For centuries coffee has been a social ritual for Turkish people. Their famous proverb goes “Heart wants just a friendly chat; coffee is merely an excuse”. But any sort of coffee – the long-roasted black one!
Usually, friends and families crown their dinner parties with a Turkish coffee to prolong the conversation. When done properly black, short coffee has a surprise at the end. The last sip comes with black grains where most of the caffeine sits. But even the last sip means the coffee indulgence is over, it does not mean the talking is over too.
In fact, another form of discussion, or consultation, kicks off – especially amongst the ladies.
This is when tiny, elegant cups are covered with saucers, swirled three times, turned upside down and wishes are made. Some put a coin or a golden ring on the back of the cup to cool the cup more quickly. Then the magic of Turkish coffee ground reading begins.
If you happen to visit Istanbul these days you will notice many ‘coffee houses’ offering free express readings for their clients. Traditionally, Turkish coffee houses were largely male domains, almost forbidden to ladies. Even in small towns, coffee houses were the centre point for village men to talk about politics and local affairs, as well as to play backgammon and while away the hours. The trendy coffee houses of today are more like Western-style cafes and welcome every gender and age group.
Interpretation of coffee shapes in white china varies from one reader to another, but there are universally agreed upon rules as well. Generally speaking, the shapes at the bottom of the cup signify your past, while the ones close to the top your future. If there are any shapes on the edge of the cup, and most importantly on the saucer, they should be read as well. The saucer usually shows your love life. Basically, to see a potential husband, or the qualities of the potential husband, you need to look to the saucer. Children generally appear inside the cup.
Throughout the centuries, Turkish ladies along with their Greek, Lebanese, Bosnian and Armenian counterparts looked at coffee shapes to figure out what kind of man they would be getting. They were also concerned about how many children they would conceive as well as their gender and health. It is quite understandable why they were interested in the health of their future children because in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, wars, famine and disease increased infant mortality and maternal death rates. These days, ladies are still curious about their love life and family, but more and more questions arise about career choices, personal growth and self-realisation.
In Turkey they say: coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love. I think this proverb is the exact definition of the Turkish coffee. Lots of thick coffee, a bit of sugar and here is your fortune!
For divination I also use the foremost element of life: water. Water has always mystified man in many ways because of its cleansing and purifying properties. Water readings are known as hydromancy. The way I conduct a water reading is to put water in a glass and let my client hold it for few seconds. I look at the water’s movement, its direction, and the rings it forms in the glass. I lose myself in the water and focus on one point which helps me connect with the client, the universe and its limitless power. Another way is to put a few drops of oil in water and then see if they merge or not. This method is especially recommended for when people are grieving or have recently lost someone or something. You can also read the face of a smiling person.
Our life and choices are limitless. We are the ones who put up boundaries and, by using the power of nature, we are the only ones who can liberate ourselves.
*The article “Black as Night, Sweet as Love” by Psychic Deniz Batuk has been originally published in the International Psychics Directory – 2014 Australian Edition