The impact that a figure has on the affairs of its house is a primary interpretative consideration. Because of the birdseye view of time-based charts, it’s a good idea to consider the queried timeframe when communicating a figure’s power to the client.
Practically speaking, this means that the impact of the figure is limited or extended in proportion to the length of time in question. There are exceptions to this, of course (which I’ll address later), but restraint is often called for when reading these charts. You don’t want to needlessly upset nor excite a client.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. In each case, amissio (loss) appears in the second house, which governs money and inanimate, moveable property.
- A friend calls and asks you to give him a quick reading for the week. You note that amissio (loss) is in the second house, and caution him to keep an eye on his money and personal possessions. Later that week, he loses his wallet, though it only had $20 in it and everything else was quickly replaced.
- A client comes to see you and requests a general reading for the month. Amissio appears in the second house. You learn later that the client, who is a freelancer, unexpectedly lost one of her own clients, resulting in a significant, but eventually recoverable, loss of income.
- You cast your annual geomancy chart and, to your dismay, you find amissio in your second house. As the year goes on, you find that your income is reduced in some significant ways: Your company institutes a wage freeze for the third year in a row, leaving you to cope with a higher cost of living on a stagnant salary. Mid-year, your refrigerator dies, forcing you to buy a new one, draining what little savings you had. Your stock portfolio takes a hit and, on top of everything else, you wreck your car, losing not only your vehicle but your side hustle as an Uber driver for three months while you save up enough money to buy a decent car. You end the year in a significantly more vulnerable financial position than when you started it.
In all of these situations, the querent lost money or property. The difference was in the overall impact of these losses. In a weekly chart, the loss was minimal, while the monthly chart loss had a more significant impact but was still something from which the client could recover. Amissio in the second house of a yearly chart, on the other hand, represented a series of events that might have disastrous, long-term effects on a querent’s finances.
As a diviner, your responsibility is to provide this information in a way that the client can use. When communicating a negative-seeming figure to a client after casting a time-based chart, it’s important to clarify that the reading only covers the period under consideration.
Of course, the same caution must be applied when reporting on a positive figure: A second-house laetitia (joy) in a weekly chart may merely indicate that an insurance claim gets processed and paid out. The client shouldn’t expect this increase in funds to be a permanent one or even extend into the next week.
Short Time Period, Long Impact
While it is generally true that the overall impact of a figure is strengthened when the reading is for a long time period and weakened by a short period, there are obviously situations in which this is not the case.
For example, rubeus (red) in the fifth house of a chart cast to cover a long Vegas weekend with friends may indicate a three-day bender cumulating in a massive hangover that is easily treated with Advil, plenty of fluids, and deep regrets.
(It could also show a single bout of binge drinking and driving that kills a pedestrian. This event triggers a series of consequences including in prison time, job loss, a lawsuit, and extensive therapy.)
Similarly, conjunctio in the seventh house may indicate that a single querent meets a nice person and goes out on a few dates.
(It could also show the querent, thoroughly enjoying the aforementioned rubeus-inspired bender in Vegas, meeting a complete stranger and getting married on impulse. This decision requires several months of wrangling an annulment, and a costly legal bill, and a round of antibiotics.)
Granted, in the more serious outcomes, I’d expect to see something else in the chart indicating a possible doomsday scenario, but that doesn’t always happen. In both cases, I would point out to the querent that while the overall reading is for a limited time period and the figures may not reflect life-changing events, a life-changing event is always a possibility.
It’s up to the client to make good choices, or not, in response to your reading.
Mobile and Stable Figures
In geomancy, figures can be mobile or stable. As John Michael Greer notes, these qualities can have an impact on the effect of the figure. For example, a mobile figure such as cauda draconis (tail of the dragon) brings things to an end fairly quickly, while acquisitio (gain) can represent long-term prosperity. Greer uses the example of a stable figure representing lost or stolen property is an indicator that it is recoverable, a mobile figure suggests that the item can’t be found or won’t be returned.
In a time-based chart, however, the qualities of mobile and stable can be more difficult to parse, because there is already a time constraint placed on the reading. Still, a bit of common sense can help you interpret the way a mobile or stable figure will act within a particular house.
- If you see amissio (mobile) in the second house, you can expect losses to take place as one or multiple events during the time period in question. (See the above examples of how amissio can behave in a time-based chart.)
- When tristitia (“sorrow”, a stable figure) appears in the second house, there is likely to be a continued decline in one’s second-house affairs, such as a retirement fund that continues to lose in value or commission checks that get lower each month. If the client is already broke when he or she asks for the reading, Tristitia indicates a continued financial slog throughout the chart’s timeframe.
- Laetitia (mobile) in the fifth house may indicate a burst or bursts of creative impulses for a writer during the period in question. Between bursts, however, the writer may feel less inspired and may have to work harder to maintain his or her standard output.
- Puella (stable) in the fifth house, on the other hand, may show a steady workflow and level of inspiration for that same writer during the span of the time-based chart.
While this post specifically focuses on time spans, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it is also a good idea to check the planetary rulership of the figure and its dignity within the house chart. This information can go a long way in helping you determine the strength of the figure and its ability to impact the chart (along with the querent’s life).
Some geomancy programs provide extensive astrological information and learning some horary astrology can also help.
Yet another consideration is the breadth of the matters ruled by the house in which a figure appears. The thing is, astrological houses rule over many different things, some of which may seem unconnected to one another.
These laundry lists of people, things, and activities can sometimes make reading a time-based chart difficult because it is hard to know what house matter(s) the figure is most likely to represent.
As a general rule, I’ve observed that when it comes to reading a time-based house chart, querents are primarily interested in the following matters within each house:
- 1st house: Their own well-being and ability to deal with matters as they arise.
- 2nd house: Personal finances, particularly income from employment
- 3rd house: Relationships with siblings or other family members, occasionally gossip or news
- 4th house: Either their home or their father
- 5th house: If the querent has children, the kids are usually a priority. If the querent is a creative soul, the state of their output (i.e., art, music, writing).
- 6th house: Illnesses followed by subordinates at work
- 7th house: Marriage, romance, dating, etc.
- 8th house: Debt or death-related issues
- 9th house: Out-of-ordinary travel issues, school, or spiritual practice
- 10th house: Career, the querent’s mother
- 11th house: Long-term plans/hopes/wishes, social network
- 12th house: Possible ways of shooting oneself in the foot (self-undoing)
However, there are also clients whose life circumstances are such that these “common” house matters aren’t particularly relevant, at least for the duration of the time-based reading period.
An example of this might be found in our old friend, the second house. Yes, it governs finances, but it also covers movable, inanimate property of any sort. A client who is particularly keen to start a week-long decluttering project may well be delighted to find amissio or tristitia in the second house, as this indicates that her endeavor to get rid of “stuff” will be successful.
Making Use of Time-Based Figures
Bad or good, welcome or unwelcome, a divined figure can be of assistance to the querent who is willing to accept the results of the reading and take action. Here are three different ways to make use of a house figure:
Compliance: To comply with a figure means that that you are willing to accept the necessary consequences of the figure and to modify your behavior accordingly:
- If you see amissio in the second house of an annual chart, you restrict your spending and tell your kids to expect a staycation instead of Disneyworld this year.
- Caput draconis in the fourth house sends you to real estate listings and Yelp! reviews for local movers.
- A ninth house via gets you thinking about booking that cruise to Bermuda that you’ve been meaning to take.
Resistance: No doubt about it, resisting a divinatory reading is a tricky business, though it can be done. The trouble is that most people don’t really have the tools to do this. Instead, they either ignore the reading or rationalize an alternative interpretation.
To effectively resist the figure, the client is going to have to develop a strategy. For many geomancers, this will be a magical one. A working, or workings, can be employed to sidestep, weaken, or exploit the fate shown by the figure. Jason Miller’s new book, The Elements of Spellcrafting, can be of use to you here.
Other ways of resisting the figure include:
- Act against it and see what happens. Again, this does not mean ignoring the figure or doing something stupid in response, such as blowing your savings on an unnecessary purchase in response to an unfavorable second-house figure. What you might try, however, is attempting something that would actually increase your income, such as asking for a raise or taking on a side gig.
- Examining and changing what you are capable of changing (such as your attitude). If you note an unfavorable fifth house figure in a chart cast for a week in which you are expected to go to several parties, checking your attitude toward these events, and planning some strategies in case of awkwardness, might be a good way to avoid social disaster.
Alignment: When we align ourselves to the fate described in a house figure, we are acknowledging a force or a power and choosing to work with it. In a year where amissio or trististia shows up in second house, we may learn to live more simply in response to our declining fortunes.
Even better, we could also take advantage of these figures of loss and decline by engaging in things like housecleaning and getting rid of old possessions that no longer serve us.
This is a long post on a complex area of geomantic divination. My view is that you usually can’t go wrong by considering the totality of the question, which includes a specified timeline, when interpreting the significance of a house chart figure.
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