Chinese Jiaobei (Moon Blocks) Divination

After giving all the necessary details, the worshippers silently pray for guidance with the jiaobei raised to the forehead, after which the blocks will be tossed before they fall onto the floor. The tossing of the jiaobei is known as bwa bwei () or wen bei ().

In addition, jiaobei blocks are usually used to verify an oracle produced by thefortune sticks.

As moon block divination is cheap, it is commonly used to seek divine guidance, even though some other divination methods may be resorted to later.

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(1) Divine answer: Shengjiao() (

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The answers are believed to be produced by the pattern of the jiaobeis landing. Three consecutive positive indications are required to confirm the validity of a Yes reply. After every toss, gratitude should be expressed and the question reiterated.

Divination has long been an important decision-making tool for the Chinese people.

The procedure for jiaobei may vary slightly from temple to temple and region to region.

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Divination by jiaobei,or moon blocks, is one of the most common divination methods used in the Chinese folk religion. The blocks are made of wood, bamboo, or plastic, and are either red or black in colour. Their crescent shape looks like the moons shape on the third lunar day of the month. One side is bulged (yin) and the other flat (yang), but both are similar in size.

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Due to the nature of the divination, questions that can be posed are somewhat limited.

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This was completely new to me and even more interesting because of that.Good hub!

Besides for mundane affairs, jiaobei are also used to verify a range of issues, such as whether the gods are satisfied with the rituals performed in their honour, whether they are spiritually present and whether they have eaten the offering presented to them.

If the indication is negative or unclear, then both the question and its answer need to be rephrased, and the whole process to be repeated.

The divine reply is not sincerely sought as the worshiper already decided on how to handle the problem.

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These divination blocks are also called moon boards and always used in pairs. They are commonly used in temples and home shrines to seek the direction of the gods for certain problems.

Examples of the questions posed to the deities are:

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The worshipper knows the time is not ripe for the matter posed and yet still wants to seek divine direction.The question posed is therefore considered irrelevant.

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[Note: If there is still no clear answer after several attempts of tossing, the divination session should be terminated. For repeat consultation of this same problem, the next divination session should only be held after a lapse of some time.]

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One bulged side (yin) and one flat side (yang) facing upwards represents a positive Yes reply.

Jiaobei blocks first need to be purified by being revolved around the incense burner thrice.

One or both blocks stand erect on the floor upon landing indicates that the gods do not understand the question posed. The question is, therefore, nullified. The worshipper has to repeat the whole process.

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(3) Laughing answer: Xiaojiao() ()

The way jiaobei landed on the floor contains different meanings that represent the divine will.

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Quite often, worshippers actually have answers to their questions before the divination. However, being half-hearted on their own decision, they seek a divine answer in the hope that the gods will also agree to what they have already decided upon. It is, therefore, not surprising that a No reply from the gods is sometimes not taken very seriously.

This pattern of fall is also called the Crying answer Kujiao () or Angry answer Nujiao (). By having the blocks fall flat on the floor, it is said that the gods are showing their displeasure or anger with the question posed.

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The temples do not charge for such divination.Traditionally, the worshippers will make a small donation, thrown into a donation box.

The Taiwanese called these blocks poe in Hokkien (Chinese dialect). Poe divination is the most common everyday divination used in Taiwan.

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(2) Negative answer: Yinjiao() ()

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Both bulged surfaces (yin yin) facing upwards indicate a No reply. When a Yinjiao reply is given for an important matter, repeat consultation can only be done after some period of time.

As long as you approach Chinese metaphysic subjects with an open mind, you can find lots of interesting things in them. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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Both flat surfaces (yang yang) facing upwards can have the following different interpretations:

The worshippers kneel while clasping the blocks together on their flat surface in their palms. They then state their name, date and time of birth, age, address, and the question with its phrased answer. They should be precise and clear when asking their question. Each divination session should only be for one problem.

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No divine answer as the question posed is not clear enough.

Will he/she (a missing person) be found eventually?

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Thanks for all the information as well. Id love to do this with my feng-shui friend.

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These folks like to seek divine guidance when they are faced with some major decisions concerning love, marriage, career, health and wealth.

This pattern is named as such because the swaying back and forth of the blocks upon landing symbolizes the show of laughter.

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