Bosnian Fortune-telling

The desire to foretell the future is as old as mankind itself. The fear of the unknown and generally, man’s need to influence fate has led to various forms of fortune-telling which served to foretell the outcome of some disease, to find a thief, to find out the sex of the baby, to find out whether the year will be fruitful, to find out if a couple will get married, etc. According to the beliefs in Bosnia the ideal day for fortune-telling,especially with the help of beans or coffee, is Tuesday. This is because it is believed that Tuesday is the day of magic when each spell has a stronger effect and each fortune-telling is more accurate. To foretell the future using coffee, it is necessary to fulfil a few simple conditions. First, the coffee cannot be express coffee but “Bosnian coffee” so that the cup will contain a lot of sediment. The coffee should be drank hot and without sugar.

When the coffee is finished, the person that wants its future foretold, places some money under the saucer and spins the cup three times clockwise and covers it with the saucer. After that one places his index finger from his right hand on the cup and in his mind he must make a wish or think about a specific person. The side of the cup from which the client drank is considered to be a representation of him, whilst the opposite side is considered to represent a person of the opposite sex. The bottom of the cup is a symbol of a home and all the symbols that are found on that part signify events inside the family. Before the fortune teller starts, he first checks the situation of the entire cup. If the space around the handle of the cup is empty and without any sediment, it is believed that the person is unhappy in love affairs or is in a bad financial situation. If the bottom of the cup is filled with sediment that signifies a period of prosperity while an empty bottom signifies a bad financial situation, a departure or a trip. Bosnian fortune tellers pay specific attention to interpretation of individual symbols and they connect them with other symbols in their vicinity. Of course, there are some other important symbols that every fortune teller pays specific attention to. If there happens to be three identical symbols inside the cup, then that signifies great pleasure. The following represents some interpretations that Bosnian fortune-tellers use during their fortune telling using coffee:

  • [li]Angel: joy, a wish coming true[/li]
    [li]Aeroplane: mail, news[/li]
    [li]Car: happiness[/li]
    [li]Bull: wealth, money[/li]
    [li]Old woman: sorrow, sickness[/li]
    [li]Numbers: 1-decision, 2-sickness, 3-date, 4-you must be patient, 5-worry…[/li]
    [li]Flowers: you are in an advantageous period[/li]
    [li]Pigeon: mail, news[/li]
    [li]Lizard: change, new beginning[/li]
    [li]Piano: you will receive an important message[/li]
    [li]Umbrella: you will meet an old love partner[/li]
    [li]Wolf: tears and sorrow because of jealousy[/li]
    [li]Moon: feast, a wish will come true[/li]
    [li]Bear: sickness[/li]
    [li]Mouse: beware of a theft[/li]
    [li]Knife: an end of a relationship or marriage[/li]
    [li]Eagle: an advantageous change or move[/li]
    [li]Frog: you will be a victim of someone’s scheme and intrigue[/li]
    [li]Dots: large dots in the cup always symbolise favourable news. Largedot on the bottom of the cup: pregnancy in the family[/li]
    [li]Pregnant woman: monetary gain, present[/li]
    [li]Horse: a victory in court or in sports[/li]
    [li]Chicken:others are slandering you[/li]
    [li]Pyramid: trouble with a court or the law[/li]
    [li]Dog: stable relationship or marriage, loyal friend[/li]
    [li]Ring: marriage[/li]
    [li]Heron: pregnancy[/li]
    [li]Fish: worry, disease[/li]
    [li]Letters: A-new beginning or a new job, T-stress, F-love…[/li]
    [li]Heart: the best symbol in love fortune telling. This is a sign of love. If the heart symbol is white then it signifies true feelings[/li]
    [li]Deer: an important conversation with your partner[/li]
    [li]Cat: a black cat is a symbol of hatred, someone doesn’t like you. Awhite cat warns you to be careful with blandishment and mellifluouswords[/li]
    [li]Bird: a symbol for news[/li]
    [li]Parrot: you will meet a person who speaks two languages or is astranger[/li]
    [li]Spider: be careful of your pride and stubbornness[/li]
    [li]Rifle or a gun: stress, anger[/li]
    [li]Dragon: you are prone to saving and keeping money[/li]
    [li]Snake: enemy, adversary in love[/li]
    [li]Rabbit: you are having problems sleeping[/li]
    [li]Squirrel: lack of confidence or bravery[/li]
    [li]Cross: argument, fight[/li]
    [li]Fox: be careful or lies and hoaxes[/li]
    [li]Glasses: you will meet a new person…[/li]

At the end of every fortune telling the client presses his finger on the bottom of the cup and makes a wish so that the fortune teller can see if it will come true. The sediment that remains on the finger of a female client is placed under her tongue so that her man says her name often and that he thinks about her often.

Fortune telling for marriage: When a girl comes to someone’s house for coffee for the first time, she needs to steal a lump of sugar in a manner that no one notices it, and then when she goes to sleep she should place that lump under her pillow. That night she will have a dream about the man that she will marry.


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