One of the most popular methods of fortune-telling in Bosnia and Herzegovina is certainly divination with beans “falanje u grah” or “throwing beans” (bacanje graha). Among the people some stories demised Hazrat Fatima secretly performed divination with beans, hiding it from her father Muhammad. On one occasion while Hazrat Fatima predicted the fate of her friend in the room suddenly entered Mohammed. Hazrat Fatima in shock and rush managed to hide under her dress only half of the beans, which were located in front of her, therefore since then, it is believed that in every divination lies half-truth and half lie. Interestingly, one combination of divination is named after her name – “Hazrat Fatima fal”. It is a combination of 333, which represents happiness, marriage, and the fulfillment of a wish.
In Bosnia, a person dealing with the divination in the beans is called “faladžija” or “faladžinica” if it is a female person. For divination in the beans fortune teller needs the red patch on which he or she lines up 41 grains of white beans. Before she starts placing the beans on the patch she takes the beans to the right first, places the fist close to her mouth, and recites the prayer: “Rabbi jesir vela tu’asir, rabbi temmim bil-hayr” three times and then blows into her fist three times.
Then she divides the beans into three smaller piles and from each takes the four seeds making a figure of three rows with nine beans pile where each pile can have 1, 2, 3, or 4 seeds. The left vertical line represents a female person and the right male person. The vertical line in the middle is called the house or heart. In addition, females’ and males’ lines are divided into three symbols: the head, arms, legs, and the line in the middle are divided on: the cushion, fireplace, and doors.
The method of divination in the bean is extremely broad and requires much effort and space for an explanation, however, there are several shorter versions of divination that people mostly use to get the answer to a specific question.
The group of 41 beads of white beans the fortune teller arranges three times:
– The first arrangement is for the past and it symbolizes childhood and youth.
– The second arrangement symbolizes the client’s present and the middle of his life.
– The third arrangement symbolizes the future and is treated as the most important part of the complete fortune-telling. It symbolizes the latter part of someone’s life.
A B C
D E F
G H I
The first row (A,B,C) is called „površina“ or “the surface”, and its characteristic is that it can only have an odd sum of numbers 5 or 9 beads when compared to the second and third row. When there are five beads in the first row (212, 122, 221), and in the bottom that symbolizes time (or there) 5 groups each having four beads (or five hatma) then that shows speed to the fortune teller, favorable progress of the situation, or as they like to say: „the beans go in your favor!” The first row symbolizes intelligence, thinking patterns, thought processes, and that’s why there is a “male” and “female” head inside and a “pillow”.
The second row (D,E,F) represents emotion and the house. It can be said that the second and third-row are connected while the first row is separate and independent. The one thing that most people don’t know is that only in the second and third-row there can be for example a combination of infidelity, loss, moving, tears but also travel, gain, etc.
The third row (G,H,I) is a symbol of the things that are outside or in front of the door. It is a symbol of movement and action which is confirmed by the male and female footprints (or legs) and the “threshold”. The more beads there are on the threshold the more guests in the house or if there is only one bead on the threshold-the news will arrive inside the house, two beads “open door” that is the one whose fortune is foretold will travel or the like.
Tehir or time symbolizes a specific period when a prophecy might come true, for example, if five groups have four beads in the “time” row, that means that the foretold will come about soon, if there are four groups each having four beads then the client has to be patient because the prophecy will not come about soon, etc. Fortune telling of four groups each having four beads is called „hatma“.
Besides this, each fortune teller with beans can foretell three types of persons- girlfriend, wife, widow or boyfriend, husband, a widower. For example, if a married person receives the “Hazrat Fatima fal” it is not interpreted as to the other groups. While to the other groups it foretells marriage, to the married ones it foretells divorce or the like.
111 – problems, divorce, departure
112 – loss of a loved one
121 – love between partners
131 – ”wings”: happiness, cash gain, success
144 – relationship, marriage
212 – bismillah fal grah: love date
233 – love joy
242 – meeting, cash gain
224 – traveling
314 – problems in a marriage or family
323 – love
333 – Hazrat Fatima fal: marriage, luck, success on work or in love
414 – problems
431 – loss
432 – news
444 – prosperity, success on work or in love, etc.