Divination and watching or reading coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are the residue, also called sediment or sludge, that remains after brewing coffee. When making coffee the old-fashioned way, the grounds remained at the bottom of the pot with open contact with the coffee. Sometimes when pouring coffee into a cup, a small part of the coffee grounds came with it, which could be prevented by pouring the coffee through a sieve.

Fortune telling or Kafemanteia with Turkish coffee

Nowadays, a filter is usually used in which the sediment remains behind. But with coffee brewed the Turkish way, coffee grounds always remain in the cup. These coffee grounds are the starting point for so-called coffee grounds viewing, also called kafemanteia, which is a form of fortune telling.

Watching or reading coffee grounds and Rorschach test

The customer of a coffee grounds viewer first drinks a cup of Turkish coffee, after which all kinds of predictions are made based on the coffee grounds left behind. The fortune teller can also ask the customer to stir the sludge again or put some of it on the saucer. The future is read based on the shapes that can be distinguished in the sludge, which is also referred to as reading coffee grounds. This makes it somewhat comparable to the Rorschach test in psychology. This test uses inkblot patterns to psychologically interpret a person’s character.

Supernatural powers

Fortune tellers believe that based on the shapes they can discover weak and painful spots in the customer’s body and that they can tell what will happen in the near future. There are also extensive statements about which people have influence on the customer. Sometimes fortune tellers claim to have contact with supernatural forces. But according to many, fortune telling is often seen as a pure pursuit of profit.

Centuries-old tradition

Reading coffee grounds is an age-old tradition that has been passed down from parent to child. It is unknown exactly when coffee grounds reading originated, but in any case the Dublin Weekly Journal already mentioned it in 1736. A fortune teller named Mrs.Cherry is said to have engaged in the practice of reading coffee grounds.

Tasseography with tea leaves

An even older form of divination is tasseography, which is based not on coffee grounds but on tea leaves. In tasseography, predictions were made based on reading tea leaves. Sometimes even the exact time at which an event would take place was indicated.

Geomancy with hypnotic trance

Tasseography was again preceded by geomancy in which the fortune teller entered a hypnotic trance by staring at figures drawn in the sand. Ancient China, Egypt, Chaldea and Babylonia also had divination. There, even kings used fortune tellers. However, in the Bible fortune telling was forbidden and it is told how King Saul tried to get all fortune tellers out of the country. For a long time, a religious ban was declared against the practitioners of fortune telling.

Prediction impossible

Many will read coffee grounds and also approach other forms of fortune telling with a lot of doubt. A handy fortune teller can also ask the customer unnoticed during a conversation beforehand, while drinking coffee, about what he will want to hear during the predictions. The incredulity of many about looking at coffee grounds is reflected in the expression: ,For me, that’s looking at coffee grounds., This expression means that a prediction is impossible.

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