geomancy

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English geomancy, from Medieval Latin geomantia from late Ancient Greek γεωμαντεία (geōmanteía). Equivalent to geo- +‎ -mancy.

Noun[edit]

geomancy (usually uncountable, plural geomancies)

  1. A method of divination using earth or the ground, such as interpreting markings on the ground or how handfuls of dirt land when tossed.
    • 1660 Urquhart tr. Rabelais Gargantua & Pantagruel iii. xxv.
      Hard by here, in the Brown-wheat-Island, dwelleth Her Trippa; you know how by the Arts of Astrology, Geomancy, Chiromancy, Metopomancy, and others of a like stuff and nature, he foretelleth all things to come...
    • 1855, Edward Smedley et al., The Occult Sciences, London: Richard Griffin, page 314:
      The Arabian Geomancy, said to have been first practised by Almadul, was more recondite, being founded on the effects of motion under the crust of the earth, the chinks thus produced, and the noises or thunderings heard; its foundation was the dogma of Aristotle, that "the moving of the heaven is everlasting, and is the beginning and cause of all inferior movings."
    • 1973, K. Ellis, Prediction and Prophecy, page 61:
      In geomancy, the enquirer himself was asked to stab the earth at random with a pointed stick. The soothsayer then read the dots.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 230:
      The fountain or the well represents a point where invisible energies flow into a society; in geomancy these would be known as "power points." Where these energies are, elementals or genii loci or nature spirits congregate.
  2. feng shui; Chinese geomancy.
    • 1899, William Dwight Whitney, The Century Dictionary, volume III, page 61:
      geomancy [...] The pretended art of divining future events, or of ascertaining the luckiness or unluckiness of any event or locality, by means of signs connected with the earth [...] or, as in China, from the configuration and aspect of a particular region in its relation to some other.
    • 1978, M. Edwardes, The Dark Side of History, page 12:
      There was [...] a striking similarity between Mesopotamian and Chinese thinking - if not method - in the concept of feng-shui, the Chinese system of geomancy, or divination by topographical features.

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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

geomancy (uncountable)

  1. geomancy
    • 1425 Mandev. (Eg) 115/9
      At a syde of pe emperour table sittez many philosophers and grete clerkez of diuerse sciencez, sum of astronomy, sum of nigromancy, sum of geomancy, sum of pyromancy, sum of ydromancy.