The fourth of a series of four lithographs to be produced with Hole Editions in 2010, Keep it Sidereal references sources as diverse as the practice of geomancy; apocryphal documents and texts, creation myths and Romancing The Stone - the 1984 American action-adventure romantic comedy by Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. An array of meanings is presented here formally, in a symmetrical fashion suggestive of the armorial bearings of a secret society. This arrangement creates a framework for multiple readings which conflate to cancel one another out ‘ad absurdum’ as in a superficial t-shirt design found on the rails of Primark.
Geomancy (Greek: γεωμαντεία, "earth divination") is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand. The most prevalent form of divinatory geomancy involves interpreting a series of 16 figures formed by a randomized process that involves recursion followed by analyzing them, often augmented with astrological interpretations.
Once practiced by people from all social classes, it was one of the most popular forms of divination throughout Africa and Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Books and treatises on geomancy were published up until the 17th century when most occult traditions fell out of popularity. Geomancy has recently seen a new interest through the works of John Michael Greer and other practitioners, with more mainstream occult circles practicing and teaching geomancy.
To the lay person, Geomancy may imply someone who summons stones as necromancy implies summoning the dead. As the lithographer attempts to summon an image from the pure, sensitive Bavarian lime stone surface with a gentle caress; the accumulation of greasy marks that helps him realise that he himself is miasma; his body an agent of the greasy mark. Many craftsmen believe that working with stone helps them to connect with their ancestors.
According to the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, many religions use a stone to signify God or to mark a place of worship. One example of this is the Black Stone of the Kaaba in Mecca, known as God’s right hand on earth. The Kaaba marked the location where the sacred world intersected with the profane, and the embedded Black Stone was a further symbol of this as an object that linked heaven and earth.