Beginner Question - Loci Method with Order

Hey there,
I’m learning some law text using Loci method and I have a journey for each Part of the law.
Each Part contains certain sections.
A section contains one or more sub-sections and Provisos.

Now I want to memorize them in order - I should be able to recall what is Section 35-B(2) [Section 35-B, Sub-section (2)].

I have a major system built up to 200.

If I use the major system and associate numbers - Section 1 with my loci (For instance, 1 = Tea) and I make an association between Tea and my first loci of the journey.

Now here’s my problem

I have to memorize A LOT of laws. I have different journeys for each law but the Major system remains the same. I get confused as to associations of Tea with the locis (after doing it over and over again)

How should I avoid such confusion? Is there a better way than this? What are your suggestions?


Do you mean because you have “Tea” in very many journeys? I memorize laws in a similar way, but I use the Dominic System. So I usually have a person representing the number and then just images for the content of the Articles/Sections etc. I’ve never really run into any problems with this, since my palaces are all dedicated exclusively to one specific law. And since I know that the number is represented by a person (and sometimes an additional number shape for 3 digits or person/action for 4 digits) I don’t get confused. For example if Barack Obama (20) is in dozens of palaces, interacting with very different topics, I don’t really get confused, since he’s in a very different environment every time. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I use people, that helps me not getting confused, but it seems to work quite well.

How well do you know your images from the major system? Do you have to think about them or do they instantly appear if you think of the number? That might play a part in this, too.


I think @SilvioB makes a good point about using people (more generally: living beings) as your associations, since they are more flexible than an object.

Part of why the PAO system is so effective is that you always use the person first. If you were using just the person, they can interact with the locus just fine throughout because they can be more variable without ceasing to be themselves. In fact, they can even develop along the way, creating a narrative, if you prefer. Using, say, “The Queen drinking tea” allows you to put the Queen everywhere - although a better example might be Mrs. Hudson (from Sherlock Holmes) serving tea, since you might use the Queen for some other idea.

I think expanding your existing associations in this way would work better than rewriting everything around people that fit the Major System/Dominic System, but it depends how much you’ve already done and if restarting makes more sense, so you need to think it through for yourself.

It’s better to spend some time organising your system so you can go through faster and more easily than to try to push through with a clunky system that won’t get faster or easier over time.


Actually, I’ve been trying to do the same. But instead of PAO, I’ve been using major system.

How do I go about sub-sections. For example Section 20 of law A may have 10 sub-sections. (i-x) and section 20 of law B may have 20 sub-sections (i-xx) and some sub-sections may have further sub-sections (a-e).

Now since I’m using major system for all of these, I get confused.

In the system that you’re using, how do you manage that layer of complexity and keep things compartmentalized?

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If the subsections have roman numerals, I just imagine a roman soldier (like from Asterix & Obelix) and connect him to the number from my PA (or number shape if it’s just one digit). If the subsection uses letters, I imagine a lit match (representing litera) and my image for the corresponding letter using the NATO-alphabet (like Golf[ball] for G, whiskey for W etc.).

I usually try to keep it as simple as possible. Sometimes I just have a main journey for the main sections and then add links to smaller (separate) journeys that contain the subsections. That way I find my way through the sections fast, but can go into detail by following the links. If everything is in one journey, it tends to get a bit crowded which doesn’t help with a clear and fast recall.

Thanks for replying

So just to be clear, you use PA for numbers? I’m using Major system with all laws.
Do you think it’s better to use PA / PAO (because Action/Object) will not be used since the sections do not run into 4 digits or more. In your experience, how would you use Major system if you were to do it to go with Sections and Sub-sections. Seeking your kind reply.

Yes. But it‘s really just personal preference: it can work with the major system just as well.

I‘d do it the same way as I do with my PA system. The major-images representing the numbers would just be where I now have the people. So if it‘s section 1 I‘d have a cup of tea. Then sub-section I is a roman soldier drinking a cup of tea. Sub-sub-section lit. c is Charlie Brown with a lit match in his hand. Of course these images would then have to interact with the images that represent the information for the conents of the section.

Hi Kirobo,

Often I hear people talk about the Major system OR the PAO system and I worry they might believe that the two are mutually exclusive: maybe they think that by using the Major system they lose the ability to use the PAO system.

I just want to say that the two are very compatible. If you are already aware of this, please ignore the rest of my message. If you are not aware, perhaps this will help:

The Major system is simply one well-known method for systematically converting sounds to numbers, which gives us an easy way to associate words (and images) with numbers.

The PAO system, along with many other systems–PA, PAOL (aka PAIL) and many more–gives us a technique to chunk together groups of mnemonically encoded words into a single contextual unit by taking advantage of the way the human mind likes to keep people tightly associated with the actions they perform and the objects they use. (There are other kinds of associations that the brain favors, but these are among the most important.)

To oversimplify: we are very comfortable imagining situations in terms of Persons Actions and Objects (PAO). In English and many other languages, this essentially corresponds to Subject-Verb-Object (SVO).

So, moving on, here is an example of how you might create a Major system PAO:

  1. Sue, Hose, Saw
  2. Ed, Hit, Hat
  3. Noah, Win, Wine
  4. Amy, Mow, Ham
  5. Harry, Wear, Arrow

The principles to create such as system can be made use of in many very flexible ways. To be honest, it really doesn’t matter a lot whether you use the Major system or some other variation. But, since you have already learned it, you may wish to stick with it.

More importantly, by using the above principles, you can do some very complex things–but it may take some additional effort to prepare.

To accomplish what you are trying to achieve–that is, to memorize information that has an elaborated notational structure–you might need to develop other notational systems, such as an alphabetical and (possibly) roman number system. But that should become evident based on the conversation below.

An important first task (to achieve your goals), would be (IMO) to gain an understanding of the variety of section and subsection notations your system will need to accommodate. Earlier you indicated that it would be something like: Section 35-B(2). It sounds like the variety of notation formats might be no more complicated than remembering one of the following formats (where 9 refers to any digit and A refers to any letter)

Simple section formats:
9 (e.g: Section 5)
999 (e.g.: Section 103)

Compound section formats:
99-A (e.g.: Section 214-C)

Section-Subsection formats:
99-A,9 (e.g.: Section 74-C, subsection 4)

So, a question to ask yourself is whether this is a good description of the variety of notation formats you will encounter. Perhaps, your notation might use capital and non-capital letters differently. Or maybe there could be Roman numerals, etc. Also, it might help to ask yourself what is the highest section (or subsection) number you might encounter: 99? 999? 9999? higher?

Once you know what you are dealing with, you can devise a system that suits you. If the notation is more complex than above, the system might need to be a bit more complex. If it is just as above, you could probably make do very nicely with a PAO.

How I might do it, is to say that for simple section formats, I would simply use either a person or an object:

So, section 34 might be Homer (as in Homer Simpson, my #34 in the Major system)

But for a compound section, I might use a Person-Action system. (This could just as easily be a Person Object system, according to your preference.)

Thus, Section 57-B might be Hulk Backflipping.

Finally, for a Section-Subsection format, I might use the Person-Object system for a simple section with a subsection, or a Person-Action-Object for a compound section with a subjection.

Thus, Section-Subsection 14-67 might be Troi (Deanna Troi) with a jug
And, Section-Subsection 18C-92 might be Daffy (Duck) catapulting a pen

Anyway, if you follow this system, you would probably need to build a new list of persons, actions and objects using the Major (or whatever) system…so not sure if that is what you would want.

I am sure other people have other ways. This is just a glimpse at how I might approach it.



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Thanks for the detailed answer. Highly appreciate it. It gave me an idea to build an Alphabet-Action List too.

Can you kindly help with an example how do make smaller journeys? For example do you devise an alley or secret door or some way to go somewhere for sub-sections?

Each law has different Parts - I make the entire subject a journey and use different stations as Parts and each Part have sections - so I assign certain number of rooms to each Part.

@tarnation Your help will be appreciated here, please.

I usually have an image that links to another small journey (these small journeys can be anything; sometimes I use websites that show real estate to find small journeys). The image that links the journeys together is usually a screen (like an iPad, Computer-screen or TV) so that I can imagine the first location of the smaller journey on that screen, which then takes me to the other location.

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