Good Judge Bad Judge
Good Judge Bad Judge

Good Judge Bad Judge

In a Geomancy reading, a Good Judge is a positive response to the question while a bad judge is a negative response.  However, this is not as “black and white” as some modern geomancy writers such as Israel Regardie insist.

For example, Carcer which is Saturn, is not ALWAYS a bad figure and in some questions is positive. Likewise,  Fortuna Major, which is supposed to be the best example of a positive figure can be negative.

Judges can only be even figures and so can only be Carcer, Acquistio, Amissio, Populus, Via, Fortuna Major, Fortuna Minor and Conjunctio. All the planets are represented and give a final ruling on the question. There are some other issues that we will get to later, but generally, the Judge provides a ruling on the question. (The reconciler gives a ruling on the entire chart and the figure appearing in the fourth house shows how the matter will resolve.)  If the figure of the Judge appears in the chart then its ruling will be especially felt in the house it appears.  This is a tricky, but not impossible, reading to intuit.

Since all the Judges are ruled by planets an easy way to understand them is to think about the planet or god they represent when making the final decision if they are good or bad.

Getting the question right

The key to finding if you have a good or bad judge is to look at the question (revising it before the reading if necessary) and underlying the key words.

Does Joe love me? Has the keyword “love” so carcer would be a good judge, and Via a bad one.

Will I buy this house? Has the keyword “house” fortuna major or acquistio would be a good judge and Amissio bad.


What follows is a list of rulings each Judge would make in the court.


Positive for anything that requires commitment, delay, or a very serious outcome.  This can include questions such as “Does he love me” which require a more serious level of emotion than something light. It favours older people rather than youth.  It is also positive if you want to make something abstract or emotional real.  It is also good for keeping and maintaining assets.

It is not good for situations where change, movement or fun is required.  It represents doing what ever the status quo requires or the most difficult decision. It would be bad for a question like “should we go on holiday to somewhere hot.”

It is positive for questions involving protection, isolation, and property.

This Judge is strong in tenth house questions and weaker in fourth house questions. It is the planet Saturn making the ruling.


Positive for anything that requires gain, growth and expansion. It appears positively in questions like will my investments pan out, or will my business do well. However, it can also talk of relationships developing or evolving.  The Judge says that you will have more of what the question is about, the figure becomes evil when the questioner does not want more of what Acquistio is offering. Will I recover from cancer is an obvious example.  This is a badly worded question because it contains two subjects: recovery and cancer.  If the querent’s cancer was reducing (or in remission) at the time that the question was asked then Acquistio means that the reduction is increasing (and they are recovering).  If the cancer was growing then it was likely to get worse and the Judge would be a negative figure.   The 16th Century Geomancy Christopher Cattan says that this figure is good for marriage because there are elements of gain and expansion.   

This Judge is strong in the Ninth House and weak in the third. It is the planet Jupiter making the ruling.


Positive for anything you want to go away, lose, reduce, or generally not both you anymore. The one exception to this is questions related to love and romance where the figure, ruled by Venus, is good (John Michael Greer claims that is because it represents the loss of your heart).  This gets confusing because, as we saw above, in romantic questions Acquistio would be positive too. The way around  this is to think of both being positive but Amissio being better for a relationship’s emotional questions while Aquistio is better at expanding or obtaining a relationship.  Amissio is a bad judge when you want to obtain material wealth or questions which have been phrased as “shall [x] improve.”  So if you asked will my illness go away, Amissio is a positive figure.  If you asked will my health improve, it is terrible and will get worse. This Judge is also good for questions that requires some form of sacrifice.

This Judge is weak in the Ninth House and strong in the third. It is the planet Venus making the ruling.


This judge is problematic because it can only be created by the left and right witnesses being the same. Since it reflects those figures it creates an unusual circumstance where you read those figures as the final result.  So two Rubeus figures would create a judge which is populus but also Rubeus. So, you have to look at those figures to decide if the figure is good or bad or not. Rubeus would be good for sex, drugs and violence and bad for anything else. Populus does make an impact on this court by slowing the impact of those figures (it takes a while for a crowd to move) and so a delay must be factored into the reading.  It gives the querent time to think about the problem and get advice, which is one of the meanings of this Judge.

The Moon is making this ruling and deciding to follow the actions of another planet.


Via is a good figure where change, evolution, and movement are required but it is a bad figure where these are important or consistency is required. It has similarities to Acquistio but lacks its ability to expand.  It is also an unemotional change.  Much depends on the situation of the question and if good or bad change is desirable. If you look at someone from a distance and want to know if they have feelings for you Via will say “there feelings for you are changing.”  If they currently hold negative feelings then Via is a good figure, if they have positive feelings then Via would be negative.  But this is a tricky reading. In one reading a man had feelings for a woman and made these clear. However, the woman did not believe them.  Via appeared in the reading showing that this action rather than making the person go away, made them even more keener. Via then is a hard Judge to read and it is better to look for the full meaning elsewhere in the chart.

The Moon is making this ruling and deciding to follow the actions of another planet.

Fortuna Major

 This judge is usually positive whatever the circumstances. However, it does indicate that the querent will have to make some effort to obtain the goal.  The message here is… if you try to get the goal you will succeed eventually.  It is more positive about starting projects than ending them as well. There is a body of evidence that suggests that this Judge could be bad (I am not at a point where I think this yet) for things that depend on others (such as relationships).   In questions like this you should ask how much of this question is dependant on my own actions, and if you find that another’s actions are important then I would be a little more careful in declaring this to be a very positive figure (Cattan just said it was positive).

This figure represents the sun rising, so can act a little like Caput Draconis and represent a slow beginning.

The Sun is making this ruling.

Fortuna Minor

This judge is positive whatever the circumstances although not as positive as Fortuna Major. Its success depends on another’s efforts to obtain the goal so it could be a bad figure if that is not possible.  It is more positive about bringing an existing project to a conclusion than starting them

If you are starting a business and have no one else to help, this figure could indicate that it will swiftly run out of funds, or you do not have the chops to get it done.

This is why this figure is better in relationship readings where another person should be mutually engaged in making things happen.  However, if you are in a business relationship and you need another’s money to complete it, Fortuna Minor is exactly what you want to see.

This figure represents the sun going down, so can act a little like Cauda Draconis and represent a slow ending.

The Sun is making this ruling.


It is positive for questions involving communcation, computers, messages,  contact, union, sex, vulnerability, general magic, change and partnerships.  It is bad for questions that involving isolation, or defense or the status quo to be maintained.  It is good for situations where something has been lost or stolen, but it is a quick figure and bad for anything long-term. So if you want something to happen next year and you get Conjunctio you are going to be out of luck. It is positive for questions that involve finding a balance or which help you come up with a decision.  It is positive for all forms of magic too.

Mercury is making this ruling.