Fal: Fortune Telling & Destiny – By Jasmine Rafati


By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI — Iran (read bio)

One day when my mom picked my sister and me up from school, we stopped by a store on the way home to do some shopping.  A gypsy woman stopped us and insisted on telling us our fortune. She said her children were hungry and she needed the money. My mom told her that we weren’t interested in the fortune but offered her a bit of money. She said she wouldn’t accept the money without telling our fortune (fal). Finally, we agreed.

The Gipsy woman had a small purse mirror with plastic rims. She asked me to say my name and then to make an imprint with my index finger on that small mirror. She did the same thing with my sister. She then looked at my mom and said that your daughters would leave the country in 21 days and they would never come back to leave in Iran. She told my mom that we would be separated for a while and that my mom should cherish the time when my whole family is together.  In exactly 21 days we left the country to go to Switzerland for studies. After several years in Europe, my sister and I moved to the United States to finish our studies. We never moved back to Iran.

I have plenty of stories like this and will share some more with you during this piece. There are countries such as Iran, Turkey, Armenia and Lebanon where people do have their fortune read and this is a part of the culture I dare say.  I believe some of the Latin American countries do believe in the fortune as well and in addition they practice magic to open up problems or fix a love triangle.

There are different ways of doing this. Some do it with cards, some read faces, and some open books. However, the most common of them all is reading the coffee cup. We call the coffee, Turkish coffee.  The coffee is prepared on the stove. We actually cook it with water in small pots that are made for this. I like my Turkish coffee cooked with a touch of milk and some honey. Since I am not a huge coffee drinker, adding those ingredients enhances the taste for me. Once the coffee is done, you drink the coffee while concentrating on the questions you want to be answered. The thickest part of the coffee sediments deposits on the bottom and you should drink till the sediments and a touch of coffee are left. Then you put the saucer on top of the cup and recite the questions while concentrating on them. You flip the cup with the saucer on top of it towards yourself. Then you wait about a minute and remove the cup and put it on a napkin top down to dry. You also lean the saucer next to it.

Once it dried a little, the fortune teller will read the pictures inside the coffee cup and tells your future. At the end of it, you ask a specific question and mark the bottom of the cup with your index finger. The fortune teller then looks at the picture and tells you the answer to your question.

Another way of telling the fortune is reading from a poetry book by Hafez-e- Shirazi. He is a beloved poet from the city of Shiraz in Iran who lived during the 14th century.  His poems are used frequently in the traditional Persian Music, Calligraphy, and visual Art.

On the Yalda night (shab- e- Yalda or Shab-e chelleh) the longest night in winter, Persians celebrate with family and friends.  Yalda is a Syriac word which means “birth.” The Eve of the Yalda has great significance for the Iranians. It is the night when Mithra, the Sun God was born. Mithra symbolized light, goodness and strength on earth.  In ancient times they believed that this night represented the triumph of the Sun God over the powers of darkness.

My parents usually have a party at their home for Yalda night. Following is a picture of the things that are a must on the table. We have pomegranates, watermelons, sweet dry nuts and pistachios, candles everywhere and of course a book of poetry by Hafez.  We eat, drink, and read poetry all night. Some of my family members sometimes sing even though not all have singing voices. But I love every second of it. Each poem, each piece of music, and every singer is wonderful to listen to.   My mom recites Hafez beautifully and I am rusty but practicing.  Once the poetry is read, we interpret it to give the answer to the questions.

Fal-e- Hafez is used on a daily basis by many people but for me this occasion is the best way to describe this fal.

Another story that I like to tell people as one of my incredible experiences in a fortune telling world happened when I was about thirteen year old.  I went to accompany my aunt and mom to a fortuneteller. When I was there I decided to have my coffee read. She told me that I would live in the United States because she can see the Statute of Liberty in the cup. However, I would live in the part of the United States where the weather is warm. She said that my parents’ home would have a little backyard where we would like to do barbecues.  Well, all that she said happened.

She is still reading coffee and is pretty known in her profession. I went back and saw her about four years ago when I went back to Iran. She looked at my coffee and told me right away about my education. She described to the teeth the character of the person that I was dating at that time and talked to me about my choices for further education.  I asked her if she believed that she was always right and if she changed her choices in life or coached her children to change their life according the coffee she read. She told me that we make wrong decisions sometimes knowing that they are wrong. She gave me an example about her daughter. She told me that she discouraged her daughter in her choice in marriage because she knew that it wouldn’t last and the guy wasn’t the one for her. However, her daughter decided to go ahead with it and married him.  She was in love.  This woman couldn’t help her own daughter change her mind about marrying the person that wasn’t for her.  Her daughter eventually did get a divorce.

Do we believe these fortune telling or do we change our future to match what is said or we all have a set destiny? At this point of my life I believe in dual existence of destiny and a given fate, which is unchangeable.  I do believe that we mainly make our own destinies and our choices today form our lives tomorrow. But I also believe that certain things in life are part of fate. I have made friends that I know most part of my life. I hope to keep these friends for the rest of my years. I also have made encounters that are not part of my life anymore. I feel that some of these people are there to stop me from doing something or encourage me to do something else and that is it. They are out of my life as fast as they became part of it.

Sometimes, we feel that we love a person and there is no way that there will be anyone better in the world for us but whatever we do it just doesn’t happen. Six months after the break up, we find out why it wasn’t meant to be. Many times that break up was the best thing that could have happened to us.  Sometimes you make a decision in your life and everything seems to just work towards it.  Everything just clicks together well. Other times, you want to do something and nothing works out.   The examples above are to my opinion part of the predestined fate.

I think it was my fate to come to the United States but I think I make my destiny myself here.

I personally love having fal nights with girlfriends. We sit around make coffee, read poetry book, and do the cards.  I have friends from all over the world, who find the fortune telling amazing and mysterious. Do I believe in it? The good parts. Do I change my life for it? Not yet. But I become more aware if the reader warns me about a situation. That is if I really trust the person who is reading the cup. I mostly do it because it is fun.

So next time that you find someone who can read the coffee cup, ask him or her to make you some and read it for you and you can judge for yourself.

70 Responses to “Fal: Fortune Telling & Destiny – By Jasmine Rafati”

  1. Bethany T. says:

    I love this article. Every Valentine’s Day my girlfriends and I go to get our fortunes read. It’s a tradition to find out about a future or current lover, marriage, children, our jobs etc. Afterward if we get good readings that make us feel good we take in a movie or have dinner or go to a club. It’s good clean innocent fun. This Valentine’s Day will be no different. Maybe we’ll try the Turkish coffee.

    • keylimepie says:

      My girlfriends, two guy friends and I do something like that once every two or three months depending on what’s going on in our lives. My religious friends call it dealing with the occult and tell me that I’m offending God but I don’t understand. We go to a lady who is really good, she’s from South America, and most of the things she tells us turn out to be true. So how can that be against God? We have tried the Turkish Coffee but my preference is the cards. Thank you Jasmine for having the courage to write about this subject. I predict you will have success with this blog. :-)

  2. Lonnie says:

    This is a huge business that is primarily occult in nature. Some say it is a sin against religion but it is a sin against the Almighty God.

  3. roxanne23 says:

    Interesting. Was good for the Reagan white house it’s good for me. Remember Nancy? LOL! :-)

    • Hmmm says:

      Nancy is a smart cookie. I wonder if that great republican president we revere so much told Russia to break down that wall all on his own or he had some psychic help?

  4. Cole Nogaht says:

    again, pagan worship.

    • jasmine says:

      Hi Cole Noghat,

      you have said that to me before and i still don’t see your reasoning behind it.

    • Amazon500 says:

      Heyyyyyy, you can’t be serious. it’s harmless innocent fun, lighten up, PLEASE.

      • Cole Nogaht says:

        I like your writing, I truly do and I think I misspoke in my comment to some extent about your last article about the Persian New year and I ask your forgiveness. AT the time I was concerned about what seemed to me to be new age significance to the various foods and practices you mentioned, but I have reread that blog and when I reread your article it was actually very good and sweet. I see what you are talking about, although I still do not agree. In this blog you write about mere humans predicting the future and you seem to believe that. I am deeply spiritual and do not comprehend how any human can have any insight into the future and to engage anyone in such practice is pagan, not of God the one almighty. Gypsies, psychics and the like are doing a job for the $$$ but they have to delve into the dark side to do so and unfortunately there are some like yourself that believe and may even conduct your life accordingly. No one knows the future except God. To seek anyone outside of God i.e. a psychic or fortune teller to find out his infinite purpose for your life and destiny is an abomination to the doctrines that he gave us to live by. I call it paganism because the practice of going to psychics and the like is a fundamental disregard for God’s doctrines. You seem like a sweet person and I apologize for my earlier comments about paganism etc. regarding your last article but you are engaging in practices from the dark side and don’t seem to be aware of it. If you believe in good, you have to believe there is bad as well. Even the Ouija Board is from the occult and we think it’s good clean fun. I wish you nothing but the best and I bear no ill feeling toward you but I will pray for you and your friends.

  5. Lydia says:

    As you know I LOVE your blog, but I don’t believe in these silly things. I think it’s entertaining and could be harmless but not to be taken seriously.

    • jasmine says:

      Deary Lydia,

      Thanks so much for being a reader. I do beleive these things are for fun as well.

      my girlfriends and i get together, drink coffee, have our fourtune read, laugh, and have a great time doing it all.

  6. butterfly33 says:

    i am very surprised that the extreme religious persian culture can tolerated this practice

  7. V says:

    I don’t understand why some commentators mentioned religion. Fortune telling is just a tradition and part of the Persian culture. I go sometimes with my sister to get our fortunes read. We have a great time during the Fal and after chatting about what the fortune teller has told us.

    • bethya says:

      I agree. Religion has always made things that feel good feel dirty/.

    • Chili says:

      FYI yes fortune telling is against God’s law as stated in the holy Bible so although many Christians and others seek fortune tellers or psychics they do not understand that they are in direct oppostition to God’s law. I don’t know what the Quoran says about it but I read your post o n being muslim in America and I am NOT passing judgment on you but I would like to see how you reconcile your muslim religiion with this hobby of yours.

  8. K. Levin says:

    I just read your blog for the first time and I must congratulate you all on a great job. From your beauty to the colors and the topics it is a winner. You have different styles of writing, and I enjoy each one. I have alot to catch up on but I like what I’ve read so far, it feels like I know you ladies. The caricatures are hilarious too.

    Now for fortune telling. I don’t go for it myself because I do think it’s not in accordance with the Bible, but I respect the choices other people make. I am curious that in your post you say this practice is common in Iran, Turkey, Armenia and Lebanon and correct me if I err on the side of ignorance, but are these not Muslim countries? What does the Koran say about such practices? I am not attacking you like this one Cole person here, I do not believe in personal attacks but I do believe in seeking illumination of facts to further one’s understanding of a particular subject. Please indulge and illuminate. Thank you, Jasmine.

    • Jasmine says:

      Dear K. Levin,

      Thanks so much for being a reader. To answer your question, there are many Christians in Lebanon as well. In my opinion, this is something to do with religion. To my experirnce, it is a cultural thing.
      We dont make our decisions based upon on these reading. it is just something that we do when friends get together.

  9. skanky says:

    DAAAANG!!!
    Your really into this!
    You go girl!!

  10. Kristie says:

    Interesting post. I used to like the readings from touching personal items like clothing, photos or jewelry but since becoming a Christian I don’t get readings from psychics anymore. I really believe fortune telling is dealing with the dark side.

    • Jasmine says:

      Dear Kristie

      I have not done any readings with clothes or other personal items. I really dont believe it is dealing with the dark side. We just get together with friends, drink coffee, and someone reads it for us.
      it is just for fun. nothing else

  11. germinasun says:

    Jasmine you did a great job explaining Fal. I wanted to learn more about it so I looked it up on Google but couldn’t find anything on it.

  12. Cameron says:

    Great blog. I have never taken psychics seriously but this sounds like fun.

  13. Cole Nogaht says:

    I like your writing, I truly do and I think I misspoke in my comment to some extent about your last article about the Persian New year and I ask your forgiveness. AT the time I was concerned about what seemed to me to be new age significance to the various foods and practices you mentioned, but I have reread that blog and when I reread your article it was actually very good and sweet. I see what you are talking about, although I still do not agree. In this blog you write about mere humans predicting the future and you seem to believe that. I am deeply spiritual and do not comprehend how any human can have any insight into the future and to engage anyone in such practice is pagan, not of God the one almighty. Gypsies, psychics and the like are doing a job for the $$$ but they have to delve into the dark side to do so and unfortunately there are some like yourself that believe and may even conduct your life accordingly. No one knows the future except God. To seek anyone outside of God i.e. a psychic or fortune teller to find out his infinite purpose for your life and destiny is an abomination to the doctrines that he gave us to live by. I call it paganism because the practice of going to psychics and the like is a fundamental disregard for God’s doctrines. You seem like a sweet person and I apologize for my earlier comments about paganism etc. regarding your last article but you are engaging in practices from the dark side and don’t seem to be aware of it. If you believe in good, you have to believe there is bad as well. Even the Ouija Board is from the occult and we think it’s good clean fun. I wish you nothing but the best and I bear no ill feeling toward you but I will pray for you and your friends.

    • jasmine says:

      Dear Cole Nogaht,

      There is a phrase that we use in my language often and it translates to “if god is willing. “Another popular saying says” you put the effort and God will provide.” I believe in God. I try to achieve things in my life and make decisions to reach my goals logically. The coffee reading is just something that is part of the culture and we do for fun. I merely shared some of my experiences with you.

  14. kaz says:

    Fascinating!!! Thank you so much for this! I miss you, Jasmine! Happy Belated St. Valentine’s day!

  15. dorinna says:

    what I take away from all of your writing is your sense of family and the closeness of your friendships. you are blessed. enjoy this time on the earth because you know waht matters most.

  16. CJ says:

    I love this stuff. Can you recommend a good psychic in LA, west side?

  17. moonlightbycandleight says:

    I met my husband and had my son and daughter as predicted accurately by a psychic. I am spiritual but not religious. I don’t understand the anger of some of the religious nuts commenting here. Who are you hurting by getting your fortune or future read?

  18. Jennifer says:

    I agree. Who wouldn’t want to know what the future holds for love, work and fortune? If it wasn’t a special gift we would all be able to tell the future. These people, the real one, have a special gift so don’t knock it.

  19. beetlejuice says:

    I love your blog Jasmine don’t worry about all the haters you have allot of fans, me included.

  20. Pari says:

    Hi,

    I love Fortune telling. I love fortune telling when I’m with friends. It’s fun to get together with friends and read coffees or cards. I am not sure if I do believe in it or not, but I know that the positive things give me good feelings.

  21. DWF says:

    Come on people lighten up, what’s the big deal? Religion has caused more wars than I care to count. This is a fun interesting article and sheds light on a topic that fascinates me and millions of others. Great job Jasmine. Even as a man I get my fortunes read all the time and I am a better person for it I believe. Hey, if there was no demand for it the whole thing would go away, but hello. Geez!!!

  22. Chili says:

    One more thing I believe in destiny but not as proclaimed by psychics and fortune tellers. Palm 139 talks about being formed in my mother’s womb and all the days assigned to my life were already written in the Book of Life as I was conceived in my mother’s womb. There’s nothing a psychic can tell me that is not already ordained by God.

  23. eastcoastgirl says:

    I have had my coffee read, my palm read and my fortune told by “psychics,” and my great-grandfather used to go to a medium with a group people years ago.

    I believe in possibilities. I believe some people have the ability to know certain things that others of us don’t. Haven’t you ever had a bad feeling about something and found that it was for good reason, but only after something bad happened? I think this is an example of something similar.
    I’m not sure how they do it. Maybe they use a part of their brain that the rest of us don’t… after all we only use a small percentage of our brain.

    I also know that many people are either doing it for fun (many,many people) or are scam artists who charge for their services.

    I went to a psychic who told me I have the ability to do what he does. He said I was born with it and he could help me harness it. He wasn’t going to charge me for it. He felt it was my gift. I met with him, but I did not choose to learn from him. My decision was not based on my beliefs about my “abilities.” It was based on my thinking he might also be hitting on me.

    I think it is harmless fun and there is not much difference between this and reading your horoscope and I agree with Jasmine that even if this gives us info on how to direct our lives we have control over our lives as well.

  24. Yi Akamiro says:

    I don’t normally comment on blogs.. But nice post! In my part of England fortune telling is a fun “sport” as well. Sometimes I think Americans with all of their liberated attitudes need to lighten up. :-)

  25. tb1213 says:

    I live on the edge and have zero interest in knowing what the future holds. I look at each day as a gift and I unwrap it with anticipation, excitement. There’s something to be said for that. This is almost like wanting to know the sex of a child before it’s born. So for me fortune telling is like trying to control the future and our destiny. I want to live each day with complete expectation and excitement. Sorry this is not for me but I don’t condemn you for it like some others here.

  26. suti says:

    many things we think as good clean fun but find out too late dangerous like smoking feels good but not good.

  27. MagicJackie says:

    I think youve got something good here I like your writing. But what if you give a couple links to a page that backs up what youre saying?

  28. bouchiaxxx says:

    Jasmin do you read horoscopes? Do you bleive in them?

  29. tweetybird says:

    I like your article. You go girl. You just have to watch the scammers but once you find a good psychic it’s amazing how cool it is to know things so you have some direction. My favorite is the coffee cup too although not many people are good doing that. Also I prefer to have women read for me instead of men. They just are more sincere. :-)

  30. TJM says:

    I respect your view on predestined fate but you lost me on your views on being able to make your destiny here. If everything is predestined how can you make your destiny? The chicken or the egg syndrome. Either everything is predestined or everything is left to fate. You can’t have it both ways beautiful lady. Many people make that mistake but by it’s very definition predestination cannot be left to ‘fate’.

    • jasmine says:

      Dear TJM,

      What i meant is that there are certain things that are part of our fate and are predestined. The rest of it, we make on our own.
      I believe in dual existence of both.

  31. Vessarresimleri says:

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great story you have on psychic experience. I like getting my fortune so I know what to do, and its fun.

    • jasmine says:

      Dear Vessarresimleri,

      I agree that it is fun to do the reading done. Specially with a group of friends. Let us know about your experiences in the fortune reading world.

  32. Mbamai says:

    I Love your website!

  33. Govafoomb says:

    And it turned out that the Roberts Commission did not fully utilize the information available and that it came to conclusions which were I think quite short sighted and, indeed, in some cases, scapegoated individuals.

  34. beetlemania12 says:

    Jazmine thank you for not being politically correct and writing what you want. YOu give as good as you get, and I like your honesty. You go girl.

  35. Peter Herms says:

    Heyy, Sweety I get you, I support you. I go to psychics all the time and have a great time doing it.

  36. Antionette says:

    If a psychic told you you were going to die on a certain date would you believe them?

  37. Gerhart says:

    elite blog! great topics. i congratulate you for writing about the taboo like fortune telling and muslims in america.

  38. DA says:

    Amazing blog. Its wonderful and such an awesome thing. I’d include this to my rss feed.

  39. Clemente says:

    I go to fortune tellers every week. Send me some recommendations.

  40. Doria says:

    Your blog is so enlightening … keep up the very good work!! I’ll be back!

  41. fresh_style says:

    great post very good informations thank you man 😉

  42. amanda says:

    Nicely put up, I simply handed this onto co-workers and we had a great discussion with analysis. I believe strongly psychics are fake like most of my coworkers but many of them visit fortune tellers for fun. I think its a waste of time and money!

  43. seahorsesexy says:

    yeah I agree & I couldn’t have said it better. keep it up

  44. Muscle cars says:

    Hi, I am not able to see your site correctly inside of firefox, I am hoping you can look into fixing this.

  45. anonymous says:

    jasmine you never fail me in my expectations. great job.

  46. Paige Hale says:

    I won’t generally comment on personal blogs, and I don’t believe in fortune telling, but I had to let you know this article’s really on target and well written. I work on the internet as a article author and commend you on your English.

  47. Ty says:

    I understand lots of folks are curious about this subject and i also can’t deny I am likewise 1 of them. You will discover there will always be some debate about this issue and it all comes down to living your life for yourself.

  48. Lindsay Critchley says:

    I really like your transitions and readability. I enjoy your blog and your honesty about your hobbies.

  49. viessonee says:

    Love your comitment to family and friends, enjoy life and appreciate all that it has to offer. Great blog. Stay sweet as you appear.

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