occult.methods,alt.divination,alt.religion.orisha,alt.philosophy.taoism
From: ({ Secret Chief })
Subject: Re: Geomancy and Binary Divination Systems (was Divination and Liber 963)
Date: 16 Nov 2002 22:15:23 -0800

nagasiva  wrote in message news:...

> > ...the novelty is integrating it with bibliomancy.
> are you familiar with the long tradition of associating the 
> figures (or a pair of them) with textual verses in 
> African/-diasporic religion?

Yes.  As I understand it, the Ifa method of divination consists in
casting 2 geomantic figures.  Each set of two figures has several
traditional verses attributed to it, and the client and diviner
'negotiate' over which verse best fits the situation.
> > But I just toss four coins: heads=odd, tails=even.
> what? no numbers for those like the Yi's 6s/7s/8s/9s
> (Greater Yin/Lesser Yin/Lesser Yang/Greater Yang bigrams)? :>

Ha!  Well, traditionally, there are no 'changing lines' in geomancy. 
One either casts one figure or casts another.  ;)
> >Traditionally, one casts four such tessarograms.  These are called the
> >'mothers'.  Then by a series of manipulations, these mothers yield
> >four 'daughters', four 'nieces', two 'witnesses', and a 'judge'....  
> the similarities (trigrams are also arranged with 3 daughters and
> 3 sons, 1 mother and 1 father) with the Yi as a binary system is
> difficult to ignore, but merely coincidental? any idea as to why
> these names developed? 

There is only one source of binary/lot divination, which is China.  It
spread to Persia following the Mongol conquests (or maybe just along
the Silk Road) and thence to North Africa and afterwards Europe and
West Africa, taking along with it some traditional terminology (e.g.
'mothers') while altering other aspects (three/six lines per figure in
China, four in the West).

> do you know how it varies in its practice over the course of the
> communities into which it has spread (Greek, European, Muslim,
> Hermetic, etc.)? 

Not particularly.  Though I do know this: the Greeks knew nothing of
it, neither in the Classical age nor in the later eras that yielded
the Hermetic corpus.  (Or if they did, they observed an admirable
adherence to an oath of secrecy).

Geomancy shows up in Europe in the high Middle Ages, when Greek and
Arabic texts were starting to make their way into the Western mind. 
By that time, I believe, geomancy had already taken up a rigorously
astrological framework.

> 	--------------------------------------------------
> 	 "Terrestrial Astrology: Divination by Geomancy",
> 	  by Stephen Skinner, Routledge and Kegan Paul,
> 	  1980; pp. 25-6.
> 	==================================================

I'll have to look that one up.
> very nice! that text is also online in numerous places, inclusive
> of in the Lucky Mojo Archive:
> if you know of something missing from these which would be essential
> for use of it in the manner you've described, let me know. 

Looks fine to me. ;)
> >Fuller was an interesting guy.  In addition to metaphysical painting
> >and writing and editing the Equinox, he was also a high-ranking
> >officer in the British army, a prolific and respected writer on
> >military strategy, and an early advocate of tank warfare.  Perhaps the
> >only avowed follower of Crowley who ever 'made it' in the Real World.
> did he practice magic in order to obtain his success? did he claim
> to have done so? 

I'm not sure.  But I do wonder about how much his early advocacy of
tank warfare had to do the Liber AL's promise of a "war-engine".

> it would add support to those who argue AC-success. :>


> though I've
> >been working on something with the 169 cries that I just might post here
> >later.
> I look forward to it.

Quite briefly, one can improvise one's own adorations based on
Fuller's model, and use them to attain devotional trance-states.

More details to follow.

> yes, that is problematic as I see it, but I tend to like absolute
> even chances unless the bibliomantic text used is written to 
> accord with the uneven chances (e.g. yarrowstalk Yijings).

Yes.  Although, one could see the 'result' not as the verse itself,
but as a three-fold 'spread' of the verse and the two figures.  That
way, the possible results would be 256.

Though I agree that this is, to a significant extent, special

All best,

- Secret Chief

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