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Galina Badnyaeva, Fortune-Telling with a Rosary, Ankle Bones, and a Stick

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Okonov, Andzhur 
Churyumova, Elvira 


In the video Galina shows her rosary that she inherited from her great grandmother. Galina uses the rosary in divination. It has 108 beads made from the sandalwood tree. Galina talks about how she found the rosary. One night Galina saw in her dreams a rosary that supposedly belonged to her mother. In the morning Galina told her mother about her dream. Her mother searched and indeed found a rosary that had not been used for many years. In the beginning the family wanted to donate the rosary to a temple, but the monks refused to accept this gift. That is how the rosary stayed in Galina’s house. Galina says that unused rosaries should be ‘resurrected’ with the help of mantras and given a new name before they are used again. This ritual should be performed by monks in temples. Galina says that her father also did divination with sticks. Although she does not use this method herself, Galina agrees to show it in the video. First, Galina makes cuts on a stick and counts the cuts. Then she peels off the cuts and makes new cuts. This has to be done three times. In the end, she looks at the number of remaining cuts on the stick. Every practitioner does this divination in their own ways and try to keep their methods only to themselves. After this Galina talks about divination with 3 ankle bones. As with other divinations, there are many ways of doing this type of divination. Before each session, the ankle bones should be purified with fire. One can ask the following questions to a diviner who practices ankle-bone divination: Will a certain business be successful or not? Will the missing cattle be found, is it worth looking for them?



traditional medicine, fortune-telling, ankle bones, rosary, divination

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.