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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology

GEOMANCY

A system of divination that employs the scattering of pebbles, grains of sand, or seeds on the earth and then the interpretation of their shape and position.

The occultist Agrippa later developed a method of making marks on the earth with a stick, (currently the method is also used by making marks on paper with a pencil or pen) and then interpreting them.   The interpretation is partly intuitive and partly by means of a system of positions reminiscent of I Ching hexagrams.

The term "Geomancy" is also applied to the Chinese practice of Feng-Shui (wind and water), and was employed by 19th Century writers to translate Feng-Shui.   This Chinese art is concerned with the relationships between human beings and the subtle energies of nature.   In classical Chinese sources, the term ti li (land positions) was likewise used, another related term is kan tu (cover and support) which has special reference to the relationships between heaven and earth.

Feng-Shui and Ti li are concerned with the "dragon lines" or the subtle energies of the earth particularly in relation to the setting of buildings, and the interaction between human life and earth currents.   Feng-Shui experts would determine the most advantageous locations for roads, bridges, canals, wells and mines in relationship to earth energies.   Sites of graves were also an important consideration.   Often bodies were not buried until the proper burial site was determined; sometimes bodies were unearthed and reburied.

It seems apparent that the Western form of geomancy originates from Feng-Shui since the position of pebbles, sand, or seeds has something in common with the acupuncture pressure points on the "body" of nature and its energies.   Likewise, the Chinese concepts of subtle earth energies parallel Western concepts of ley lines and dowsing.

A Biblical Perspective:

The Scriptures clearly prohibit Divination in any form.   Divination is the attempt to divine the mind of Deity through some means other than God's way.   It is an attempt to understand the past, present, or future by some means other than the revelation of God.   The revelation may come through various means, but ultimately any revelation apart from God is divination.   God's revelation and divination are opposites.

Divination usurps the rightful place of the Scripture in the life of the Christian.   It attempts to give direction and guidance to the individual.   The Bible is clear on the subject.   Divination, is an abomination to God.   Some would have us believe the Bible endorses Divination as an art that offers mankind an understanding of his true self, an opportunity to create his or her own reality to suit his or her personal spiritual goals.   The following Scripture indicates otherwise.
'When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.   Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices Divination or Sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.' - Deuteronomy 18:9-11

Scripture also calls each of us to place our faith in Jesus Christ rather than the created universe.   The book of Colossians reminds the individual to "see to it that no one takes you captive through vain philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of man, according to the elemental principles of the universe, rather than according to Christ." - (Colossians 2:8)


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PLEASE NOTE:
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc



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