Falnama Oracle Cards (A Turkish and Iranian Divination System)

The stunning and exquisite Falnama Oracle Cards by Asli and Polat Canpolat and published by Red Feather in 2018 has been flying under the radar and I have no idea why. I can’t believe these cards haven’t already become the next big thing among cartomancers.

The card backs are a beautiful, subtle green and feature three different designs, as you see above. I wasn’t entirely sure what the correspondence as between the different card back designs and what was on the card faces, but that could very well just be my own ignorance. =)

Source: Smithsonian Exhibition

Falnama is a genre of Turkish and Iranian literature traced back to 17th century Iranian traditions. They’re books, and I saw several of them displayed at the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul.

Source: Smithsonian Exhibition

They were originally a form of bibliomancy. You underwent a ritual purification, presented your inquiry to the book, then turned to a page in that book, which would be a spread of beautiful art– usually religious art– and a few poetic verses. The art and verses together are interpreted as a divinatory answer to your question.

Click for enlarged view.

The Falnama Oracle Cards are inspired by that tradition. The product description notes that these cards are a contemporary update from the historic Falnama books. From what I could discern based on seeing the actual Falnama books and these oracle card meanings is it’s essentially less religious and keeps the oracular messages more secular than steeped in the classical stories of the Prophet.

Click for enlarged view.

The Falnama fortune-telling system was used by all classes. There were ornate Falnama books crafted for the sultan and his court, and then there were the Falnama books that fortune-tellers on the streets would use to peddle predictions for paying customers

Click for enlarged view.

These oracle cards are beautifully done and transport you to a new universe of mindset. I was tickled to see quite a bit of cross-over with tarot card concepts, like the Sun, Moon, Judgment, a card that reminded me of the Devil card, another that reminded me of The Lovers, etc.

Before proceeding, practice some form of personal purification or personal energy clearing, whatever your own go-to method is. Perhaps it’s to anoint yourself in all the key pulse points with a purification anointing oil. Maybe it’s a ritual bath. Maybe it’s to sage yourself or smudge yourself head to toe with the smoke of purification incense. A selenite wand can also do the trick.

As you shuffle the cards in your hands, meditate on your question. Then pull a single card. This is like turning to a single page in the Falnama Book of Omens.

Click for enlarged view.

The keyword on the card is an anchor point for you. What emotions does the imagery evoke for you?

Then turn to the corresponding page in the companion book and read the verse.

I’ve found this simple divination method to be powerful, enlightening, and eerily on point each time.

If you’re interested in learning divinatory systems from different cultures, then you are going to love the Falnama Oracle Cards.

7 thoughts on “Falnama Oracle Cards (A Turkish and Iranian Divination System)

  1. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I’m really fascinated by how concepts have spread throughout humanity across the globe. I feel like there might just be truth in the shared concepts.

    This also reminds me of how careful we need to be with Iran. They have such a rich culture, amazing artifacts, and their history is theorized to go back to the beginning of human society. If what happened to Iraq happens to Iran, it will be an utter tragedy for the rest of time.

    We still ache over the loss of the Library of Alexandria! And we barely know the tip of the iceburg of what is there for us to learn within the governmental walls of Iran. We need to have a peaceful solution to bring Iran the global society.


  2. Gabrielle

    I am going to get this oracle, I’m not so inclined towards oracles, think it is the absence of system but will make an exceptions for these beautiful cards.

    For those interested in the culture, divination and magic, check out Idries Shah’s foundation free audio book on youtube. You can elect to choose what part of his book oriental magic to listen, while you go about your business.

    Liked by 1 person

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