Reading Coffee Grounds
The most well-known coffee divination
technique is the reading of coffee grounds. The method is virtually identical to
tea leaf divination, and both are known collectively by the term Tasseography.
To read coffee grounds, you will of course need to prepare your coffee in such a
way that there are grounds to read. If you are at a coffee house, the residue
from a cappuccino will work nicely as well-just make sure that the cup is not so
tall that you can't see clearly all the way to the bottom.
Ask yourself the following question:
"What do I need to know about my present situation?" What do you now
see in the cup? The grounds will arrange themselves in random patterns.
Interpreting the patterns is a little like a Rorschach test or laying on your
back reading cloud formations. What you see and what it means to you will be
very individual-two people reading the same cup can come up with very different
interpretations, and both can be equally true. Now, take out a piece of paper
and pen, and in a stream-of-consciousness style, begin jotting down your
thoughts as you casually meditate on the shapes you see there. Above all, don't
edit yourself. If the first thing that comes to mind has nothing to do with the
coffee, jot it down anyway.
For example, the first thing that enters your
thoughts might be the dry-cleaning you need to pick up that afternoon. Write it
down, all the while continuing to stare at your cup as if you were lying face up
on your lawn staring at the clouds above. As much as possible, don't even look
at the paper you are writing upon-keep your eyes on the grounds in your cup. It
doesn't matter if your writing is illegible-it will be legible enough to you
when you go back to it, if only enough so as to jar your memory to recall what
your thoughts were at that moment. Continue writing for at least ten minutes.
This will be long enough for you to enter the first stages of a meditative
state, both by the exercise of looking at one thing and by the rhythmic pattern
of your free association and the motion of your hand upon the paper. If your
mind keeps wandering back to your dry-cleaning let it. Observe the thought, jot
it down, and let it pass, moving onward to whatever comes next as you continue
to stare at the cup.
When you do readings yourself, you needn't
feel you need to read every cluster of grounds in your cup (remember-you can
also read the remains of foam at the bottom of your cappuccino cup instead of
grounds). If you are drinking Turkish coffee, there are so many grounds this
would take you forever! Interpret only what speaks to you. In fact, some of what
may come to mind as you do the reading might not seem to have anything to do
with what is in the cup at all. There is no right or wrong here. Each of your
interpretations are "correct." You really do have all the answers
within you. Most of the time we just don't want to hear the real answer. Trust