Geomancy chart reading

I have a question about what someone said to me about reading a geomancy chart and i wanted to re-check it with members of forum specially @Dankquanicus and @hypn0s
“a geomancy chart needs to be read EITHER as a house chart OR as a shield chart. Using the witnesses and judge in a house chart is a recipe for confusion.”
Is above quote right?


Not at all. The House Chart is contained within the Shield Chart, and the Shield Chart is contained within the House Chart. I always draw both for convenience, even though you can see the one within the other. However, for later methods (Such as the Golden Dawn method, but also the method of ordering given in the ‘Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy’ attributed to Agrippa) for communicating the Shield Chart to the House Chart with more complex ways of doing this, it makes sense that some would feel that you should only draw one, since the figures are not in the same order (Traditionally, the first Mother goes into the first house, the second Mother into the second, the third Mother into the third, and so on. This differs in later systems).

So, it comes down to tradition. But I feel it is a mistake not to consider the Judge of a Geomancy chart (Which is often excluded from the House Chart). The Renaissance master of Geomancy, Christopher Cattan says this of the Judge:

“Of these two witnesses by the same manner is made another figure, the which is called the judge, unto whome appertaineth the judgment and discussion of all the whole [chart], on such wise, that if he be good, the demand will be found good, and if it be evill or nought, the demand shall likewise be found ill” - (The Geomancie of Maister Christopher Cattan Gentleman, Francis Sparry Translation, printed in 1608 London, Book I Page 10)

So, the Judge essentially contains the entire chart. This is view is also further explained and expressed by the contemporary Geomancer known as Polyphanes, who wrote a nice article on this:

But otherwise as I said, it comes down to tradition. It is certainly not wrong for someone to have the view that using both a house chart and shield chart muddies interpretation so long as the ordering of the figures are not harmonious, I feel, even though my personal opinion is that the answer should still be harmonious.

@hypn0s perhaps you have further comments? I know you are of a tradition that takes the Judge into less consideration.


As I mentioned in one of my previous replies, my lineage stopped reading the judge as the most holy “answer” centuries ago, but we still take him into consideration. Many times the judge’s role is to point to a certain house, or reception figure, as particularly important to the question. In other words, if the judge appears in the house chart, it often serves the role of a highlighter, and it shouldn’t be read literally, as providing any information on its own. If it doesn’t appear in the house chart, it will provide an answer that is supplementary to the one given by the houses. All of the above applies to the witnesses, as well.