When one looks at the set of sixteen Geomantic Figures, it becomes apparent that it is easy to divide the Figure into two sets of “opposite” polarities. Polarities are a fact of the world around us – though not the only facts of the world around us, and it is important to remember that not everything is a binary – as everything has, in some form, an opposite. Geomancy embraces this dualistic view in terms of its symbolism, creating eight pairs of opposite Figures. Each pair of opposites presents the extreme views of both sides of a situation or crisis; and in order to resolve that crisis, one often needs to create a third option between the two, resolving the polarity and accepting both.
If two halves of the same Geomantic polarity are next to each other, it indicates that you should look especially hard at the polarity’s middle ground in order to understand the full range of the situation. It tells you that a mixing of the two polar parts is necessary to fully understand what is going on.
Puer and Puella represent the polarity of identity. Socially, humans have been taught that gender and sex are a fundamental division between humanity, based on clear biological differences. Gender was the first polarity, and to many, it is a fundamental part of our identity. Puer, the masculine, and Puella, the feminine, are the original Yin and Yang. This polarity asks who are you? Are you seeking or are you receiving? Do you act or do you let others act? Do you project or do you emote?
Amissio and Acquisitio represent the polarity of possession. Acquisitio is the Figure of Gain, and Amissio is the one of loss. It asks you what you have now, what you have to gain, and what you have to lose. This polarity does refer just to physical objects, but abstract things as well; what are you willing to lose? What have you lost? What can you gain? What have you gained? What do you care about possessing?
Albus and Rubeus represent the polarity of control. Albus is a calm, peaceful, collected figure in control of himself and his life. Rubeus is an energetic, aggressive, and haphazard figure with little to no self-control, completely given over to hedonism. This polarity asks us most fundamentally what parts of life are we willing to control through the energies of Albus, and what parts of life we are willing to let go of and abandon ourselves to the whims of the world through the energies of Rubeus. Do we maintain a separate peace with the world, understanding yet apart, or do we engage thoroughly in the world and lose ourselves in the joy of belonging, of risk, and of the most primal acts of mankind? Albus is, in some respects, a marker of civilization, while Rubeus represents the wilderness in its most primal, uncontrolled form. Do we embrace the seer within us, or the beast?
Populus and Via represent the polarity of purpose. Populus is associated with a passive orientation towards life, just going with the flow and moving with the masses. Via, on the other hand, is a lonelier path, and instead of just moving where the wind blows, one imbued with Via’s energies makes straight for their goal and does not waver. What parts of your life are working towards a goal for, and what parts of life can you just go with the majority? Which goals are important to you? What is it that you want out of life; to be one with those around you, or to work towards something else?
Fortuna Major/Fortuna Minor
Fortuna Major and Fortuna Minor represent the polarity of circumstances. Fortuna Minor is strength drawn from circumstances, and Fortuna Major is circumstances drawn from strength. Do you use the energies of Fortuna Major to shape your circumstances and make a better life for yourself, or do you rely on those around you and your existing circumstances to give you the strength you need to carry on? Where is the right balance of strength and circumstance for you?
Conjunctio and Carcer represent the polarity of interaction. Conjunctio is a confluence of forces, coming together to accomplish a task, whereas Carcer is an isolation of forces, each using solitude and focus to accomplish a task. Most fundamentally, this polarity asks if you are an introvert or an extrovert. Do you work with others, or do you work alone? When is each best for you? How do you do with social interaction? With being alone?
Tristitia and Laetitia represent the polarity of emotion. Laetitia, joy, and Tristitia, sorrow, are the two extremes of the emotional spectrum, with frustration, happiness, anger, fear, sadness, confidence, serenity, and all others in between. This polarity asks you to examine your emotional range, and when you should be sad or happy. Both emotions are a key part of life and existence, and one needs to fully understand both in order to appreciate being here; joy is less joyful without sorrow, and sorrow is less sorrowful without joy. Each depends on the other to help define itself. By accepting the polarity of emotion, one is able to understand how their feelings affect their perspectives and actions.
Cauda Draconis/Caput Draconis
Cauda Draconis and Caput Draconis represent the polarity of change. Both Figures are associated with violent change. Cauda Draconis’ change creates ends, and Caput Draconis’ creates beginnings. This polarity represents the nature of change and your reaction to it; do you adapt to it and let it take you in a new direction with the energies of Caput Draconis, or do you accept the end of a phase in your life and move on elsewhere? Do you make the changes with the focus of Cauda Draconis, or do you react to the change with the adaptable energies of Caput Draconis? The two halves of this polarity are surprisingly similar, and the middle ground is clear: acceptance of the cyclical nature of beginnings and endings and the constant change that everyone goes through.