Aug 28, 2016

Book Review: The Vitruvian Square

The Vitruvian Square - A Handbook Of Divination Discoveries
by Scott Grossberg (Leaping Lizards Publishing)

The Vitruvian Square is a book containing a plethora of reading methods, all of which revolove around a central template which is the Vitruvian Square (VS).

This is a difficult book to review because there is so much dense and detailed information packed into the 170 pages. I've read through it once, but haven't even begun to absorb all the information contained within it. There is so much to consider, and such enormous potential for paths upon paths of possibility with this square template.

The Vitruvian Square is divided into nine equally sized inner squares, with an additional 10th square added at the top. It is inspired in part by the ancient Chinese Lo Shu Square. The VS has modified the original number placement into a more sensical arrangement.

Each inner square of the VS is assigned its own meaning, using an incredibly wide and varied amount of possibilities.

Each square has its own:
  • Meaning
  • Number
  • Alphabetical letters
  • Color
  • Astrological signs
  • Alchemical assigment and stage
  • "Hero's Journey" landmark
  • Sacred geometry association
  • Tarot card assignments
  • Subconscious oracle
  • Sepharial's "Of Things Lost" assignments
Basically, anything that you can classify can be arranged in this square.

When you are doing a reading using the square, you not only use the inner squares themselves, but there is also specific meaning in each vertical, horizontal and diagonal line of squares, the lines between the squares,  and the intersections of the lines.

So how does one use this square?  The possibilities are endless. The book explains many options in detail.  You can do a reading on a name, noting which squares the letters fall in. You can do a reading on a birth date, noting where the numbers fall in the VS.  You can use the VS to add incredible dimension to your card readings. After doing your intial reading as you normally would, you can now greatly expand on it by placing your tarot/oracle/playing cards on the Square, arranging them either according to the numbers on the cards, or whatever other method you wish to invent.  It's also a great utility for throwing stones or runes, or any other method of casting lots.

And again, you are reading not only the inner squares themselves, but placement as a whole.  Emphasis is given where there is a majority of activity in one part of the Vitruvian Square. And the voids are also significant. Connections are made in the lines of squares, and sometimes what is missing is just as important to notice as what is there.

The book illustrates the VS placement on the palm of a hand, for added insight into palm reading.  There are also options detailing the utilization of the square by delving into platonic solids using Role Playing Game (RPG) dicesacred geometrymythic legend association, working with the medicine wheel, and even allowingintuition to select three random numbers using the threefold number method.  You can also use the VS to find lost items, withSepharial's "Of Things Lost" square assignments.  All of this, and a great deal more, is covered in the book.

One of the most exciting aspects of this method of reading is that once you are familiar with the basic areas of the VS, you can do readings in your head, even without any tools or physical square available. I spent hours upon hours the other day physically laboring at something. When I finally laid down for a bit of a rest with my eyes closed, I intutively thought of three numbers in my head. Using the threefold number method, I mentally placed my numbers on the square in my head, and it gave me an accurate assessment of how I was feeling about the day.

Not only can the Vitruvian Square be used for reading, but it also has other potential, as addressed in the book, such as sigil work and manifestation intention.

The only thing lacking is a Table of Contents, which would have been useful for easier reference.

This book really is incredible, and this review doesn't even begin to do it justice.  Scott Grossberg has a gift for taking an idea and expanding its reach as far as possible. He did this with his Deck of Shadows, giving us an oracle that includes titles, subtext, images, symbols and playing card associations; somehow accomplishing this without the cards feeling cluttered. And now, with the The Vitruvian Square, he takes a simple concept and expands it into worlds of possibility in the art of divination.

The Vitruvian Square has the potential to add as much dimension to your readings as is limited only by your imagination. One of the things I love about the world of tarot/oracle reading is that there is always room for learning more, no matter how long you have been reading and how much you have studied.  This never-ending learning process is one of the things that keeps the art so exciting to me, year after year. This book is a testament to (and celebration of) that reality.

Note: The above image of the Vitruvian Square isn't the complete version. A more detailed version of the chart is featured in the book, including the color associations, sacred geometry symbols and alchemical assignments.

Scott also offers an exclusive Vitruvian Square Casting Cloth on his website. I don't have one, but it looks gorgeous! Definitely something for the wish list.

Book: The Vitruvian Square - A Handbook of Divination Discoveries (by Scott Grossberg)

(Scott Grossberg is also the mastermind behind the book: The Masks of Tarot (see my review here) and the oracle cards: Deck of Shadows (my review here) He also has an amazing blog you should totally visit.)

This book review was originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame) on 7/18/11.