Casting a shield
Traditionally, a geomancer would mindlessly draw a random number of vertical lines in 16 rows, letting their subconscious decide when each row ends. If the row consists of an even number, the reader will use two dots. If the row consists of an odd number of marks, the reader will read that as one dot.
These symbols will then be divided into four groups of four as shown above. These four groups are read to determine the first four figures of your geomantic shield, the four mothers. The four mothers are the source of the rest of the reading. They are used to create the daughters, the nieces, the witnesses, and finally, the judge. We will cover the names and significance of each of the 16 figures in the following blog post. For now, let's focus on building our shield.
Feel free to refer to this video of James casting a shield to decide whether or not to adopt another kitten. It may be helpful to cross reference this blog post with the video.
As an alternate way to produce the four mothers, the elemental coins can be used. Each element coin has two sides that show the element singularly or in a pair. Depending on which side is facing up, the reader will see whether to use 1 dot or 2 to form the figure. The coins will always be read in this order: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth, and are shuffled and thrown 4 times in order to determine the four figures.
The 16 figures themselves can be used to create the first four mothers as well. This can be done by placing the coins in a satchel, bag, or hat, and drawing four coins at random to begin your shield. If using this method, you will want to make sure to place each coin back before drawing the next as it is possible to have the same figure used for multiple mothers.
The geomantic shield serves as a map for your reading. Draw the shield and record the four mothers in the order they appeared, from right to left (as shown in the diagram above). With your first mother at the very right corner.
From the four mothers, you will extract the four daughters by combining the symbols in each row.
To create the first niece, we use the first two mothers. If the combination in each row creates an even number, then two dots are used, if it results in an odd number, one dot is used. Following the same method, we create the following niece using mothers 3 and 4. The third niece is then created with daughters 1 and 2 and the final niece is created with daughters 3 and 4. Nieces 1-4 are entered in the middle row in order, from right to left (see the diagram below).
The Witnesses are then formed from the four nieces using the same method as the previous step. Use the first and second nieces to create the right witness and the third and fourth nieces to create the left witness. The right witness represents the past and the person asking the question, while the left witness represents the situation affecting the person and the future.
The final section of our shield is called the Judge. The Judge is the accumulation of all the figures that came before it. The Judge is the figure that determines the outcome, favorable or unfavorable. The Judge is formed by combining the right and left witnesses using the same method as the previous steps, an odd number is one point and an even number is two.
Using the example depicted, we will end up with Carcer as our judge, the name of the following figure:
Now that we know how to cast a shield, we must learn how to read it. The following blog post will cover the names and meanings of all 16 figures used in a shield and what they signify. Stay tuned!