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GD Geomancy

To: alt.magick
From: John M Greer
Subj: GD Geomancy (0000.geomncy.jmg)
Date: unknown

>Anybody know where the Golden Dawn's system of 'geomancy'
>came from?

It's been a part of magical traditions in the West since the Middle Ages.
Like alchemy (and so much else), it reached Europe by way of the Arabs;
there seems to be some argument about who actually came up with it, but
a good case can be made for African origins.

In the revival of magical arts that accompanied the Renaissance, geomancy
had the same sort of role that Tarot had during the 19th Century revival
(or, for that matter, at present).  Many of the major occultists of the 
time were heavily involved in it - Cornelius Agrippa and Robert Fludd
are probably the best-known examples.  For that matter, the Rudd manu-
scripts (apparently relics of a magical group from the early 1700's) 
include a table of correspondences between the geomantic symbols and the 
Enochian alphabet from John Dee's work.

To answer your question more exactly, though, the stuff in the Golden 
Dawn knowledge lectures on geomancy was lifted, basically intact, from
a couple of books by John Heydon, an English occult author of the mid-
1600's.  I seem to remember that _The Holy Guide_ was the main source.
What Mathers et al. took, though, was basically the kindergarten-level
material, although they did bring in Gerard of Cremona's astrological
structure; there's a fair amount of more advanced material which, to my
knowledge, nobody modern has touched.  (With the exception of Priscilla
Schwei's _Astrological Geomancy_, which is more astrology than geomancy
anyway, the modern books on the subject are basically rewrites of the 
G.D. documents - not surprising, for the same thing applies equally well
to present works on a remarkable number of subjects.)

-- JMG

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