You’ve definitely heard of coffee and you may have heard of scrying but the practice of combining the two can really bring a whole new level to your practice and daily routines!
First of all – what is scrying actually all about? Scrying is a form of divination by sight. The act of looking into an object or surface with the purpose of seeing visions, messages or prophecies exists in many mediums. This includes crystal balls, black or ordinary mirrors, water or even fire and smoke. The truth is, scrying isn’t restrictive. You can actually practice it anywhere, with anything. This can be deeply meditative, calming and relaxing or more ritualistic depending on what you hope to accomplish.
Scrying has been practiced around the world, across many cultures for many, many years. The benefits of inducing your own trance-like meditative state include mental clarity and a triggered relaxation response, allowing your subconscious to interpret images in your mind’s eye. Pretty cool, right? Whether what you see is the result of a relaxed mind, intuition, connection to the universe or a spiritual message, coffee scrying can be a fascinating experience.
Dispelling Scrying Myths
Before we dive into how to use coffee as a scrying medium, let’s get a few facts straight about this varied form of divination. Looking at messages, symbols and even visions isn’t the same as you may see in the movies. Rarely will we look into a crystal ball, mirror, or coffee cup, in our case – and get a That’s So Raven view of the future (although, how amazing would that be?) While some may experience trance-like states, this practice is highly interpretive and different for every individual. You also don’t need to be certified, experienced or have secret knowledge to do this beyond having a cup of coffee and a bit of time. Anyone can use their intuition and a little guidance to start incorporating this into their routine or as a special ritual. Let’s get started!
Before You Begin
You’ll need to figure out what type of scrying you’d like to do before getting started. Reading coffee grounds as a form of tasseography can be done using the same guidelines but instead of tea leaves, you’re reading coffee grounds. There are some wonderful resources online for deciphering those images and meanings but for those seeking a slightly simpler and more intuitive scrying method, read on! Simple is my favourite kind of ritual!
Coffee Scrying 101
Whether you do this with a special cup or mug is up to you, but sometimes it makes it a little more personal. Begin every step with intention, first brewing your coffee. This part doesn’t have to be done any special way beyond taking the time while it brews to really focus on the activity that will be taking place. If you would like to add additional ingredients, spices, etc. you can do so in your percolator with the grounds or if using instant coffee, directly in the mug with the crystals. My personal favourite is to add a combination of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg with a little bit of sugar! Beyond flavour, adding certain ingredients can aid in the scrying process. Ginger is great for balance, grounding and clarity. Cinnamon can heighten psychic powers and bring protection. Allspice can be added for luck, healing and energy. Nutmeg has amazing clairvoyance properties. Check your favourite grimoire or reference book if you’re not sure what may benefit your specific needs!
Pour the coffee into your mug and find a comfortable place to start. This is where the process begins in stages. First, stir clockwise to bring your intentions to your ritual. What are you hoping to learn, see or experience today? Think about it as you stir. Stare into the cup from the top down as it sits in your hands or flat on the table. I recommend flat on the table, from experience, because if you enter a trance-like state there’s a possibility of dropping hot coffee in your lap! Gazing into the surface is similar in many ways to a black scrying mirror with the added benefit of steam, bubbles and motion. Be conscious of how the bubbles move, pop and group together. Notice how they split apart. Do any of them move in an unlikely direction? Note clusters of certain numbers. Do you see patterns in the steam? What about the surface of the coffee itself? Next, add milk or cream if you take it. Do not stir. Watch the patterns the cream makes as it hits the coffee and curls in on itself. Which ways does it move? Does it quickly blend in with the coffee or does it take a little while? Note any other patterns or unexpected paths that occur. Once you feel you have all the information you can get from your cup you can drink it! I like to write everything down from what I saw and observed but going deeper, what did I feel? Were there sensations or emotions that came up unexpectedly? Did things pop into your mind? Pictures, memories, sounds, smells, songs? Write it down and track patterns that occur. These can be terrific learning tools, and there are some great scrying encyclopedias that can help decipher meanings of shapes, animals, etc. I also really love using dream dictionaries to help interpret things that may be a little unclear.
You don’t have to finish your scrying process here – you can do a final step, similar to tasseography, by using the residue in your cup when it’s empty. If there is some excess liquid and you can’t clearly see any patterns, tip your cup onto a saucer or small dish (just like reading tea leaves!) and spin 3 times clockwise. You can also tap the bottom before flipping it back over. See if you notice any patterns in the residue. Generally, when scrying in mugs and teacups the top half of the cup represents the future, the bottom is the past, the left is negative and the right is positive…but if you feel like you need to read a different way, you absolutely can! With coffee, simply checking for any clusters of residue, possible images, patterns and shapes at this stage works just fine. The goal is to meditate in the initial stages and work on getting more in tune with your intuition throughout the process. Trust yourself here and really see what you feel is calling to you from the bottom of your cup.
Common Themes and Images
Here are a few common things you might observe in your coffee cup and what they mean! Keep in mind that this isn’t set in stone and your own personal practice may vary. Interpretations can change depending on what you feel your intuition is telling you.
- Bubbles: These often symbolize people or situations you’re working through. Clusters and changing directions can help identify how long a situation may take to unfold. How long before the bubble popped? Did it pop in the centre or at the edge? Things closer to the edge may take longer to unfold, whereas the centre indicates something in the nearer future.
- Steam: This can be steam coming up directly from the cup or the thin layer that moves along the surface. What shapes do you notice? How does it make you feel? At this stage many people may see things in their mind’s eye if they enter a trance-like state. Staring directly at the steam moving across the coffee surface is highly meditative. “Daydream” type visions are more common here. Write them down. I highly recommend dream dictionaries or consulting someone who has experience (I’d be more than happy to help with interpretations!)
- Clouds: If you add milk or cream to your coffee, the clouds are a beautiful scrying tool. Seeing letters in the milk is common, and can relate to the name of a loved one, particularly if you’re looking for love! If you’ve stirred and focused your intention on a specific question, this may be where the letters provide a little more clarity. Taking pictures or videos to rewatch later can also be helpful! Sometimes on first glance you may not see everything, but being able to look back at your pour can be helpful.
There you have it! You’re on your way to your very own coffee scrying adventure! I hope this has been helpful and you have a much better idea of how to take your regular coffee routine and make it part of your practice. Always remember to trust your intuition, record as much as you can and don’t forget to pour yourself a second cup for good luck. Happy scrying! What’s your favorite form of divination? Let us know in the comments, especially if you give coffee scrying a try. While you’re at it – why not make your own DIY scrying mirror as well?
About the Author
Lo Juniper (The Coffee Cup Witch) is an eclectic Pagan witch from Southern Ontario specializing in coffee magic, tarot and shadow work. She is currently working on a Shadow Work Guidebook and quarterly witch’s magazine. Her online shop, The Vintage Cauldron, offers antiques, altar supplies and other witchy goodness. Want to learn more about coffee scrying? Email email@example.com