Mahjong Readings Origins
In China, the professional soothsayer is held in great reverence.
The calling is a dignified one, and does not attract the sort of suspicion that
it does in the western world, where 'fortune-tellers' are regarded
at best with amusement, at worst hostility, and generally, with tolerant scepticism.
Throughout the Far East, many of the major temples have their own
diviners attached, and the most celebrated of them support a
considerable staff of soothsayers to minister to the faithful each day
of the week. For millions of people divination is actually an integral
part of their worship.
But beyond the temple precincts, however, there are vast numbers of ways
by which the uncertain future may be revealed. Sometimes recourse is
made to a professional astrologer, but as this usually involves an
exorbitant fee it is a considerable asset if one of the elders of the
family is adept at the Ya Pai Shen Po - literally, 'divination by ivory
blocks' - by which the Chinese understand dominoes, cards, or Mahjong
Source: Walters, Derek, The Fortune Teller's Mah Jongg, Eddison Sadd Editions, 1988 ISBN 0-670-85640-1