December’s here and that means we’ll soon be hearing all sorts of predictions about the future.
As the year draws to a close and a new one approaches, people turn to horoscopes, tarot cards, fortune tellers and numerology in the hope of finding out that good things lie ahead.
This year, why not give coffee reading a try?
Like the drink itself, the art of reading coffee grounds at the bottom of a cup has Arabic origins.
Coffee reading is a form of tasseography. It spread when the expansion of the Ottoman Empire was at its height, initially making its way into the Balkans and then the rest of Europe in the late 17th century as a result of Ottoman military campaigns.
Every divination method has its own distinctive features. Coffee reading involves interpreting symbols formed by coffee grounds on the inside and outside of cups. The shapes that appear on the inside of a cup represent the future, while the sediment that slides onto the saucer represents the current situation.
Try not to move the saucer if you want to interpret the symbols properly, because their positions play a key role in divination.
If you decide to give it a try, remember that the person doing the reading needs to start concentrating before swirling the cup in their hands and then trying to work out the meaning of the shapes that have formed on the inside of the cup.
Below you can find a quick guide and a dictionary of the symbols in alphabetical order.
Let’s start with the coffee: the most widely used kind is Turkish coffee, which is made by mixing very finely ground coffee beans with water and bringing it to the boil in a special metal pot. Pour the mixture into a white porcelain cup with a saucer, leave it to settle and cool a little, then drink it without adding any sugar. Only drink the liquid part of the coffee and water mixture and leave the sediment – which is hard to swallow – at the bottom of the cup.
Cover the top of the cup with the upturned saucer, hold it in place with your fingers and think about what you want to know as you swirl the contents of the cup around a few times. When you feel ready, flip them around and put them on a table with the cup upside-down on top of the saucer. Leave the cup on the saucer until it is cold to the touch on the bottom, then turn it over and start the reading.
Another type of coffee that you can use is Greek coffee, which is made with light roast, very finely ground coffee beans. Boil some water in a small metal pot, then stir in three teaspoons of coffee and two or three teaspoons of sugar. Pour the mixture into a white porcelain cup and wait a minute for it to settle. As well as sweetening the drink, the sugar has adhesive properties that help to hold the pictures in place. Concentrate and take three or four sips of the coffee while it’s still hot, changing the position of your mouth on the cup and thinking of something different each time. When you feel ready, swirl the remaining coffee around in the cup five or six times, then pour the coffee out onto a saucer without touching it. Put the cup upside-down on a paper napkin and leave it there for around three minutes, until the coffee grounds are dry and stable.
During the swirling process, some of the coffee tends to spill over the rim and settle on the outside of the cup. Start the reading by looking at any shapes that have formed on the outside in this way, then turn the cup over and look inside.
The lighter symbols are said to be positive and the thicker, darker ones are deemed to be negative.
Working out what the shapes are depicting should be something that comes to you spontaneously and the images should resemble the items in question in real life.
ACORN: Good luck, especially at the start of a new venture.
ACROBAT: Dangers must be considered when forming alliances.
AEROPLANE: Sudden departure. New romantic relationships.
ALTAR: Wedding, job satisfaction, dreams coming true.
ANCHOR: A journey or a relationship with a foreigner. Good luck and stability in business.
ANGEL: A spiritual guide. Protection from moral or physical harm. Love. Good news.
ANIMAL: Pets mean friends. Wild animals mean new experiences and independence. Ferocious animals that are attacking mean beware of enemies.
ANT: Work. Achieving goals. Success after hard work.
ANVIL: Confidence in you from people who expect a lot from you.
APPLE: Knowing something that will prove very useful. Economic success. Temptation that will put you to the test.
APRICOT: Acquaintance with a hypocrite who only reveals their better side.
ARCH: New opportunities. New paths will open up.
ARROW: The person asking is on the right track in certain areas of their life.
AXE: Hostile forces are at work. Trouble is coming.
BAG: A windfall.
BALL (BALLOON): A lack of control in your life.
BARKING DOG: A warning from a friend.
BARREL: Something missing in life (such as love or money) or goals that have not been achieved.
BARRIERS: Difficulties that must be overcome.
BASKET: Recognition. A deserved reward.
BAT: Friends talking behind your back.
BEAR: Danger, especially in economic and financial terms.
BEE: Good luck. Success. Things will go well. Good news is coming.
BEEHIVE: Empty words holding back decisions, desire for peace of mind.
BELL: Unexpected good news from very close friends or family.
BISHOP’S MITRE: A meeting with a spiritual guide.
BOAT: A journey or forthcoming visit.
BOOK: Legal issues. Listen to advice from others before taking action.
BOOT: Try harder if you want to achieve your goals.
BOTTLE: Good times. Physical health must not be neglected.
BOUQUET: Compliments from an admirer.
BOW: The birth of a child, which will bring change and make it possible to overcome difficulties.
BOX: A gift. A family scandal.
BREAD: A period of plenty and prosperity.
BRIDGE: Overcoming difficulties. A new opportunity.
BROKEN BRIDGE: A failed solution to a problem.
BROKEN CUP: Well-founded criticism should be accepted.
BROKEN FORK: A dream will not come true.
BROOM (BRUSH): “Sweeping away” all problems. A new house. A new attitude.
BUCKET: Frustration due to menial work.
BULL: Stand your ground. You need to show strength and determination.
BUNCH: Infidelity will be uncovered.
BUNCH OF FLOWERS: Happiness in love.
BUSH: Deception will be revealed. Old health problems will return.
BUTTERFLY: The start of a carefree time.
CAGE: Illness. Limitations.
CAMEL: Problems can be overcome through perseverance.
CANDLE: Help and support. You’ll be shown the way.
CARRIAGE: A mental or physical journey.
CARROT: An unexpected bit of good luck or opportunity.
CART: Transfer at work. Unexpected successes.
CASKET: A relationship with a person (or situation) is coming to a close.
CAT: Relationships with hypocrites.
CATERPILLAR: Things will not always be this way. A change is coming.
CHAIN: Marriage or contract.
CHAIR (EMPTY): Someone will be leaving.
CHAIR (OCCUPIED): A new person is about to enter the life of the reader.
CHURCH: Wedding or funeral.
CIRCLE: Completion. Emotional or professional fulfilment.
CLAW (or hook): Don’t take risks.
CLOCK: An important appointment that must not be missed.
CLOUDS: Temporary problems.
CLOVER: Good luck.
COCKROACH: Good luck.
COFFIN: The end of something.
COINS: Money is coming.
COMMA: Danger must be avoided.
CORKSCREW: A solution to many problems.
CORNERS: Coming through an accident unscathed.
CROSS: Sacrifice. Unhappiness.
CROSSBOW: Work being hindered by an enemy. Family arguments.
CROW: Bad news at work. Wait for better times in business.
CROWN: Success. The honour and respect that are due.
CROWN OF CROSSES: Unexpected death within a year.
CUDGEL: Someone’s trying to make you do something against your will.
CUP: Rewards for hard work that has been noticed by others.
CYPRESS TREES: Old grudges must be let go.
DAGGER: Fear. Worries. Tense situations.
DANCER: The high life.
DARK STRANGER: A relationship with a man with a dark complexion or hair.
DEVIL: Dangerous actions suggested by an untrustworthy person. Sexual temptation.
DIAMOND: Jewellery as a gift.
DOG: Protection from a powerful friend.
DOLPHIN: Financial earnings, usually from something done in the past.
DONKEY: Stubbornly going against all logic.
DOOR: An opportunity is coming.
DOORMAT: Fragile health.
DRAGON: Prepare to be disappointed.
DUCK: Borrowed money being paid back.
EAGLE: Overcoming obstacles or problems.
EAR: Good news. Don’t listen to gossip.
EGG: Success thanks to good plans and hard work.
ELEPHANT: A long physical or mental journey that will make you wiser.
ELF: A joke could cause trouble.
EYE: Psychic abilities. Belief in your intuitions. A focus on the world around you. Somebody is watching you.
FACE: New friendship.
FAN: Love. Anniversaries. Parties. Do not hide the truth or you will have problems in the future.
FEATHER: Instability. Someone you know isn’t honest and shouldn’t be trusted.
FINGER: Watch out for a problem in the present or immediate future.
FINGER NAIL OR TOE NAIL: Beware of enemies or two-faced friends.
FIRE: Strong feelings. Ardent love or hate.
FIR TREE: Introspection leading to solitude.
FISH: Help will be given secretly.
FISH HOOK: Watch out for plots by fake friends.
FIST: Arguments and quarrels.
FLAG: Beware of a seemingly trustworthy friend.
FLOWER(S): Good luck. True love. Heartfelt friendships. Happiness. Dreams coming true.
FLUTE: Being let down in friendship or love.
FLY: A period of bad health. Depression.
FLYING BIRD: News is on the way.
FOOT: A journey overseas.
FOREST: Jumbled, unclear thoughts.
FORK: Comfort eating to deal with emotional issues. Unresolved issues from childhood still have an impact today.
FOUR-LEAF CLOVER: Great luck.
FOX: Shrewdness and many resources, especially in business.
FRUIT: See pear or apple.
FRYING PAN: Emotional pain will bring about changes.
GLASS: Fickle partner. Take care of your health.
GOAT: Tired of the tantrums, a partner is on the verge of leaving.
HAIR: Stress. Anxiety. Uneasiness. Take care of your health.
HAMMER: Your body needs a lot of exercise.
HAND: A visit from a friend.
HANDCUFFS: Trouble with the law.
HANDS OF A CLOCK: Illness in the family.
HANGED PERSON: Serious but short-lived economic issues.
HARP: Desire to play and have fun. Artistic success.
HAT: Change is coming. Job offer.
HEAD: Someone’s thinking hard about you.
HEART: Love. Marriage.
HEDGEHOG: An introverted, difficult person.
HOOD: Emotional issues that should be faced rather than hidden.
HORSE: A desire to escape. Rebellion. Rule-breaking.
HORSESHOE: Good luck.
HOURGLASS: Action must be taken now.
HOUSE: Family. Safety. Help from family. If there’s a circle nearby, a forthcoming house purchase.
ICE CREAM: Things cooling off with your partner. Aching bones.
INSECT: Small problems and causes of irritation.
IVY: Faithful friends and lovers.
JACKET: Beware of lung infections. A job that involves wearing a uniform.
JUG: Good health.
KEY: Unexpected prospects or future plans. If the head is facing outwards, it means good news.
KNIFE: Separation. End of a friendship or a relationship. Obstacles.
KNIGHT: Love is coming for a woman, help at work for a man.
LADDER: Advancement, progress.
LADY: Cheating on your wife or girlfriend. For a woman, it can also mean that buying unnecessary things will cause economic problems.
LAMP: Clarity about something that caused concerns.
LEAF/LEAVES: Good news. Health. Positive developments. Money.
LECTERN: Intellectual work. Learned friends.
LEG: Fulfilment at work can be attained a little at a time.
LETTER: News is coming.
LIGHTHOUSE: Beware of danger.
LIGHTNING: Bad luck.
LINE: If it’s straight, a quiet day. If it’s winding, unforeseen events. If it’s going up, optimism. If it’s going down, pessimism. If it’s single, progress. If it’s double, a journey. If there are crossing lines, decisions that will shape the course of history.
MANGER: The birth or conception of a child or initiative.
MAN ON A HORSE: Unexpected help from a friend.
MATCHSTICK: Sexual desire. Longing for love.
MEN IN A LINE: Good results in your career.
MONEY: Economic difficulties. Making sacrifices.
MOON: Good luck and good news if it’s waxing, the opposite if it’s waning. Love if it’s towards the top.
MOUSE: Watch out for your friends.
MOUTH: Explanations in love lives that lead to unpleasant changes. Uncomfortable truths about a family member.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: Peace and harmony.
MUSICAL NOTE: Artistic interests.
NAIL: Jealousy and difficulties of a sexual nature.
NEEDLE: Arguments at work or in your love life. Beware of gossip.
NEST: Happy family.
NET: Don’t fall into any traps because danger is lurking.
NOSE: Unpleasant news about work.
NUMBER: The number that appears shows how many days it will be until something important happens. It can also be a sign of good luck, so it could be picked as a lottery number.
OBELISK: A joyful life.
OLD LADY: A person who is abandoned, introverted and alone.
OSTRICH: An untrustworthy friend.
OVEN: Reaping the benefits of what you’ve slowly built. Recognition and fulfilment at work.
OX: Making sacrifices to achieve a goal. Hard work that isn’t being rewarded with a sufficient sense of fulfilment.
PADLOCK: A difficult situation will be resolved in another city.
PALM TREE: You’ll go on a journey about which you’ve dreamed.
PAN: Problems. Accusations.
PARROT: A visit from a relative.
PAW: A violent person.
PEACOCK: A piece of news will bring peace of mind.
PEAR: A ceremony is approaching.
PEN: Lack of clarity.
PIGEON: Problems getting around. A goal will be achieved thanks to determination.
PITCHFORK: Losing money or status.
PLIERS: Fear of illness.
PRAWN: Remember a lesson that you learned recently.
PRISON: Reciprocated love.
PYRAMID: You need to focus on the spiritual side of life.
QUESTION MARK: Indecision.
RABBIT: Courage and patience are required.
RAINBOW: Hope for the future.
RAKE: Enjoying fleeting happiness.
RAZOR: A returning illness.
RECTANGLE: Intense sexual activity.
RIFLE: Business difficulties.
RIGHT ANGLE: An important decision must be made.
RING: Heartfelt, long-lasting love. Total success. A new agreement. If the ring is broken, paths will separate in love and business.
ROOSTER: You need to be humble in order to save a friendship.
ROOSTING BIRD: Waiting for news, a parcel or a letter.
ROSARY: Fear of the future.
ROSE: Good health.
SACK: Something important like a new job or raise.
SADDLE: Seize any opportunities that arise.
SAUCEPAN: A great love is on the horizon.
SAW: An insufferable partner.
SCALES: Getting what’s deserved. Dealings with law enforcement. If the bowls aren’t at the same height, an injustice will be done.
SCEPTRE: An authoritarian partner.
SCISSORS: A quarrel.
SEA: Changes at work and in your love life.
SHELL: Good news. Happiness related to water.
SHIP: Help that will put a worry to rest. Money or property will arrive through inheritance, a win or unexpected good luck.
SHIPWRECK: Theft. Loss. Vain hopes.
SHRUB: A gap in a love life that will soon be filled.
SICKLE: Disappointment in relationships. The end of something. Accident. Death.
SKIRT: Having fun with friends.
SKULL: Danger. Risks. Death.
SLIPPERS: A short love affair.
SMOKE: Unsuccessful plans and disappointment in your love life.
SNAIL: A peaceful existence without any unforeseen events.
SNAKE: Recovery. A seemingly trustworthy friend will hurt you.
SPECTACLES: Health issues.
SPIDER: A reward for perseverance.
SPIDER’S WEB: Protection from negative forces that are beyond your control.
SPIKE: Prosperity. The end of economic problems.
SPOON: Help from other people.
SPRINGS: An attractive but obnoxious person will enter your life.
STAR: Good luck. Positive changes.
STEPS: Hindrances at work caused by nasty people.
STICK: Take care of your health.
STOOL: Selfless help from a generous person.
SUN: Happiness. Confidence.
SWALLOW: Reconciliation with the person you love.
SWORD: A dangerous enemy. A period of hard work.
SWORD HILT: Fighting lots of enemies and coming out on top. Passing exams.
TABLE: Meeting. Party. Be careful at work.
TEAPOT: Settling for life within the four walls of your home.
TENT: An adventurous period. A new job that could be life-changing.
THREAD: Economic fraud. Swindling. Unpaid loans.
THRONE: Success at work. Social growth.
TOP HAT: An important person will help you at work. Beware of envy at work if you flaunt your wealth.
TREE: Desire for success.
TRIANGLE: If one corner is pointing upwards, it means success. If not, it means the opposite.
TRIDENT: If the prongs are pointing upwards, money that comes from the sea, a voyage on the sea or a sailor is coming. If the prongs are pointing downwards, a loss through water.
TROUSERS: Your children need more tenderness.
TRUMPET: Radical change due to a great love.
TUNNEL: A sick family member who will require care for a long time. The need to be forward-thinking.
UMBRELLA: Protection. Help will arrive at the right time.
UPSIDE-DOWN ANCHOR: Failure.
VASE: Abundance of material goods.
VOLCANO: Something previously hidden coming to light. Frustration. Anger.
WEATHER VANE: Bad news on the romantic front. A love rival.
WHALE: Professional success.
WHEAT: The birth of a child. A big family.
WHEEL: Good luck. A turning point in life.
WHEELBARROW: Happy times with friends.
WHIP: Deserved criticism. Serious soul-searching.
WINDOW: Patiently wait for positive events. If it’s open, it means theft.
WINGS: The day will fly by very quickly.
WOMAN: If she’s near a male figure, it means marriage. If she’s with a child, it refers to a mother who needs care. If she’s on a horse, it refers to a woman who’ll do anything for love. If she’s with a flower, it means a true female friend. A line of women means promotions at work and economic success.
Give it a try. We hope the future looks good for you!
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