01/08/2013 9 Comments
Since one of my most favorite topics in occultism and magic is divination, specifically the divinatory art of geomancy, why not talk about that? I know a lot about it, and not many do, so let’s go with it. If nothing else, you’ll come away slightly more educated, and I’ll come away with something looking like productivity. With that in mind, let’s continue this little series of posts on geomancy, “De Geomanteia” (On Geomancy). This week, let’s talk about this figure:
This is the figure Caput Draconis. In Latin, its name means “Head of the Dragon”, also the name for the North Node of the Moon, but is also named “inner threshold” in some Islamic traditions, as well as “coming in of fortune” or “stepping inside”. If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like heading to doorway with a path leading to it.
First, the technical details on this figure. It’s associated with the North Node of the Moon, the place where the Moon’s orbit around the Earth crosses and rises above the ecliptic of the Sun, or further into the northern celestial sphere; it’s one of the two places where eclipses happen (the other is the South Node of the Moon). Due to its benefic nature, it’s associated with Venus and Jupiter, and due to its transitory nature, it’s associated with the sign of Virgo. The closest qabbalistic association that can be drawn, having effects only on the sphere of the Earth, is with Malkuth. It has the earth, water, and air lines active with only the fire line passive, and is overall associated with the element of Earth. It is an odd figure with five points, relating to subjective, inner states of the soul and experienced reality rather than objective, independent, or external situations. It is a stable and entering, showing it to be slow-moving and long-lasting where it appears. In the body, it is associated with the right arm, when associated with the body at all, but can also be associated with the mouth and sensory organs that take things in. Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Laetitia, showing that this figure is not fast-moving, not openly successful, not transient. Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is Cauda Draconis, showing that this figure is not ceasing, not calamitous, not unfavorable. Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is Tristitia, showing that this figure is similarly slow-moving and self-building through adversity. Caput Draconis is a figure representing beginnings of all kinds, and is open to any possibility. Like Fortuna Maior, Caput Draconis bodes well for upcoming adventures and undertakings, though with some difficulty at the beginning; it tends to be good with good figures and bad with bad figures, and is unfavorable for ending, closing, or getting rid of a situation.
My meditations on this figure feature mostly the image of being in the cockpit of a racecar, the first time on a track in a race. Quoth Cake, “reluctantly crouched at the starting line, engines pumping and thumping in time. The green light flashes, the flags go up. churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.” The race begins and you head on out. Anyone who’s done any kind of racing knows the fear, the anxiety, the rush that goes along with the training and the seconds just before the race, and how it prepares them for what’s actually to come. There’s reluctance, unwillingness, and concern about whether there’s enough to go on going, not just in racing but in any ordeal or adventure: starting a new semester at school, starting a new job, starting a new relationship, starting a new phase of one’s life. In the same moment as those fears arise, though, the process that involves those fears begins, and life goes on.
Just as a newborn dragon hatching from its egg, Caput Draconis is all about beginnings, births, newness, and possibility. Will that dragon be a rampaging wyvern razing the countryside, or will it be a wise solitary hermit once it grows out of its drake stage? It doesn’t matter at this point, because we haven’t crossed that bridge: it’s still just a hatchling, with all the hopes, dreams, fears, and omens that it brings. How it’ll be raised, on what it’ll eat, with what it’ll observe will all change what this little lizard will be; sure, dragons have instincts, but as greater creatures nurture also has an effect in addition to nature. With experience, the drake becomes a dragon, and figures its place out in the world. Just so, Caput Draconis describes all beginnings, all new things, and all hatching of opportunity and possibility into reality. Over time, the fear, anxiety, and potential energy will become magnanimity and wisdom or terror and regret, not to mention kinetic energy to accomplish tasks unseen or barely hoped for as yet, but just now, things are just new. Good things starting off tend to get better, while bad things tend to get worse; still, things can be fixed for the better in their beginning, so Caput Draconis is much more good than bad, often being ranked as among the most fortunate of figures in geomancy.
Unlike Tristitia, seen as a peg nailing and holding things to the ground against their will, Caput Draconis can be seen as the image of a seed being planted in the earth. Although seeds are elementally ruled by Fire, Caput Draconis has that one element passive, indicating that the process from seed to tree is just beginning: its earthy, material basis is set in the ground; its spiritual, watery nature is beginning to flow; its active, airy nature is beginning to interact with the rest of the world. However, though it has all the resources available to act, it still needs the input of energy, drive, will, and Fire to become complete. Because of this stable, slow pace of growth, Caput Draconis is given to the element of Earth as a whole. Plus, due to its transitory nature, it’s also associated with the mutable earth sign of Virgo, known for being detail-oriented, micromanaging, and resource-gathering to maintain and perfect things from inception to finalization.
When Caput Draconis appears in a reading, it usually indicates things starting off or something new having begun. Children being born, health improving, a new job, or a new lover are all reasonable things to expect with this figure depending on its placement, and it brings in the influence of Venus and Jupiter to a minor degree. Though things may be difficult, things also look good at the very outset, and will likely be better when seen all the way through. It isn’t good to have around when things need to finish, die off, or gotten rid of, but beyond that, Caput Draconis is definitely one of the good figures. Sneak it into banners, logos, or business cards for startups or new businesses for good luck, or engrave it into the cornerstone of a new building to ensure its future prosperity. So long as something’s starting off or something is desired to begin, Caput Draconis is a good figure.