Have you Had Your Fortune Read?

What insights do you all have on the ubiquitous fortune telling trade here?

Anyone ever had their fortune read?

I had mine read recently by one of those guys who sets up a little table and a candle on the sidewalk (lots of stares at the tall foreigner getting his fortune read, of course). The guy had a heavy Taiwanese accent and my Taiwanese is weak, so I didn’t fully understand all of what he said, but I managed to gather a few things from the experience.

He used my lunar calendar birthdate, and wrote down my “Eight Characters” for me. He told me that an examination of my earlobes and “Wu Guan (facial features)” and my birthdate and time were sufficient to tell me everything. He gave me “insights” into my future health situation, career, education, romantic attachments, “heart”, sexual tendencies, number of children, and length of life. He also guessed the age of my girlfriend, current educational level, and occupation.

He correctly guessed my girlfriend’s age (not too difficult, because a number of laowai have younger girlfriends), and educational level (again, not difficult given my 30ish appearance and the fact the I’m in Taiwan). He was wrong about my occupation.

I didn’t pay money for this because I believe in fortune telling. I was interested in how the process works. I asked him a lot of questions from the outset. When he finished (the whole process took about fifteen or twenty minutes), he tried to get rid of me quickly–I kept asking questions until he finally got irritable.

Anyone else had this experience? Are there any scholarly works that you’d recommend dealing on this subject?

T.

Maybe people can also tell us where they had there fortune read and what language it in, etc…

Jeff,

Either nobody’s had his or her fortune read, or this topic is too dull for people to respond to. I can’t believe that I’m the only one who’s had the experience. I figured all of you old hands would have had at least one or two experiences with it.

T.

Er I shook some sticks out of a little box once and some old guy told me a few things. But I can’t remember much about what he said. Sorry.

OK, OK… I had mine read… at my wife’s insistance, shortly before we were married. This was a long time ago and I was young, thin, dressed in patched rags and had long hair. My wife’s girlfriend accompanied us to this “respected” fortune teller and he babbled nonsense, IMO, for a while.

Amazingly enough, he correctly revealed that I didn’t have much money (gee, I wonder how he divined that?). Anyway, that gave him credibility in the minds of my wife-to-be and her girlfriend. :?

Then, he told my wife-to-be and the girlfriend that I have “tiao hua yuen”. As best I can tell, this means that I like to jump from flower to flower, or that the flowers like to jump on me. :shock: In either case, my wife-to-be… and her girlfriend, were pissed at me for the next two months and occassionally I am reminded of this when my wife and I have disagreements!

Worst NT$ 500 I ever spent. :x

Tomas, don’t fret sometimes it takes people awhile to think about whether or not they want to respond and how to respond. :smiley:

I think you will get more responses now, it is an interesting topic.

My wife used to have hers read very frequently, she used to tell me things that the fortune teller used to tell her about me, even though the person never met me. I used to tell my wife I don’t believe in any of that kind of stuff and life is what it is, you cannot predict it. And just because they say something will happen doesn’t mean it will really happen. Since this five minute dicussion we had on the issue, before we were married, she has never gone or spoke about fortune tellers again. I don’t know what happen, she just stopped. Maybe she beleived me? haha! And I trust that she doesn’t see a fortune teller anymore as we have a very open and trustworthy relationship.

But I would still be interested in hearing experiences that others have had, maybe my mind will be changed and I’ll actually go to one some day… :laughing:

Oh yeah I did that stick thing some time ago when I visited Japan, I can’t remember much about it now though.

[quote=“JeffG”]Tomas, don’t fret sometimes it takes people awhile to think about whether or not they want to respond and how to respond. :smiley:

I think you will get more responses now, it is an interesting topic.

[/quote]

Oh, no fretting here.

My girlfried doesn’t believe in fortune telling one bit. I had my fortune read as another exploration into local superstitious beliefs. I 'm interested in the cultural anthropology of Taiwan, and superstitious belief in particular, as a possible Ph.D. research focus. Lots of smart people at segue, so I thought I’d get some additional feedback. If there isn’t much of that forthcoming, no problem. It’s only anectodal research, but sometimes the best leads come from anecdotes.

Oops, have to go fix my slide rule now, and my pocket protector needs buffing :slight_smile: .

T.

A few years ago, an Taiwanese amateur numerologist insisted in trying his stuff out on me. Knowing that fortune tellers often work by dropping hints and proceeding according to how you react, I kept my face completely expressionless. Anyway, he was wrong about most things, e.g. if I remember rightly he said that 1989 had been a good year for me, whereas actually it was the worst year of my life.

On the other hand, I once had a lift from a Taiwanese bloke called Peter, who told me all kinds of stuff about me that was uncannily accurate, such as that I was the eldest of two brothers. Either the guy was very insightful, or he knew things about me from some other source.

I also attended a dayschool of the Yiguandao cult, where they brought over a girl who flattered me by saying that when she looked at me she saw the face of Jesus, that I had Jesus in my heart etc. That cult really is full of mumbo-jumbo - I advise you to keep away from them. They locked onto me because I am a vegetarian and they thought that made me a likely recruit. Managed to shake them off in the end, thank goodness.

In conclusion, I don’t believe in astrology, tarot, numerology, bundles of sticks or whatever, but some people are very insightful. Maybe they can market their insight better if they dress it up in some kind of system. Looking at someone’s face seems to me a more reasonable way of finding out about a person than some of the other methods.

Well, according to my wife’s fortune teller, I will stay poor until i turn 48, I will be very busy my whole life and our youngest daughter has a fiery temper.

The last thing is correct. I hope the rest isn’t.

[quote=“tigerman”]
Then, he told my wife-to-be and the girlfriend that I have “tiao hua yuen”. As best I can tell, this means that I like to jump from flower to flower, or that the flowers like to jump on me. :shock: In either case, my wife-to-be… and her girlfriend, were pissed at me for the next two months and occassionally I am reminded of this when my wife and I have disagreements!

Worst NT$ 500 I ever spent. :x[/quote]

What a cliche, isn’t that just a typical expectation of foreigners in Taiwan. Oh yeah, a foreigner, must be a sex mad playboy. Did you deck that fortune teller and tell him that he missed the bit about your bad temper?

Geez, my first G/F in Taiwan took me to get my face read, “covertly”, I must add. I hate fortune tellers. Anyway, all she came away with, well that she told me anyway, was that I hate being lied to. PLEEEEEEAAAAASE, does anyone actually LIKE being lied to???

There’s a school you can go to to learn how to do face-reading or aura-reading or whatever it is they do. It’s attached to Chinan gong, and I think that part of the curriculum is at 6:30 on Saturday nights.

There’s also some sort of association for spirit mediums, if you want a really kick-ass thesis. (“I would like to thank my committee members, and also the Dark Lord Arioch from the plane of Klah.”) I can look up the contact info if you want.

Juba, tell me more about Yiguandao (I-kuan tao) as you experienced it, if you would. I went to visit one of their ceremonies and had this nagging feeling of disgust. Not very objective or open-minded of me, but there it was, accept it in the spirit of anthropological disclosure! I think what got me was the militaristic everybody-stay-in-line kind of atmosphere, coupled with a growing suspicion that the higher-ups were lording it over the lower-downs. Maybe I should have stuck with it and learned more, but my possibly-arbitrary and irrational feelings led me to leave as soon as possible and never go back.

Oddly enough, other sects like that don’t produce this impression. Maybe because IKT / YGD is bigger…?

[quote=“Tomas”]What insights do you all have on the ubiquitous fortune telling trade here?

Anyone ever had their fortune read?

I had mine read recently by one of those guys who sets up a little table and a candle on the sidewalk (lots of stares at the tall foreigner getting his fortune read, of course). The guy had a heavy Taiwanese accent and my Taiwanese is weak, so I didn’t fully understand all of what he said, but I managed to gather a few things from the experience.

He used my lunar calendar birthdate, and wrote down my “Eight Characters” for me. He told me that an examination of my earlobes and “Wu Guan (facial features)” and my birthdate and time were sufficient to tell me everything. He gave me “insights” into my future health situation, career, education, romantic attachments, “heart”, sexual tendencies, number of children, and length of life. He also guessed the age of my girlfriend, current educational level, and occupation.

He correctly guessed my girlfriend’s age (not too difficult, because a number of laowai have younger girlfriends), and educational level (again, not difficult given my 30ish appearance and the fact the I’m in Taiwan). He was wrong about my occupation.

I didn’t pay money for this because I believe in fortune telling. I was interested in how the process works. I asked him a lot of questions from the outset. When he finished (the whole process took about fifteen or twenty minutes), he tried to get rid of me quickly–I kept asking questions until he finally got irritable.

Anyone else had this experience? Are there any scholarly works that you’d recommend dealing on this subject?

T.[/quote]

Then it seems like Mr. T shoulda seen all his girlfriend troubles coming. :slight_smile:
.

I had mine read at a place that had me pick rice kernals out of a half coconut shell. This was done for a write-up in a Japanese online magazine – complete with pics of the whole deal. Can’t remember the URL though :wink:
It was all bunkum.

i’ve had mine read a few times because of being around family or certain friends who believe this stuff and they always ask me so I humor them.

I have been told a bunch of things most of which weren’t true, or if true, wasn’t that hard to guess given my demographics.

My question is do you guys believe in Ghosts and people who can see or communicate with them (since it’s that time of the year or the Ghost Month)

my sister had a friend with some creepy stories about ghosts. consequently she was able to also divine things about people. also uncannily.

I’ve had mine read a few years ago. My best friend wanted me to accompany her, so I did and this turned out to be a pretty bad idea.

We made an appointment and went to the guys house. He didn’t know anything about us. All we had to do was writing our names down (to my surprise I had to write my Chinese name) and what he did was analysing our personality on the basis of our handwriting and names. He turned out to be quite right. Then he hold our hands and put himself in some kind of meditation and started to talk. Btw, he taped everything and gave us the tape at the end.

He said, in one of my past lifes I would have been a foreigner living in China. And since I would have been an artist then, in my present life I wouldn’t be creative anymore, since I used all my creativity up, but I still would have a fable for art. Well, I do speak Chinese and lived in Taiwan at that time, so maybe he thought, OK, let’s say she used to live in China. Some centuries ago, there have been a lot of foreign immigrants in China who were artists, nothing really special. BUT, the thing is, yes, I actually do have a fable for China and art, I’m studying East Asian Art History… :shock:

He then started to talk about our future, our future husbands, even drew a picture and said when and under what circumstances we would meet them. He told us our lucky number and how to use it…etc…

The most important thing is, he also talked about our friendship and said, that now even though we would be best friends, there would be some time, that we would get out of touch, but then find each other again. Sure, I was an exchange student in Taiwan at that time (even though he didn’t know) and he could have guessed, that someday, maybe I would leave the country and go home and therefore get out of touch with my Taiwanese friend. What ever, I didn’t take this too serious, but it turned out that my friend did…A few months and some differences of opinion (nothing really serious though) later, my best friend stopped talking to me and we still do not talk to each other until this day. What happened is, that unlike me, my Taiwanese friend took that fortune teller quite serious and that is why, she now seems to live what he told us would be our future…oh well, i’ll get over it, but i’m for sure not gonna go to an other fortune teller again… :?