The Mass – People – Stability, Crowd, Congregation, Multitude, Twin Path – Outer Water, Inner Water
Populus is the Geomantic Figure of Passivity and the rule of the crowd. Its archetype is, appropriately, the Mass, and it represents the collective consciousness of multitudes of people. The collective consciousness has no single driving will or idea, but instead represents the coming together of a multitude of ideas. The whole, in terms of populations, is greater than the sum of its parts, and Populus represents that difference between the whole and the sum. Collective consciousness and identity change slowly but surely, and so does Populus. Single events usually do little to break down or alter this Figure; rather, long, protracted trends over time elicit the most change.
Populus is Water through and through, both inside and outside, and this watery tendency shows in the Figure’s passivity and receptivity; Populus does not go out and do things on its own. Rather, it absorbs what is given to it, and adopts its own ways to better suit those around it, reacting to energies coming from outside. All of the elements in the Figure are passive, further emphasizing this nature. This passivity gives the figure a sense of powerful stability; a stability derived from intertia, adaptability, and slow, constant change (much like the Two of Disks in the Tarot). Populus always waits, and never undertakes its own action. It has no specific motion at all until it receives it from some other source; a powerful idea, social force, or other event (or more likely series of events) cause the Figure to move.
Because of this reactivity, it has many options before it (hence the Twin Paths as its symbol), as opposed to the purposeful movement and narrow options of Populus’ opposite Geomantic Figure, Via. Like water, the motion of Populus can be strong and powerful, but on the other hand, it takes a lot to move it or alter it. Populus can also represent unfocused action, the dispersal of forces, maters of emotional importance (due to its association with water), multiplicity and options, large amounts of anything (it is a crowd, after all), aimless wandering,indirect action (actions and influences that are not apparent or cannot be seen fall under this as well), gatherings, and assemblies. When large amounts of people are involved, Populus’ energy is present as the will of the masses, and as the will of the masses is hard to topple, Populus is a Stable Figure.