Incense & Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling at Wong Tai Sin Temple with Mable

Consulting sticks (kau cim) with numbers tipped out of a bamboo cup is a popular way of looking into the future. My friend, Mable, taught me how to consort with the spirits at Wong Tai Sin Temple (1921) in Kowloon. Dedicated to the gods of gamblers, this is where we purchased a handful of yellow incense sticks to light in the burner during a monsoon storm while juggling the umbrella. Next we knelt at the main altar while holding our can of fortune telling sticks. Tossing sticks is tricky. You shake the cup while asking the cosmos your personal questions. The stick that magically pops out (it truly does) holds the answer. On it is a number. This number means nothing until you take it outside to fortune teller row. The soothsayer interprets the fortune. Since you are in China you must hire someone to translate. Entrusting you most important life dilemmas to someone else’s explanation is dicey. I recommend you ask only one question. If you ask three like I did you end up paying a lot.

What is your most memorable fortune telling story and where were you?