Here’s a fun method of predicting the future that has been used for centuries.
Pour the grounds of tea or coffee into a white cup; shake them well about, so as to spread them over the surface; tip the cup to drain away the superfluous contents, and then exercise your fertile fancy in discovering what the figures thus formed represent.
Long, wavy lines denote vexatious and losses – their importance depending on the number of lines. Straight ones, on the contrary, foretell peace, tranquility and long life.
Human figures are usually good omens, announcing love affairs and marriage.
If circular figures predominate, the person for whom the experiment is made may expect to receive money. If these circles are connected by straight, unbroken lines, there will be delay, but ultimately all will be satisfactory.
Squares foretell peace and happiness; oblong figures, family discord; curved, twisted, or angular ones are certain signs of vexations and annoyances, their probable duration being determined by the number of figures.
A crown signifies honor; a cross, news of death; a ring, marriage – if a letter can be discovered near it, that will be the initial of the name of the future spouse. If the space around the ring is clear part of the cup, it foretells a happy union; if clouds are about it, the contrary; but if it should chance to be at the bottom of the cup, then the marriage will never take place.
A leaf of clover is a good sign, denoting, if at the top of the cup, speedy good fortune, which will be more or less distant if the sign appears at, or near, the bottom.
The anchor, if at the bottom of the cup, denotes success in business; if at the top, and in the clear part, love and fidelity; but in thick, or cloudy parts, inconsistency.
The serpent is always the sign of an enemy, and if in the cloudy part, gives warning that great prudence will be necessary to ward off misfortune.
The coffin portends news of a death, or long illness.
The dog, at the top of the cup, denotes true and faithful friends; in the middle, that they are not to be trusted; but at the bottom, that they are secret enemies.
The lily, at the top of the cup, foretells a happy marriage; at the bottom, anger.
A letter signifies news; if in the clear, very welcome news; surrounded by dots, a remittance of money; but if hemmed in by clouds, it means bad tidings and losses. A heart near it denotes a love letter.
A single trio of symbols portends restoration to health.
A group of trees in the clear, misfortunes, which may be avoided; several trees, wide apart, promise that your wishes will be accomplished; if encompassed by dashes, it is a token that your fortune is in its blossom and only requires care to bring to maturity; if surrounded by dots, riches.
Mountains signify either friends or enemies, according to their situation.
The sun, moon and stars denote happiness and success. The clouds, happiness or misfortune, according to whether bright or dark.
Birds are good omens, but quadrupeds – with the exception of the dog – foretell trouble and difficulties.
Fish imply good news from across the water.
A triangle portends an unexpected legacy; a single straight line, a journey.
The figure of a man indicates a speedy visitor; if the arm is outstretched, a present; when the figure is very distinct, it shows that the person expected will be of dark complexion, and vice versa.
A crown near a cross indicates a large fortune resulting from a death.
Flowers are signs of joy, happiness and peaceful life.
A heart surrounded by dots signifies joy, occasioned by the receipt of money; with a ring near it, approaching marriage.
ADDENDUM: How to read your fortune by the white of an egg.
Break an egg, and carefully separating the yolk from the white, drop the latter into a large tumbler half full of water.
Place this, uncovered, in some dry place, and let it remain untouched for 24 hours, by which time the white of the egg will have formed itself into various figures – rounds, squares, ovals, animals, trees, crosses, etc., which are to be interpreted in the same manner as described above for tea and coffee grounds.