This article is about the African and European divination technique. For the Chinese art of aesthetics, see Feng shui. For the Modes of interpreting pdf philosophical tradition, see Wu Xing. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
This article may be in need of reorganization to comply with Wikipedia’s layout guidelines. Please help by editing the article to make improvements to the overall structure. This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. 42 CE, by Muhammad ibn Khutlukh al Mawsuli. When the dials were turned, random designs of dots would appear, which were then interpreted. Geomancy was practiced by people from all social classes.
It was one of the most popular forms of divination throughout Africa and Europe, particularly during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The original names of the figures in Middle Eastern geomancy were traditionally given in Arabic, excluding a Persian origin. The reference in Hermetic texts to the mythical Ṭumṭum al-Hindi potentially points to an Indian origin, although Skinner thinks this to be unlikely. Having an Islamic or Arabic origin is most likely, since the expansive trade routes of Arabian merchants would facilitate the exchange of culture and knowledge. European scholars and universities began to translate Arabic texts and treatises in the early Middle Ages, including those on geomancy. Isidore of Seville was listing methods of elemental scrying more than what is commonly known as geomancy.
From this point on, more European scholars studied and applied geomancy, writing many treatises in the process. Geomancy made a revival in the 19th century, when renewed interest in the occult arose due to the works of Robert Thomas Cross and Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Like other systems of divination, geomancy has a mythological origin. Another mythological story for the origin of geomancy also involves Idris. After praying to God that He give Idris easily a means to earn his living, Idris rested one day, bored and without work, and began to draw figures idly in the sand. As he did so, a stranger appeared before him and questioned what he was doing. Other tablets and records from antiquity identify Idris with the prophets Daniel or Enoch.
This was done in order to give geomancy a legitimate standing as a gift and skill from God, especially since one of the prophets had practiced it. Throughout the evolution and migration of geomancy, various tales and plays incorporated aspects of the art into their stories. In one story in One Thousand and One Nights, both the African Magician and his brother use geomancy to find Aladdin in order to do him harm. The Mothers are, right to left, Via, Acquisitio, Conjunctio, and Laetitia. While the Reconciler is not pictured, it would be Amissio in this case.