Tarot, Geomancy, Astrology

Archive for March, 2012

Cauda Draconis

The Old Godfather – Tail of the Dragon – Endings, Doorway With Footprints, Leaving, Outer Threshold, Lower Boundary – Outer Fire, Inner Fire

Cauda Draconis means “Tail of the Dragon” in Latin, and its significance is reflected in this name. This Figure represents the “tail” end of things, and is associated with endings. It represents the past, and the state of near completion. It is thus associated with the south Node of the Moon, and its association with past skills, experiences, and knowledge. It is also associated with Sagittarius, the Teacher and Philsopher, also due to its association with knowledge. It is a Mobile Figure, as it is associated with endings, and not keeping things as they were; Cauda Draconis is a Figure of radical change and disruption. It also advises us to let go of the past and be willing to move on to something new. The shape of the Figure itself represents footsteps leading away from a doorway, thus associating the Figure with departures and again with endings. All of the energies in this Figure are active save for Earth, which is passive, indicating that the only thing Caput Draconis lacks is the traditional final Element of Earth, and then the end of your journey will be completed. Its Outer and Inner Energies are both of Fire, which associates Cauda Draconis with the fiery end that comes to many things, as well as the violent nature of change and endings. This Figure can be seen as being strongly associated with the Tarot card of The Tower.

In addition to Endings, Cauda Draconis is associated with selfishness, single-mindedness, and blind focus. As one approaches the end of anything, their concentration can become intense as they strive to make that final jump to finish. They will do anything to achieve that end and final rest. Those imbued with the energy Cauda Draconis are often near to finishing some stage in their life, and while they can be generous, it is generally only so that they may gain from their generosity. The interests of Cauda Draconis are often pursued with little or no regard for others; they are utterly focused on their goal, and seek only to finish what they have started. Corruption and danger are also associated with Cauda Draconis, as well as destruction.

Cauda Draconis also looks to the past, and is focused on what has already happened, reflecting on what is no longer. Combined with the above, this makes the archetype of Cauda Draconis an Old Godfather, and not in the Christian sense of the world. Cauda Draconis is an ancient mob boss, with no scruples or conscience (except for where his family is concerned), who is focused completely on setting all of his affairs in order and increasing his family’s power before he dies. He uses his experience from the past to help him achieve his goals, and is willing to do anything to achieve them. He works for himself and his family, and no one else. He is corrupt, dangerous, and destructive, with nothing personally to lose. Cauda Draconis’ opposite Figure is Caput Draconis, or the Head of the Dragon.


The Reveler  – Joy – Tower, Bearded, Laugh, Sing, Peak, Candelabrum – Outer Water, Inner Earth


Unlike its opposite Tristitia, Laetitia’s Inner and Outer Energies complement each other nicely, allowing for Laetitia to be a positive figure: the Inner Energy of the Figure is Earth, and this materialistic, practical, stubborn, and powerful nature is what supports and allows for the emotional and intuitive development of its Outer Energy of water. The emotional energy of Laetitia is extremely powerful and strong, which is why in the Figure itself, Fire is the only active element, representing the strength of Laetitia’s emotions. The shape of the figure brings to mind a mountain or tower, with the focus at the peak. Laetitia, then, is associated with being at the top of one’s life and game, filled with joy, happines, and long-term fulfillment. Interestingly, Laetitia’s emotional fulfillment can also be short-term as well, and the context in which the Figure appears will affect whether long-term fulfillment or momentary pleasure awaits.

This Figure is also associated with ascent and upward mobility, in contrast to Tristitia. It signifies good prospects, fortitude, and honest convictions to help you achieve more with the help of a supportive community. It is very similar to the Four of Wands, Completion, in the Tarot, in that it represents fulfillment within a community. Laetitia can also represent innocence, honesty, goodwill, naivete, and strong convictions and beliefs, while still remaining open-minded and open to new ideas. Laetitia is a Figure of sharing and openness, and so is not a good figure when secrets are involved; the key concept of Laetitia us that the free flow of unblocked energy will lead to fulfillment and happiness. Laetitia is approaching completion, and the peak has almost been reached, and is associated with celebration and gladness. Astrologically, it is associated with Jupiter and Pisces; good fortune, inner strength, good ideals, and knowledge of and integration with the larger universe. It is a Mobile Figure, representing its adaptability and constant movement, and its opposite is Tristitia.


The Heartbroken  – Sorrow – Pit, Stake, Cross, Diminished, Cursed, Fallen Tower – Outer Air, Inner Earth

Tristitia is the Geomantic Figure of sorrow and sadness. Like the Tarot card Sorrow (Three of Swords), this sorrow is the result of a disconnect between the world as you see it in your mind, and the world as it is. In other words, the disconnect between Lacan’s Real and Reality. This disconnect is represented in the Figure by its Energies; its Outer Energy is Air, and it is sustained by the Inner Energy of Earth. Air and Earth are opposite elements, and to do touch, so the Earth supporting the Air is an inherent contradiction that leads to disappointment and sadness. In terms of the Figure itself, only Earth is active, representing the unfulfilling life one has when they only concern themselves with the material, ignoring reason, emotion, and passion. The shape of the figure suggests a bottomless pit or stake driven firmly into… something, or an upside down tower (associating it the the Tarot Tower, and therefore with ruin and downfall).

Surprisingly, Tristitia is a Stable Figure, which indicates that the sorrow that this Figure causes is not fleeting, like perhaps the loss of Amissio is, but rather longer-lasting, hence its association with curses. This is also why its archetype is the Heartbroken, as Tristitia’s sorrow can sap the will from one who suffers from its energies. Its permanence is a crucial part of the figure (as reflected in Earth being its only active element), and Tristitia can be associated with less negative things as well: sinking one’s roots in and permanence (though this permanance can be either positive or negative). It is more commonly associated with sorrow, difficulty, pain, trouble, and low anything: spirits, vitality, and expectations included. It can also signify low amounts of negative things, as well, but generally does not.

Tristitia is Figure of despair and depression, but also of creativity and benevolence, for blessed are the poor in spirit, which is really what Tristitia is. As such, it is also associate with paradoxes. In this vein, it is associated with the wisdom that ones gain through suffering, and perspectives one gains from misery; essentially, the positive side of torment. It also represents downward mobility and spirals, kept secrets, idealism (usually idealism failed), unconventional styles, grief, and being stuck in an unresolvable situation. Saturn and Aquarius are Tristitia’s astrological equivalents, which is interesting, as the two are not normally complementary. This further serves to illustrate Tristitia’s sense of disconnect; the Figure is limited by Saturn, while at the same connected to the rest of the world through Aquarius, but not necessarily in a positive way. Tristitia is the opposite of Laetitia, or Joy.


The Hermit – Prison – Isolation, Enclosure, Constricted, Lock – Outer Earth, Inner Earth


Carcer is the Geomantic Figure associated with isolation and entrapment. As such, unsurprisingly, it is astrologically closest to Saturn, the planet of limitation. It is also associated with Capricorn astrologically, due to its Outer and Inner Energy being both of Earth, reflecting Capricorn’s concern with the material. The fact that both of Carcer’s Energies are Earth also indicates that Carcer as a Figure is unable to break free of the fetters of the material and move to a higher plane; it is trapped in the material world.

The shape of the Figure of Carcer is also that of a prison, with the two active elements boxing in the two passive ones. Earth and Fire are both active, but are separated by the passivity of Air and Water. As such, Carcer lacks compassion and rationale, and contains only the material and drive. Carcer is restrictive because material expression and the energy necessary to live to the fullest are unable to meet. It is, unsurprisingly, a Stable Figure, as it is rooted in Earth through and through. It is associated with rigidity, inflexibility, fixation, and imprisonment. Its archetype is the Hermit, as in its prison it is alone, and so is associated with isolation, avoidance (of any issues of people), and stubbornness (again hearkening back to its Earthy origins). As a prison, Carcer is also associated with security and stability in and of itself. As isolation, Carcer is associated also with productive energy and focus, free of the distractions of others; the isolation of Carcer can be self-imposed.

Those who have a great affinity for Carcer tend to save money and are extremely cautious, afraid to step out of line. They are timid and careful with their resources, and usually reclusive. Taken to the extreme, Carcer can be greedy. Carcer can also be associated with separation of forces, ideas, and people, as well as binding ties and agreements that restrict you. The opposite of Carcer is Conjunctio, the coming together of forces, rather than Carcer’s separation of them.


The Worker – Gain – Full Bags, Internal Grasping, Inner Wealth, Picking Up – Outer Fire, Inner Air

Acquisitio, or Gain, is the opposite of the Geomantic Figure Amissio, or Loss. This Figure is directly associated with gaining things. It is important to remember that this means the gaining of anything, whether or good or bad; it can represent gaining an illness, a lover, a follower, a friend, a stalker, wealth, or anything else. Whether this gain is positive of negative depends on the context. This Figure is also associated with success, fortune, material wealth, profit, attaining one’s goals, and rewards within reach. These good things will not come to you just for existing, however; you need to work for them. This why Acquisitio’s archetype is the Worker; the lesson of Acquisitio is that if you work hard and work well, you will reap rewards in time. The gains you make will be a result of the work you have done, and so this Figure is associated with working towards one’s goals, as well. The Worker is passionate about his work, and can be fierce in defending it. He loves life, and seeks to enjoy it. The worker has great Inner Wealth, because he works hard and honestly for everything he has.

This Figure also reminds us that we can do nothing on our own, and even if we refuse to admit it, we rely on others in order to accomplish what we do. The success of Acquisitio is communal success, and is a result of teamwork. Acqusitio is also representative of a successful, thriving market in which one can succeed. As such, Acquisitio is associated with fairness and justice, ensuring that all gains are well-earned. It reminds us that without the complex interactions of the community, wealth is meaningless; it must be placed in context to be worth anything.

Astrologically, Acquisitio is associated with Sagittarius and Jupiter. Jupiter and Sagittarius are both associated with higher ideals, philosophy, and learning. As such, through this relation, Acquisitio is strongly associated with the values of truth, fairness, and justice. Acquisitio is a Stable Figure, and the gains made through this Figure’s energies are not fleeting, but lasting.

Acquisitio’s Outer Energy is that of Fire, and outwardly the Worker of Acquisitio is filled with a passion and spirit for his work that he uses to achieve success. This drive comes from Air, which naturally fuels Fire, indicating that Acquisitio’s philosophy and meaning is natural. The Outer Fire is made possible by holding one’s principles near and dear to them. The shape of the Figure itself is the opposite of Amissio, and represents two upright, full bags. Air and Earth are Active, meaning that Acquisitio represents what happens when one’s principles and ideals are applied into the real world, when ideas become reality and improve the world around us.


The Hedonist – Red – Passion, Upside-down Goblet, Burning, Danger – Outer Water, Inner Air

Rubeus is the Geomantic Figure associated with passion and letting loose. Its archetype is the Hedonist, who lives life in the moment, does not care about the future, and forgets about the past. It is an extremely high energy Figure, associated with blind intoxication, drunkenness (divine or otherwise), joyous participation in any activity, pleasure, large amounts of sexuality, and adrenaline rushes. As it is associated with adrenaline, Rubeus is also associated with danger, and contains many warnings: it can signify addictive behavior, as well as a dangerous lifestyle, violence, and fierceness. Rubeus is a very “live in the moment and only the moment” Figure. Rubeus is strong, messy, and hot-tempered, seeking their happiness as the expense of everything else.

Interestingly, in the actual Figure, Air is the only active element. The Hedonist’s passion, then, comes not directly from the source of hedonism and Fire, but rather from some “higher” source. In this case, the hedonistic, passionate involvement in the pleasures of life comes from focusing on our interpersonal relationships with others – a form of communication, which is associated with Air. Rubeus expresses itself through a strange sort of communication, which is reinforced by the fact that Rubeus’ Inner Energy is Air. Outwardly, Rubeus is Water; indeed, he goes with the flow, doing whatever he wants, when he wants it; in many ways, he is the ultimate in “going with the flow.”

Astrologically, Rubeus is associated with Mars – from which the Figure gets its fierceness and part of its sexuality – and Scorpio – from which is gets its celebration and living in the moment, trusting in the cycles of death and rebirth. It also is exemplified in the following quote from The Art and Practice of Geomancy by John Michael Greer: “Good in all that is evil, and evil in all that is good.” Rubeus is good at seeing the inherent contradictions in life, as it represents one itself; the pleasure in living dangerously, and the danger of living safely. Rubeus is, unsurprisingly, a Mobile Sign. Its opposite is Albus, the upturned goblet; Rubeus’ goblet has overturned, indicating the possibility of unwise decisions, abandon, and violence.


The Maiden – Girl – Harmony, Mirror, Beauty, Purity, Woman, Breasts – Outer Air, Inner Water

Puella is the Geomantic Figure associated with female sexuality, fertility, women, and the Yin, as opposed to Puer’s Yang, male sexuality, virility, and men. This is not to say that Puella does not exist independently of Puer; she most certainly does, and it is only because Puer is ordered first and he therefore serves as a useful tool to illustrate Puella, that this question even arises. Puella is, unlike her opposite, a Stable element, and like Albus is associated to some extent with caregiving. The shape that the Figure itself assumes is that of a figure with full breasts, emphasizing the sexual yet maternal nature of this Figure. It is strongly associated with female sexual energy and accompanying fertility. Puella also represents love and the deep inner strength that goes along with it – hence why her Inner Energy is Water. She draws upon her vibrant and full inner life in order to support her rationality, ideals, and loftiness. Interestingly, the female sexuality is sometimes portrayed as aloof and teasing, always out of reach; one possible reason for Air being its Outer Energy.

However, in the Figure itself, Air is passive. Fire, Water, and Earth are yet still somehow held together – opposites that do not fly apart. Why do they not fly apart? Because of the harmony that Puella’s inner strength and love produces. Astrologically, she is associated with Venus and Libra – too symbols that are not too much alike, yet still held together. Puella is associated with grace and beauty, like Venus, and also with her large stores of sexual energy. Libra also represents Puella, though, for Puella is able to provide a sense of balance and harmony to her surroundings, as well as herself. She is confident, and this confidence can spread to others.

Puella is the Maiden archetype because she seeks union. She is almost complete, just like Puer is, and seeks to complete it. Rather than questing for this completion, as Puer does, Puella instead seeks to bond with others in harmonious exultation in order to complete herself, filling her passive Air. Puer and Puella were matched for each other. Puer’s only passive element is Water, which is Puella’s Inner Energy. Puella’s only passive element is Air, which is Puer’s Inner Energy. Puer seeks out Puella via his questing, and Puella provides the harmony necessary for union and completion, showing them the way (Via).

Puella is, then, very receptive to things coming her way, and adapts and changes them. She is focused on achieving self-satisfaction and reaching deep into herself and understanding what is there. She may be lost in dreams and meditation, but she only seeks to reflect upon and improve herself. Her attentions can be fickle and fleeting, and Puella tends not to be associated with permanence, but instead with more short-term thinking and benefits. Happiness and harmony derived from Puella are often short-term only. However, she has more than enough love to give to others, and is always willing to extend the hand of friendship.

Puella is associated, like many “female” esoteric symbols, with the earth and the material. As such, Puella can represent material stability. Puella is a very ambivalent sign, with both positive and negative aspects. She can be fickle, but also stable. She can be self-absorbed, but also caring. She is able to hold others together through her natural sense of harmony, and bring balance to others, She is graceful and beautiful with a sometimes calming, tranquilizing effect, and yet often focuses on herself, representing a form of self-improvement.

It is important to remember that Puella does not represent women or the feminine. Rather, it represents those elements commonly associated with the feminine in older and esoteric traditions. It is ridiculous to assert that there is one definition of femininity. Puella is one possibility, but there are many others. The same idea holds true for Puer and masculinity.