6 Fascinating Fortune Telling Techniques Across the Globe

Fortune telling is an ancient practice that has been used for thousands of years in various parts of the globe.

Interestingly, the practice of fortune telling has often been associated with gypsies. This is because gypsies are traditionally known for traveling and offering their services to people in different towns and villages. They are known to use various techniques to predict the future like card reading, palmistry, or numerology.

In today’s society, when talking about fortune telling, more often than not, it involves tarot cards, horoscopes, and crystal balls. While those are not entirely wrong, there is a plethora of other fortune telling methods found in many cultures.

In fact, while some may view fortune tellers are fake, in some cultures, they are considered wise and respected members of society.

As such, in this post, I cover 6 of the most interesting fortune telling techniques across the globe!

1. Pyromancy

Pyromancy has been popular in ancient Greece, especially with the believers of the god Hephaestus. For them, pyromancy is a way to communicate with their god.

For those who practiced pyromancy, fortune tellers would observe flames from either a sacrificial fire, a candle, or any other source of flame and they interpret the shapes that they see from it. In addition, if an object was thrown into the fire, how that object burns would predict the future. For example, if it burned quickly without producing a lot of smoke, the future would be good. Conversely, if the object did not catch fire quickly, a terrible tragedy is about to occur.

2. Ifá

This is an ancient system of divination and spiritual guidance practiced among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, as well as among some other African and Afro-descendant communities.

It is considered one of the oldest and most respected systems of divination in Africa and is often used to gain insight into personal issues, such as career, relationships, and health, as well as to make decisions about important matters.

The system is based on the use of a set of 16 principal Odù or sacred verses, and their 256 derivatives, that are consulted to discover the will of the Orishas (deities) and the destiny of the individual.

3. I Ching

I Ching, also known as the “Book of Changes” or “Classic of Changes,” is an ancient Chinese method of divination that has been used for thousands of years. It is based on the interpretation of 64 hexagrams, which are made up of six lines. Each hexagram represents a specific situation or theme and is associated with a specific set of meanings, interpretations, and advice.

Many people consult the I Ching to gain insight into personal issues, such as career, relationships, and health, as well as to make decisions about important matters. It is also used to understand the underlying causes of events and to gain insight into the nature of the universe.

4. Omikuji

Omikuji is a method of fortune telling that is commonly practiced in Japan, particularly at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. It involves drawing a slip of paper from a box, which will have a fortune written on it. The fortunes can range from very good to very bad, and they can offer predictions and advice on a wide range of topics such as love, health, and career.

After receiving the Omikuji, it is customary to tie it to a designated rack or tree nearby the stand, as a way to show gratitude and to dispose of it properly. If the fortune is good, it is considered to be good luck to keep it, but if the fortune is bad, it is considered good luck to discard it.

5. Chaomancy

This ancient Irish tradition of divination mainly uses the air, stars, and wind. However, modern tradition includes any events in nature. It involves interpreting random patterns or chaos. It is based on the idea that hidden messages or meanings can be found in seemingly random or chaotic events or patterns. For example, during bad winds or storms, the damage done to nature is considered a bad omen.

6. Ceromancy

Ceromancy is a method of divination that involves interpreting the patterns formed by wax as it drips into water. The process of ceromancy typically involves heating wax, such as candle wax, and then dripping it into a container of water. The diviner will then interpret the patterns and shapes that are formed by the wax as it solidifies in the water

While known roots of ceromancy come from ancient Celtic and ancient Roman times, the art of ceromancy is still practiced in the Philippines. In fact, it is one of the most well-known fortune-telling methods in the country and is usually performed by an “albularyo’ or folk healer.


While these techniques are not as well-known like crystal ball reading or tea leaves reading, these are still practiced by many fortune tellers across the globe. Interestingly, some cultures have similar methods with each other just with some minute differences. Nevertheless, it seems interesting that this art has been present for thousands of years. In fact, some of those mentioned above are part of ancient tradition that has been passed down for generations.

Truly, fortune telling is a fascinating art!


Denisse loves reading and writing about culture, history, and politics. Outside writing articles for The Singaporean, Denisse enjoys musicals, gaming, and Harry Potter.

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