The fortune telling business is prevalent throughout Taiwan. You can find entire streets dedicated to the practice of telling the future and help you meet your fate. The Story of Fortune Telling 算命的故事 is an exhibit at the Taipei Story House that walks you through the history of the practice, and you can even (supposedly) discover what lies ahead in your life. Check out some photos from my visit after the jump.
The Taipei Story House always has great, Taiwan-centric exhibitions. When I head about one dedicated to the mysterious art of fortune telling, I had to see what they had to offer. I have to preface this with the fact that I don’t believe in any sort of fortune telling whatsoever. Nevertheless, the custom has a long history and many types of divination to try out.
I have to admit, some of the methods were quite confusing. The big wheel in the first picture uses a method called bazi 八字 or the four pillars of destiny, which takes the year, month, day, and hour of your birth. This number correlates to a text which determines your personal future. Even after doing some research, I’m still quite confused about it. Though I suppose it wouldn’t be as fun to have everything so easy and spelled out for you, there’s supposed to be a degree of mystery!
Not only does it have your typical signboards and photos, there are a lot of hands-on activities. When you first enter, you’ll see people huddled around a rounded table with different ways to check your future. Tarot cards, complicated birthday math, stick-pulling, there’s a lot of ways to figure out what you should or shouldn’t do. One thing I wish they had was an actual fortune teller. I assumed they would have hired the cream of the crop for the exhibit, but sadly its up to you and the exhibit’s volunteers to help calculate your fate. Check out some photos from the exhibit.
Take the MRT to Yuanshan Station and go north towards Zhongshan North Road. The yellow Tudor-style Taipei Story House is behind the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The exhibit ends June 29th.