This is not an article about the divination practice usually referred to as "geomancy". I use the term according to its original meaning: magic of earth. This is about a practical application of geomancy in the context of "randonauting". I will give a brief overview about this technique, then report some experiences, discuss some technical features and layout some techniques of practical enchantment using randonauting as a tool.
Inspired by a video by Tommie Kelly of Adventures in Woo Woo I recently started "randonauting" because I've always been very fascinated by spirits of place and psychogeography and this new activity seemed like a fun way to expand my practice in the field.
Randonauting is the exploration of places in your immediate surrounding solely determined by a random set of coordinates. These coordinates are provided by an online software called Fatum Bot that can be accessed via Telegram messenger and a soon to be released phone app.
The numbers used to find the coordinates are provided by a so called quantum random number generator (QRNG) that measures the magnetic field fluctuations of virtual particles in a vacuum and continuously spits out these measurements.
Initially the creators of this software wanted to just see was what happened when people visit randomly generated geographic points. But then some really weird stuff started to happen. People found strange objects or messages at the random locations, or they started experiencing strange repelling emotions.
The makers of the Fatum Project came up with a gamified theory for a real world application of their software: to break the user's predetermined probability-tunnel:
All things in the world are causally connected with each other and everything that happens, including our thoughts, is usually determined by the sum of all environmental factors. This makes the world close to deterministic. [...] This means that no matter what choices you make, and no matter how many variations on how your day may pass, there are always some places where you simply cannot be, because none of the chains of your decisions leads there.
Interesting that such places may be somewhere nearby. On your street there may be a lane in which you will never think to look and you do not even know about its existence. What could be hiding in such blind spots? [...] To find such places, it was decided to create points with random coordinates and go there, regardless of whether they look interesting or convenient to visit. (1)
The Fatum Bot offers different methods of generating random points. Pseudo-random coordinates and QRNG generated ones, but the most interesting type that seems to reveal the weirdest places, are so-called "attractor points":
For it's generation a few thousands of quantum-random points will be created and then program will find an area with maximum density of these points and calculate it's center as an attractor.
The power of the attractor is a relative coefficient to verify that the attractor is generated correctly. It is based on the ratio between the density of points near the attractor and in the entire search zone as a whole. In theory, if it is less than two, then it is difficult to call it an anomaly. (Farum Bot /help text)
The opposite of an attractor point is a so-called void, an area with the minimum density of random points.
During the first experiment, when 70,000 randomly selected people were sent to random points coordinates, almost all of them immediately decided that the points were sent with the aim of a scam and saw danger in them. As a result, a very few decided to go there. Such a reaction can be explained by the activation of the despair-meme, with which the holistic memeplex tries to keep you within the framework of the pattern. (1)
First a quick update on the terminology used in the quoted paragraph:
A meme is a unit of information in consciousness, whose existence influences events in such a way that a large number of its copies arise in other consciousnesses. (2)
Memocomplex (memeplex) - A set of mutually supporting memes that co-evolve in symbiotic relationships. Religious and political dogmas, social movements, artistic styles, traditions and customs, paradigms, languages, etc. are meme complexes. (2)
The aforementioned "strange emotions" that around 25% of randonauts experienced are explained in the official theory as being manifestations of the so-called "Despair Meme". To learn more about this phenomenon, I highly recommend the following two videos by Tommie Kelly and Fred Andersson. I have personally not experienced it much on any of my randonaut trips and I have to admit that I am sceptical about it.
It is hypothesized that part of the reason that the places seem to have some kind of weird uncanny ambience could be the use of quantum event generated randomness and the alleged phenomenon of entanglement with consciousness. This effect has been observed in many experiments, the largest ongoing one being the Princeton University Global Consciousness Project:
When human consciousness becomes coherent, the behavior of random systems may change. Random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. GCP
It means that the theoretical "true randomness" of a QRNG is practically altered by the consciousness of the user through the so-called observer effect. Depending on the intent of the user in the moment of generation of the QRN, the randomness seems to get modulated and the random coordinates suddenly seem to point to places that have some kind of significance.
First there are the utopias. Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society. They present society itself in a perfected form, or else society turned upside down, but in any case these utopias are fundamentally unreal spaces.
There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places—places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society—which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality. Because these places are absolutely different from all the sites that they reflect and speak about, I shall call them, by way of contrast to utopias, heterotopias. Foucault (3)
During a holiday trip to Israel with my wife and daughter to see the in-laws aka. grandpa and his girlfriend I started to apply randonauting to my usual evening activity of exploring the city we stayed in. I visited single attractor points and experimented with attractor chains in which the visited attractor becomes the new location from which you generate the next point, and so on.
I started out with the minimum radius of 1000 meters around our flat and immediately got to very interesting places. The random coordinates led me to beautiful sculptures in a private garden, an abandoned car with plastic tubes strapped to it and a scarab beetle landing in front of my feet upon arrival, a lost toy car, strangely arranged objects in industrial areas, and a recurring number of water pipes, hydrants, and dry riverbeds. Most places surrounded an ambience of peaceful serenity and despite mostly being in an urban area, a feeling of liminality and heterotopia. They mostly felt inviting to contemplation and I often left an offering of tobacco in exchange for an artifact to take with me.
I had an interesting attractor chain experience: During a day trip to Tel Aviv I found a rare free parking spot next to a park. I sat down on a bench and checked my phone map for a public toilet. I started walking there and listened to a bunch of voice notes about Fatum Project. Sitting on the loo I generated an attractor point while focusing on the word "inspiration". I got a 4.2 attractor and went there. It turned out to be a backyard playground area of a kindergarten, shadowy and liminal, dominated by a large tree with a makeshift swing on it and surrounded by bushes. I would have loved to hang out at this place as a child. Very magical. But being a bearded grownup man wearing sunglasses sneaking around such a place invoked immediate anxiety (despair meme?) and I left. I chained up another attractor point thinking about "music production" and it appeared to be just 500m down the road I was already walking. I ended up at a construction site with scaffolding of a house front and it was quite noisy from drilling, throwing rubble and shouting in Hebrew and Arabic. I chained up another attractor with no intention and it lead back to the direction of the park. When I arrived I realized it was just 50m away from the bench I started out at and just a footstep away from where I started listening to the voice notes.
In two occasions I had the feeling that by doing the ritual of visiting a place and taking an artifact back into my own sphere of life had immediate effects of desire manifestation:
We had a rental car booked and when we arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv the company tried to scam us into having to book an additional allegedly legally required car insurance from them despite already having added one when we had booked the car online. We cancelled the booking and ended up without a car. I was quite devastated about it and felt stuck and trapped and thought about it all day. The first evening I visited an attractor point (power 2.77) that turned out to be a little green plastic chassis of a toy car, neatly parked next to a hedge on a sidewalk. I took it with me thinking "at least I have a toy car". When I arrived back home my wife excitedly told me that her father just messaged her that we can borrow his girlfriend's car for the whole time of our stay. I was happy and bamboozled by the "coincidence".
The next attractor point that I visited was at a rusty overgrown gate of a tall steel structure wall fencing a factory area. From the road-signs it was quite obvious that the place was private property but I walked in anyways, because the attractor had the unusually high power of 5.19 and I really wanted to get there. On the sidewalk in front of the gate was a wooden transportation pallet with a giant and very heavy looking flat white rock on it and a clean and unused car mat on top of it. I took the car mat with me, remembering the green toy car and wondering if and what this item would manifest. Arriving home I learned that a previously scheduled potentially awkward dinner with to me unknown friends of my in-laws that I had been anxious about all day got cancelled.
At this point the data-set is too small to draw any conclusions about a correlation of attractor points and manifestation of desires, but nevertheless I find the anecdote worth mentioning. I will certainly experiment further into this direction and I had an idea about using Fatum Bot points for casting intents. You will find it below in the praxis section.
Practicing randonauting I had a lot of ideas what to do with this new obscure technology, but I also bumped into its current limitations. I managed to get in contact with the community of developers and discussed these issues with some them, hoping that my feedback might turn into contributions to the project. I instantly found very lovely people open to discussion and nerding out about these and many other philosophical and technical tangents surrounding the Fatum Project.
One technicality that started bothering me is the fact that the random numbers used to find the points come from a server in Australia. I know that for quantum entanglement physical distance between the observing consciousness and the observed QRNG is not an issue, yet this whole tool is about locality and modulating randomness by intent and for my taste it is missing a more magical local component than merely the starting coordinates and radius the user sends to the bot. I imagine a random number generator built into the phone of the user that is influenced by the intent held in her mind at the moment of interaction with the Fatum Bot and by the spiritus loci of the current location the user is at. This locally entangled random number is sent to the bot who seeds it into the hardware quantum random number generator in some yet to be defined way. Doing some research myself I found a great Chinese research paper in which they experiment with using the phone camera and flash as a source of random seed information:
A portable True Random Number Generator configuration is proposed, which is simply based on the camera of a commercial smartphone. No other auxiliary equipment except the mobile phone itself was needed, which offers a promising solution for personal encryption applications. With the flash lamp of the camera and the thumb of the operator, quasi-uniform illumination was obtained, setting the image sensor at a working point where the shot noise of the photocurrent dominates the overall characteristics of the sensor output noise. [...] [T]he shot noise of the photocurrent is believed to be a quantum process, therefore the randomness of noise can be guaranteed if the [signal-to-noise ratio] of an image is neither too high nor too low. (4)
Besides the elegant simplicity of the proposed method, I also love the idea of putting your finger on the camera lens of the phone to generate the randomness. It is direct subtle and almost alchemical interaction between the phone and the user and it reminds me of dowsing: The receiving eye of the device reads the intent from the sending finger of the user by using a flash of light. It's beautiful.
My other idea was to implement the possibility of a filter or at least information about the directionality of the generated point in relation to the base coordinate. A lot of magical operations are about directionality and such a feature would help a lot. More on that in the Praxis section below.
I am happy about the openness of the Fatum developers about discussing potential features like this and a special shoutout goes to Jamal and comrade at this point for inspiring and fruitful conversations.
Aside from the official Randonaut theory based practice of bringing quantum randomness into the topology of your reality and using them to cause change, I had a few ideas for magical experiments that I will briefly describe here:
- Set your location and radius in the Fatum Bot
- Use /getattractor and while it is calculating, ask a question out loud or in your mind which you want an answer for.
- Go to the attractor and note any hints, symbolic objects, atmosphere, written text that might lead to an answer.
- Optionally you might also want to note the same about anything you encounter along the path to the attractor.
- Make it a chain of attractors for more complex answers.
Balancing the Void
- Use the /getpair command to receive an attractor point and a related void point.
- Go to the attractor and take an artifact, leave an offering, ask the spirit of place to charge the artifact with its energy.
- Go to the void point, place the artifact, ask the spirit of place to receive energy from the artifact as an offering.
- Remain in a meditative receptive state and record whatever emotions or insights you have.
If you imagine lines between attractor points as akin to ley-lines, then their intersections have power also. Call them 'crossroads' and you can apply all kind of crossroads related magic to these intersections.
Here is a calculator that lets you find the intersection of two lines defined by four coordinates or two coordinates with a bearing.
Ad Hoc Attractor Network
There are already a number of discussions around using attractor points for a "sigil network" in the Fatum community, but it has not been clear to me what exactly is planned. The favored approach seems to be based on the Floodgate Sigil Network by Ring of Lethe. I personally find it a bit too overbrained.
Here is an outline of my own practice that has already been in the back of my head since my grave token network, but was also inspired by conversations in the Fatum community I engaged in, especially with comrade/UnitiveConsciousness.
- At high power attractor points, place a unique sigil or half of a token pair (any pair of objects, halves of a rock/clay object, coins, whatever. See my Dawn of the Dead article part about my token network)
- Record information about how the place feels like, any planetary, elemental or other magically related correspondences that come to your mind and which sigil/token represents this place.
- At your altar space, do a ritual where you connect places that share correspondences by placing the sigils/tokens that represent these places around a central sigil that represents the intention of linking them together.
- When you do other rituals in which you feel the need for more resonance of certain energies that you felt at a certain attractor point, use the above created network to pull energy from these places - or vice versa if you want to push some intent or energy to these places you can do that in the same fashion.
- After the ritual, disconnect the places from the linking sigil again and dissolve the network.
- With the above outlined method you can create ad hoc networks of places when needed and don't need to worry that your network might get taken over or other issues the famous DKMU "Ellis" aka. "Linking Sigil" network allegedly suffered from.
Here is my Fatum attractor linking sigil design, mainly inspired by a simpler design by AciaMeriPens/RoL, spelling FATUM but using Futhark runes as letters. I combined it with "a cube in a cube" as symbol for quantum randomness and spatiality, but also the appearance of a spiderweb for "network" and a downward pointing arrow known in electronic schematics to signify "ground".
This is the idea to trace the shape of a sigil by walking from attractor point to subsequent chained attractor points while keeping an intention in mind and then using that shape as viewed from above as a symbol to represent the intention and the journey of sigil creation itself.
- Set your location and radius in the Fatum Bot
- Use /getattractor and while it is calculating, say your intention out loud or in your mind.
- Go to the attractor and try to be as mindful about your intention and the journey itself as possible.
- When you reach the attractor, set it as your current location and repeat steps 1 - 3.
- Do this as long as you feel like you need to be doing it.
- At the end, put markers for each attractor you visited on a map and trace them with straight lines from beginning to end. Terminate the beginning of this line with a circle and optionally the end with a dash or an arrow. This is a glyph symbolizing your geosophic sigil.
- Optionally make it into a hypersigil, by putting more emphasis to the whole journey and taking notes on the way. Once you are finished, write a "Hero's Journey" type story using the places or atmospheres or other elements relating to your visited attractor points as plot-points. Ideally make up this story already during the journey.
The four cardinal directions are paramount in many magical operations, some grimoires like the Steganographia by Trithemius of Spanheim or the Art Theurgia Goetia of Kinge Salomon have lists of spirits sorted by their direction on a compass.
You can use attractor points in directional relation to your point of origin as places to set an intention for a magical operation, to cast sigils, conjure spirits, whatever you want. The act of moving from a place to another in a certain direction is charged with magical meaning.
There are several esoteric systems you can apply to this method. The most straightforward one is using the four cardinal directions and their magical correspondences in the western tradition (according to Agrippa, not the Golden Dawn)
|Qualities||cold, wet||hot, dry||hot, wet||cold, dry|
Find more correspondences on this extensive chart.
Using this logic you can derive other correspondences, for example which planetary energies can be found in which direction. Here is a planetary chart derived from the Aristotelian Qualities from the chart above:
Another excellent system for setting intention is the Bagua principle from Feng Shui geomancy:
The best way to find the exact direction from your point of origin (OP) to the Fatum attractor point (FP) is by using degrees of bearing.
The bearing of a point is the number of degrees in the angle measured in a clockwise direction from the north line to the line joining the centre of the compass with the point. A bearing is used to represent the direction of one point relative to another point. (source)
Here is a chart of cardinal directions and the corresponding bearing degrees:
|North||315° - 45°|
|East||45° - 135°|
|South||135° - 225°|
|West||225° - 315°|
with diagonal quarters:
|North||337.5° - 22.5°|
|North-East||22.5° - 67.5°|
|East||67.5° - 112.5°|
|South-East||112.5° - 157.5|
|South||157.5° - 202.5°|
|South-West||202.5° - 247.5°|
|West||247.5° - 292.5°|
|North-West||292.5° - 337.5°|
I requested a feature from the Fatum developers to display the bearing degrees of a generated point. Until it will be implemented, there are other ways to find it:
You can use this online tool.
Or, if you are using an Android phone I suggest the amazing app GPS Status & Toolbox. Follow these steps to get the bearing from an attractor point sent to you by the Fatum Bot:
- Tap the location preview in the Telegram chat with Fatum Bot, so it opens a full-screen Google Map
- On the top right tap the share symbol and then choose "Radar" as destination app
- GPS Status opens in the Radar view showing you the destination point as a green circle in the compass direction relative to your point of view.
- The bearing degree is near the bottom right labelled "Target (bearing)(°)"
-  fatum_theory.txt
-  Loud Schola, Infornography Infinite Book
-  Foucault, Michel. "Of other spaces: Heterotopia and the city. 1967
-  Zhang, Xuping, et al. "Portable true random number generator for personal encryption application based on smartphone camera." Electronics Letters 50.24 (2014): 1841-1843.