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Table 2. Substantive correspondences between Arabian geomancy, Sikidy divination from Madagascar, and the Southern African (particularly, Shona) four-tablet system

Notes to table 2

1              o = uneven;    o  o = even.

2           The northern lunar node, i.e. the northern end of the intersection of the moon’s plane with the ecliptic plane in which the earth turns around the sun; in classical, Arabian and European astrology the two lunar nodes in many ways are treated as if they were planets in their own right; and like planets (which concept astrologically includes the luminaries Sun and Moon) they rule a specific sign of the zodiac. In Arabian astrology, the star sign al-Sunbala is virtually equivalent, in connotations and meaning, with Virgo in the classical and European astrological tradition.

3           The southern lunar node.

4           In astronomy, major stars of our galaxy are designated, per constellation (an apparent grouping of stars as seen from the earth), by a Greek letter from a to w in order of magnitude, i.e. apparent brightness. As the brightest star of the constellation of Virgo, Spica some 3000 years ago found itself in the star sign of Virgo, but due to the precession of the earth axis zodiacal star signs (i.e. 30 sectors of the apparent celestial globe measured along the ecliptic) and constellations have since drifted apart.

5              o = uneven;    o  o = even

6           o = open;    =  closed.

              Order used here: Kwami-Chilume-Ntakwale-Lumwe, the usual order when naming the tablets in Francistown. This order is arbitrary.

7           ‘You are burdened’.

8           ‘That which opens’.

9           ‘Shelter, sanctuary, liberation’.

10         ‘Fee for consultation’.

11         ‘Open!’

12         ‘That which is long and thin’/’a patch of burnt grass’.

13         ‘That which is long and thin’/’a patch of burnt grass’

14           ‘Foursome’.

15         Cf. the alternative name of the Shona configuration with only the junior male tablet open.

16     Cf. Zunga, Zungamana in Shona nomenclature, column V.


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