I realised that some of the court tables that Cattan gave out in his The Geomancie book are wrong either by design or accident. My theory is that he realised that lazy people would just look at the tables rather than see his rather clever theories for calculating the court. The theories were that the Judge always tells you if the situation is going to be good, bad or meh. If the judge agrees with the right witness the answer is yes and if he agrees with the left witness the answer is no. While it seems straightforward, it is not as the section on the court does not cover what Cattan means by “agreement.”
Fortunately, if we read the whole book we get a clearer picture.
Cattan uses the term “agreement” to indicate when a figure is the same or shares an elemental or planetary nature, similar meaning, or a positive or negative to the question.
So in a reading where the Judge is Fortuna Major, the result will always be for the best even if the court still says “no” to the question, the Judge does not agree with the witnesses (a Meh reading).
An example of this is a reading where the left witness is Tristitia, which is earth and Saturn and the Right is Albus and the Judge is Fortuna Major. The querant is the right witness which is Mercury and water. Fortuna Major is Sun and Earth. In this case, the Judge is inclined to Tristitia because of its earth nature, but the meanings of the two signs are opposite. Fortuna Major is positive and life-affirming Tristitia is not. Both meanings cancel each other out and the result is that the judge refuses to rule (Meh). What is needed is something within either witness that could get the Judge to rule in its favour. The only thing left is the question. If the question were related to health which is the domain of Albus, or depression, which is the domain of Tristitia, Fortuna Major might agree with them. Albus could ignore the elemental or planetary disagreements it might have with the judge because the question itself (healing) is solar in nature. Notice that if the illness were connected to Saturn then Tristia would get another point.
In any event, the result must be positive, even if the answer is no
Like most things Cattan related we can sort the issue out by a simple calculation
Does the Judge agree with the:
Witness Element plus one
Witness Planet plus one
Witness Meaning plus one
Zodiac Meaning plus one
Does the Judge disagree
Witness Element minus one
Witness Planet minus one
Witness Meaning minus one
Zodiac Meaning minus one
Does the judge or witness have a meaning associated with the question?
Yes plus one in favour of the positive witness towards the question.
The witness with the highest score agrees with the Judge.
So let’s look at another example.
Will my boss be kind to me today?
Left witness is Puella (Venus water Libra) Right Witness is Cauda Draconis (Fire and Moon and Sagittarius) and the Judge is Acquisitio (Jupiter, Aries and Air). The Judge is a positive figure so whatever happens, will be good for the querent. The judge has nothing in common with the right witness in terms of element, or the two astrological criteria. However, with its Jupiter associations, it does have an affinity to the question. So the Right Witness has one point. Puella has no astrological affinity to the Judge and since the boss is a bloke nothing is connected to the question. The Judge agrees with the right witness. If the boss were a woman Puella would have something to say to the question so the witnesses would be tied and the Judge could not decide.
What is interesting is that in this case, the right witness is negative. So you could read it as “yes, through an ending the boss will be kind today and it will be good for the querent.” If the boss were a woman and the judge could not make up its mind, it could be read as she may be indifferent to the querant or not be at work and that is good for the querant.