Royal and priestly art of an ancient civilization that was orally transmitted to various peoples, Geomancy is one of the oldest divinatory methods, used also by diviners to connect the visible world with the invisible, the human with the superhuman.
Its origin is mysterious, it seems to have originated in Persia, but was practiced throughout the Mediterranean, India, the Far East, Europe, Madagascar… It has a history of millennia.
Geomancy means “divination by means of the earth”; in the Arab world, it was called “the science of sand” because they traced the geomantic theme on the sand.
In Madagascar, before starting the necessary operations for the prognosis, the diviner recited a prayer, of which I will quote an excerpt since it’s quite long and particular. It begins like this:
“Wake up, God, to wake up the Sun! Wake up, oh Sun, to wake up the rooster” Wake up, oh rooster, to wake up the man! Wake up, oh man, to wake up the sikidi! Not so that he will tell lies, not so that he misleads… but so that he may scrutinize the secrets… so that he may see what the human eye cannot see…”.
The Mpi-sikidy, that is to say the diviner in the Madagascar tradition, sitting on a mat in the northeast corner of the house, would place a scared stone in front of him, contact the ancestors and, throwing seeds on the mat, he would interpret the figures according to the geomantic model.
Geomancy is based on geometric figures obtained by tracing points or lines on the earth, sand, or on a sheet of paper, or by throwing grains, seeds or small stones. The first operation is called “throw of the points”. How is it done today? You take a blank sheet of paper and a thick enough pencil; at the top of the sheet, you write down the question of the problem to be solved; then, you automatically draw vertical lines, focusing on the question, making 4×4=16 rows of dashes. You then count the number of dashes in each row: when it is even, you mark two points, when it is odd, only one point. Finally, the geomantic figures to be interpreted are obtained.
The geomantic figures are numerical symbols arranged in a conventional form; they have astrological and elemental correspondences, specific names and traditional meanings. There are good texts to consult in order to become experts in this mantic, such as “Introduction to the study of geomancy” by Leo Kaiti, or “Geomancy” by Gwen Le Scouézec.