Your Brief Guide to Fortune Telling in Singapore

Curious about fortune telling? Well, I got the article for you!

You see, despite being a modern city, Singapore can be quite superstitious. From taking note of auspicious dates, to choosing a specific Chinese name for a baby, to believing in urban legends, and sticking to the rules of Chinese New Year, Singaporeans tend to follow them all.

A lot of these actions are guided by fortune tellers.  

That said, these beliefs are also very much embedded in the Singaporean psyche.

To discuss this further, this article aims to dive deep into Singaporean culture and talk about what is fortune telling and what are the kinds of fortune telling in Singapore.

Side note, if you are curious and want to try the various kinds of fortune telling, one of our writers has written an article that covers 7 of the best fortune tellers in Singapore. The list includes various types of fortune telling. It also has the practitioner’s details such as contact number and address, all done for your convenience.

Click here to read that article.

Now, onto discussing fortune telling in Singapore!

What is fortune telling?

Fortune Teller in Singapore
Source: Maria Vincent Robinson

Fortune telling is a way to look into the future. It is a way to predict what is to happen. It can also be a way to know whether you are in the right job, the right relationship, or investing in the right businesses.

While the topic of fortune telling can cover almost everything, more often than not, it revolves around career, family, health, or relationships.

Granted that some may be wary of fortune telling as they see it as not having a rational basis, in Chinese societies, it is seen as a respected and important part of social and business culture.

In a way, practitioners act like business consultants or therapists.

Nevertheless, the way I see it, there is beauty in the art of fortune telling as it allows people to get to know themselves, be sensitive to their surroundings, and be mindful of their part/role in the world.

Is there a difference in fortune telling in Singapore and in the west?

Not really. However, it is important to note that since Singapore is a predominantly ethnic Chinese country, fortune telling practices subscribe to Chinese traditions. Hence, the belief in auspicious dates, following the lunar calendar, and the like.

That said, as compared to something like Western astrology, Chinese fortune telling focuses on learning one’s fate and then acting on the strengths and timing of this information to achieve the best possible outcome.

Therefore, as influenced by the idea of “Wu Wei” (effortless action) in Taoism, one is considered wise is they can ride the ebb and flow of destiny while using the random changes in their life to their advantage.

When should I seek a fortune teller?

There is no definite time to ask. You can seek their help anytime. However, some practitioners suggest consulting them when:

  • You want to know more about your personality: Some types of fortune telling, like Bazi or face reading, can help you discern why you are the way you are and why you do things the way you do. So, if you are curious, try them out.  
  • You feel stuck: Fortune telling can help guide you towards a clearer/better path.
  • You want to improve your relationships: Various kinds of fortune telling can shed light on numerous elements of yourself. Thus, you get to learn how you behave and how you can cultivate good relationships.
  • You want to boost your luck: Seeking a practitioner to choose an auspicious day, a baby name, or a set-up of your environment can help boost your luck.
  • You need inspiration: Talking to a fortune teller can give you external input on your situation.
  • You are making a big decision: Practitioners can help you gauge what and when is the best possible decision to make.

What are the different kinds of fortune telling available?

There are many different kinds of fortune telling available in Singapore. Here are some of them:

1) Bazi

Example of Bazi Chart
Source: Joey Yap

Bazi reading pertains to the interpretations of your birth chart. By analysing your birth year, month, day, and hour, it could reveal what your future may look like. Basically, through bazi reading, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of yourself. As such, having this knowledge can inform your decision going forward to better optimise your lucky cycles.

If you want to get your bazi reading, we have written an article that covers 7 of the best Bazi readers in Singapore! You can find that article here.

2) Feng Shui

Feng Shui, meaning, the way of the wind and water, believes in achieving harmony and balance of energy called chi by arranging objects in your environment. By achieving a good flow of energy in your space, it is believed that it will positively affect your prosperity, health, wealth, and happiness.

Do note that there are many types of feng shui services available. There are also many applications of feng shui that go beyond the simple arrangement of the home.

To know more about feng shui, the masters, and what services they offer, please check this article.

3) Face Reading

According to feng shui principles, if the eyes are the windows to the soul, your face is likely the map to your destiny. As such, face reading (miànxiàng) observes your facial features to assess your personality. Interestingly, a face reader can look at you and tell how you live your life and if that life is in harmony with your fate.

Face Reading Chart
Source: Your Chinese Astrology

They can tell by associating your facial features with certain aspects of your life. For example:

  • Hairline: indicates how you socialise
  • Eyes: reveals your intelligence
  • Eyebrows: indicate your temper
  • Ears: pertains to your longevity
  • Mouth: shows the way you express yourself
  • Nose: is associated with your financial situation
  • Cheeks: indicate your confidence levels

The West has its own version of face reading. They call it physiognomy.

4) Fortune Sticks

Example of Fortune Sticks

This type of fortune telling involves shaking a cylinder until a stick drops out with a Chinese character inscribed in it. This character and its meaning can predict your future.

Message from a fortune stick can be cryptic and longwinded so make sure you turn to your reader to interpret it for you.

This kind of fortune telling is usually found in temples like the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

5) Palm Reading

Palm Reading Chart
Source: Your Chinese Astrology

Shǒuxiàng or palm reading uses the lines of your hand to predict your destiny.

Basically, even if the lines and patterns of your palms differ from others, the configuration of those lines remains the same. As such, readers and practitioners can gain insight into your love life, career, personality, and health just by looking at the lines on your palms.

Some lines that they can read are the following:

  • The Wisdom Line: It can tell whether you are indecisive or not.
  • The Love Line: It can give insight into how you look at love and if whether or not you are a loyal partner
  • The Life Line: It can determine whether you will have a long life or not

6) Tarot Card Reading

In tarot card reading, a practitioner uses cards in order to gain insight about you. Essentially, by laying out cards in a specific spread (layout), a reader can guide you to tap into your inner wisdom and connect to your soul. Doing so can help you gain a better understanding of your situation and chart a course of action based on what the card says.

The depth of your reading would depend on your question, the type of spread you chose, and the type of deck the reader has chosen.

If you are curious about tarot card reading and want to give it a go. We have an article covering 7 of the best tarot readers in Singapore. Click here to read the post.

What are the benefits of fortune telling?

Here are some of the benefits of fortune telling:

  • It can help in making decisions: As mentioned above, through fortune telling, we learn more about ourselves and our situation. Likewise, in talking to a practitioner, we get an outsider’s perspective on specific issues we are dealing with. Doing so can give us impartial advice that can help in making a decision.
  • It can give us directions: By seeking a fortune teller, we get to know what we should be working towards. For example, when we get a bazi consultation, we learn whether or not we are in the right career or right relationship. On the other hand, with feng shui, we get to learn whether our house has a good flow of energy or not. Basically, we get insight into what is working with our lucky cycles and thus, we work towards maximizing that.
  • It can help us improve: By learning much of ourselves through the various ways of fortune telling, we learn which aspects of ourselves we need to improve upon.
  • It can help us take more risks: A research published this year has shown that when guided by fortune tellers, men are much more willing to take risks in businesses or in gambling.
  • It can calm the mind: Since fortune telling helps us understand ourselves better, we get to reflect on our actions and behaviours.

Are there any bad effects?

Yes. Here are some bad effects of fortune telling:

  • Addiction: In a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions, they found that too much reliance on fortune tellers, in this case, clairvoyance, can cause addiction.
  • Indecisiveness: This goes hand in hand with addiction. Basically, when you depend too much on fortune tellers, you lose your ability to decide for yourself. Know that masters and practitioners are there to guide you so you can work towards your best possible self. They are not there to control you.
  • Anxiety and depression: Having insight into what might be can make people anxious or depressed. Do know that your life is still in your hands. Practitioners mainly give you insight about yourself and guide you towards a better path. Therefore, if you get a negative reading, keep an open mind and work towards changing your path for the better.
  • It can be a waste of money: Be sure to consult with reputable practitioners. Learn about the fortune teller as much as you can. Look at the cost of their services. Read customer reviews. As much as you can, do your due diligence so you’ll get the bang for your buck!

How to know which method of fortune telling is for you?

There is no single best fortune telling type. It would depend on your preference and what you aim to know.

To help you find which one is the best fit for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to focus on? Is it about my career, my love life, my health, my financial situation, my environment or something else?
  • Why do I want to seek a fortune teller in the first place?
  • How much money am I willing to spend?
  • Where do I want to get my fortune told? Is it at home, online, in their office, or at a temple?
  • How much time do I have for a reading?

By asking yourself these questions, you can whittle down which method of fortune telling is better for you.

Final Thoughts

Ain’t it cool to know about your future?

Well, sure, none of the methods mentioned above does give specifics about what lies ahead, but they do shed light on what can be.

I personally find that interesting.

Despite the negative perceptions some people might have about fortune telling, one cannot argue that it is a beautiful art form.

It is also very much entrenched in the Singaporean culture.

Even if their main purpose is to shed light on what is up ahead, each method has its own predictive techniques, all of which are steeped in history.

Truly, it is interesting to dive a bit deeper into this side of Singaporean culture.

I hope through this article, I hope I was able to add to your knowledge of fortune telling.

Likewise, I do hope I was able to entice you to try any, if not all, of those yourself!


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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