Tasseography is a divination method to provide insight about the seeker’s past, present, or future life by interpreting patterns in the dregs of a liquid. Although it has been practiced with coffee throughout Europe and Middle East, particularly among women, no known studies exist on the seer’s perceptual process of the ambiguous patterns or how the roles of the seeker and seer, symbols, ritual, and cultural epistemology shape the divinatory hermeneutics. This study focused on the Armenian coffee divination ritual, asking what are the processes and conditions that enable experienced cup readers to obtain divinatory insight in tasseography? Two seekers each produced one cup, photographed and presented virtually to roughly half of a sample of 17 female seers through video-recorded virtual sessions. Seers were interviewed about their experiences of providing reading, data triangulated with their reading data and the two seekers’ reflections on the readings. Thematic analysis revealed that tasseographic interpretation is a psychodynamic embodied process, influenced by the seer’s subjective world and informed by intuitive sources, that engenders empathetic attunement with the seeker. Readings revealed significant thematic convergence and relevance to each seeker’s central query, and reflected the seekers’ life at the time the cup was produced rather than at the time of reading. Interpretation convergence occurred independent of perceptual variation, suggesting that the seers’ semiotic processes involve transpersonal states and sources.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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