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GEOMANCY

Geomancy, or divination by the earth, is an ancient form of divination that has its roots in Africa and the Middle East where it was called "'ilm al-raml," or the science of the sand. Originally, the creation of geomantic figures entailed marking the ground with a stick in order to generate a random number of marks upon the earth. The marks where then counted in order to generate one of sixteen possible figures each of which have their own divinatory meanings. Geomancy became one of the most popular forms of divination in Europe during the Middle Ages (second only to Astrology) where various methods of generating the geomantic symbols were developed. One of the most popular methods called for drawing a random number of points, or dots, on a piece of paper. In keeping with Arabic tradition, the points are often drawn from right to left. In this manner, a series of geomantic figures are created and arranged on either a tableau (which is akin to an astrological chart) or a shield chart and are then interpreted.

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