Fortune teller

Divination with Beans

Beans belong to the bean family. They are cultivated domestically for food all over the world. But that isn't the only thing they are used for. In many countries, they practice bean divination.

One of the most popular methods of prediction in Bosnia and Herzegovina is surely divination with beans. The origins of this custom come from Turkey, where there is an equivalent method called "fasulya fali" or "kumalak". The history of the origins of this technique is known among the people as follows:

Hazrat Fatima, the prophet Muhammad's only daughter, secretly divined using beans and hid this fact from her father. One day, while she was predicting the fate of a friend, Muhammad suddenly entered the room. Hazrat Fatima quickly recovered from the shock and managed to hide half of the Beans under her dress.

From then on, it has been believed that in every divination there lies half the truth and half lies. The curious thing is that one divination combination is named after her - "Hazrat Fatima FAL". This is the combination of 333, which represents happiness, marriage and the fulfillment of wishes.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a person who divines using beans is called "faladžija" or "faladžinica" (falajiya or falajinica if the person is female). To divine with beans, the fortune teller needs a red covering, on which he or she "throws" 41 white beans.


Before commencing, they must grab the beans in their right fist, put it near their mouth and utter a given spell 3 times. These spells cannot be learned or taught. This craft must be "stolen", i.e. if someone wants to learn how to divine using beans, they must very carefully and continually observe an already trained fortune teller.

If you want to try it yourself at home, follows these steps:

You need 41 beans. Keep them in special bag. Spill the beans on a red (or white) covering. Divide them into 3 piles. Then begin removing 4 beans at a time from each pile. Keep removing beans until each pile has 1, 2, 3 or 4 beans remaining.

The next step is identical to the last but this time make 3 piles on a second row, again removing 4 beans at a time, until you have 1-4 beans left per pile. Step 3 - make a 3rd row the same way. While following each step, you can "chant" or simply mutter whatever comes to mind.

After all this, take a look at the figures. It is known for certain that the combination of 3-3-3 beans horizontally or vertically is happiness, marriage and the fulfillment of wishes. The central pile, i.e. the second pile on the second row symbolizes your home. It is best if there are 4 beans there. The arrangement of the piles is the easy part. What's important is the interpretation. Each vertical and horizontal combination means something.

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