With teacup-reading, women seek to get to ‘bottom’ of problems
Even highly educated women approach teacup-reading experts in the hope it would help them solve their problems. The practice is prohibited by Islam. Psychologists have warned that teacup reading could cause depression, but many women still go to these tasseographists to find solutions to their problems. Tasseography, is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds or sediments. In this practice, after a cup of tea is poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer.
The psychic then looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and allows the imagination to play around the shapes suggested by them.
They might look like a letter, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are then interpreted intuitively or by means of a fairly standard system of symbolism, such as snake (enmity or falsehood), spade (good fortune through industry), mountain (journey of hindrance), or house (change, success). Elham Abdullah, who holds a Master’s degree, said she and her friends found enjoyment and satisfaction by listening to an African woman teacup reader who charged SR50 for a single sitting.
Amani Muhammad, who is about to complete her doctoral studies, said she was impressed by an Arab teacup reader as she was accurate in her reading, particularly with regard to certain events in her past. Muhammad has tried to learn more about the science by surfing the Web. Siham Al-Areefi, a university graduate, said she used to practice teacup readings for her friends at work for fun after preparing a Turkish coffee.
Sociologists Basma Al-Senari said many women, especially married ones, approach teacup readers as a way to escape depression. “Some women approach such fortune-tellers to understand the reason for the strange behavior of their husbands and find solutions for it,” she said. “Women are more emotional than men and this makes them the victims of such superstitions,” she said. “Some others find enjoyment in this practice.” Al-Senari believed those who approach teacup readers do it continuously whenever they have any problems.
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