Chinese fortune telling techniques


Since time unknown, man has been fascinated and itching to know what lies ahead in his future. It’s as if knowing the future will help him change his present or prepare him for the future. The people of the Chinese culture have been consulting fortune tellers, alchemists and soothsayers, since time immemorial. The Chinese have a strong belief in predestination. They have many methods that help bring fortune and wealth along with prosperity and get rid of any bad luck. Chinese fortune telling is known as ‘suan ming’ in Chinese astrology. These different methods of Chinese fortune telling are related to divination and there are four major methods that are practiced in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The Chinese fortune tellers during the 2nd century BC, relied on the writings of Li- Hsu-chung, a T’ang Dynasty official. Li Hsu-chung had devised horoscopes that used a combination of five elements, the ‘Ten Heavenly Stems’ and the ‘Twelve Terrestrial Branches’. This system needed the use of six characters, that stood for the year, month and day of the particular person’s birth. Today, the official government manual of Chinese fortune telling manual contains two volume work of Hsuan tse. It contains the essential formulas, regulations and methods to be used for deviation. Even today, many people are looking for different ways to help them know their fate.


Types of Chinese Fortune Telling

The following forms of Chinese fortune telling, other than the use of birthdates as a method of prediction, are popular among the fortune seekers.

Facial Features Used as Basis of Divination

There is an old belief of the Chinese, that the face of an individual can help predict his future. The history of face reading dates back to ancient China and the most famous advocates of face readers are Tanju Ju and Xi Jong. They wrote many books on this subject, during the Eastern Chou Dynasty.

The Chinese fortune telling based on facial features, takes into consideration all the major features of a face. The combination of these features and their relative yin and yang help determine the destiny of a person. The ten facial types with their own characteristics recognized by Chinese fortune telling are: feng, mu, shen, tian, tong, wang, jia, yang, yuan and you.


Fortune Sticks Predictions

The set of 78 numbered sticks held in a bamboo case, known as Kau Chime or Fortune Sticks, form one of the oldest methods used in Chinese fortune telling. The container is to be held in both hands and shaken till one stick rises and falls of. This stick has a number on it, that is used to refer to the ancient texts that interpret the fortune. The text is usually a rhyme or a short poem. The answer is not the answer to the future, but just an indication of conditions of what may lie ahead. Thus helping people pull up their socks and be prepared for anything, that may or may not impact their lives.

Palm Reading

Palm reading in China has been in use since the Chou dynasty, with a book written by Shi Su Fu. The lines of the palms are used to predict fortune, attitude, health, character, marriage, children, etc. of a person. This method of Chinese fortune telling is divided into chirognomy, that is, concentrating on the fingers and chiromancy, that is, concentrating on the palm. There are seven groups of palms according to Chinese palmistry. These include the psychic hand, an idealistic person, natural for low, mixed and squarish hand, i.e a practical person, the spatulate hand is an anxious person, the philosophical hand is the confused being and the conical hand is an artistic individual. The Chinese palm readers also take into consideration the finger bones, joints, nails and the elbow in their palm reading techniques.


The art of Chinese fortune telling is held very high and is termed as a respectable job in the social and profession fabrics of Chinese culture. Chinese fortune tellers are sought by everyone and they play a major role in influencing the major decisions of an individual’s life. It is a debatable subject regarding its authenticity and correctness. I believe it is the individual’s handwork and willpower that helps him in moving the mountains that lay ahead in his future. Faith in God and belief in self are two important aspects of overcoming evil and bringing good fortune to oneself. Chinese fortune telling can be used to satisfy the inner urge to know the future, but do not let the predictions rule your life. Learn to live in the present and work towards accomplishing your dreams today. I am sure the future will surely come good, while the rest, they say, is destiny.

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