Poe divination

Poe divination (from the 'poe' (桮) in the Hokkien Chinese: 跋桮; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: poa̍h-poe, Min Dong BUC: buăk-bŭi, "cast moon blocks", also called as "bwa bwei", Mandarin Chinese: 擲筊; pinyin: zhì jiǎo / zhí jiǎo; lit. 'throwing poe') is a traditional Chinese divination method, in which the divination seeker throws or drops two little wooden pieces on the floor and gets the divine answer by the positions of the pieces whether the future course being contemplated is recommended or not. The pieces, called "Poe" (Bwei) in Taiwanese or Jiaobei in Mandarin, look somewhat like two shells of a clam or bivalve mollusk.[1]

A woman using Poe divination at Xingtian Temple, Taiwan

Poe Divination using two little wooden pieces upon throwing, can result in often three answers. The first is 聖笅 shèng jiăo, is when one the of blocks has its flat side facing up and the other with its curved side facing down, this serves as the Deity's agreement with the devotee's question or plea. The second is 陰笅 yīn jiăo, is when both blocks have their curved sides facing up , this serves as the Deity's disagreement with the devotee's question or plea. The last would be 笑笅 xiào jiăo, is when both blocks have their flat sides facing up, this serves as the Deity's amusement at the devotee's question or plea.

A special type of divination rarely seen, would be the 站笅 zhàn jiăo, it is when one of the blocks, stands with both the flat and curve sides facing in a horizontal position. This type of divination rarely seen, often means that the deity is sending a strong message and sometimes devotees would invite temple staff or mediums to determine what it means.

Poe divination can be observed at Taoist and Chinese temples, such as Guangdi temples and Mazu temples, not only in China and Taiwan, but also in the rest of the world.

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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Poe (Kotobank) (in Japanese)

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