Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Dr. Alexander Cummin's Geomancy Foundation Course

Sorry for my recent silence everyone, I have been working on editing my upcoming book about which I will have more information soon.

I recently took Dr. Alexander Cummin's "Geomancy Foundation Course" through Wolf and Goat and wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts about the course.

My previous engagement with Geomancy was rather limited. I had primarily read the original Golden Dawn material on the subject, Pseudo-Agrippa's Forth Book of Occult Philosophy, and various information about Geomancy from secondary sources. I had never tried to use the divinatory system or explore its use in spirit work for several reasons. I was unclear on how the system was actually supposed to be used. Unlike Cartomancy, for example, there seemed to be no set tools for Geomancy and I found this off-putting. I was also unclear on how geomancy connected with astrology, which seemed to play a central role in understanding it. This difficulty was only exasperated by the name of the method itself. Geomancy, literally translated, means something along the lines of "Earth Divination". Why should a method of divination focused on the earth use the heavens as its central interpretive framework? Despite these confusions on my part, the slightest amount of research can't help but stress the massive historical importance of Geomancy. There was a time when it was arguably the most popular form of divination in the western world, and it holds key parallels and connections with other important and powerful methods of divination such as the I-Ching and Ifa. Despite that, it is now largely a forgotten area of occult practice and theory. Needless to say, I entered the course having never actually tried Geomancy. 

Dr. Cummins' class more than answered and solved all the questions and confusions my limited exposure to Geomancy had left me with. Dr. Cummins is a historian as well as a very skilled practicing occultist and his course strikes a perfect balance between locating Geomancy within its historical development and context; explaining the theory of the system with an excellent dedication to making clear what is fundamental to the system and what is open to debate, experimentation, and difference of opinion; and providing an excellent basis for practical concrete use. Throughout the course Dr. Cummins' provided both a deep complex presentation of the material and an astounding practical accessibility. I feel I understand the divinatory system surprisingly well now and was able to begin performing complex Geomantic divinations before the course was even finished. I have since used Geomancy with striking success both for myself and for friends. In the process of developing my own Geomantic practice, Dr. Cummins was exceptionally helpful and willing to provide one-on-one advice and guidance. Lest one feel nervous about the high level of the course material and its teacher, it must be said that the good doctor is as amusing and friendly as he is clear. I believe a more advanced class on Geomancy and spirit work is being planned by Dr. Cummins and am confident this was only the beginning of a very rewarding exploration of the subject with him.

Aside from the unquestionable quality of the course and Dr. Cummins' own various virtues, this course is particularly valuable because of the shocking dearth of useful contemporary material on Geomancy. There are maybe one or two books of any quality but they are far surpassed by the exceptionally high level of engagement present on Sam Block's blog The Digital Ambler. Ultimately, if one really wants to learn Geomancy there are few options beyond Dr. Cummins' class or digging into difficult and frequently incomplete primary historical sources oneself. We are certainly fortunate that his class is as clear, useful, and intellectually rigorous as it is as he is likely to be the source of an entire wave of new Geomancers. If you have any interest in divination, Geomancy, or the history and practice of occultism I highly recommend you take his course. His next class begins in early February and can be found here.


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