Coffee Cup Reading Symbols’ Meanings

The interpretation of symbols is very specific to regions and cultures. I would suggest looking up the symbology that is specific to your culture since different objects and animals have different meanings in different countries. A symbol or totem considered auspicious in one region might not be in another.

Here is a list of some common symbols to get you started:


Airplane: long travel, promotion, moving forward

Anchor: settling, finding stability, weighing down

Angel: good news, happiness, protection

Ant: fruit bearing, determination

Apple: new love

Arrow(s): bad news, wrong direction

Ax: conflict, problems


Baby: minor worries

Bag: large amount of money

Ball: need to invest work or training to get things started

Balloon: idealization or a person or situation, be careful

Bat: stealthy intentions, fear of people

Beans: financial issues

Bear: careful decision making, don’t overreact or panic

Bed: personal problems, sickness

Bee: new friends or friends gathering

Bell: visitors

Bird: news, letter, message

Boat: staying afloat or on top of things

Book: wisdom, legal issues

Bottle: active social life

Box: secrets

Branch: helping a friend in trouble

Bridge: overcoming obstacles

Broom: questioning one self, self-examination

Bull: independence or advances from a married man

Bus: group travel

Butterfly: change, transformation


Cage: depression, unhappiness

Camel: news from far away

Candle: help from friends, knowledge, wisdom and learning

Car: luck in new ventures, travel

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Cat: solitude, fighting with friends or loved ones, catfight

Chain: loss of freedom, unhappy union in marriage or business

Chair: unexpected guest or stability

Chicken(s): gossip, idle chatter

Church or temple: ceremony, spiritual growth

Circle: success, wishes come true

Claw: fighting, enemy

Clover: luck or affection

Comet: unexpected visitor

Compass: need for direction

Cow: wealth

Cross: sacrifice

Crown: acknowledgment, reward, peer recognition


Dagger: divorce, severing of ties

Devil: danger, beware of influential people, unhappiness, bad omen

Dog: friendship, loyalty

Dolphin: joy, fun

Door: opportunity

Dragon: past is haunting you

Drum: scandalous news


Eagle: high goals or expectations

Egg: wealth and success

Elephant: intelligence and longevity


Face: new friendship, face value

Fence: protection, seclusion

Feather: contemplation about life, self-exmination

Fish: financial news or career achievement

Flag: danger waiting

Flower: happiness, beauty

Fork: argument with spouse

Fortress: success after hardships

Fox: cunning, beware of hypocrites

Fruit: prosperity in endeavors


Gate: opportunity, exit from a bad situation

Goat: business competition

Goose: resolution to a problem

Grave: death, sadness, misfortune

Gun(s): battle, argument, major disruption in relationship


Hammer: brute force, overcoming challenges with force

Hand: agreement

Harp: harmony

Hat: success in life

Heart: Love, good health or heartbreak if the heart is broken

Horse: nobless, strength

Hourglass: imminent danger, incompletion, time running out

House: success in business, security




Kettle: socializing with friends

Key: moving, new solutions

King: power, highest form of success

Kite: tethered, tied down

Knife: enemies approaching, break-up


Ladder: work related travel, promotion

Lamp: resolution, shedding light on something

Leaves: ambition, money

Letter: news

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Lines: path, goal

Lion: influential friend, success at work


Maiden: honor

Man: money

Mask: lies and deception around you

Mermaid: success in love, beauty

Monkey: curiosity

Moon: full moon means love, crescent moon means spiritual calling

Mountain: powerful person, it could be friend or foe depending on context around it

Mushroom: sudden growth


Nails: hurt, injustice

Nest: pregnancy

Net: danger around you

Nose: someone is inquiring about you, gossip


Owl: warnings about unlucky events

Old woman or hag: sadness in the home


Pear: financial security, social status

Pig: gain

Pot(s): wedding, positive changes

Purse: you will receive money



Rabbit: success with children

Raven: bad or sad news

Rat: loss of employees, disloyalty

Ring: marriage, broken ring means divorce or bad luck

Reptiles: unpleasant discussions, discomfort


Saw: trouble from strangers

Scales: justice

Scissors: trouble at home, break-up, illness, sadness

Scorpio: revenge

Shark: high danger or death

Ship: staying afloat, successful journey

Shoe: new beginnings

Shovel: hardship approaching

Skull: major worries, failure, loss

Smoke: legal issues

Snake(s): beware, bad people are around you

Spider: money on its way

Square: happy marriage and home

Star: investments

Swan: happy love life

Sword: arguments, especially between lovers

Sun: power, wealth


Tie: engagement

Tower: longevity, long life

Toy: nostalgia

Train: new ventures

Trees: changes for the better, prosperity

Triangle: changes


Umbrella: difficulty, annoyance

Unicorn: scandal, unrealistic expectations


Vase: dignity

Violin: selfishness

Volcano: things are outside of your control


Wall: unfruitful business

Waterfall: overly emotional

Witch: dangerous, scheming woman, poisoning of mind

Wheel: change of fortune, inheritance

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Whip: high energy, sexual activity

Window: neighborhood gossip

Wolf: need for family

Worm(s): secret enemies



As a letter: making decisions regarding a goal, forking in the road


Zebra: indecisiveness