Geomancy by Franz Hartmann


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William Rider & Son, 1913. First Revised Edition. Lengthy appendix containing 2048 entries. Former copy from the British Theosophical Library. Pastedown inside front board, pages generally clean and unmarked. Scarce.

'Franz Hartmann (November 22, 1838 August 7, 1912) was a German medical doctor and occultist His works include several books on esoteric studies, writing biographies of Jakob Böhme and Paracelsus. He translated the Bhagavad Gita into German and was the editor of the journal Lotusblüten. He was at one time a co-worker of H. P. Blavatsky and H. S. Olcott at Adyar. In 1896 he founded a German Theosophical Society. Hartmann was also a founding member of the Ordo Templi Orietnis (OTO). Hartmann's work is representative of the revival Geomancy underwent during 19th century.

The ancient method, divining by means of the earth, was originally carried out by making marks in the dirt with a divining stick and then determining the geomantic symbols from these marks. It's based on the idea that our movement is influenced by the energies in circulation within and around us. This book explains the modern method of geomancy using just a writing tool and a piece of paper to obtain incredibly in-depth information.

Like other systems of divination, geomancy has mythological associations. According to one Arabic Hermetic text, Idris (or Hermes Trismegistus) witnessed the angel Jibril in a dream. Idris asked for enlightenment, and Jibril proceeded to draw a geomantic figure. Upon being asked what he was doing, Jibril instructed Idris in the geomantic arts. Keeping this secret, he sought out Ṭumṭum al-Hindi, an Indian king, who then wrote a book on geomancy. This book was passed down through clandestine circles into the hands of Khalaf al-Barbarĩ, who traveled to Medina and was converted to Islam by the prophet Muhammad himself. Confessing to knowing a divinatory art, he explained that pre-Islamic prophets knew geomancy, and that by learning geomancy, one may "know all that the prophet knew".

Geomancy was one of the most popular forms of divination throughout Africa and Europe, particularly during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In Renaissance magic, geomancy was classified as one of the seven "forbidden arts", along with necromancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, chiromancy (palmistry), and spatulamancy (scapulimancy).

The word "geomancy", from Late Greek geōmanteía, translates literally to "foresight by earth"; it is a calque translation of the Arabic term ‛ilm al-raml, or the "science of the sand". Earlier Greek renditions of this word borrowed the Arabic word raml ("sand") directly, rendering it as rhamplion or rabolion. Other Arabic names for geomancy include khatt al-raml and darb al-raml.'