There are a number of traditional methods that can be used to determine units of time in the practice of geomantic divination, each taking a slightly different approach to their calculations. One of the most common methods is to simply reformulate the “when” query into a “will” query which can then be answered with a “yes”, “likely”, “unlikely”, or “no” depending on the favorability or unfavourability of the Court. For example, “Will event X happen by date Y?”, “Will event X occur within timeframe Y?”, etc. If necessary, a reader may cast successive charts in an attempt to narrow down the timeframe further, e.g., if we know that event X will not occur before date Y but will occur by date Z, we can then identify a more precise period or even a specific date.

While there are other methods that attempt to provide the querent with a concrete date of occurrence from the time of the reading, they typically require the memorization of numerical or astrological correspondences and involve mathematical calculations that practitioners may find inconvenient depending on the setting of the reading. There is, however, a simpler traditional method that I recently discovered in a post on The Digital Ambler which assigns specific ranges of time to the sixteen geomantic figures, albeit disproportionately.1 This technique bears resemblance to a method presented by John Michael Greer in The Art and Practice of Geomancy and takes the significator of the quesited as the figure indicating the timeframe,2 somewhat restricting its use to the astrological House Chart:

WeeksCauda Draconis
MonthsPuella, Fortuna Minor, Populus, Via, Puer, Rubeus
YearsFortuna Major, Acquisitio, Tristitia, Carcer, Laetitia, Albus, Caput Draconis

Some practitioners may find this method more convenient in situations where an estimated timeframe cannot be predetermined. It also has the potential to reduce the likelihood of having to cast successive charts to narrow down the range further if the “when” query is reformulated into a “will” query, though in some cases this may be unavoidable.

The following table attempts to expand on this model, as it introduces several additional timeframes that may be useful for a wider range of temporal queries and may also allow for greater precision. Intended primarily for the Shield Chart, this proposal does not take into consideration the figures’ astrological associations, nor does it require mathematical calculations or the memorization of numeric correspondences:

Already occurredVia or Cauda Draconis
Within 1 hourConjunctio or Laetitia
Within 24 hoursFortuna Minor or Puer
Within 7 daysAmissio or Rubeus
Within 4 weeksAcquisitio or Albus
Within 12 monthsFortuna Major or Puella
After a year or moreCarcer or Tristitia
Will not occurPopulus or Caput Draconis

In contrast to the previous model, eight timeframes are distributed evenly among eight two-figure pairs in such a manner that allows it to be employed for single-figure readings, the House Chart, or the Shield Chart independently of the House Chart, as the Judge can only be an even-numbered figure, i.e., a figure with an even numer of points.

  1. Polyphanes, “De Geomanteia: Geomantically Calculating Time (so Slowly for Those Who Wait),” The Digital Ambler (blog), February 26, 2013, (Accessed June 13, 2021) .
  2. John Michael Greer, The Art and Practice of Geomancy: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance, Illustrated (Newburyport, MA: Weiser Books, 2009), 147–148.

Last Updated: 5-17-2022