De Geomanteia: Amissio (where have you been all my life ‘ife ‘ife ‘ife ‘ife ‘ife)
December 4, 2012 10 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 Amissio. In Latin, its name means “Loss”, but is also named “external capture” in some Islamic traditions, as well as “something escaped”. If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like an upside-down bag or arrows moving away from you.
First, the technical details on this figure. It’s associated with Venus in retrograde motion, the astrological signs of Taurus or Scorpio, depending on whom you ask; due to its Cytherean connections, it’s associated with the sephirah Netzach. It has the fire and water lines active and earth and air lines passive, and is overall associated with the element of Fire due to its explosive and volatile nature. It is an even figure with six points, relating to objective situations rather than internal or experential evens. It is a mobile and exiting figure, showing things to be dynamic, fast-moving, and fleeting in influence. In the body, it signifies the shoulders, neck, and throat. Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Acquisitio, Gain, showing that this figure is all about loss and losing and things being out of reach. Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is also Acquisitio, showing that there is no other kind of state between loss or gain except loss or gain. Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is itself, showing Amissio to be unique in how it expresses its geomantic symbolism. It is generally an unfavorable figure, except that it’s good whenever loss is desired (e.g. losing an illness, getting rid of debt), and especially in matters of love (losing one’s heart). In all cases, it represents loss, losing, or the lack of opportunity to obtain something; whether this is a good or bad thing depends on what’s being lost.
My meditation on this figure showed me an image of a single car half-filled with bags and small furniture, driving on a long, empty, straight road in a huge, empty, flat desert. A young woman is driving the car, speeding in frustration and emotion, leaving a huge cloud-trail of dust behind the car as it goes along. She’s crying, listening to songs that remind her of better times, leaving her partner of many years and reflecting on what was awesome with her partner and what happened to ruin everything. She couldn’t get everything she had from the place she left, and while it sucks, she’ll get along without it, she figures; she doesn’t know where she’s driving, and she doesn’t even know why she’s really leaving, only that she is and that she can’t stay in one place for long. Her emotions running high, her tears streaming down her face, all she wants is what she can’t have.
One of the good things about geomancy is that, as far as divination systems go, it’s pretty down to earth in its symbolism, technique, and especially its naming conventions. Amissio, the latin word for “sending off” or “loss”, really does mean just that: things are gone and they’re not coming back. It’s really not much more complicated than that, guys; Amissio means that things are gone, going away, taken away, stolen, out of reach, missing, misplaced, left behind, waning, subsiding, or decreasing. It is loss in every sense of the word.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a particularly interesting post if I left it at that, so let’s dig a little more into the elemental and astrological symbolism behind Amissio. It has the elements of fire and water active, without Air or Earth to keep them in check or facilitate their reaction. Although potent forces, they are volatile; although able to effect change on the world and on themselves, their effects won’t last without moist Air to facilitate them or dry Earth to materialize them. Fire and Water can only coexist when there’s something else to join them and have them interact; unlike Air and Earth which can coexist and settle down, Fire and Water blow apart when they’re alone. Because of this volatility and rapidity of action, Amissio is given as a whole to the element of Fire, and its structure also gives it a exiting (removing, decreasing, distancing) and mobile (transient, fast, ephemeral) quality.
However, despite this passionate and fierce dance of elements, it’s associated with the airy planet Venus in retrograde, the planet of luxury, love, and lust focused on material, worldly, self-centered wealth as well as both the signs of watery, fixed, passionate, possessive Scorpio (its strictly zodiacal correspondence) and earthy, fixed, persistent, possessive Taurus (its planetary zodiacal correspondence). Taken as a whole, we have a figure who wants and will jealously guard anything that comes into their possession, good or bad, fixed on keeping things fixed as they are without change, attached and clinging to their desired goods. But the whole language of alchemy and astrology that we’re using to explain this also show that, as a whole, the cosmos is all about change, fluidity, and evolution; nothing manifest or realized can ever remain fixed. Anything made must eventually be unmade, anything that increases must also decrease, and anything that goes up must also go down.
Amissio, being the clingy, possessive, jealous, desirous figure that it is, doesn’t like that. It wants that stability and ownership of things that it can’t have, it wants the laws of the universe to give it what can’t be attained, and it wants goals and places and things that will not last in their grasp for long. Anything that we have we will eventually lose, either by losing it or losing something else. That is why the young girl is crying, because all relationships and all things end, and it doesn’t matter why it ended, all that matters is that it did and she has to move on, willingly or otherwise. That is why the car is only half-full with goods, because she (or we) can’t take everything with her (or us). That is why she’s crying in a mixture of joy and grief, because she (or we) want what she (or we) can’t have, and she (or we) want good things, even when they turn out bad or stop being good for her (or us).
When Amissio comes around, it’s time to move on without whatever was being asked about. This isn’t always a bad or painful figure, though; when asking a query about romance, for instance, the Cytherean and romantic side of Amissio comes into play, its passion and fiery nature inflaming hearts ready to be given away to one’s crush. When asking about an illness, instead of catching a cold, a disease is ready to be kicked out of one’s immune system. When asking about a fear one has of a situation, Amissio shows that one is getting ready to lose it instead of having to deal with it. However, because humanity as a whole likes to get and keep stuff, Amissio is usually seen as a negative force. Can’t find your wallet? You won’t find it. Looking for a raise? Don’t hold your breath. Wondering where someone is hiding? They’re AWOL and incommunicado. Trying to find a replacement for your old car? You may end up without one at all. However, because the universe is (usually, but not always) a zero-sum game, one person’s loss is (usually, but not always) another person’s gain.