Once, quite a long time ago, my brother, Samarpit, was insisting that I learn ‘geomancy’. He is really good at reading all sorts of cards, cartomancy, tarot and things. I wasn’t too interested, so he said it is a degraded version of ‘Ramal Vidya’. This caught my attention instantly as Ramal is a Sanskrit word which means ‘telling fortune using dice’ and Vidya is essential knowledge. And already I knew that there is a Ramal Tantra too. Tantra starts where your Pranayam and Yog stop.
(Modern scholars who study the fundamentals of the Sanatan Dharma, try to classify the deities, the shlokas, mantra, yantra etc into Vedic and Tantric. This is an exercise in futility. It is like giving a 1st standard kid the books required for a Ph.D and applauding him when he sorts them into piles by the colors on their front pages. There is nothing called Vedic or Tantric or Yogic or whatever. It is all Sanatan Dharm.)
So I looked up geomancy books available, these were all referring to Arabic and Latin influenced versions of Ramal, didn’t buy them. Also found a 2 day workshop for Rs 12000, where the teacher was going to teach ‘Basics of Ramal’, didn’t buy this either. Finally I found a Sanskrit book Ramal rahasya, the secrets of Ramal and Ramal sara Tantra the Essence of Ramal Tantra.
The ‘author’ of Ramal Jyotish is Bhagwan Shiv Himself. It is a Vidya taught by Him to Devi Parvati and it has an associated Tantra, quite formidable.
Ramal rahasya starts off with a dialogue between Shiv and his wife Parvati (they are the intelligent conscious Tamogun, its potential and kinetic aspects respectively). He has clearly states several times that this cannot be learnt or perfected without a Guru. Guru means a spiritual Teacher. A Teacher who unveils to you the conscious intelligence operating in this created universe. So Ramal is something quite serious.
Ramal-Shastra is not Arabic, neither is it European nor Chinese. It is from the Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism, it is a Vidya and a Tantra and it is in Sanskrit. In Jyotish, Ramal is used as a type of Prashna. It is used to find answers of one single question uppermost in your mind. Ramal Shakal/ Roop have been used by Aleister Crowley in his Thoth Tarot deck illustrations. (No wonder my brother had read about it).
- Modern ‘geomancy’ is nothing but Ramal Shastra albeit in a degraded form. Ramal Shastra travelled from Bharat/ India to Arabia and thence to Europe. It has been distorted from the original Sanskrit eg the names used are in Arabic/ Latin, but the concepts of divination are almost the same.
- Ramal shastra also travelled to the east and gave birth to the IChing and got converted to its 8 root trigrams. Again the concepts and the names used are almost similar. I have written about IChing in an earlier post, I use it sometimes for quick answers. (Do use IChing especially if you have questions related to business, politics, strategy and manuvering. It gives very useful insights and solutions)
But the thing is IChing or Geomancy, the Arabic/ Latin/ Chinese versions have lost the connection to the Tantra of Ramal. Tantra is knowing how to put the energy to work. These two are now divinatory methods of lowered consciousness. Of the two, IChing is more powerful than ‘Geomancy’, the ‘Tao’ of IChing is a very aware intelligence.
Tantra tells you the problems and fixes the things too. Tantra also leads to Self-realization. Jyotish too is a Vidya, it leads to self-illumination and Ramal Shastra is very much a part of this. Every Yog or Vidya or Shastra has an associated Tantra or it is not of much use. You have the machine/ yantra, the knowledge/ mantra by you need to know the process/ tantra in order to achieve your goal.
But Ramal is Ramal, nothing can compare with this. You can do much much more with the original Ramal Shastra/ Tantra. Just the act of casting the reading sets the solution in motion.
(I wanted to write a book on the original Ramal Shastra and Tantra but my fingers are unable to type it. I have a typing speed of over 60 words/min. But when I think of writing the secrets of Ramal, pran actually stops moving in my fingers. It is not my karma to write this book. So if you read from some english book on ‘geomancy’, do try to channelise the conscious intelligence behind it, so that your readings become more powerful. )
So here is an introduction to the original Ramal. You already know astrology, the basics at least? Ramal then will be very easy for you to learn.
For learning Ramal you will need to know,
- The descriptions of the 12 houses of the horoscope. You already know the brief keywords.
- The descriptions of the 9 graha of Jyotish, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. This also is quite easy. You have read about them, you know how they behave. If not, I have written posts on them which you can read. Even if you remember a few keywords to begin with, it is good start. (Use the index page to locate the posts you wish to read)
- The detailed descriptions of the 16 images/ Shakal शकल used in Ramal. For this you will have to consult some ‘geomancy’ or modern Ramal book.
- I use the original Sanskrit names as they have actual meanings. These 16 Shakal, are 16 types of figures drawn with single dot/ Bindu and a single line/ Rekha (In modern geomancy, the line is drawn as 2 dots, thus their tantric power is lost).
- Shakal शकल is a Sanskrit word which means fragment or bit or small piece. (Sakal सकल is ‘entirety’.) Shakal are also called Roop रूप which means the ‘clue to the form’.
These 16 images, the Shakal शकल , made me want to learn Ramal Shastra. These are the 16 forms of the Moon/ Chandra. Each form of the Moon is called a Chandra-kala, this lasts for one day and this day is called a Tithi. So each Shakal is in fact the conscious intelligence of the Tithi or the Kala. These Kala कला are a part of Shri Vidya, the knowledge of your own internal energy geometry. These 16 images give Ramal its tantric identity. Ramal Shastra is Tantra.
The 7 regular graha-s rule 2 Shakal शकल each and the shadow planets, Rahu and Ketu rule one Shakal each. The names of the Shakal are the names of the planets. The figures you will need to practice a bit so that you can remember them. Don’t stress yourself by trying to by-heart things, as you do your practice readings you will understand them. Keep all your reference books near you. Divination is best when you have your mind relaxed.
Sixteen, is ‘Shodash’ in Sanskrit. There are several sixteen things in Sanatan Dharm and linked to your energy self. Sixteen is one of the esoteric numbers of the Shri yantra, the geometry of the manifested universe.
There are the sixteen vowels of the Sanskrit varnamala. These are the energies of the Shakti. You already know that the vowels are connected to the Ida nadi or the ‘feminine’ energy or the Moon, ie these 16 vowels are linked to the Devi Prakruti, ie they are the 16 emanations of the Devi Lalita Mahatripursundari.
The Moon/ Chandra has sixteen phases. The no-moon Amavasya, the full-moon Pournima and the fourteen phases as he waxes or wanes, it is a total sixteen. These are the sixteen Chandra kala. Into Shri-vidya again, these 16 Chandra-kala are the Sixteen Matrika Devi-s.
And there is also an entire book in Jyotish called the Chandra-kala Nadi used for predictions. Jyotish is very much a part of Sanatan Dharm, it is a Ved-ang and it is a route for self-realisation.
- चन्द्र – Chandra is the – moon, golden-reddish-silvery, brilliant, glimmering light, shining, fluid motion, graceful, pleasing, excellence etc.
- कला – Kala is a – part, sound vibration, elements of the material world, fineness, embryo, skill, division of time, 16, intelligence also ignorance, the sapta-dhatu of the body, etc.
These 16 chandrakala are then the 16 beams of light radiated by MahaShodashi. The word ‘Maha-Shodashi Devi’, in Sanskrit, literally means the great 16 beams of internal light. She is the Prakruti, she is all manifested creation and everything in it.
There is a very powerful Shodashi mantra composed only of 16 beej akshar-s. It is hidden in one of the shlokas of the Devi Atharvasheersham in the Devi Mahatmya. It is obviously available on the internet, but it is dangerous, fast acting and one should not use it without guidance from a realised Guru.
The Vishuddhi chakra, described as a ‘lotus’ is the lower chakra of the Chandra-mandal has 16 ‘petals’. The chakras are called ‘lotus’ and is not just a poetic gesture. Lotus flower is called ‘padma’ in Sanskrit. But ‘padma’ has several other deeper meanings also. ‘Padma’ also means a phase, a step, the dimensions and ultimately means ‘Great-Time’ the Maha-Kaal. So the Vishuddhi chakra can be more correctly understood as a knot in the Brahma-nadi within the Sushumna. This is a place where the brahma-nadi curves and recurves around itself perfectly creating these 16 loops. These loops exist in time, in space and the other dimensions. The space-time curve of science-fiction actually exists inside your own self. Vishuddhi chakra is an important milestone in your spiritual progress. It is only when the kundalini crosses this point that you are called ‘Nara’ नर , otherwise you are still a ‘Pashu’ पशु .
The chandra-mandal is the highest part of the Shri-chakra composed of the Vishuddhi and Ajnya chakras. The human body is a yantra, basically a machine, it is a means to an end but is also a barrier if you do not know how to use it. It is a means of control and can imply a bondage or a chain too. You have to use the force that this body (all its 5 layers) contains only then can you achieve Moksh, there is no other way. The yantra are put to work by application of the appropriate mantra and how to actually do this is the tantra.
And on an astrological note, I always assert that Venus is the real Moksh-karak, the agent of realization. His other name is षोडशांशु Shodash-anshu, he is a ray, thread, end-point of the 16. Recognise his real nature and follow him back to the Maha-Shodashi Devi and then go inwards into yourself.
So back to the topic, the 16 Shakals of Ramal are linked to all these 16 powerful energies as above. The शकल are raw power in themselves, they are not just figures. If you intend to use Ramal in any way, try to use the correct Sanskrit names of the Shakals. This will add to your divination and you will get precise results. Here is a brief description of the 16 Shakals, their real names in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam).
1. Vagmi वाग्मि – represents Pratipada Tithi, the first day after the no moon or full moon. Its ruler is Jupiter. Vagmi means excellent, philosophical, teacher.
2. Lohitah लोहित: – Dwitiya tithi. Ruler Mars. Lohitah means red, copper, metal.
3. Ushnaguh उष्णगु: – Trutiya tithi. Ruler Sun. Ushnaguh means the one with very hot rays.
4. Vidhuh विधु: – Chaturthi tithi. Ruler Moon. Vidhuh means solitary or of rhythmic movement
5. Patah पात: Panchami tithi. Ruler Rahu. Patah means downfall, illusory appearance, misfortune.
6. Bodhanah बोधन: Shashti tithi. Ruler Mercury. Bodhanah means instructor, clever, exciting.
7. Ketuh केतु: Saptami tithi. Ruler Ketu. Ketuh means a banner, unusual.
8. Saurih सौरि: Ashtami tithi. Ruler Saturn. Saurih means the Son of Sun. Saturn Shani is the son of the Sun Surya
9. Mandagah मन्दग: Navami tithi. Ruler Saturn. Mandagah means slow moving.
10. Teekshnanshuh तीक्ष्णांशु: Dashami tithi. Ruler Sun. Teekshnanshuh means sharp fiery rays.
11. Daityarchitah दैत्यार्चित: Ekadashi tithi. Ruler Venus. Daityarchitah means the one teacher respected by the sons of Diti.
12. Soorih सूरि: Dvadashi tithi. Ruler Jupiter. Soorih is a learned thinker, scholar.
13. Aarah आर: Trayodashi tithi. Ruler Mars. Aarah means iron, several enemies, or a sting.
14. Kavih कवि: Chaturthi tithi. Ruler Venus. Kavih means enlightened, in-control, a sage.
15. Sheetanshu शीतांशु: Amavasya tithi. Ruler Moon. Sheetanshu means cold rays.
16. Saumyah सौम्य: Pournima tithi. Ruler Mercury. Saumyah means Son of the Moon, likeable, bland. Mercury Budha is the son of Moon Chandra.
Now if you intend to use Ramal as a divinatory tool you will need the typical Ramal dice. I saw some Ramal dice on sale on etsy. But if you don’t want to buy them, you can always use cards. You will need one set of these 16 images above, you can draw them on cards with a marker. Write the Sanskrit names on the cards, so that at least some part of the real power of the Ramal gets channelised into your reading. Try with the cards first, if you get inspired then buy the dice. (The dice are very convenient as with one single roll you get the entire group of mother images 1 to 4.)
So you have your Ramal cards and your question. Now you have to pull out 4 cards from the set and create the Ramal Khet or Shield. The actual Khet has 16 computations like this below. This is a completed khet, your reading. There are 16 positions and each position is occupied by a Shakal. Each position can be interpreted to get insights into your question.
- The 4 cards you pull out are the 4 मातृ Matru ‘mother images’. (these are filled in the right side top 1 to 4 slots). Note them as per the sequence you pull them out as you will be using the 1st mother image again to calculate the 16th image.
- You derive the ‘daughter images’ from the mother images. These daughters are filled in the 5 to 8 slots on the top left of the Khet.
- Then you calculate the four ‘niece images’ at number 9 to 12 in the second line. These are derived using the images of the daughters.
- The niece images at 9 and 10 are combined to make the first witness at 13. It is filled in the third row right side.
- And the nieces at 11 and 12 are combined to make the second witness at 14. This image is at the third row left side.
- The two witnesses at 13 and 14 are combined to get one Judge image at 15. This is at the lowest row, left side.
- And the Judge image and the 1st mother image are ‘combined’ to get the 16th image called the Reconciler.
Learning how to compute the Khet using the 4 cards, the ‘mother images’ you draw is very easy, it is given in every geomancy book. But I suggest that you get an app which gives you the computed shield directly. I use ‘Brian’s Geomancy’ app by developer ‘AoA’, it is a free app for iPhone. It computes till the 15th image. So you will need to compute the 16th image manually.
But ‘geomancy’ as it is taught today generally uses 15 images like this below. The 16th figure is not calculated. The Bindu/Dot and Rekha/Line of the original Ramal Shastra have tantric significance and inherent power. In geomancy, these have been changed, Dot is continued as a Dot but the Line has been converted to a Double Dot.
So this is how you cast your Ramal Khet.
- Sit in a neat and clean place, face north or east.
- Deep breathe a few times, relax your mind, focus on your question.
- Shuffle your Ramal cards and pull out the 1st one. This is the 1st ‘mother image’ so input it in your app.
- Similarly input the 2nd 3rd and 4th cards ‘mother images’ in the app and touch ‘done’.
- The app will compute the complete shield and give you the final figure of the 15 images.
- This is how you calculate the 16th Shakal, the Reconciler. in the example below, figure one will be the 1st mother image and figure two will be the 15th Judge image. You combine them together using this formula to get the 16th Reconciler image.
So if you are learning ‘geomancy’ or ‘ramal’ from any arabic/ english book do remember to cast the 16th Reconciler Image too. This is the gist of the entire reading and offers unique insights into the corrective actions which you will be taking up to address your problem.
And as Ramal Shastra and Tantra is authored by Bhagwan Shiv and the first ‘student’ of this Vidya is Devi Shakti, it would be best to think of them with gratitude before doing the divination. This will make your Geomancy/Ramal or IChing readings more powerful.
(I had got a question on Ramal Jyotish some time ago but was putting off writing this post as I did not know how much I would be allowed by karma to write on this topic. So this post is a bit disjointed.)