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The Art of Reading Coffee with Amir Bey

  • Tarot Society 4 Charles Place Brooklyn, NY, 11221 United States (map)

Reading coffee grounds is a “fluid” form of divination, with images that are modified in the context of the reading; a heart shape can have various sizes, shapes and textures. The fineness of the grounds is important, as is the shape of the cup and saucer being used. In observing the grounds it’s possible to see the images change, giving them a live character.

Coffee ground readings have been given for centuries. It is known that the areas with the deepest histories of it are in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Eastern European countries, which suggests the influence of the Turkish empire; in Turkish it is called Kafe Fali, “Coffee Fortune Telling.” Some sultans consulted readers before important undertakings. It spread to some Caribbean countries, possibly through immigration by people from those countries. 

Participants of this class will each drink a cup of Turkish coffee, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, the finest of all grinds, which yields the most detailed images. While drinking, a question or a general “vibe” should be focused on. While we are waiting for the grounds to cool and coagulate into images, a discussion on varieties of approaches, cups, personal vocabularies, and the overall aim in reading will occur, including how to tell the story that is inferred by the images, as well as some traditional images. Events and experiences from Amir Bey’s readings, and observations of other readers will be covered. 

$20. Limited to 15 participants. Advance tickets recommended.

Demitasse cups and saucers ($6), Turkish coffee pots ($8), and coffee can also be purchased at the event. 

Everyone is asked to bring their personal perspectives on readings with them! As with readings of any kind, the intuitive process and the experience of the reader is important. 

Amir Bey, a New York City-based occult and visual artist, began studying the occult in 1969 with tarot, the I Ching in 1970, and astrology in 1971. While astrology is his main occult tool, he has created a unique tarot deck, The Equinox Celebration Tarot, that uses images he carved from stone. This deck was first published in 1993 and is available at Tarot Society. As a visual artist, he has organized over 100 exhibitions and performances as a curator, has a permanent installation of 12 windows for the MTA’s art program at the Mt. Eden Station on the #4 line in the Bronx, and has exhibited internationally, including Japan, Turkey, Martinique, Germany, and Spain. He recently did a series of astrology, tarot, and coffee readings in Japan in several locations, along with costume designs and performance there.

Cover photo by Sophie Grigliatti-Bey