Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Fortune Telling in Taiwan

Fortune Telling, Taipei Night Market ©Solange Hando

In Taiwan, visiting an astrologer makes perfect sense.

There's nothing fatalistic about it, it's simply a way to help you make informed decisions and move in the right direction. Even politicians and academics consult astrologers for advice, sometimes on a regular basis.

One of the most popular places to discuss your future is the Shilin night market in Taipei. Walk along the brightly-coloured alley, choose your fortune teller and see what the palm of your hand or the cards might say. It may be related to your name and the year, month, day and time of your birth.

Auspicious Waterfall ©Solange Hando

But of course, you can always give fate a helping hand.
Surround yourself with auspicious symbols, water, red lanterns, goldfish and more, and plan your living and working space according to Feng Shui principles.

Longshan temple in Taipei

Then you can make your way to the Longshan temple draped in clouds of incense from morning to night.

It's a bustling yet quiet place where you can consult the most revered astrologers in the land, pick a number to open a magic drawer and see your fate revealed or throw the red divining blocks which will answer 'yes' or 'no' to your question according to the way they land.

Offerings in Longshan Temple ©Solange Hando

Offerings of flowers, vegetables and fruit are left in the courtyard to ensure prayers are remembered and if a blessing is requested on behalf of someone else, a photograph can be added with a note, perhaps for a sick relative or a student about to sit important exams.

Taipei 101 ©Solange Hando

Does it work?
Just look at Taipei 101, the world's highest tower when it was built and a booming business and financial centre. Here, everything was designed to ensure good fortune, the binary numbers, the slender silhouette as strong as bamboo, the treasure chests piled on top of each other, the fountain, the coin decorations.

And guess what?
The tower sits right on a fault line and after ten years of tremors and storms, it still stands above the city, a proud icon of the digital age based on new technology and ancient beliefs.

1 comment:

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