If you don’t know what is mahjong, or knows about it but never played it, I have real reservations about recommending this game to you.
I say this because it is a really addictive and enjoyable game.
Millions of man hours all over the world have been lost to the abyss everyday due to this game. Hours that could be been more productively spent… but those who’ve had their hours lost would probably have felt it was a trade-off that is well worth it.
While a set of mahjong tiles are meant for the game to be played proper, they can also be used for mahjong divination.
Somewhat like tarot card readings, mahjong readings use tiles to answer the most pressing questions an asker has on his or her mind.
So next time you’ve set the table up for a game, maybe you can use a little mahjong divination to foretell whether you would win big in the upcoming game.
Or before keeping the tiles back into the suitcase box, maybe you can have a little fun with a reading.
Here’s how to seek divination using mahjong tiles.
Mahjong divination method
The set of tiles used for this purpose are the circles or dots (筒子), bamboo (索子), characters (萬子), winds (风), flowers and seasons (花), and dragons (龍). Making a total of 144 tiles.
Place the tiles face-down on the mahjong table and give it a good shuffle.
The most common shuffling technique is the breaststroke. You can go with the butterfly or freestyle if you wish 😀
Once you are satisfied, draw 13 tiles and keep them face-down.
Then position the tiles with 3 on each of the 4 sides, and 1 single tile at the center of it all.
The set of tiles right in front of you is the east set. The ones opposite you is the west set. Making the sets on your left and right north and south respectively.
Once the setup is ready, you can proceed to ask the mahjong god your question.
Then flip open the center tile, followed by the east row, south row, west row, and north. When a guardian tile (flower or season) is revealed, pick another random tile from the remaining undrawn tiles and place it next to the guardian.
Before referring to what each tile means, it is important to take some notes.
- The center tile is the most direct answer to you question
- The east row suggest your approach to the problem or situation
- The south row reveals the immediate outcome or reaction to your actions
- The two tiles at the side of the west row describes obstacles that you would face, and the middle tile guides you out of it
- The north row reads the near future
- Guardians offer protection to the new tile that is drawn
- Honor tiles are like the aces in blackjack
- When there are duplicate tiles, it reinforces the symbolism of the tile itself
- Honor tiles which consist of the dragons, flowers and seasons are generally auspicious
To do this right and have the answers to the questions you ask, it is important in any divination to have complete trust in what you are doing. If you have any doubts to the exercise, you are better off not doing it at all.
The following list down the meanings of each tile.
1 of circles (一筒). Pearl. Good finances and luxury.
2 of circles (二筒). Pine tree. Resilience. Can denote affairs when question is about relationships.
3 of circles (三筒). Phoenix. Joy and just.
4 of circles (四筒). Jade. Work and completion.
5 of circles (五筒). Dragon. Good fortune and warning.
6 of circles (六筒). Peach. Youthful feminine beauty.
7 of circles (七筒). Bee. Hard work, chores and errands.
8 of circles (八筒). Tiger. Authoritative figure.
9 of circles (九筒). Chi lin (or unicorn). Judgement of character.
1 of bamboo (一索). Peacock. Ambition and arrogance.
2 of bamboo (二索). Duck. Blissful relationships.
3 of bamboo (三索). Toad. Overconfidence and overreach.
4 of bamboo (四索). Carp. Peace, recovery and longevity.
5 of bamboo (五索). Lotus. Beauty from within, new beginnings.
6 of bamboo (六索). Water. Travel and communications.
7 of bamboo (七索). Tortoise. Wisdom and patience.
8 of bamboo (八索). Mushroom. Unpredictability with lasting impact.
9 of bamboo (九索). Willow. Survival in adversity.
1 of character (一萬). Open door. Arrival of opportunity.
2 of character (二萬). Sword. Difficult choices which can hurt no matter what is chosen.
3 of character (三萬). Earth. Stability will arrive with new surroundings.
4 of character (四萬). Lute. Take a break and relax.
5 of character (五萬). House. Change of residence is on the cards.
6 of character (六萬). Fire. Decisions will lead to great success or huge failure.
7 of character (七萬). 7 stars. Bright outlook linked to creativity.
8 of character (八萬). Knot. Difficult situation that might only be resolved by taking things apart.
9 of character (九萬). Temple. Spirituality, letting go and moving on.
East (东). Self reflection and success.
South (南). Rewards and recognition.
West (西). Objectivity might see opportunity drift away.
North (北). Hardship and adversity.
Green dragon (發財). Business prosperity.
Red dragon (紅中). Focus will lead to success.
White dragon (白板). The unknown is approaching.
Plum blossoms (梅). Love and happiness
Orchids (蘭). What’s lost would be recovered.
Chrysanthemum (菊). Harmony and social activities.
Bamboo (竹). Academic achievement.
Spring (春). Patience is a virtue.
Summer (夏). Success will only arise from careful thought and planning.
Autumn (秋). Time to harvest the rewards of hard work.
Winter (冬). Be practical, prudent and frugal.