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Korean Fortune Telling

August 14, 2014


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We were actually quite surprised when we started looking into this topic. We don’t have any personal experience with Korean fortune telling, so we asked Soo Zee and some friends about it, and the more they told us the more fascinating the topic seemed to us. The idea of guys reading your palm as a pickup line, of how families can oppose your relationship if your Sajus aren’t compatible, of how fortune tellers aren’t stereotypically weird-hippy looking, all of this was really fascinating to us. The idea of Shamans, which we didn’t talk about in our video, is also quite interesting:

Shamans, aka Moodang 무당

Shamans are not nearly as common as all of the things we mentioned in the video. They’re a lot more expensive, and aren’t approached for casual fortune telling. They’re more for serious issues, like a lost person you’d like to divine the location of, or a necessary exorcism of a relative. There aren’t Shaman shops around Seoul. You gotta go looking for them.

You also supposedly go to get a 부적 (BooJeok) from them, which is a paper that works kind of like an amulet. The Moodang writes on it with different patterns. And that…does something, for the price of 50,000 won to 300,000.

More interestingly, Soo Zee went to one before. We didn’t get far enough into the conversation to ask what for. We were more interested in her description of the man. Supposedly, a Moodang is someone who has been possessed by a god, and has been given powers as a result. The one that Soo Zee met didn’t know he was a Moodang, and just thought he was crazy. He tried to commit suicide a few times, and cut off the tips of his fingers. Also, Moodangs aren’t supposed to marry, because they have shorter lifespans.

Note how unsure I am about all of this. Soo Zee was telling us a lot, and we wrote down as much as we could before we felt like we had enough to go on. I’m sure one of you here knows a bit more about it. If so, please let us know in the comments. It’s fascinating. I hope you all find this as interesting as we do :D

So that’s it for this week’s TL;DR. Let us know what fortune telling is like where you’re from, and how it’s perceived. My mom (Simon here) was really into a lot of this when I was growing up, but I haven’t heard of her talk about it since. She never did Tarot, but she did read my palms, though! And she told me that you’d click on the subscribe button below…so do it!



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Korean Fortune Telling


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  1. In America I think that psychics are the most common but I’m not really into that scene and it’s usually only something you may see in bigger tourist driven cities like New York or LA. I have met someone who offered to read my palm and do a tarot reading for me, which I did, but I don’t remember at all what she told me. Honestly I think most fortune telling is chance and coincidence. Plus, I’m Christian so I believe God has a plan for us already, but I also understand that we have free will and there are a lot of circumstances that are just unexplainable. Either way this was an interesting topic.

    3 years ago
  2. Well It’s time to confess….

    I am a tarot reader myself from the UK. I’ve been doing readings since I was 12 ish. I’m all into spirituality but like you mentioned about Korean readers, I am just an every day kinda gal. No ‘hippy’ looks about me. I do have a story tho behind my tarots as it was shunned by part of my family really bad. In fact my dad who bought me my tarots and myself got a really bad telling off back then because of my mum.

    Both my mum and my nan (her mum) had a tarot reading where the person came to the house and did the reading for them. This was done many years ago before I was around and they had at least 2 dogs… One of which felt some negativity about the reading and barked at the reader and wouldn’t come in the room where the tarot reading was done. The reading was focused on children and mentioned that one of 4 will survive (it mentioned the first would not be strong enough n that he would come back again as the survivor)….

    So after the reading and time lapsed, My brother before me indeed wasn’t strong enough and passed on… I was the second one (‘the survivor’) and my brother and sister passed away not long after their births. So the reading came to pass… To a point that my mum freaked out and so did my nan to a point that they were dead set against it (which was why they hated my tarot and ‘grounded me’ saying not to use them).

    For me, I don’t tarot read for money nor use them often as I have come to have an open mind about it and wish only those I tarot read to, to have the same thoughts about it. If it happens then it happens, but don’t dwell on what has been read to you with cards for you may subconsciously make it real instead of letting life take it’s course.

    Anyway… Ahem…. :)

    In the UK I’ve mostly seen tarot readers and other ‘mediums’ either through gypsies, Mystic shops and what we have here called spiritualist churches (these are like your Sunday Christian service of hymns and prayers but with mediums who can give insite to and futures or concerns over loss via the 5 senses in medumship) I could go on forever about these as I’ve known and done some of these things over the years. If you want to know more then let me know as i’m happy to tell. Wouldn’t want to send all to sleep tho. ;P Loved watching and reading this blog tho about Korean tarot. I wonder if there is any English tarot readers in Korea and curious about Korean spirituality? What beliefs/ religions do they have when it comes to spirituality/passing on ect? If it is a touchy subject then I apologise and understand if it’s not something to discuss.

    3 years ago
  3. I know my weird supernatural horror pretty well and I know it when I see it… so anyway… In the past I blasted the new Night Watchman’s Journal show for what I felt was maybe dichotomizing the experiences a bit too much.. and I said that.. maybe it will be a way for the show to tackle some more difficult or controversial aspects with polyvalence.. like in James De Mille’s Coper Cylinder novel.. I’m caught up now to the latest episodes on drama fever which I’ve been watching with my wife and we both really enjoy it, great show, two thumbs up.

    In Bride of the Century, there is a part of episode 6 .. a quote..

    “I don’t know why , but this place is really scary to me . Even if the wind blows a little bit, I get chills up and down my spine. But you’re so weird. You always hung out here when you were younger . And always hid here whenever you played hide and seek . And if you ever got in trouble, you wouldn’t eat, and always hid out here.”

    I’ve seen this sensation and emotion frequently in Korean dramas related to spirit communion – and it is the key argument made by Rudolf Otto in his Idea of the Holy, as well as the master thesis of H. P. Lovecraft in his essay Supernatural Horror In Literature .

    In episode 7 of Night Watchman’s Journal, this idea came up again but far more like in Chongho Kim’s research on Korean Shamanism, and I said in the past it is a real shame that he and other authors don’t reference Idea of the Holy when they have such an opportunity to. So anyway.

    The scene I’m talking about is the one where she is walking being stalked by a shadow. She’s wondering how many paces behind her he is, eventually she gets the feeling that he is right on top of her. Her bells worn around her wrist start shaking, a sign that a spirit is descending into her, she nearly loses consciousness and collapses on the floor.

    Key Point — the feeling that Rudolf Otto called daemonic-dread, itself, is the means through which she could get possessed. The shaking of the bells, or the spirit stick.. is a sign or metaphor for the spooky shuddering/shivering sensation.

    Read — Supernatural Horror In Literature, by H. P. Lovecraft.. he is a real master, he was absolutely conscious of this in his writing, knew how to provoke the sensation, and his whole corpus of writing is bent on this concept.

    Also, Read — Rudolf Otto, don’t confuse his idea of the uncanny, and the sublime, with Burke or Freud. Another recommendation is Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, which Otto spends a lot of time talking about in his book.

    William James is more often read today, he’s more politically correct almost. What Rudolf Otto was getting at was so much more, a lot more like what Lovecraft was getting at.

    and , to really ‘get’ Lovecraft, if anyone wanted a good critical source on his writing that I would be approving of.. not S. T. Joshi, though an excellent biographer.. terrible critic.. but –

    from Houellebecq’s H. P. Lovecraft: Against The World, Against Life
    “[H]e brings to life entities well beyond the boundaries of our galaxy […] beyond our space- time continuum. […] [T]he characters move between precise coordinates, but they are oscillating at the edge of an abyss. This has its exact complement in the temporal domain. If distant entities that are several hundred million years old appear in the course of our modern history, it is vital to document the exact moments of their appearance. Each is a point of rupture. To allow the unutterable to erupt. […] The juxtaposition of “three hundred millions years ago” and “at a quarter past eleven” is equally typical. The scale factor, the vertigo factor. Again, procedures borrowed from architecture.” (Houellebecq 79-81)
    “H. P. Lovecraft’s architecture, like that of great cathedrals, like that of Hindu temples, is much more than a three dimensional mathematical puzzle. It is entirely imbued with an essential dramaturgy that gives its meaning to the edifice. That dramatizes the very smallest spaces. […] It is living architecture because at its foundation lies a living and emotional concept of the world. In other words, it is sacred architecture.” (Houellebecq 66)

    yes I’ve literally ctrl-c ctrl-v dump this stuff I’m a total nerd about it. When I read that I wanted to keep it to blast other Lovecraft fans with.

    3 years ago
  4. I actually got a face reading done when I was in Korea in May of this year with a woman in one of those plastic bag shops (which late at night feel a bit like the inside of Dexter’s killing suite), and it was very interesting. I even recorded it because I wasn’t 100% sure what she was saying–I had a friend translating roughly–and I doubted I would remember it all anyways.

    I have a lot of moles on my face, mainly small freckle like ones, but one larger beauty mark next to my left eye, and I remember her talking a lot about how those marks aren’t good and I should get them removed. Even the beauty mark, which I think is a pretty distinguishing feature of my face, and I have no intentions to remove. (The rest are probably sun spots, and might be best to get rid of since they seem to be just straight up damage.)

    She also talked about my nose, which is a tiny bit crooked and looks slightly different from each side…and which I’ve always been incredibly self conscious about…and how I should get it fixed. Like, she would not drop it; she kept telling me and my friend that I should change my nose because the inconsistencies, so to speak, of it did not bode well for my future.

    The rest of the experience was very interesting and not at all bad and I would definitely recommend other people try it out, but it was definitely very odd to have someone more or less tell you (or should I say, heavily suggest) to change distinct parts of your face while also threatening you with your future in their hands. It’s like, instead of saying “You’re ugly, get plastic surgery,” she was saying, “If you don’t get plastic surgery and change your face, YOUR FUTURE IS DOOMED,” which is way, way worse and more intense.

    Unfortunately for my future, I have no plans of drastically altering my face.

    3 years ago
    • DD

      I’m not export of these things but, generally professional face-reader, Saju-reader, Moodang in Korea are very expensive. I visited a face reader once with my friend, who wasn’t sure about her marriage, and got my face-reading. She was working in her office at her home and reading was individually done. So I wasn’t at my friend’s face reading.
      What I experienced was, about my proper job at my society and things to aware of (something habitually need to do) and suggestion for plastic surgery if I would like to. Surgery things were generally something about not recommended even if I wish, rather than recommending plastic surgery itself. She even warned me that plastic surgery can be dangerous(in her aspect ), since it is literary making artificial scar on my face. These things are very oppose to my experience. I’m very glad that you didn’t do anything on your face.

      3 years ago
  5. Ach, she’s German.

    3 years ago
  6. Hope you find this interesting. It is a story of a supposedly possessed austrian woman who came to Korea to see a famous shaman for a naerim-gut.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7OxM5XU4HY (2007 SBS documentary)

    http://www.andreakalff.com/ (Her website)

    3 years ago
  7. Has anyone gotten their fortunes read in Korea with someone who knows how to speak in English? Or if I’m interested, should I just maybe bring a friend who speaks the language? Just curious.

    3 years ago
  8. Alright! Something I’m quite familiar with. I actually got a reading done with an ex about 2 years ago in Hongdae. It was regular tarot and it went extremely fast. Initially I was hoping it would be longer, but turns out faster was better. The reader got pretty much everything wrong about our relationship: We met at school? Nope. He’s older? Nope. You’ve been dating for a few weeks? Nope. Was big dud. I hope to try it again sometime maybe with a friend so she can translate my personal analysis.

    The face reading sounds super interesting. I think I’ll take a look at that movie~

    3 years ago
  9. I’ll go out on a limb again,

    Peter Steele, from Type O Negative – had a spiritual emergence psychosis that he speaks about in this interview here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2ha1ismWL0 , the album cover for World Coming Down depicts the Brooklyn bridge spanning into an occulted Other-Wordly New York City. Rather spooky. It was at this time in his life when a number of people in his life died. the Self-Loss known to trigger a manic psychotic state in Korean shamanism books I’ve read, this also happens in other mediumship traditions, I feel is depicted rather accurately.. as it is in Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner or Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Yellow Wall-Paper.. in this song titled All Hallows Eve.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV2WmIQp2L4 , according to my personal opinion *shrugs* he had called for the descent of spirits reflected in the lyrics of that song. I suggest a causal relationship . Hrrmmrmr Yeah. This mystical experience must have meant a lot to him and he makes fun of his own fanaticism in a subsequent album called Dead Again in a song called Profits Of Doom, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qyZQDuUJyk . It is commonly believed that Gilman’s psychosis was from post-partum depression, then why did she express it in a gothic horror tale? Something to think about. Very common experience around the world.

    in The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism In Late Victorian England by Alex Owen, the author talks about how in those days, they considered psychosis a rite of passage, and she poured through mental asylum records to form her argument. This spiritual emergence psychosis was called an epidemic of insanity in Victorian times in the press, and by doctors encountering newly initiated mediums in hysterics in hospitals. She claims in her research- she’s a feminist author- that they were being diagnosed as hysterics falsely, and I believe her conclusions about that are wrong.

    3 years ago
    • H. P. Lovecraft praises Gilman’s story — rightly, as a weird supernatural horror tale. Expressing the collapse between subjective and objective reality. Her room becomes a shrine. The realization that she can perceive the creeping shadows through all the windows at once, is an example of temporal distortion that only someone who went through mediums’ initiation and psychosis, could attest to. Lovecraft knew his horror. He called it as he sees it. Also noted is the time in which it was pubished, the decadent period.. when everyone who was anyone in writing was dabling in eastern mysticism , the occult, etc.. Percival Lowell’s Occult Japan and Soul Of The Far East had already been published at this point. That her story is not regarded this way is seriously pathetic. To call it part of feminist discourse is seriously intellectually dishonest. Golden Dawn? No Way! /sarcasm. No Shit it was. Plain to anybody with any knowledge of what that period was like.

      3 years ago
  10. So right now in Sports, the Little League World Series is being wildly talk about. Although its almost over, can you do a TL;DR on it? Today South Korea won against Japan and they’re now going to the International Championship. If Japan wins against Mexico, they’ll be facing South Korea again… Anyway, can you talk about how this is for South Korea? Like are they interested in it like how they were for the World Cup or is it just something that doesn’t interest them?

    3 years ago
  11. Hi guys
    I know you’ve cover health care in the past but can you maybe touch on prescription medicines. There was the whole scandal with Park Bom on this topic. What about other drugs like those that are used to treat depression, epilepsy, physical injuries, and so on
    thanks :)

    3 years ago
  12. In the Arab culture there are many types of fortune-telling, the most prominent (I think) is reading the coffee residue in the cup. You drink a small cup of black coffee, then you turn your cup upside down (for a couple of minutes). Then a person (who claims they “see”) reads the residue and tells you about your fortune, usually nothing straight forward, like “you’ll be married tomorrow”… something along the lines of “fear the friend, not the foe”. Very like the tea leaves reading in Divination Classes of Prof. Trelawney/ Harry Potter.
    Their is also palm-reading…
    But the creepiest in my opinion has to be reading the shells… more specifically called Cowrie shell divination. (this one is more African culture though). That one is straight up weird ass shit. The woman who says she can “see” is usually dressed weird and has weird mannerisms and claims to be a psychic.(read: Prof Trelawney) Even standing next to here sends a chill down your spine. They grab a handful of shells, toss it on the floor or a basket, and reveal things about your life that you would never imagine they would know. Then they tell you your fortune (which people swear is 100% accurate, I personally never went to one). To add to the creep factor, it’s pretty hard to find a Cowrie shell psychic. Usually a “friend of a friend” tells you where to go to one.

    3 years ago
  13. In Greece, a few years ago fortune-telling was somewhat popular, especially the coffe-reading. It originates from Turkey and it actually is when you predict the future based on the coffe leftover marks arround the cup after the cup being turned upside down.
    Nowadays most people are into astrology than any kind of fortune telling.

    3 years ago
  14. Hi hi,
    I was wondering if you guys could do a TL;DR on Korean-Americans going to Korea, and if you know anything about their experiences because I’ve want to go after graduation, but my mom keeps saying it’ll be more difficult because I’m Korean.

    3 years ago
  15. Hey Simon and Martina I know you’ve met a lot of planned celebrities over the years through guest appearances, tv shows, and interviews. But i was wondering if you could do a TL;DR’s on all the celebrity encounters you’ve had that were not planned. For example: like you were walking down the street one day and you saw some members of Super Junior coming towards you or you were at a restaurant and 2NE1 walked in and you had to use every ounce of power not to fallout fangirling/fanboying. Or even ones where it was the celebrity that recognized you and they were the ones spazzing out!

    3 years ago
  16. For the next TL;DR I would really like to hear about your experiences with student loans and such while working in Korea. Was it hard? Did Korea’s low living cost factor into how much you could pay? Also were your banks, loan givers, etc understanding? Becoming an ESL teacher myself, I would really like to hear about this! I know I’ll be in debt, but should it stop me from going to Korea, Japan, etc immediately post graduation? Thanks :)

    3 years ago
  17. Totally unrelated but Martina—your makeup looks especially fantastic in this video!

    3 years ago
  18. I have one question…what are your favourite reality programs that are shown in Korea? Please at the very least (if you have time :D ) reply!and have you or have you not seen the ‘Global we got married’ stuff? thanks ;)

    3 years ago
  19. Oh Korean shamanism… This has become an obsession for me. The good news is that.. I’d like to think and I really strongly believe this.. some people would call me an empath.. or crazy.. look up the song “Are Friends Electric?” and the album cover , ‘Replicas’ by Tubeway Army , before they changed the name to just Gary Numan. Anyway.. that spooky album cover is the mystique of korean shamanism to me. very different than the ‘new age’. even the lyrics and the way he talks about the normal world from the Other-World.

    Inspired by a theologian named Rudolf Otto, author of Idea of the Holy.. he looked for the numinous as expressed in hymn , liturgy, like Bible verses and stuff, as well as music, the arts, particularly poetry. Incredibly, he finds the numinous or expressions in the divine not in The Lamb by William Blake, but The Tyger. He analyzes the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and spends little considerable time on Wordsworth.. for instance, in one of the appendixes, the author quotes Kubla Khan,

    A savage place! as holy and enchanted
    As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
    By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

    in that, he finds God. This is the kind of theologian he was. So much of Korean shamanism can be compared with a poem like this . Studying it I really believe this strongly has enriched the study of english poetry to me. Samuel Taylor Coleridge actually describes shinbyeong in Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the whole process, the self loss, the reciprocity, the infilling of holy spirit, the paranormal spooky feeling of dread, temporal distortion, shivers down his back, the lewd sexual nature of the woman who visited him, “with skin as white as leprosy” , his glowing glittering eye, his mania, “The devil knows how to row!” — Shamanism is very -edgy-, to use a cliche term. so is weird supernatural horror fiction! The shamanic journey is not taking ayahuasca in the jungle, it’s Hamlet by Shakespeare! In Hamlet, Shakespeare writes about a man who communes with his father , to cleanse the world of misfortune, or sin, to bring peace and wellbeing, at the cost of nearly losing his mind. That’s so english! there are so many stories in my own language my own culture .

    Other incredibly moving descriptions of the shamanic journey..the true one. without intoxicating yourself. through a kind of love or empathy to the spirit world (hard to explain).

    A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, more like a story of lineage, less shinbyeong, direct transmission, unlike what happens in Coleridge’s mariner which is more like kangshinmu experience, this is more like a dark kind of faith healing. i’ve studied faith healing in Christianity and it is actually rather dark . this is a very accurate testimony of mystical experiences .

    A Strange Manuscript Found In A Copper Cylinder by James De Mille . also recommended is The Gift by Marcel Mauss about the law of reciprocity through the economics of mana, and Sleep Paralysis: Night-Mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection by Shelley R Adler . He’s as inspired in this book by the Maori of New Zealand as the Old Hag sleep paralysis folklore of Newfoundland . lots of scenes of sleep paralysis in korean dramas. compare with the Wild Hunt, the horse-riding generals? the Valkyrie. the Viking culture and the ancient horse riding gods of Mongolia and such are linked.

    I’m fascinated by this. In ethnographies about koreans shamanism and i posted a more detailed comment below i’ve found the long lost pagan sources of my own culture . it made me realize WHAT to look for , in terms of mystical experiences. it’s been mesmerizing to me to read authors I deeply love and care about who move me like Lovecraft , that are some of the most highly regarded critically , english authors in the world today , and see in him Shinbyeong. to realize why it happened to him, how it happened to him, how he expresses it, read From Beyond, The Colour Out Of Space, DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE is practically a story of using a kamidana shrine, and Motohisa Yamakage author of The Essence of Shinto warns of psychosis in his book.. that’s Hamlet! Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of The Yellow Wall-Paper, that’s shinbyeong!

    if anyone would like to discuss with me, feel free to contact me. http://www.facebook.com/daniel.w.gill

    3 years ago
    • DD

      I’m very glad that I could see your several mentions about english researches of east asian shamanism. Part of my ongoing research is related to Korean shamanism but couldn’t get good clue of english references. I’m very appreciate this to you even if it was unintended.
      My impression of folk religion and korean moodang is, even if the 강신무kangshinmu’s (it literary saying direct transmission on their name) rituals are something absolutely overwhelming, those gods of shamans are very peaceful and even cute as most folklore tradition. Probably it is the influence of Buddhism in shaman’s training I guess. I agree that The myth of Cthulu can be similar to the impression on status of 강신무 kangshinmu shaman’s ritual and Shinbyung, though still it does not look like that aggressive. Lovecraft’s old god were generally angry god and expressing so extreme existence of it. As a literature, it is very opposite from Korean gods in old literature. Korean old folklore songs are sometimes threatening the god who brought bad luck or asking help to lead the recently dead soul and ghost. Still some of the rituals of 세습무sessǔmu is very peaceful and likely to priest. I was surprised by your mention of Lovecraft related to Korean shaman. However I agree at certain similarity on the descriptions between at Love craft’s writing and Korean shaman’s talk ( in broadcast ) and in related literature.

      3 years ago
      • ok , on Coleridge,

        Coleridge And The Daemonic Imagination by Gregory Leadbetter

        a quote from Coleridge himself,

        “A compact with of the Noumena to place themselves in a [?monas/moral] state. One of the strangest and most Peculiar aspects of my Nature (unless others have the same, & like me, hide it from the same inexplicable feeling of causeless shame & sense of a sort of guilt, joined with the apprehension of being feared and shrunk from as a something transnatural) […] It consists in a sudden second sight of some hidden Vice, past, present, or to come […] – which never deters me but rather (as all these transnaturals) urge me on, just like the feeling of an Eddy-Torrent to a swimmer/. I see it as a Vision, feel it as a Prophecy – not as one given me by any other Being, but as an act of my own Spirit, of the absolute Noumenon/ which in so doing seems to have offended against some Law of its Being, & to have acted the Traitor by a commune with full Consciousness independent of the tenure or inflicted state of Association, Cause & Effect […] = repetitions or semblances of the original Fall of Man – hence shame and power – to leave the appointed Station and become daemon.”

        the Rime of the Ancient Mariner –is real– , it’s a testimony to do with his mystical experiences. This is a great examination of his poetry. It’s fanciful but he’s painfully describing his most private thoughts. Particularly interesting are notebook entries like this one that he had avowed to himself that no one would ever see.

        His poetry talks about this idea of becoming. Normally we think of mystical experiences as mediated away from the experiences of the transcendental. This is an excellent podcast with the author of that book, Gregory Leadbetter, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6swvElUnS-s .

        3 years ago
      • Rudolf Otto’s theory was that what appears from the outset that ghosts are spooky, that through the process of worship and the exchange mana or alchemy that those initially demonic presences can become beatific. The spooky sensation itself is a catharsis relating to energy release. In Shelley R. Adler’s literature analyzing the science of sleep paralysis, and the work of http://www.TeemingBrain.com bloggers like Ryand Hurd, and now classic books like The Terror That Comes In The Night, etc they speak of confronting hostile and demonic presences, placating them, and the process of doing this turns those experiences around. There are communities online who purposely invoke sleep paralysis experiences by lying on their backs, which you will commonly see in S.Korean dramas.. normally in western culture we lie in fetal position on our sides which prevents sleep paralysis.. I’m not too aware of sleeping customs in other cultures but the experience of lying on your back to induce sleep paralysis tends to make for a restless but more lucid dreams in sleep. You’ll have a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night etc. Some scientists like Dr. T. M. Luhrmann study cultures with more communal sleeping patterns, where this will occur, and this notion disputes the claim that we ought to get X hours of sleep in a given evening. Anyway , the pitch would be that having this perspective on your sleep empowers you whereby you can engage consciously through your dreams with those presences. In Vietnam, they use a second shrine to angry ghosts placed outside in the wilderness. After the war, this was a way for them to stitch society back together.

        Ghosts Of War In Vietnam by Heonik Kwon

        War And Shadows: The Haunting of Vietnam by Mai Lan Gustafson

        Dreamtime: Concerning The Boundary Between Wilderness And Civilization by Hans Peter Duerr

        Korean Shamanism: The Cultural Paradox by Chongho Kim

        These are some books that meditate on this idea of us in relation to the Other-World. Dr. T. M. Luhrmann also studies how in schizophrenic experiences, depending on the cultural contexts she’s studied, some people who engage even angry spirits there is science to suggest that it betters unsettling hallucinations. Whether people think it’s ‘real’ or not, there is science now proving that it alleviates it.

        for Buddhism studies,

        the Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk by Justin Thomas McDaniel

        Haunting The Buddha by Robert DeCaroli

        and in yoga, somewhat relevant

        Sinister Yogis by David Gordon White

        So, again.. Rudolf Otto’s theory and I consider this pretty accurate.. consider the story of Buddha’s enlightenment, a story in which the demonic presence of Mara foreshadows the climax of the tale before he vaults the palace walls or whatever journeys into the nightside wilderness.. she is there.. when he sits under a tree, his enlightenment directly follows his empathetic gesture of compassion to the dreadful forces shadowing him. McDaniel talks about in his book this way in which Thai buddhists, I mean in the popular folk culture, consider ghosts and the world of the dead to be an instrumental part of their buddhist practice. He suggests that actions by the government and I guess what people would call orthodox Buddhism for continually beatifying those dreadful experiences away is in fact an essential loss.

        Authors like Coleridge, Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, placed themselves and their readers in that original context, as Buddha was engaging with Mara. Rudolf Otto suggests that the development of religion continues from this line.. demonic encounter, beatification, conventional worship, and lineage, and he suggests that what gothic horror attempts to do is place the experience back on the other end of the scale. This is why in his now famous conception of the numinous, he’s conscious of this problem, and he coined that word numinous as necessarily morally neutral. This moral neutrality for the Other-World became essential for the health of the Vietnamese after the war, as people engaged an angry spirit world.

        It’s kind of complicated but can be basically equated as,

        Demonic- The Unfamiliar

        Beatific- The Familiar

        There’s a middle process between them possible through placation.

        3 years ago
        • DD

          Again, thanks for the references. I will check these out. My research is of archival science practice on korean death ceremony. Korean shamanism part is surely small but probably the core of the major differences btw Korea, Japan and China. I got some thought about your mention that may not directly connected, but helpful to understand somewhat different notion about the unfamiliar/familiar things in Korea.

          Since most of Korean ancient records were written in Chinese after Buddhism dominated period, I really can’t count the influences from Buddhism in Korean Shamanism: also the influence of Chinese philosophical term in the letter system as well. However, asian philosophy was genuinely belongs to duality of a thing. So, god, ghost all have two faces or individual names that converges to each two terms: nothing is just +/great or -/unrespectful at here. The term ‘life’ is next to the death; not clearly separated from the “other world,” whether they were friendly or not. For instance, every old Korean houses have their own shrine in the house.

          This link may help you to get sense of something horrific/weird in Korean tales. It is one of the old books about horrific stories that written around late 17c and translated 1913 by american baptist, called Chun Aye Rok천예록. I’m not sure about the tone of writing, but these type of story is one of the weirdest/horrific type ever in Joseon Era; others are usually not this much. Hope you enjoy.

          3 years ago
        • I recommend tracking down , petty easy to find, on youtube the film adaptation of David Lindsay’s novel A Voyage To Arcturus, because I feel that he has… pointedly… remarked on a paradox .

          Mystical Occult groups, being Occult, don’t want to be your friend. They have a history of isolating people from the rest of society . I guess Japan can be somewhat like this too, however it’s much better understood that if you wanted to go to a temple : you could. They’re around. Not so where I am from.

          Every religion here has two faces. There is an apparent community and a hidden one.

          David Lindsay and especially prominent in the performances of the film adaptation.. strikes up this paradoxical idea.

          More than your friend. An intimacy with a person that you don’t know.

          He goes on a trip, to another world, but within his society he is lost at sea.

          Novels like this are very important, because being an occultist is kind of like being gay. Dr. Jeffrey J. Kripal criticizes the lack of women in positions of authority within western religions. It’s hard to be religious and be a guy. It’s also kind of like being closeted, and there are a lot of unusual experiences laid bare within that novel and film which ostensibly remain in the closet of western society.

          Out here in the west we have a considerable problem with community. We tend to be anti-collectivist. Well if religion IS collectivism.. where does that leave us? Curled up in a ball in the corner of the room making “new fiends”. I recommend authors like this because they’re articulating problems in western religion still unreconciled after nearly 100 years.

          3 years ago
        • RYAN HURD writes “Visions, Dreams, and Visitations” for The Teeming Brain. He is is founder of DreamStudies.org, a website dedicated to sleep, dreams, and consciousness research. He is also a frequent contributor to Business Insider and Reality Sandwich. His books include Lucid Immersion Guidebook: A Holistic Blueprint for Lucid Dreaming (2012) and Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night (2011). As an educator, Ryan has presented to a wide range of audiences, including invited lectures at Stanford University, the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and the Rhine Institute. As a qualitative researcher, he has presented and published papers on sleep paralysis, lucid nightmares, and the application of dreaming for uncovering researcher bias and novelty. He has a MA in Consciousness Studies from John F. Kennedy University, as well as a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in archaeology, and is a board member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Other professional memberships include the American Anthropological Association and the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness.

          3 years ago
  20. While I am in Korea right now, I’ve never done any of this kind of stuff in Korea.
    I have, however, done it in Ireland (tarot card reading) and the US (psychic). Both were extremely interesting–both I did with my mom. Her and I are both into that kind of stuff (I’m pagan ^^). So I studied and did a lot with this stuff when I was a teenager/college age. I think it’s all very interesting and if I could find an English speaking one I would do it in Korea without thought. While I never think they’re 100% accurate, they do give you an interesting perspective on your life.
    As for palm reading, some of my students have grabbed my hand and talked about it. Mostly why my lifeline is short/forks. (Sad, huh?).

    3 years ago
  21. Hi Simon and Martina! Here in Brazil it’s pretty common these fortune ritual things, specially when it comes to find your mate. The streets are full of posters – I mean, REALLY full – with promisses like “I can bring your beloved”, with the professional phone number. Althought it’s not THAT strong in brazilian culture compared to Korea, fortune telling, tarot reading, cards etc, are very popular among adults and desperate lonely people hahaha maybe you’ll never experience a teenager saying “hey, let’s go for a palm reading today”. The fortune readers also uses tv commercials and local newspaper to sell their services, and offers promotions like 40 brazilian reais a month to receive horoscope texts everyday, telling what color you should use or whitch number corresponds to your personality.

    3 years ago
  22. My friends love face reading and palms reading, this is what they told me.
    From your face they can know your personality, eg you are trustworthy or not etc. There is a Chinese proverb “your facial features come with your heart”, So if you have this feature, you mostly have a particular personality (but does not go the other way). Face reading is a statistical thing, and affects by ethnicity, as every ethnicity has its own iconic features.
    They can also roughly see your past and future on your face as you can count from 1 – 70 years old from different part of your face, eg. if you were born in a wealthy family.
    Btw, plastic surgery does not help a lot in changing your future or personality.
    Palms reading tells you about your personality, past and future in details. So you have to know both face and plams reading coz they support each other

    3 years ago
  23. Sorry, but I’m an anal Virgo, and I just have to correct you…it’s pronounced “tarO” like “arrow”. The “t” at the end is silent. :)

    Carry on!

    3 years ago
  24. Hey! I wanted to know what radio is like in Korea. Do they have a lot of commercials, or few ? How common is it to hear a KPOP song on the radio? And what kind of different radio channels are there?

    3 years ago
  25. Dee

    Hey Simon and Martina!!
    I have a question for you guys which I hope I can get an answer to because I’m super curious about this issue!! >.<

    What is it exactly the school uniform regulations in south korean schools?? You know that there are a lot of school uniform brands (that are also advertised by Kpop idols) like IVY CLUB and Elite which provides whole range of model, colour, and material that you can choose but then why do I rarely (as far as an outsider like me know) seen korean students wearing stylish school uniform?? Like, most of them wear the same model and colour too.. so then are those uniform brands can only be purchased by certain type of students (maybe from a private/ really elite school) or are they only purchased for fashion?? Then, if public korean students/ korean students in general can't buy uniforms from those uniform brands, where do they buy their uniform?? does the school provide them?? or maybe you can buy from those uniform brands but the school have to approve first??
    it's so difficult to understand but I'm really curious about it… so if you can answer my question, I would be really, really happy! :D
    Thank you again!!

    P.S : Congratulations on the opening of You Are Here Cafe!! I saw the pics and it looked like so much fun! I wish I could be there! :') maybe someday… :) Congratulations once again!!
    :) :)

    3 years ago
  26. Fortune telling in my community is pretty weird. In Judaism you sort of make your own luck / destiny. For example my cousin delayed getting married for about 3 weeks until it was a particularly auspicious day (for example Tuesdays are in general supposed to be good, and the first half of the month is better than the second etc.) The other kind of ‘fortune telling’ I see people actually do is with dreams. According to Jewish tradition there are seventy people alive at any one time (who don’t know who they are), that however they interpret a dream it comes true (massive oversimplification, but that’s the gist). So if someone tells you about a dream, you always have to try and give a positive spin on it in cases you are one of those people. In terms of changing destiny if you are having a life and death type problem (e.g. terminal cancer) as a sort of last ditch attempt to change your fate you can change your name (often something to do with the problem for example Rafael after the angel of healing if you were sick). There are other types of fortune telling, but I rarely if ever see anyone actually use them, for example I know of communities where asking a Rabbi if a particular business venture is a good idea is common practice, and if it is advised against they won’t go through with it, but again I can’t say I personally know anyone who has done it.

    3 years ago
    • A professor at my university faculty is a worldwide expert on Dybbuk possession . Something I know is pervasive within Judaism but that nobody ever publishes about . There are libraries and libraries of forbidden Jewish books written by mad monks out of an H. P. Lovecraft novel, Rabbis i guess, “not meant for the eyed of mortals” . That S.Korea publishes about what “lies beyond the vale” that is “beyond the pale” is one of the most precious treasures of the world, because so many other cultures don’t publish on it at all. it’s the weirdest thing. s.korean shamanism studies is pretty common in academia and it penetrates to a rather deep level of description. the more i studied it and about vietnam and thailand, the more i saw in english weird supernatural horror fiction , the stars came out. thanks to s.korea — it’s hard to express how important their shamanism tradition is within a globalized trans-national 1st world.

      3 years ago
      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjoCmYimeIo . this is a great clip of S . Ansky’s play adapted for a Polish movie. It’s some of the only Dybbuk anything that you’ll catch on film, or in print. When I think of libraries full of forbidden books, I immediately think of Jewish mysticism. I’d be interested in studying it, but I can’t.. really.

        3 years ago
        • alright something I found interesting, and I encourage others to make sweeping generalizations and leaps of conclusion… not merely jumps but leaps.. I think this is all rather simple at least in so far as the emotional registers of it. Compare the incantation spoken in the Dybbuk clip to this one, from Heonik Kwon’s Ghosts Of War In Vietnam .

          Those who died beheaded
          Those who had many friends and relatives but died lonely
          Those who died in the battlefield
          Those whose death nobody knew about
          Students who died on the way back from an exam
          Those who were buried hurriedly with no coffin and no clothing
          Those who died at sea under a thunderstorm
          Those who died with a shoulder hardened by too many bamboo poles carried on it
          Innocent souls who died in prison

          All spirits in the bush, in the stream, in the shadow, underneath the bridge, outside the pagoda, in the market, in empty rice field, on the sand dune
          You are cold and you are in fear
          You move together, young ones holding the old
          We offer you this rice porridge and fruit nectar
          Do not fear
          Come and receive our offering
          We pray for you, we pray.

          3 years ago
        • I know it is common today not only because I’ve spoken to people but also because I know how easy it is to do yourself. Since I’m familiar with Otto and weird supernatural horror fiction, etc.. lightning strikes twice..

          3 years ago
        • There are a few academic texts on Dybbuk possession, trying to unpack practices done historically a few or a couple hundred years ago, but I know people who are Jewish who told me it is still really common today. /Anyway.

          3 years ago
  27. I just found another mistake in my first post. It should be 1 min 15 sec not 5min 14 sec.
    I should not be let out without a keeper.

    3 years ago
  28. They do the chart reading thing in India as well. From what I’ve seen, with super conservative Hindu families, before fixing a marriage they check the birth chart – which is based on the exact time and date that your were born (called a kundali) – of the man and woman to see if they are compatible and only then is the match fixed. A lot of people living in cities don’t do this anymore but it’s still quite prevalent.

    Also regarding the possession thing, in the part of India where I live (around Mumbai) there is a practice where sometimes women will pray to a certain goddess to possess their bodies. (DISCLAIMER- I have never actually seen this happen, but heard about it from my grandmother). When this possession takes place, its a huge spectacle. The woman will usually start chanting and swaying her body. People gather around her and offer prayers. So they’re scared of her, but it’s also a kind of worship. These women will usually be social outcasts – widows, women with no children, unmarried women. This is not very common and mostly happens in rural Maharashtra, not in cities. In Marathi we say ‘devi chadli’ or ‘the goddess has taken over’. This usually becomes a way for these outcast women to kind of make their place again in society. (Again, I specify, this is quite rare nowadays and I have never seen this happen. I don’t even know if it still does in villages)

    3 years ago
    • very similar to the idea in s.korean shamanism that they are low class, and yet divine. the shaman gives their soul away much as the in the english weird horror fiction is all about the terror of losing your self .

      3 years ago
  29. When I posted the link changed to click thru. My Bad

    3 years ago
  30. I live in central West Virgina USA,we don’t have very many fortune telling locations. The county fair
    and the state fair have a few booths.When I watched this TL;DR I remembered this CPTV adventure.
    Since Simon and I got the CRAYON POP infection at the same time,and this video ties in spot on with your video, I thought I would post a link. I could not make a click thru link but copy & past will work. If your are in hurry go to 5 min 14 sec.


    3 years ago
  31. ooou I love things like this! I remember trying to learn some things from my mother as a child about palmistry, astrology, and face reading. and those coffee grain readings that I never liked since I dislike coffee D :
    even though she knew a lot about fortune telling and gave serious readings to friends, she didn’t know about tarot so I decided to learn it myself. I even gave out some pretty rad readings :D
    but it’s really hard and I got really frustrated that I threw away my deck after not touching it for a whole year U__U
    a couple years after that I bought a new deck but it’s not the same! lol anyways it’s really hard but still fun :D

    3 years ago
  32. Here at Portugal, things like fortune telling are quite popular, I guess, at least I know at least someone who got their hands read or went to get their tarot card reading, and there are a good number of fortune tellers, there’s also a famous tarot reader that appears on television quite often, so I’m pretty sure around here people are used to those things in a way, even if they don’t believe in them. I think the mentality here is that older generations believe more in those “superstitions” than the younger generations, but at the same time I see alot of teenagers interested in hand reading and such.

    3 years ago
    • Hey, I’m from Portugal too!!
      Don’t forget all the magazines about all kinds of fortune telling xD They are quite popular too. I once found one that taught hand reading.

      3 years ago
  33. I was just in korea and for fun i got my tarrot card reading….apparently theres no boy in my future for the rest of the year. That i wont be in a relationship and that there may be a guy in the fall but even then i would have to try really hard for him. lol

    3 years ago
  34. My grandmother is an astrologist, and listening to your description of saju it IS actually a part of astrology. There is more to it than just the tiny little horoscopes in magazines. My granny does something similar to saju every year for me and the rest of my family on New Year so we know what’s to come, and whlist I don’t actually believe it, it sometimes does come true. For example my grandma predicted I will do lot’s of travelling this year, and I indeed have been abroad for 4 times already whereas normally I go like one time.
    We live in Poland (high five Simon~) and it’s not really looked down upon but people often think it’s weird and laugh at it. My grandma has clients though and she even did astrology courses, so it’s not that uncommon but it is something wealthy businessmen would be ashamed of doing.

    3 years ago
  35. Weeeeeeeell…..my brother actually has a scar like that in his forehead….XD Though he got it from some guy smashing him with a baseball bat resulting in A LOT of blood and that scar XD

    3 years ago
  36. I love love LOVE supernatural stuff (esp this topic) Lots of people I know don’t believe in star signs or fortune telling and even though a small part of me knows it’s fake, I still like it and want it to be true :’)

    3 years ago
  37. One of my ex-classmate do a poker card reading and it’s pretty accurate. She can tell my ex-crush’s appearance by reading from the cards or even my attitude and my study life. I once asked her if I could stop having a crush on anyone till grade 12, the answer is “no”. She told me that I’m a kind of person who can fall in love with someone so easily. However, this time is not so accurate cus since then, I haven’t had any interest on anybody for a year now :P

    3 years ago
  38. I live in the U.S and I don’t here much about fortune telling here, but it seems to be very prominent where my family is from(Mexico).It seems in Mexico it’s a lot more popular.It could be that, at least from what ive seen, that they are much more superstitious.People get their palms read, tarot cards read, spiritual cleanses, go see witch doctors,etc. I remember when i was little,my dad would go and get his fortune read once every few months as well as my mom ,they’ve both stopped since.However, from what ive been told by my family, one has to be very careful with who you go to, whether it be cleanses or fortune telling, you have to know the right person.

    3 years ago
  39. Personally, fortune telling kind of freaks me out. I’m curious but there is a bigger, more paranoid part of me that is terrified they’ll foretel my death or something :P

    3 years ago
  40. I dont know if its the same thing but I’m hmong and I was shaman once. I remember when I was a little kid my family would have these gatherings which we called “Ua Neeg” or “Hu Plig. My grandpa was somewhat similar to a Moodang where he had spiritual powers to communicate with the other side. He would use these powers to go to the other side and ask for help or a blessing. This is what “Ua Neeg” Other times he would use his powers to call home spirits who lost their way, also refered as “Hu Plig” I also have a friend who is simialr to a Moodang. She told me that her powers run in her blood. She described to me that she has these two male ghost that are like her guardians. They help and protect her for when she travels to the real world to the other side. I don’t really know if she’s a Moodang but it sounds similar to one.

    3 years ago
    • Sleep Paralysis: Night-Mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection by Shelley R. Adler is a fascinating medical anthropology book about Hmong sudden death syndrome. When they immigrated to the U.S. many of the young people stopped worshipping their ancestors, the spirits got angry, and hundreds of them died in their sleep. Scientists have been fascinated by it for a long time for nocebo effect evidence, like the opposite of placebo effect. Another potential reason was that the generation who died had been born under bad astrological signs? I don’t remember everything in the book but it’s worth reading. http://www.TeemingBrain.com is a great blog all about weird sleep paralysis and horror fiction , other strange goings on. in english culture we commonly tend to believe that the supernatural is some happy jolly thing but the people who are shamans and go to the Other-World risk their lives, pretty much, to do that. and it’s not a happy go lucky thing to them. communing and praying to spirits, getting possessed, is serious business. too often today people think that religion is like buying a happy meal. makes me angry that its taken more seriously.

      3 years ago
      • I’ve never experienced sleep paralysis but my sister experiences almost every night. She said that its like your whole body is paralyzed as your whole body is being crushed by a ghost. It seems as if its a dream but you can feel everything as if its reality. One time she told me that as she was sleeping she saw this old dead bride dressed in black staring at her, then all of a sudden the ghost just dropped onto my sisters body and began choking her. She woke up crying that night. Sleep paralysis happens so often to her that she used to it now. Sometimes at night I’m so scared because sleep paralysis can happen to anyone and its not something that I would like to experience.

        3 years ago
        • Well. That website I linked has a lot of good professional advice on it. Some people find in sleep paralysis experiences, what first appears to be nightmarish can be a way to reconcile with spirits anger, they are powerful spirits regardless, and those experiences can become beatific. Science has found links between sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming, astral projection, and so on.. the sleep paralysis experience itself is a lucid or waking dream, as you had described quite accurately. In the drama Bride of the Century, the ghost is very much struck along that line she is beautiful, terrifying, haunting, but also a powerful guardian.

          3 years ago
      • lol sorry i mean makes me angry that it isn’t taken more seriously.

        3 years ago
    • My mothers a moodang and she uses her powers for good over money. Like praying for peace in the world and also to help the dead spirits find their path to heaven etc.
      Just last month she performed a ceremony to help the victims of the sewol ferry leave earth as they refused to go due to veangeance anger and utter betrayal. That day the spirits of the victims revealed the truth of the sinking and now it all makes sense!
      The whole thing was a planned ‘accident’ the cargo was purposely filled to dangerous levels because the government NEEDED IT TO SINK. And they actually had to try multiple times before finally that fateful day the ferry sunk. A huge tragedy of the loss of innocent lives would only be too perfect to cover up the suspicious dirty work going on with the Korean government (the higher people were taking billioms of dollars for themselves out of the government money and it was all forgotten after sewol). Of course the captain was in on it too, thus his quick decision to flee the ship and he knew he’d get a small sentence (& what do ypu know surprisingly he did!) and soon after would be paid immensely.
      The one thing that really got to me was that the school’s principal, who you may remember or have seen in news articles was that he committed suicide right after being rescued.
      I remember thinking “why on earth would you want to do that? He should be grateful for his life!’
      But it all makes sense. His spirit told my mother that as he was on the ship, one of the people who were in on the scheme screamed, “LEAVE THE CHILDREN! IF YOU WANT TO LIVE GET OFF NOW!”
      Soon after the principal realised that it was all planned. The lack of rescue effort. The constant footage of news was focused on the sewol sinking for a whole month on korean tv on all channels and NO OTHER NEWS was broadcasted. This is exactly what they wanted, a huge tragedy to cover up their own corruption.
      I guess I went on a huge rant and honestly you dont have to believe any of this but nothing can take away from the fact that the sewol tragedy smelt nothing but fishy. Ive always wanted to write up a post on the internet about the truth of the sewol si king as I had many sleepless nights in anger for tjeir lives but I guess I found it hard to explain to the western community on how I would have evidence for such information. Im really glad eyk has provided me the context so you guys might be able to understand.

      3 years ago
  41. I’ve done a little research on mudangs before, but essentially, it’s believed by modern researchers that mudangs are often people that are schizophrenic, which explains the voice of a god that they hear. Traditionally, they would go absolutely crazy for a while, be it months or years, but eventually they gain control over themselves, and that’s when they go into service as a mudang, telling the fortunes of others. I do think it’s interesting that the mudang Suzy saw was a male, as because what I’ve read generally points to mudangs being women. It’s rare to see a male become one. But either way, it’s a fascinating form of native culture and spiritualism in Korea.

    3 years ago
    • yep, a male shaman is called a baksu!
      I do realise how modern researchers would think of it that way, but they can only label and scrutinise something THEY don’t or ever will understand.
      You don’t really have a choice to deny the god and resist becoming a shaman as it’s part of their destiny, but also, they’ll have vivid dreams, wake up in cold sweat every night, have intense headaches, pains everywhere which eben by going to the doctor, the doctor will be speechless of the cause, until they choose to accept the god. This is called ‘shin byung’ literally, god disease if you translate. also, when i say god, i don’t mean the high God as many religions would depict, but there are many levels of gods below Him, that choose certain people to help the world through advice on family, marriage, disease, and MOST IMPORTANTLY,how you can improve yourself to be a better person, be kind and spread love. It’s the small things that count.

      3 years ago
      • There’s been a huge backlash in psychiatry today about precisely what you’re talking about, look up Dr. T. M. Luhrmann . It’s been found out, through scientific research, that accepting a possessing spirit’s voice in schizophrenic symptoms improves well being. can even cure schizophrenia, stop the voices altogether or make them improve and be nicer. http://philosophyforlife.org/voice-hearing-and-the-bicameral-mind/ .

        3 years ago
  42. I think I’ve seen those 부적 before… I visited my boyfriend’s grandparents in the countryside, and they had strips of papers with red Chinese characters written on them. They were posted above the doorway for the living room and the bedrooms. There was also one stuck on the cieling near the light. I asked my boyfriend about it and he said it was for protection from bad spirits, or some such thing. An old cultural practice. I thought it was interesting, as in a lot of cultures have something you put in a doorway for protection. I couldn’t ask his grandparents about it as I didn’t speak Korean. :(

    3 years ago
  43. My mum is a devout Buddhist and she knows this old woman fortune teller who can pretty much do all of that – face reading, palm reading and plus she has a spiritual connection. I don’t usually believe in those kinds of things, but she is scary accurate. One time she told my mum’s friend that her son would be involved in a fatal car accident unless she gave him a talisman. He was a truckie and a couple of days later he really was in an accident and his entire truck flipped over, but he walked away scratch free. Another time, I was persistently ill and I went to several doctors but nothing helped. I went to see her and she said there were several mischievous spirits following me around and giving me trouble (which freaked the hell out of me) and she also gave me a talisman and I’ve been fine since.

    3 years ago
    • yes it’s all true! just remember that spirits will try to pick at you until you give in and react. evil spirits try to make you make greedy, harmfu and bad decisions but just try to ignore them. They get bored soon enough and move on to someone else!

      3 years ago
  44. I visited SK a few weeks ago and I decided to go to a tarot card reader with my friend. It was near Konkuk University, but rather than being in a store/cafe or on the street, it was in the tarot card reader’s apartment. Even though it seemed like a difficult place to find, it was surprising to find a line of 15-20 people in her living room waiting to have their cards read. It was interesting to have my cards read, and even more fascinating to have her “guess” or “read” the cards correctly and interpret(?) my life. She did look very ordinary and nothing like the stereotypical fortune teller I imagined. If you understand Korean and plan on visiting Korea, it is mildly fun to listen to what they have to say.

    3 years ago
  45. Iva

    I’m currently designing fortune telling shop/office. It’s kind of funny cuz there is nothing similar online i can check out, so i have to improvise. Not even their boss knows what he needs. Little info they gave me they said they want few small isolated rooms for readings and maybe waiting area. In China they are still pretty into this things. My husband went to palm reading when he was little, and they told him he will be able to make a lot of money, cuz of space between his fingers, he won’t be able to save money. He will have to find a girl that can do that and that he will get married when he is 25. Which happened haha. I saw some kind of fortune telling in most of temples. the one with sticks where u shake it till one comes out. Then u bring it to the guy and he tells u what it means. They also do that number and star reading, but they have offices for that. It’s kind of weird to see LED sign saying they are fortune telling hanging on a business building. My wedding was postponed all the way till 2015, cuz he’s parents said 4 is unlucky and we can’t get married in 2014 and my paper signing, or however u call it, was postponed for a week after i planned, cuz Chinese calender said the date we wanted is good for funerals, which was bad luck also. Just imagine how it is in other families, since this one is open one and doesn’t really believe all of it…as they say…
    What id pretty serious business (and makes huuuugeeee amounts of money) is feng shui. It looks like more money u have, more u believe. A lot of companies before they renovate, they bring feng shui master to check everything out…see what is wrong with the place and how it can be fixed. It’s so annoying when you are designing some office and everything is done, and the client comes and says that water dispenser cant be in the kitchen, but in some who knows what corner, cuz feng shui master said that corner lacks water and other one has too much.
    Cuz of feng shui we are now living in small apartment. When my husband was buying apartment 5-6 yrs ago, they found one that’s twice bigger then one they bought, but aunt said feng shui is bad and he will be poor if he lives inside and there was nothing he could do but agree with his family. I was told that the problem with the apartment was that in front of the building there was fountain that, when looked from the top, looked like bow and arrow pointing toward the apartment. I guess that’s why price was sooooo much lower…no one dared to buy it.
    It’s funny how Chinese government is also trying to fight the superstitions in Chinese ppl. In my compound it’s full of signs saying bad things about superstitions and how modern and civilized people are not superstitious.
    Sometimes it’s annoying, sometimes it’s funny…but it would definitely not be as interesting if it was different :D

    3 years ago
  46. In the US it’s sort of one of those hippie things that people make fun of. But in the Haitian culture(I’m Haitian American), it’s actually respected. It’s supposed to be genetic. Also, if someone says they had a dream about something and they say not to do something, you don’t do it. No questions asked. And anyone who has the gift is actually not supposed to accept money or for personal gain and it doesn’t work all the time. If they do use it for personal gain, they will lose their abilities.

    3 years ago
  47. fortune telling is something that isn’t really aloud in my family . it’s known as really really bad . it’s just that it seems no matter where it is i get bad vibs and something just telling me not to be there or ever go there . to me to know your fortune is something you have to be really careful about what kind of fortune teller you chose . this is only my perspective on it and my friends say that it would be cool, but i’ll be fine . nore am i going in (sorry guys )

    3 years ago
  48. I would say that majority of the Korean fortune telling are all derived from Chinese fortune telling and given a Korean name for it. Take Saju for example. In chinese culture, there is something called the 8 characters fortune reading. It takes into consideration the date and year you were born in, according to the Chinese Lunar Year Calendar, and would make predictions about the year ahead. I dont know if this a just a coincidence or did they just copy and paste all these things from Chinese culture and call it their own

    3 years ago
    • DD

      Let me clarify that saju is about reading 역경(易經) a book clearly from ancient Han Chinese. As a Korean, I never learned it as a Korean thing and never even heard similar thing before. In east Asian culture, include Vietnamese and Japanese culture, many countries shared ancient Chinese knowledge with their own cultural adaptation. If there is something Korean own, I would point out the way of interpretation and consumption, rather than Saju itself. This will be same in other culture as well.

      3 years ago
      • yeah , I think of religions like Shinto, and Vietnamese Len Dong, Hmong and Korean shamanism, etc.. all as Wuism. Wu Wei and stuff. I’m Scottish ancestry and have no idea about this stuff but i read a book called Journey Of A Healer: Mediums And Sorcerers Of South Viet Nam by Hien Van Nguyen, and I speak to some adepts sometimes from the Cao Dai temple here in Montreal which is a form of Vietnamese theosophy , literally a kind of Wuism or sorcery tradition that crossed paths with freemasonry and groups like the Golden Dawn in the 1920s. I’m considering going through with VoVi meditation which is a kind of Reiki from Vietnam. I’m very unsure about it generally and wish I knew more about about it but even in english there is very little information published on Cao Daism even though they’ve been pretty open with translating and sharing their religion abroad. It’s probably one of the few ways I could learn far-east asian sorcery traditions without actually being asian myself.

        3 years ago
        • DD

          The last paragraph and sentences about the implication of ritual is my personal opinion. Still my english combines together with Korean sentence order and tone, but those are not something definite as it looks like.

          3 years ago
        • DD

          I agree. 무((巫)속 is actually using the Chinese letter Wu. I’m pretty sure that these type and form of belief about god were widely spread among the North-east Bavarian kingdoms( 동이 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongyi 북적 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beidi ) of China that currently in Chinese territory. Vietnamese were could be of the South Bavarian… I preferred to categorize them by its form and its micro region rather than concerning national territory. Current territory at Aplok River only has history of 600 years when Ming Dynasty and Choson dynasty agreed each others, while these culture were already exist at least before BC 100 to AD 1200s. Shaman things were considered very Bavarian thing for Han Chinese, since they condemned fortune telling-of shaman- and their rituals in Confucian books. They preferred knowledge based method, the great Book of Change역경(易經). It is very funny that Saju is considered as fortune telling while it was once science to condemn the shaman.
          Since Chinese government afraid of ethnical separation of Chinese group, these kind of ancient thing or tribal belief emphasized as “Chinese own” very often: This nationalism issue also raised in S.Korea during cultural preservation period to define the Korean culture. I personally respect this concern of Chinese government: Historically the ethnical separation had been the major issue of Chinese dynasty. However, as a Korean, it is very very unfortunate, since at the kingdoms of Manchuria, many ancient Korean kingdoms were exist and considered themselves to be derived/established/owned from it.
          It is even very careful to talk and choosing the word, since my perspective can provoke both patriotic korean/chinese at once :Hope it never happen. However, when thinking in very ancient territory without concerning of power and ownership of culture or ancestry, things are being very simple. It supposed to not a thing to provoke each others.

          According to recent anthropologist’s research, in New York, about korean ancient tomb, king and queens of korean kingdom considered as a Shaman and even very obvious when reading their early history. Some of those kings and queens are the great god of current Moodang and ceremony is continued. Since most of written documents are Chinese that written by Chinese people and monks, distinguishing the original term of Korean Shaman, and the rituals were implied while korean shamanism were developed as a religious form from its original tribal ceremony.

          3 years ago
  49. So when should we expect fortune-telling to be offered at the coffee shop? =D

    I saw The Face Reader last year when it came out as well (though there were no subs at the theatre and my Korean was pretty much non-existent at the time), but it was a DAMN good movie, holy crap. I really need to rewatch it with subs. I know that time period in history very well, so I wasn’t completely lost and I had an idea of what was going on, though it was just the details that flew over my head. And, y’know, the whole concept of the face reader. XD

    3 years ago
  50. Since you were talking about face reading, I’m going to take that opportunity to leave a link to Shinhwa Broadcast’s face reading episode here (Eng subbed) http://shinhwaforeversf.tumblr.com/post/41340524852/sfsubs-january-23-24-releases It’s Shinhwa Broadcast Ep 41.

    They did an episode where they got a face reader to come in and teach the members a bit about face reading. It was pretty interesting and of course since it’s Shinhwa, it was funny too. If you find the subject of face reading interesting, check it out because it was pretty informative.

    Personally, I don’t know if all of stuff is true or not (meaning face reading, tarot, fortune telling), but I’ve had it done a few times just for the fun of it. Unfortunately I think that if there are people with true talent, the charlatans have ruined it for them.

    3 years ago
  51. Do Koreans consult gwansangs on which parts of their face they should or shouldn’t change with plastic surgery (so they get the best future/destiny/fate possible)?

    3 years ago
    • That’s actually something I wound up saying while shooting he video, but we cut it out because it got garbled. I’d imagine that would make sense, no?

      3 years ago
  52. I believe in fortune telling, there are people who actually can read future (probably one in every 200 fortune tellers lol) but I don’t go for it because I don’t want to deal with such things.

    3 years ago
  53. In the US, fortune telling is believed more as a gimmick to trick people into paying more money. I’m surprised SK believes in this stuff. Like why would you say no to your son’s/daughter’s marriage just because a guy in a stand says the marriage brings bad luck? Aish..

    3 years ago
  54. My human comments that I am one intuitive kitty – I know exactly when a can of tuna is about to be opened, even when I have been asleep for 16 hours straight. It’s just a gift, I guess, much like the fur I leave on my human’s sweater.

    Hmmm, actually, I’m getting a vibe here – yes, yes, I am getting a vision of me and my Meemers Oppa, bounding joyfully through a meadow on a spring day, catching butterflies and moths in our paws, our fur flying in the breeze and the sun glinting on our matching couples collars… It is our destiny, Meemers Oppa. And who are we to argue with fate?

    3 years ago
  55. I’ve heard of face reading for fortune in Korean culture but not Chinese. All I know is the face reading for medical purposes in China (idk about HK).
    Funny story: My dad was told, by a doctor in the US, that he had a really big problem with his kidneys or something that was life-threatening and right after, we went on a vacation to mainland China so he checked in with the doctors there. The Chinese doctor looked at his face and told him he had no life-threatening condition and if he did an MRI, he would only be wasting his money. My dad did the MRI anyway to double check and the doctor was right, he wasted his money. It wasn’t as much as it would’ve been in the States.

    3 years ago
  56. My goodness Martina, in like, just a week you got so tan. Honestly, it looks beautiful on you.

    3 years ago
  57. This video could not have come at a better time! My friends and I are currently staying in Hongdae and everywhere we go we keep seeing the Saju and Tarot shops. We know what Tarot cards are but we had never heard of Saju before! Thank you for the explanation!! :D

    3 years ago
  58. When I worked in Seoul as an English teacher one of my co-workers really believed in the fortune teller. She was one of the unfortunate people who didn’t have a ‘match’ in her relationship. The parents pretty much forced them to end their relationship. So sad. I honestly just can’t get behind it. You are basing all of your huge life decisions on what one persons claims…interesting anyway.

    3 years ago
  59. Hey Simon and Martina :D
    I’m not sure if you have made a video about this before (as I am relatively new to EatYourKimchi), I think you have some points about it on your blog but I would really like it if you could talk about them in more detail in a video. I’m really interested in what the Mannerisms are in Korea for example bowing. (also about formal/informal language – who you would speak it too). Thanks :)
    Also, I live in New Zealand and fortune telling is not really a thing here, its not something that we talk about… I’ve never seen anyone who does fortune telling or anything like that. I’m sure you can buy tarot cards but its not popular. I’m sure it does exits but we typically don’t believe in such things :P

    3 years ago
  60. I want to go to a tarot card reader but I never know where to find one and I’m worried that I might get scammed. I’m not sure if there’s a big following here in the UK of these kind of things. When I think of a fortune teller I think of exactly what you described, with the beads and big glasses, head scarfs, crystal ball etc. When I watched Roommate I was surprised that the fortune teller was wearing a suit. I just can’t imagine fortune tellers wearing suits xD I done the hand thing you did in the video and I have no lines! D:

    3 years ago
  61. I would love to hear more about SooZee’s experience – she should do her own TL;DR on the whole thing if she’s comfortable telling it! <3

    And I would loooove to see you guys do a WANK to go get your different kinds of fortunes read! That would be so interesting! I've seen one or two shows where people get their readings done, but your spins and presentations on these kinds of things are honestly always more honest and interesting to me. <3 I hope you'll consider it! :D

    3 years ago
  62. I live in South East Texas so we have a pretty big Hispanic population, we don’t really have a big fortune telling scene but I have met a lot of people that do cleansing’s. My aunt and her family are from Mexico and her mom will regularly come by the house to do cleansing’s on the house which is supposed to get rid of any bad spirits, ghosts, or demons. Usually involves stuff like incense, chicken bones, stuff like that.

    3 years ago
  63. I love the ‘Bada bing, bada boom’ moments. :)

    3 years ago
  64. All this fortune telling talk reminds me of xxxHolic!

    3 years ago
  65. Speaking of face reading, I remember a few years ago I read that Rain wanted to get double eyelid surgery for a long time and before debuting he went to see clinics and all, but before he actually did the surgery, he went to see a face reader that said that his face would bring fortune and that he shouldn’t get surgery, so he cancelled those plans and then he debuted and got famous and successful.

    3 years ago
  66. Red

    It was.

    3 years ago
    • Red

      dang it. That was supposed to be in response to someone saying the movie sounded good. I watched it, and it was indeed super interesting.

      3 years ago
  67. Zoe

    I once tried doing a bit of quick research about native Korean religions; I thought that if Japan has Shinto and China has Daoism, then Korea must have (had) its own indigenous religion. Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are all imports from other countries to the region. When trying to find some stuff, the word ‘shaman’ came up but I can’t remember now why I laid off researching this. These ‘moodang’ seem to be exactly what I was looking for. Fascinating! Could you ask SooZee about moodang please? What the basic principles of the belief system revolving around them are and how prevalent they are within and whether they relate to modern Korean society? Which gods have they been possessed by?

    Sorry, that’s probably a whole new tl;dr right there :-P

    3 years ago
    • My mother’s a moodang so you can ask me! There’s lotsssssssssssss of gods way too many to count.But basically, in the afterlife their are these rankings of gods that get higher until you reach the god of our earth. (I guess you could say the same God that all religions depict). i highly recommend you watch the korean documentary MANSHIN which is about the life of Kim Gooma, a prominent moodang in korea and it explainas and even shows hat the visions and gods look like to a moodang. (spirits fly around and can tell them the location of a dea body, etc. to help families etc etc) my mother is actuually a manshin herself which basically means, instead of being guided by one or two god spirits, she’s guided by all of them , which is pretty rare. Which is also why kim gooma is very well known. feel free to ask any more questions!

      3 years ago
      • Zoe

        Wow, thanks for the documentary! I have lots of questions actually and probably more later ;-)

        How common is it to run into a moodang say, every day? How do they find out they are moodang, does someone tell them or do they see things which indicates that the spirits have chosen them? Why is it more common for women to be moodang than men? Are there any special talismans that your mum uses, and what do they look like? What are they made from? Do moodang ever use spells and enchantments as part of their practice? Where do these spirits come from, how are they created? Is there a creation story for the gods and what are they gods of? Fire, woods and forests etc.?

        Thank you!

        3 years ago
        • As for talismans, they must be handwritten on yellow parchment with a red powder mixed with oil. Special symbols are drawn on and it depends on what it’s for, such as a general one to stick in the house to deter evil spirits and bring in good luck, to one that improves family relationships, etc. Then my mother places it in her temple and prays on it and then gives it to whoever asked for it.
          They’re not spells/enchantments, it’s prayer. My mother prays every day and meditates. Mostly for peace in the world, our family, my sister and everyone who visits her, close firends. From small to big, she prays for all of them everyday. My mother is a very selfless and kind person and I couldn’t have asked for a better mum!
          I’m not toooo sure about where the spirits come from per se, but I guess I’ll tell you what I know!
          My mother is actually guided by the God of our earth, and originally she had no id. She thought he was a soldier god (like the soldier’s called JANG GOON in sageuk period). He appeared to her this way in visions and dreams and so she just referred to him as harabugi/granfather. So she was guided by his teachings for about 20 years until recently last year, he revealed that he was actually the God. (For gods/spirits there’s a certain step-ladder system/ranks, just like you could say in society. God would be at the top and Buddha, Jesus right below him, and below them many thousands of other spirits – interestingly Albert Einstein is amongst them, and so many more prominent people who have once graced the Earth with their wisdom, kindness and faith have evolved in the after life to attain these ranks in heaven. The same goes for evil spirits. With anything there must be a balance, and including good and evil. My mother told me that in the beginning, there was exactly 50% good and 50% bad in the world, just like yin and yang – balance! However, currently our world/humanity is at 70% bad. once it reaches the point of no return, well I suspect that’s when our world will end. That’s why she prays to restore the balance. She tells me our God loves and cherishes every single one of us and he’s ready to fight for us. I think there are many other Gods who dispute with our God about Earth and our survival. They told Him it was pointless and to give up on us, but he refuses to do so. Anyway,I know this is sort of hard to imagine, but remember, the Gods aren’t physical beings that reside in the clouds, but unexplainable spirits that guide us. There are also other planest, thus aliens (yes they do exist! They basically built the pyramids and every other outstanding structures/wonders of the Earth. I don’t know why people dispute their existence because it was so obvious that such accurate work was completely beyond our levels of intelligence. Aliens are super intelligent, and just like people there are good and bad races of aliens. Do you remeber the comets that were headed for Earth last year? The aliens helped to destroy them into smaller pieces so we would not be harmed, there’s even video footage of flying objects that seem to zap the comets! Have you also watched Noah? The aliens are called “angels” that helped built the ark. It’s all very interesting because after watching it, my mother was so intrigued as the message of the movie was so clearly direct from God. It’s amazing how he is here in so many ways and tries to reach out to us through movies and books. Also watch Cloud Atlas if you haven’t! That’s about destiny, fate and people, which is true.
          I don’t think there’s a creation story, because that would go into the meaning of life and the meaning of gods etc and i actually have no clue! Just remeber to spread love, happiness, kindness (Karma is real so just remember to influence others and yourself in a posistive way).
          There are gods of wisdom, love, relationships, children, etc. They’re depicted through many religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and even the greek gods! Zeus and Hera, they’re all gods too. It just goes to show how religion is sort of limited in a way that it’s created by humans to be able to worship their gods to suit their time and culture. Jesus in western culture, Buddha in the asian countries, Mohammed, etc. Just try to keep an open mind when trying to understand these concepts! I still have much to learn also :)

          3 years ago
        • They’re not very common, but in Korea, I guess they’re advertised in papers maybe? I’m actually not too sure because we live in Australia, and my mum is well-known in the Korean community through word-of-mouth.
          One will realise by themselves if they have been chosen. They’ll start to have extremely vivid, almost scary dreams that they will remember (my mother still remembers vividly the first dream that she had of this kind – a man cloaked in traditional Korean clothing, he was a grandfather and he was very scary – not in a wicked way, but in a way that he exuded this sublime power that induced respect, a very magical aura, she says). Anyway, if you watch the documentary they try to depict what a typical dream looks like. She’d wake up in cold sweat EVERY NIGHT and have excruciating back pains, headaches which were completely unexplainable by doctors. This pain is called “shin byung” which literally translates to “god illness” and it happens to all moodangs/baksus until they accept the god/spirit. I know of many cases where the spirits aren’t as “strong” and one can easily go to another moodang and sort of get rid of it? But in my mother’s case she had no choice, cause she’s a manshin and must take on this duty for the rest of her life.
          I’m not sure why it’s more common for women but there’s also another film which is comedy genre called “Baksu geondal”. It’s about a male shaman who is actually a gangster but finds himself being possessed by a god. It’s outright hilarious but very interesting! I really recommend the film :) It also lightly touches on the money shamans make. The reason why there’s a lot of negative stigma attached to shaman’s is that they charge ridiculous amounts of money for talismans, ceremonies and such. Unfortunately, there are many misguided shamans who take advantage of their gifts in this way, but I’m very proud of my mother who is totally against this. If you see above in the more recent comments, just last month my mother performed a ceremony to guide the spirits of the sewol sinking to heaven. All offerings such as fresh fruit, flowers food were paid out of our own pocket. And no, we are far from rich, we’re barely able to pay the rent every week. This just goes to show how this is such a REAL thing for us. This is her duty to help guide wandering spirits which may often induce negative energies that may affect us and convince us to make hateful decisions/thoughts etc. Anyway, this is why it’s so important for the existence of shamans to act as a medium and help guide the spirits to where they belong. From the seowl ceremony, she also learnt of the truth of it (but that’s a whole other story you can read about up there!)

          3 years ago
  68. I would love to get my face read XD
    It’s weird because my family’s background is chinese so we believe in superstition like that, but my parents are also very religious so they are supposed to be against any for of ‘witchcraft’ lmao.
    Personaly, I think it’s all in good fun :)

    3 years ago
  69. I live in the United States, and most fortune telling is considered a hobby for gullible people. And as Martina and Simon said, it is associated with an air of ditzy, hippie, witchy, vibe. Do I believe it? I don’t really know. I kind-of don’t care. What can I gain from it in the end? I can’t image much.

    BUT I thought I would share my co-worker who is really into astrology. After working with her for 2-3 years I have watched her evolve from “Isn’t this fun?” to “No seriously, it is always right.” She has progressed from what month you were born on tells you about a person to their birthday and and year tells you about the person. So that idea is now starting to translate out west. The funny thing is that everyone at work always teases her about it, but I have caught a bunch of people asking her for advice. Recently I caught a guy asking her for dating advice and she was looking up her birthday to see if she is a good match.

    Oddly, I checked my birthday and found it was pretty spot on. If I were to highlight my defining traits, the prediction hit all of them. On the flip side, I feel like my husband’s prediction were half were spot on and half completely wrong. If you want to have some fun you can check out this website: http://www.thesecretlanguage.com/check/birthdate/

    3 years ago
  70. My family is Syrian and, in general, that of stuff is looked down upon. I think it’s mostly because that kind of stuff people associate with black magic and in Islam black magic is a huuge no, it’s like the work of devils (also known as djinn). There are some small things though, like reading tea leaves and horoscopes, that are popular. Oh ALSO dream reading is a huge thing with many Syrians I know. There are people you go to to talk about your dreams and they tell you what they mean, it’s super interesting!

    3 years ago
  71. My family is from India, and I know there is a huge fortune-telling scene there. Tarot cards, palmistry, horoscopes, and numerology etc; you name it, they probably have it. When Hindu get married, especially if it is an arranged marriage, the parents usually go to a priest with couple’s birth times etc to confirm that the couple matches well. I’ve seen weddings get called off (one very recently, of a couple that was dating for years before this point) because the priest said that the couple getting married will bring bad fortune to one or both parties. It seems ridiculous to me, but some people really believe in this stuff.
    P.S – The cheesy guys offering to read the girls’ palms? They’re abundant in India.

    3 years ago
  72. hi! can you guys talk about dating or marriage prohibitions in Korean culture? I’ve heard you can’t marry your brother or sister’s in laws and if you do, something really really terrible like the death of a beloved would happen! is it true?!

    3 years ago
  73. In england there is a fortune telling scene but its mainly (in my experience) romany gypsies who do it and they mainly stick around seaside towns and at fairs and carnivals and stuff so there are a lot of people who think its fake, there are people who believe and three are people who just go and have it done for the hell of it to see what the outcome is and to see if it is legitimate or not becaise there are a lot of fake fortune tellers around

    3 years ago
  74. I’m not sure if I can really understand how people continue to believe these things that have no factual basis in reality. I realize there’s cultural brainwashing, plain ignorance, or desperation to have their unknowable questions answered. But still. If it’s just for fun, whatever, have at it. But this is 2014. Information fortune tellers gather is based on what? Cold reading? Just making things up? It’s an interesting topic to discuss though.

    As for the Shaman you described, isn’t he just mentally ill? I know South Korea doesn’t really acknowledge the existence of mental illness, which is its own huge issue. I don’t know if that’s why their suicide rate is the highest, but if I had to take a guess…

    3 years ago
    • Do you realise that humanity has only discovered less than 1% of all matter?
      Have you heard of dark matter? There’s so much that can’t be detected by us or seen. I mean we only can SEE the light spectrum. There’s just so much we DON’T know about the world, the meaning of life, but I won’t go further into that cause you’ll probably get all skeptical again. But essentially ghosts, spirits all exist but of course to humans we don’t see or hear a thing. Except those who are given the ability. You don’t find too many western shamans as essentially the culture itself limits ones ability to understand or grasp what is happening to them. (they’ll be labelled as schizophrenic or some other mental disease). Howver is asian countries shamanism has existed for soooooooooo long that it’s apart of their culture and thus more shamans/moodangs are asian. (Otherwise there are also many westerners who see ghosts but they’re unable to fathom why or for what reason – hence the makings of movies such as the sixth sense etc.)

      3 years ago
      • I agree, there IS so much we don’t know about the world. Which is why what we call the “supernatural” exists for what we haven’t yet explained through science. Even if we don’t currently have a better explanation for “ghosts” and “spirits”, that doesn’t mean they exist just because they fill the absence of knowledge. Actually though, phenomena such as “haunted houses” for example do have scientific explanations.

        3 years ago
        • DD

          In perspective of western science, yes you can say Shin-byung as a mental illness. Indeed, American psychologist Assosiation registered Shin-byung around 1980 at their diagnosis manual as a specific form of mental illness. If you would like to say Shin-byung as a mental illness, you can do. However, I would tell you that you will miss so many things by just defining it as mental illness. South Korea is not that ignorant or vulnerable place about mental illness. There ARE many psychologist and doctors in south korea who carefully treating this issue. Above all, simply medical treatment does not helpful for this issue; this is one of the well-known symptoms of Shin-byung and the reason that Shin-byung never controlled as mental illness until now. Maddness in korean direct actually different symptom. You can aware of that as well.

          When you are interpreting things from something old asian stuff to english, you will loose so many context at there. For instance, the word you are saying “supernatural” or “ghost” does not exactly fit for asian meaning of same thing due to differences of philosophical background. For instance, meaning of ghost귀신 and death죽음 is different in Buddhism, Ancient Confucianism, Neo-Confusianism, Shinism/Muism/Shinto, Hinduism from Christianism. Especially Moodang is more complex issue than usual since things are poured on its rituals. I would recommend you to be careful when talking about something very old one, whether it is asian or western stuff, but not fully discovered yet, in 2014.

          3 years ago
    • That’s a little judgmental of you. There are more reasons to believe in fortune telling than the three very negatively worded and snide reasons you listed. However, I’m not going to waste time on those. Instead, I’m going to point out the following things:

      1. Even if all they are doing is making observations based on a person’s appearance and other quickly seen things, that level of deduction is a pretty strong thing. There is something called micro-expressions and the ability to read those and interpret them is pretty cool.
      2. If it makes someone feel better and doesn’t hurt anyone, why be snide or negative about it? When it crosses in to danger, feel free, until then you just look mean-spirited.
      3. There is a possibility still that science can explain perceived ESP and other phenomenon. If there wasn’t, people wouldn’t be given grants to research them.
      4. In terms of astrological signs etc, it is actually just a collection of cultural observations based on huge data sets. Regardless of the name given, a lot of fortune telling is just psychological, sociological and anthropological observations worded in such a way as to apply to the individual and their future.

      3 years ago
      • Your points basically reiterate what I was trying to say, except you explained it better because I’m bad at explaining things. My point was supposed to be that, whatever the explanation is, none of this is supernatural. Also I did say that if it’s for fun, then have at it.

        3 years ago
        • I’m a University student. So I am able to use inter-library loans and get whatever book I want. When I say I read this book or that book, they are academic . I’m an English literature major. This fall actually I’m taking the literary criticism course. The model for that discipline are authors like Northrop Frye, and Harold Bloom, etc.. S. T. Joshi.. writers like Matt Cardin at http://www.teemingbrain.com blog.

          Canadian literary culture was mystical, until the modernist period. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_Poets#Evaluation . this is a great overview of what happened to Canadian literati . Some of the best writing of the Victorian and pre-wars period was Canadian. This is a great example of the Canadian style, the Modernists blasted these writers in criticism, dismissing them and then removing them from canonization. After the auto-pact with the U.S. , and publishing got controlled by American companies , this beautiful mystical poetry was erased effectively from Canadian history. The period we now know as modernism is currently rapidly on the wane, and authors like Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, and Algernon Blackwood (another Canadian) are now widely celebrated. Many of these other authors are now still obscure. I recommend reading Tantramar Revisited if anyone wanted a testimony of the power of earlier Canadian writing. It’s a poem on par with something like Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey.

          Heat by Archibald Lampman

          From plains that reel to southward, dim,
          The road runs by me white and bare;
          Up the steep hill it seems to swim
          Beyond, and melt into the glare.
          Upward half-way, or it may be
          Nearer the summit, slowly steals
          A hay-cart, moving dustily
          With idly clacking wheels.
          By his cart’s side the wagoner
          Is slouching slowly at his ease,
          Half-hidden in the windless blur
          Of white dust puffiing to his knees.
          This wagon on the height above,
          From sky to sky on either hand,
          Is the sole thing that seems to move
          In all the heat-held land.

          Beyond me in the fields the sun
          Soaks in the grass and hath his will;
          I count the marguerites one by one;
          Even the buttercups are still.
          On the brook yonder not a breath
          Disturbs the spider or the midge.
          The water-bugs draw close beneath
          The cool gloom of the bridge.

          Where the far elm-tree shadows flood
          Dark patches in the burning grass,
          The cows, each with her peaceful cud,
          Lie waiting for the heat to pass.
          From somewhere on the slope near by
          Into the pale depth of the noon
          A wandering thrush slides leisurely
          His thin revolving tune.

          In intervals of dreams I hear
          The cricket from the droughty ground;
          The grasshoppers spin into mine ear
          A small innumerable sound.
          I lift mine eyes sometimes to gaze:
          The burning sky-line blinds my sight:
          The woods far off are blue with haze:
          The hills are drenched in light.

          And yet to me not this or that
          Is always sharp or always sweet;
          In the sloped shadow of my hat
          I lean at rest, and drain the heat;
          Nay more, I think some blessèd power
          Hath brought me wandering idly here:
          In the full furnace of this hour
          My thoughts grow keen and clear.

          3 years ago
        • i mean the korean shaman wikipedia article. I’m not korean but I’ve yet to hear much else from other cultures that explain in such details how it is done. I’ve studied mediumship from korea, vietnam, japan (good luck!), thailand, korea is unusually provocatives, holds nothing back, explains in exquisite detail how it is all done. without doing bullshit sociological studies. most anthropologists don’t know how to get the right data into their books. korea is unusual for this way in which they publish such good information in such large amounts.

          3 years ago
        • the only other thing i should say is — you don’t want this happening to you. lol . stay away. its not for casual interest. I’m weird for getting into it . there’s currently a major crisis in the charismatic christian community to do with these experiences, its not for everyone, and then when they get involved with it they have the problem of evil, so they will tend to immediately want to get exorcisms. which is why the catholic church has hired so many. i’ve been active into occultism, off and on, i know how to initiate myself it is so easy if you do it the way it is done in Korea, the Self-Loss, you could feasibly do that with any transnatural presence. but you need a lineage. and noetic agreement. again i’ll reiterate, i could tell you – easily, where, how, who what, to do it. its for a peculiar person. its not a way to empower yourself.

          3 years ago
        • I had an experience very much like a kangshinmu shinbyeong. That is to say I initiated by calling the descent of a spirit through a known lineage, myself, kind of hard to explain but without the laying on of hands as in reiki . I became manic/insomniac and psychotic instaneously. its also known as a kundalini crisis. however, the way i did that was aptly described by Chongho Kim, releasing spooky shudders reversed polarity through lament or compassion. rudolf otto analyzes how this works, in his Idea of the Holy. i was hospitalized almost immediately. when I came out of the hospital, learned that my best friend had killed himself . so i fit all that profile. (just go on wikipedia, initiation through tragic death). how it actually all happened is hard to sort out. when i had got medicated (not anymore) anything i had been connected to left. it’s absolutely real what happens. i recommend looking up Sean Blackwell on youtube, and listening to his stories, order his videos oldest to newest, descending, so you can watch his first upload right away. if you wanted to blow your head open, the most notorious way to do this is to go to something like vipassana meditation. 10 days, bring a toothbrush, etc.. you will go nuts. i swear its real I’ve experienced it . it knocked the socks off me. i have also met people into reiki and i have spoken to people like that for many years.

          3 years ago
  75. hmmmm, interesting…
    From my experience the general public in Germany considers everyone who tells you your fortune is a quack and a phony. And the people who believe in it, like the ones who read and believe their horoscope, are considered to be that Professor Trelawney stereotype. Some people pour like hot water on special gemstones because of its ‘healing powers’ or what not. I think most people look down upon that whole esoterical scene because it just doesn’t make any sense from whatever angle you view it. There also was an infamous show on German TV some years ago (I don’t know if it’s still running) where people could ask about their future live on TV and the fortune tellers were really obviously making up shit as they go along, and it also cost a hand and a leg to call

    3 years ago
  76. Loved the video, Being from the south all this stuff is looked down on. I love it, I love the idea of the fates setting your path and the face stuff sounds super cool. I wish I could get in on that!

    3 years ago
  77. There is a town near me called Cassadaga, Florida. Its pretty known to be very spiritual and new age and is made up of just psychics and tarot readers and such.
    I went once for my friends birthday to get our readings. It was pretty accurate BUT I am skeptical because a lot of it just seemed like general observations. Like my best friend is very gothy and always has super amazing hair. The psychic said shes artistic and should do hair for a living.
    I had spoken on the phone in Chinese before the reading. She said I’m interested in the world and cultures and something like a flight attendant would be a good career for me.

    3 years ago
    • Yeah this is what a lot of “psychics” and the like do. There’s a particular term for it but I can’t remember. In an elective I took, Critical Thinking, we watched this video where a group of strangers were called in and had their “lives read”. At first, everyone really identified with the reading, giving little details of their lives that made a lot of sense now that they heard what the “psychic” had to say. In fact, every single person had gotten the exact same thing written for them. The statements were just so broad that it applied to everyone, and people tend to start associating things with themselves so it becomes “personalized” even when it’s not.

      While I’m not going to discount every person who claims to have some supernatural ability, I’m pretty skeptical because despite what we like to think, we’re all pretty gullible, especially if we’re told something we *want* to believe.

      3 years ago
  78. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh my gosh!!! oh my gosh!! OH~~~my gosh!!! i laughed SO much at the very end at Simon’s Harry Potter comment!!

    in my city, we have crazy gypsy ladies!! and they have their own little gypsy caravans!!

    3 years ago
  79. Well I’m from Romania, and in my country it’s actually a big thing. The biggest majority of gipsy comunity lives here and they are known for the power of fortune and magic. (Still i didn’t tried yet )

    First of all , the fortune telling. They are really popular with this , especially the tarot card reading. Palm reading too is popular between the teens , but they don’t actually go to a witch for this ,and only doing it between friends (I’m actually mad on palm reading, cause it’s said to me that i will marry only for the money, and this is the least thing i think when i meet someone).

    And now the witch, the one that performs the reading and even magic. Well our witches are not the ones that can talk to dead (as a medium) or watch in a crystall ball but are famous for thei power (they are the ladies with a scarf on thei heads , but not like in Harry Potter). A “real” witch will tell perfectly your future and even give you a way to make it better(as example if u need luck and success you will have to use the purple flame power, smt like wear purple clothes and other, and i remember a politician which start doing this for the elections).

    And now the last thing is magic. The witch can perform two types of magic : white magic and black magic. People come to them for magic, when they want to get rid of someone or make someone fall in love for them. There are stories of people that came to them and were asked for different things ( i heard a story about a woman that thought it was cursed, and went to a witch, there was confirmed about the curse and asked for the next meeting to bring a dove with her, the next time, she put the dove alive on the table, the witch start to say some words and at a certain moment the dove start to tremble and it died on the table without being touched)

    That’s all i know , all are rumors and not certain things. These are popular , and in our folk stories there allways was a woman that could perform some hidden sorceries, still people that go there lose a lot of money (the certain thing) and could be framed by them.

    3 years ago
  80. Here in Vancouver, it’s a bit hard to “look for” fortune tellers and such, but sometimes when you’re driving down a street, especially the downtown area, you’ll just come across these small shops with flickering neon lights. Psychics and fortune tellers here are looked down on, and considered a money waster. I have a hunch the cheesy stars and the neon lights decorating the exteriors of the shops have a big factor in the bad reputation of fortune tellers here.

    3 years ago
  81. So, once, a professional Saju-reader came to our house (my mother has absolute faith in Korean fortune-telling) and he told me that if I don’t marry the right guy, I will only ever have daughters. No sons. GASP
    While I am skeptical about these fortune-telling methods, I’m super interested in kwansang! Apparently, having a birthmark (a ‘jeom’, literally a dot) on your earlobe means that you’ll have good fortune. Some people actually have ‘jeoms’ put on (or removed from) their faces because of kwansang principles- just like having plastic surgery for the same reason, as you said.
    I also want to add that changing your name in Korean is incredibly common, and people actually pay…namers? Name makers? Name raters? (haha) to make new names for them or their children so that their saju will be better. I happen to be the only person in my immediate family who hasn’t had a name change. My non-Korean friends are absolutely baffled by the whole concept, but it does sort of make sense to me, yannoe? Especially since names often conjure up a certain image, even in other languages.

    3 years ago
    • I’m Chinese and my parents picked out my Chinese name, which means “cream-of-the-crop Jade” (sorry ’bout that weird translation but idk how to word it lol). It sort of is a good luck charm for the rest of your life. But we don’t really change our Chinese name, unless you get married lol but that’s only the surname.
      A lot of Chinese people also don’t really care for that, like my cousins xD.

      3 years ago
    • The part about, “if you don’t marry the right guy, you’ll only get daughters” does happen though. Just ask my mom, all daughters! It’s all my dad’s fault. XD

      The name thing is cool, I don’t find it weird since names do have lots of meanings, my own name means ‘protector of the small’ in Welsh (I’m part welsh, and that’s part of my personality) and your name sort of becomes you or shapes you too. They just want a better outcome for their kids/themselves. :D

      3 years ago
      • Aha! See? Then it’s just another broad statement that could apply to anyone. Must be yet another excuse for them to set you up with someone according to saju-compatibility. Clever.
        And it’s good to see that there are some people who get the name thing, too! I supposed it’s just that it’s really easy to officially change your name in Korea, and some people do it several times. It can definitely be overdone, which might come off as strange in other cultures.

        3 years ago
  82. Croatian love to red that astrology thing. Today really popular is calling people in the TV show. But Old people here like grandmas know all kind of stuff when it comes about curses and ghosts. I heard some stories that can give you chills :/
    But when it comes about tarot and palm reading at carnivals and festivals old gypsy lady will offer you her “services” and if you say no she will start to yell spell(or something) and curse you. Sometimes it’s really scary.

    3 years ago
  83. I saw a dream last night that I was at the You are here cafe and I met the EYK crew and the Talk to me in Korean crew. I have a feeling I saw the FUTURE!! BAMBAMBAAAAAA!!

    3 years ago
  84. I do tarot readings. But I don’t have a single headscarf nor do I own a set of beads. :P The fortunetelling scene here in Halifax is pretty low-key, but very well established. Lots and lots of mediums and other New Age-y types in the area, and people pretty much shrug and accept it when a friend says that they’re going to see a psychic or card reader.

    Re: tarot – although anyone can learn the meanings of the cards, when it comes to looking at the cards and seeing the coherent story that’s being laid out for you – it takes a certain willingness to listen to your intuition and tell it like you see it, as opposed to what the ‘official meaning’ of the cards might be. But I look at tarot readings as a way to access someone’s subconscious mind, which is a mindset that seems to put people at ease more than if I told them something like “Your grandmother wants you to eat more soup. It’s good for you.” (An actual piece of advice once given to me during a really weird session with a local psychic.)

    In the end, I can tell you what the cards say…but it’s your free will that really determines what happens. For me, my end goal as a card reader is to help people figure out what path will best help them to get to where they want to be in life.


    3 years ago
    • I am also a reader, I do oracle card readings, psychometry (the practice of reading an object such as jewellery) and astrology. Like bluenail, the kind of readings I like doing are those which will help people find their right path, and overcome any obstacles. Those are far more rewarding for me than “will I pass my exams?”. Most of us do what we do because we want to help people, yet there is so much negativity directed towards us in the mainstream. It’s true that some psychics are better than others, but that’s true of any industry – be it psychologists, accountants etc. Its all about finding a good one.

      By the way, ‘fortune teller’ is actually a bit derogatory :) People normally refer to us as tarot readers, psychics or mediums, depending on what the practitioner actually does. I’m quite surprised and disappointed that the stereotype of readers as gypsies, hippies with beads etc is still out there – I usually do readings wearing street clothes and most others I know do too. I see it as being a skill like any other. Some people are good at art, others can write or play an instrument, and some have psychic ability. There’s no mystique about it.

      I think there is a thriving spiritual/new age scene in most English speaking countries, which involves everyday people, not gypsies in headscarves lol. You just probably aren’t aware of it if you are in the mainstream.

      3 years ago
    • Fellow Haligonian? Hi!

      To add: Fortune telling in Halifax isn’t something I hear people talk about a lot, I don’t hear a lot of people sitting around the break room at work talking about their horoscopes or talking about a card reading they had on the weekend. But I’ve known many people who have gone to see fortune tellers of one kind or another, or who have practiced one form or another of divination themselves. There’s also the fair at the Forum each year. I went one year when I was younger because it always looks like it’s pretty busy. It was a lot of fun.

      Halifax also has a comparatively large Wiccan/Pagan/New Age/Alternative Spirituality scene. That could factor into the well established but low key aspect of our fortune telling scene.

      3 years ago
  85. I am interest in face reading, but yeah it is very hard. I with friend try to read GD’s face… well i don’t know him personally, but i think his face say lots of true O.0
    I have to watch that movie O.O

    3 years ago
  86. i wanted to hubby is into it. we just didn’t have any luck getting to one. Some people are kinda weird out by it. i have a friend that does that type stuff.

    3 years ago
  87. I just recently came back from a trip to Japan. There’s a department store chain there called Loft, which seems to be trendy and for young adult shoppers. They had fortune telling booths on the top floor of the Loft near our hotel. I didn’t get my fortune read, but it seemed a little professional (different from the US standard). They had little cubicles and were dressed in business clothes. It was interesting, for sure.

    3 years ago
  88. Haven’t tried fortunetelling yet, even though i got vlose to once, but the fortunetellers cards had gotten drenched from a downpour we had the same day, and when I went back she had closed her tent. Bummer, my mom went to one when she was young, who told her specifically that she would get married, have kids, yet not be extremely happy all the time. This has ended becoming true, at least to her, because she has been married now for over 35 years, she had me and my brother (me from adoption), however we have one of the most unlucky family incidents, that sadly cannot be fixed, so as for the happiness… it somehow fit. She has said though that she would never trade any of us out, but she’s had it rough… poor mom.

    But, since I hate putting people in a depressing mood, here for something more interesting. Since you guys asked for fortunetelling, I had to think for a bit. Sweden, where I live, was VERY supersitious throughout most of history, and has a fauna of magical creatures that came from all those superstitions, magic was part of life for pretty much anyone. But, most of the magic was linked to how to prevent bad things from happening or how to make good things happen. But, Midsummer, which is the most magical day of the year, has an old tradition in which you’d pick flowers (flowers picked on this day were supposed to be more magical) and put them under your pillow. If you did, then you’d dream of the person you’d marry one day. I guess this counts as fortunetelling, but the one time I tried this I didn’t dream a thing. I guess I forgot the face before I woke up, but oh well… it was worth trying, midsummer only happens once a year.

    3 years ago
  89. wow, so many of these fortune telling methods you mentioned are also available in singapore. i guess it could most likely because they have chinese origins.

    if i’m not wrong, the chinese equivalent of saju is 八字, which literally means 8 characters. i’m not really into that but it has to do with 8 chinese characters that represents your birth year, month, day, hour and so on. most people in singapore no longer have their 8 characters checked unless they are getting married and their parents are very superstitious.

    palm reading and face reading are also available singapore, though men usually do not use palm reading to pick up girls, it may make them look really old since only elder people are into face and palm reading.

    there are also some other fortune telling methods i have seen before in singapore. the most common one is 求签 (chinese fortune sticks). basically people go to a temple, pray and take a cylindrical container that has a lot of sticks with numbers on it. they shake the container until a stick falls out. they then go look for a piece of paper that has a same number with a somewhat poetic message written on it. there will also be someone there to explain to you what that message means.

    bird fortune telling, where the fortune teller has a bird in a cage, with a bunch of cards or sticks on the desk. he would then let the bird out and it would pick a card or stick and return into the cage. the fortune teller will then proceed to explain what is written on the card that was picked by the bird.

    coin divination, 3 or more ancient chinese coins (usually replicas, since real ancient chinese coins are extremely rare now) are placed into a round container that has a slit (sometimes a tortoise shell). the person who wants his/her fortune read will have to shake the container and then drop the coins out from the slit. the fortune teller will take note of how the coins fall out (head or tails) and the order they fall out and explain the reading.

    all the methods i mentioned may not be absolutely accurate since i dont believe in fortune telling and never had mine read, these are just my observation from daily life and tv dramas :P

    3 years ago
    • Bummer, if hour of birth is necessary I will never have the chance for this, because there is no record of which hour I was born, only the day, month and year. And I’ve wanted to try something like this.

      3 years ago
  90. I’m in Thailand right now, and from what I can tell, they take their fortune telling pretty seriously here. I’ve talked to people who have gone to some sort of fortune teller when they were pregnant to find out the day and even the time that their child should be born, and then scheduled a c-section then so that their child could have the best future. The school I’m teaching at brought in people to read the kid’s fingerprints though (as long as the parents paid for their kid to have it done), but these kids as young as 2 were getting their fingerprints analyzed so they could tell the parents what their kid was going to be like. I’m pretty sure they said they do stuff with numbers and stars with your birthday too and can do some fortune telling with that too.

    3 years ago
  91. I’ve heard of physiognomy before, and apparently there’s this story in Chinese history where a political advisor named Fan Li worked under King Gou Jian, helping him a lot of wars, but later left his post because the king had a long neck and a beak shaped mouth, meaning the king was someone he could share troubles with but not happiness. It turned out to be true when the king killed everybody who had helped him in the past. I found this video a while back explaining some basic things about Chinese physiognomy. I don’t know how similar or different Chinese physiognomy is from Korean, but it’s interesting to learn about, I think.

    3 years ago
  92. I’m from the Balkans and fortune reading is one of the most common things you can find here. Usually,after drinking coffee (the one that Martina makes in a special pot that need to boil aka turkish coffee) there’s residue and you turn your cup over and after a while it forms patterns. Those patterns are read and can tell you future and present. This too is like either you know it or you’re don’t have any idea what the heck is going on. There’s also fortune telling for couples in a sense that you take some residue on your finger and then press it onto the outer edge of the cup while thinking of bf or gf. You can do with however many people you want and then the fortune teller who doesn’t know with who you imagined you being reads the patterns. I have a friend who does it and it’s scarily accurate.
    Other than that there usually a bad vibe associated with fortune telling because next to it is puting on hexes which is also common. That’s why for just born children its usual for parents to put a red string around their wrists. But that’s a whole other beast on its own.

    3 years ago
  93. I’m really into fortune telling and reading personality from diffrent sources like face. In Poland it’s realy not common. Not only because of church had banned it but also there are no people who are good. Usually fortune tellers are criminals. Horoscopes are in every newspaper but are fake. People in ezoteric tv are fake too. That’s really sad…
    I want to go Asia and learn new methods. c:

    3 years ago
  94. Omg this drives me crazy. Tarot is “tehr-oh” not “tehr-aht”.

    3 years ago
  95. I don’t really know how much people here believe in it or not, but my mum and her friends would go to shamans (but they’re called mediums I think?) after a loved one dies, or when they’re going through a hard time. My mum’s boss recently went to a tarot reader because she was involved in a personal and complicated court case – the lady told her some serious info (which she kept to herself of course) and in the end it turned out to be true, which completely changed everything.

    I think for a lot of mediums and tarot card readings you have to be at least 18 to get them done. I’ve never had it before, but I’m considering seeing that tarot card reader before I go to study abroad :3

    3 years ago
  96. Ok I admit it, I got trolled by Simon’s last comment ><

    3 years ago
  97. So I was raised very old school Mexican even though i’m Mexican american and the whole shaman kinda thing i do believe in. Maybe this story will be interesting. Ok so my mom was having severe leg pains that the regular doctors said was a pinched nerve. When my mom was in the hospital she actually got a recommendation of a guy that can help with that.

    We didnt have anything to lose so my mom, brother and I went looking for this person. We had vague instructions of the place and apparently a wrong phone number but we asked around the neighborhood and someone ended up at a hair shop. Apparently the guy sets bones. Not really like a chiropractor but close. It’s a little more complicated at least that he made it seem.

    Ok so my mom has been on dialysis for a long time and she has something on her left arm. That day my mom was wearing a baggy sweater. So you couldn’t see anything. We can in and we talked about what was wrong and then he told my mom to lie down. Then he said you’ve been sick for a long time what arm do I need to be careful with

    3 years ago
    • sorry i clicked post by accident. lol

      My mom and i were so surprised. We had never meet at all there was no way someone would notice she had something on her arm. After going back a couple of times we learned that he can read you. i’m not sure how to explain it, theres just things people with gifts can tell you. This was the first time i had ever experienced this. My mom on the other hand had people on the street come up and tell her things. Like when my parents broke up, 2 random people at different times told her that my dad had been snatched away from us. It’s all very complicated and a little crazy.

      Mexican culture, especially where my parents are from, very much believes in witchcraft and healers. I’ve slowly become a believer and thats saying a lot because i didn’t grow up like my parents.

      3 years ago
  98. Cure*

    3 years ago
  99. In my culture shamans is a big thing and a part of our history there are less shamans the more the years go by but my grandfather is actually a shaman. My grandfather says shamans can help look into the future and help find lost things. Shamans are very important for a very traditionally family such as if one of the family members are really sick and nothing can help cute them then they have to do a ceremony and sacrifice a animal many families choose a chicken or pig. Fortune telling is very popular in my culture because the elders want to know who the young woman or man is going to marry and if they are compatible, they also need to help how many children they are going to have or how long they are going to live.

    3 years ago
    • what culture are you from? My mother’s a moodang anf that’s exactly what she does! There’s a lot of negative stigma with shamans, such as working with the devil and whatnot but that’s completely untrue. Shamans are given these abilities for the greater good and to help people in need! :)

      3 years ago
  100. Where I live I know of two places that do fortune telling but it’s something that is looked down upon. Often times it is wrong or they are just trying to take your money. Palmistry is something a lot of high school kids learn for fun but not something used seriously.

    3 years ago
  101. As a person who likes horoscopes, this is an interesting topic! :D In Finland I’ve never seen anyone on the street selling fortunes but I know there’s phone numbers that you can call to ask about your future. I think most of them read tarot cards. Also you can find horoscopes in almost every (women’s) magazine.
    In Japan I could see those fortune tellers in their small booths or just sitting outside with chairs and a table. I wanted to try it but I was afraid I might not know what to do or understand the questions…

    3 years ago
  102. Meg

    In the US fortune telling is not really frowned down upon but most people don’t believe it. But they’ll got their fortune told (usually by tarot card or palm reading) and it will just be for fun, nothing serious. It’s more for entertainment. My High School had two fortune tellers come for our Project Graduation (which is a school funded party after graduation to try and keep us kids of the dangerous streets!) and a lot of people will get a fortune teller for a party.

    At the graduation party the fortune teller pretty much told me I would end up marrying this guy who was my mortal enemy at the time and I have refused to believe in them since. I WILL NOT MARRY YOU RYAN ERMEY!!! *Shakes fist*

    Anywho, like I said, fortune telling is more for fun and not to be taken seriously here. At least that’s been my experience.

    3 years ago
  103. One of Hugh’s cousins has had to break up with 2 girls so far because his mother went to the fortune teller and was told that the relationship is bad and they should never marry. One relationship was for 3 years and the other for 1 year… meanwhile his younger brother has got married while he still hasn’t because he hasn’t found the “right girl”. That’s the problem when you have a domineering mother that believes that stuff…

    3 years ago
  104. While in Malaysia, shaman is more popular to us! Some people willingly to pay no matter how much as it must be a good result. But so many liars in this worlds. As you may remember our most popular air-plain tragedy, MH370 there was (fake) shaman who make famous in the news. Even his video was gone so viral in our social media site, but not so good positive result/responds comes from it…

    3 years ago
  105. Hey, another method of fortune-telling that is unique to Turkey is Coffee Fortune Telling. See that Turkish Coffee is named after its special cooking technique, not because it grows in Turkey or something. The process is like, after you have you Turkish coffee in a special little cup (close to the size of a shot), there are remnants of the ground coffee in the cup and the fortune-teller will look at it and tell you what your future will be like. They either tell you about your immediate future like your exam results etc or about the other events that are gonna take place in far future. The places of the fortune tellers are variant, but they are mostly female.

    3 years ago
  106. I actually took a palm reading class, and the lines that Simon was pointing out are not supposed to signify children but actually how many serious relationships you have with people. Your soulmates. This could be anything from a romantic partner to a lifelong friend. Also depending on where they lay determines when you find them in your life. Supposedly there are little lines off of those soulmate lines that determine how many children you have. :)

    3 years ago
    • Maybe it’s different for Polish hands. That’s what my parents were dead set about. That’s the only one I remember :D

      3 years ago
    • I also know that there are different ways of interpreting the lines. I wonder if there is a separate Korean/ American interpretation.

      3 years ago
  107. Fortune telling isn’t really a big thing as far as I can tell, here in Norway. I know some people believe in spirits and stuff, like energies that remain after you die, and hauntings, but there’s not really much of fortune telling anywhere. Closest you’ll probably get are horoscopes.
    It’s kinda a stigma that if you try and get your fortune read, you are weak minded or a fool. Well, that’s what i’ve experienced atleast.
    Nobody really talks about it at all.

    3 years ago
    • A quote from R. W. Chambers, from The King In Yellow, is this Han ?

      Along the shore the cloud waves break,
      The twin suns sink behind the lake,
      The shadows lengthen
      In Carcosa.
      Strange is the night where black stars rise,
      And strange moons circle through the skies,
      But stranger still is
      Lost Carcosa.
      Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
      Where flap the tatters of the King,
      Must die unheard in
      Dim Carcosa.
      Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
      Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
      Shall dry and die in
      Lost Carcosa.

      It’s weird, its eerie, its lamenting. This is what Otto means I think by mysterium tremendum fascinoscum

      the interplay between dying light and shadow, a kind of melancholy or sadness, a dread, a sense that that the separation between the normal world and the enchanted world or the world of the dead is actually collapsing as you read.

      3 years ago
    • Sorry some more clarification about the naga, google image search for the Cambodian naga in particular, not sure about other dragon iconography, but anyway.. particularly notice the flaring naga from the corners of temples and such. Notice the flame or water or whatever it is coming off of the nose. now, look at the stav churches, and though they’re a bit more astract and made of wood, notice the carving of the tongue or flame flaring at the ends of the churches. ok so anyway. that’s interesting to me and it has nothing to do with Korean but you mentioned norway and i thought i’d mention that. norse paganism scandinavian paganism and etc.. it’s eastern. it’s not “european” , there’s a very deep indo-europeaness about it. it doesn’t really mean anything really but it depresses me a lot that a lot of people interested in pre-christian culture would ignore the shamanism from korea, even though in a lot of ways especially if you consider like the maypoles and clootie wells look that up to there are things in korean shamanism just like it.

      so anyway i’m interested in what S.Koreans think of english horror fiction, the really good stuff like Lovecraft and Arthur Machen, and how that might relate or bear similarity to Korean shamanism. For instance, Arthur Machen wrote a short story called the White People about alchemy, influenced by his interests in the hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he described alchemy as a poison, very similar in concept to the dark purple flower in The Night Watchman’s Journal, new S.Korean drama.

      I guess that’s really want to know. I study S.Korean shamanism, and I find a lot of similarity not to “neo-shamanism” but to the gothic romanticism or satanic school of verse or weird supernatural horror fiction.. people like Byron, Coleridge, Blake, etc.. It’s lewd, socially transgressive, and so on. in the decadent period.. authors like R. W. Chambers, and the aforementioned Machen.

      3 years ago
    • The dragons flaring from old churches in Norway are the same iconography as the naga of Cambodia . I believe the reason viking ships are shaped as dragons is because they’re a water serpent and not a flying monster. It’s the creepiest thing to compare pictures of because I’m sure many historians would never admit that of being true . In terms of energies and hauntings, and I’ll try not to repeat myself too much in these comment streams but I am dying to figure out more answers for this, there was a Christian theologian named Rudolf Otto who coined a number of influential phrases that have since entered the english language.. one of these is the MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM ET FASCINANS , this is the emotion you get expressed in a drama like The Master’s Sun.. ghosts are grisly, august, sacred, repelling, and yet fascinating. It characterizes a lot of the tension in the romance of the show. The main girl character she’s both repelling, fascinating, ‘deep’.. etc.. The other really important concept and I’d say the most important better felt than described is this idea of daemonic-dread , I’ve seen this in Korean dramas a lot as well but this quote from Chongho Kim’s Korean Shamanism: The Cultural Paradox is what I’d like some reflection and dialogue on.

      First I’ll append a disclaimer to what I am about to quote, that many people in Korea hate shamanism. Just as many people in contemporary English culture hate the gothic. At the same time, there are very special people like H. P. Lovecraft, and I recommend reading his master thesis Supernatural Horror In Literature, who are pulled to the Other-World like a moth to a flame. There are some who have a gift for this and preserving these -emotions- and experiences around the world enriches us. This is a Korean native writing and describing his experiences in english. The discourse in weird supernatural horror fiction on academic blogs like http://www.TeemingBrain.com is mainly centred around Rudolf Otto’s theology as far as the language for this, but Otto is describing this kind of language and experiences, particularly the hair standing on end. Notice -how- it is used in possession ceremony.

      that said,

      Daemonic-Dread within S.Korean shamanism, from the chapter titled A Haunted Feeling in Chongho Kim’s Korean Shamanism: The Cultural Paradox,

      Soh Bosal started the kut ritual with a drum, sitting together with Oki’s Mother on the mat. It was a very cold and windy night even though it was spring. Everything seemed to be frozen in the spring cold. It was so cold that I came back to the car for a rest while Soh Bosal performed the first phase of the kut. I was not keen to observe the first phase, because it just consisted of routine procedures. I took a cigarette out of my pocket and put it in my mouth. Suddenly I felt a strong haunted feeling in the air around me. It felt as if a ghost was going to jump in front of the windscreen. I was so scared that I felt goose bumps appearing on my skin, and a shiver ran down my spine. I turned on the car’s interior light and looked in the rear vision mirror, because it felt as though a ghost was about to enter the car through the rear windscreen and squeeze my neck from the back seat. I locked all ofthe doors. But still the spooky feeling did not go away. So I switched on the radio and turned up the sound … I began to talk to myself … [What] is the reason I was possessed by a haunted feeling just now? … What did Mirim’s Mother say to you? She said, “I do not like to see kut rituals, where there seem to be lots of ghosts around. I feel as if worms are going around my body.” Yes! The haunted feeling … Chisun’s Grandmother said to me, “… The waves of life made me know this way.” … Linda … asked me in a letter “Why do they take responsibility for the ‘dark’ side of life?” … I continued to talk to myself… Because of the dark side of social life, there is a cultural domain dealing with the experience of misfortune in Korean culture. In contrast to ordinary domains, the field of misfortune is full of darkness and dampness. Look at this kut for Oki’s Mother! Isn’t it full of darkness? … It is my impression that shamanism looks like a poisonous creature. Korean shamanism is very colourful: its dances and music are dynamic, and costumes are full of bright colour. However, most adult Koreans know that its poisonousness. This is why Yongki’s Mother said, “I’m not going to a kut ritual because I am afraid of being possessed by the spirits!” (kwisine ssiuiulggaba). Is there any ordinary Korean who likes to be possessed? This is why they don’t like to be involved in shamanic practices. This is why shamanism has been stimatized in Korean history. This is also why my research has encountered such strong resistance in the field. The field which I have been investigating is the field of misfortune! Why do people seek shamanic practices even though they don’t like shamanism? How can this paradox be explained? Yes! Like cures like. The mode of shamanic healingis homeopathic. It is like using derivates of poison when one is bitten by a venomous snake. In Korean society, there is no one who suffers from misfortune more than the shaman, and no man or woman ever wants to be a shaman. The shamanic illness, an extreme of misfortune, makes the shaman a healer. … the Stick held by Oki’s Mother still showed no sign of being possessed, even though it sometimes shivered a little bit. Soh Basal asked again, “Is it like something has come?” Oki’s Mother replied shakily, “Well… I don’t know. The Stick shivered a little bit… ”

      Channeling, Hungry Ghosts, Reciprocity, from Korean Shaman Rituals by Jung Young Lee,

      Our special interest lies in the initiation process of charismatic shamans who are primarily confined to the mid-central part of Korea where Seoul is located. The initiation process of shamans is known by many different names such as Gansin, Sini naerinda, Sini orunda, Sini tanda, and so on. Perhaps these terms are best translated in English as the ‘intrusion of spirit in the body’, even though it is usually understood as the possession of spirits . When the spirit enters or approaches the body , it is known as Sinju or the spiritual master or spiritual self who becomes a counterpart of the shaman’s soul. Here, the spirit master acts as yang or the active principle and the soul of the shaman is yin or the receptive principle. Both of them coexist together as wife and husband. In other words, it indicates the intimate union of two souls, the male and female, or the male god and the female shaman or the female god and the male shaman. … To say this another way, the mystical union between god and shaman is primarily sexual. It is rather interesting to examine the term ‘Sini tanda’, which literally means to place god over shaman’s body, which seems to indicate the proper position for sexual intercourse. … We occasionally hear people talk about the loss of soul or or the escape of soul (T’al-hon). To me these terms are inadequately applied to the Korean shamans. It is not the state of no soul or escape of soul but the state where the soul is completely receptive to the coming of spirit. When the spirit comes in, there is a mystical union, the oneness of two, which creates the experience of ecstasy. … This wedding with god is known as ‘Naerim gut’ or ‘Kangshin gut’ which formalizes the initiation of shamanhood.

      3 years ago
  108. Thanks for the movie recommendation Martina! In the UK fortune telling is something hard to come by apart from tarot cards and palm reading, those are the only types we have! I have mixed feelings about fortune telling, because i was bought up in a family that doesn’t believe in anything like that, however the idea of face reading sounds really interesting and i’ll definitely give it a try if i go to Korea!

    3 years ago
  109. Cool! I like tarot and had no idea Korea had something like this! :O

    3 years ago
    • I like how you’re first to comment again. The Chrome app working well still, I take it? :D

      3 years ago
    • Thinking about it though, one of my favourite dramas “Faith” has a scene way at the beginning where the main character gets her fortune told by someone who throws sticks and does weird chants. (probably a charlatan but throwing stuff around for fortune telling does happen)

      3 years ago