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 there are stories that 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 her, therefore since then it is believed that in every divination lies half truth and half lie. It is interesting that 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 whish.
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 into the right fist , 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 individual pile can have 1, 2, 3 or 4 seed. 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 is 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 which 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 clients 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
TEHIR or TIME
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 their) 5 groups each having four beads (or five hatmi) then that shows speed to the fortune teller, favorable progress of the situation, or as they like to say: „the beans go in your favour!" 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 foot prints (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 there are five groups that 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 for three types of persons- girlfriend, wife, widow or boyfriend, husband, 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, succes
144 - relationship, marriage
212 - bismillah fal grah: love date
233 - love joy
242 - meeting, cash gain
224 - travelling
314 - problems in a marriage or family
323 - love
333 - marriage
414 - problems
431 - loss
432 - news
444 - prosperity, succees on work or in love