Skip to main content
Select Source:

Geomancy

Geomancy

A system of divination by means of scattering pebbles, dust, sand grains, or seeds on the earth and interpreting their shape and position. A later development by occultist Cornelius Agrippa involved making marks on the ground with a stick (currently practiced with a pencil on paper). Interpretations are partly intuitive and partly by means of a system of positions reminiscent of the I Ching hexagrams.

The term geomancy is also applied to the Chinese practice of feng-shui (wind and water), and was used by nineteenth-century writers to translate feng-shui. This Chinese art is concerned with the relationship between human beings and the subtle energies of nature. In classical Chinese sources the term ti li (land patterns) was also used; another related term is kan-yü (cover or support), with special reference to relationships between heaven and earth.

Feng-shui and ti li are concerned with the "dragon lines" or subtle energies of the earth in relation to the placement of buildings and the interaction between human life and earth currents. Feng-shui experts would determine the most suitable places for roads, bridges, canals, wells, and mines in relation to earth currents; the sites of graves were especially important. Bodies might be kept unburied for some time until a suitable burial place with harmonious currents was determined, and in some cases bodies were reburied.

It seems likely that the Western form of geomancy for divinatory purposes grew out of feng-shui concepts, since the position of pebbles, dust, or seeds has something in common with acupuncture pressure points on the "body" of nature and its energies. Chinese concepts of the subtle energies of the earth also parallel the Western concepts of leys and dowsing.

Sources:

Asher, Maxine. Ancient Energy: Key to the Universe. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

Cole, J. A. Abayomi. Astrological Geomancy in Africa. London, 1898.

Hartmann, Franz. Geomancy: The Art of Divining by Punctuation According to Cornelius Agrippa and Others. London: William Rider & Son, 1913.

Pennick, Nigel. Geomancy. Cambridge: Cokayne Publishing, 1973.

Skinner, Stephen. The Oracle of Geomancy. London: Rout-ledge & Kegan Paul, 1977.

. Terrestrial Astrology: Divination by Geomancy. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.

Watkins, Alfred. The Old Straight Track. 1925. Reprint, London: Garnstone Press, 1970.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Geomancy." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Geomancy." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geomancy

"Geomancy." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/geomancy

Geomancy

Geomancy. Divination based on patterns or shapes drawn (or appearing) on ‘the land’ (Gk.), particularly on sand. The term is also applied to feng-shui (winds and waters), the ancient Chinese proto-science of siting human habitations (for the living or the dead) in locations that will take maximum advantage of the currents of vital breath (ch'i) that circulate throughout the landscape.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Geomancy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Geomancy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy

"Geomancy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy

geomancy

geomancy divination from the configuration of a handful of earth or random dots.

The term is also used for the art of placing or arranging buildings or other sites auspiciously.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"geomancy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"geomancy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy

"geomancy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy

geomancy

geomancy divination from signs derived from the earth. XIV. — medL. geōmantīa; see GEO-MANCY.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"geomancy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"geomancy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy-1

"geomancy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy-1

geomancy

geomancybassi, Brassey, brassie, chassis, gassy, Haile Selassie, lassie, Malagasy, Manasseh, massé, massy, sassy, TallahasseeCotopaxi, maxi, taxi, waxy •Anglesey •antsy, Clancy, fancy, Nancy •paparazzi, patsy •Yangtze • necromancy • cartomancy •geomancy • bibliomancy •chiromancy • ataraxy •Adivasi, brassy, classy, dalasi, Darcy, farcy, Farsi, glassy, grassy •chancy • ardency • Nazi •Bessie, Crécy, dressy, Jessie, messy, Nessie, tressy •prexy, sexy •Chelsea, Elsie •Dempsey • Montmorency •discrepancy • incessancy •Betsy, tsetse •epilepsy • narcolepsy • nympholepsy •apoplexy • catalepsy •Basie, Casey, Gracie, lacy, O'Casey, pace, pacy, precis, racy, spacey, Stacey, Sulawesi, Tracy •cadency • complacency •blatancy, patency •Assisi, fleecy, greasy, Tbilisi •decency

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"geomancy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"geomancy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy-0

"geomancy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/geomancy-0