Two crescent moon blocks fly over the floor as an old lady tosses them in a divination ritual

Jiao Bei

Jiao Bei (筊杯) or “Moon Blocks” are small pieces of wood, about the size of a finger, shaped in a crescent shape. Jiao Bei are divination tools used to seek divine guidance in the form of a yes or no question. After purifying the blocks by circling them around incense three times, you ask a yes-no question and then toss the moon blocks on the floor. If one of them lands on its flat, the other on its round surface, the gods give a positive answer to your question. If they land in any other way the goods might be angry about your question, laugh about it, or don’t understand your question. (But fear not, you are allowed to reframe your question and ask again.)

Ideally, you ask your question three times, the answer is then a best-out-of-three. I do have the feeling though that the important part of the process is to find the right question in the first place, and to ask it in a way that the gods properly understand…

Share your thoughts