Friday, December 27, 2013

Coffee symbolism

I think this blog is going to turn into a giant dream dictionary lol! But the posts about symbolism are the most popular, and I do tend to deeply explore certain recurring or potent images that show up in my dreams so it’s all good. I am going to get into alchemy soon – I’m studying up on it but it is a HUGE topic and I have a lot more reading to do before I tackle it! So for now I will stick with symbols.

I keep dreaming about drinking coffee. Coffee is a major liquid for me – I don’t drink alcohol generally; besides water, coffee is it. And I looooooove the stuff! Too much‼ Although I’ve had to switch to decaf due to sleep disturbances I could still drink (the decaffeinated version) all day long. I have to force myself to drink something else. Coffee isn’t just a drink for me though. In the way alcohol is for many people, coffee is definitely a “mana” drink for me. It’s a drink that I can get a little obsessed about. And not just me! There are actually coffee tastings, similar to wine tastings (they call it “cupping”). I can see why. It’s definitely not just a drink.

First I want to look at meanings from around the web. Probably the most obvious meaning coffee has is of energy: it's what people turn to when they’re tired and sluggish. It also often indicates that change (and therefore the hard work to effect it) is needed. Or it could also suggest the need to be more aware of things that are going on around you.
Coffee is all about get-up and go. It is a liquid that is designed to give you pep. Therefore if you have a dream where you are drinking a lot of coffee then it means that you need to continue being peppy and being a little more energetic with your life. Have a bit more energy and admit that you just need to go out and have a little bit more fun as well. Energy is always equal to fun and you will not regret going out more.
This is probably what this kind of dream is supposed to be about. It is a warning that you need to be more alert and pay more attention to your surroundings. This could mean you need to be more alert in a literal sense, where your brain is trying to tell you to stop wearing it out by staying up so late and waking up so early. Orit could also be a message that there are tons of things happening all around you that you are missing out on just because you’re slogging through life instead of going through all of the necessary motions that you should have in order to keep awake, alert, and abreast of current events.

Coffee is also associated with comradeship and companionship: It’s common to drink coffee when spending casual time with others. In that way it’s similar to the family-gathering quality of meals, but coffee is less family oriented and more about friends. People talk over coffee; for good or ill, whether they’re discussing deeply intellectual topics or gossiping about their neighbors.

As suggested above, coffee is often a signifier of taste or class: do you take it black, or as a “coffee drink” (the wine spritzer of coffee); is Starbucks coffee “too strong” for you; do you even drink it at all? The most “refined”, of course, is black, unsweetened coffee. And the most hardcore is espresso!

Finally, from around the web, here are some traditional dream interpretations that are interesting:

see coffee round: one slanders you, - one watches out for clap, - one gossips about you,

burn (roast): you will receive visit,

grind: Annoyance experiences, - also: one speaks bad person of you,

cook: Satisfaction attain, - also: wait and undertake nothing, before you do not know what the other wants,

pour out: you get dear visit,
drink: an invitation receive and a quick pleasure or a pleasant entertainment be certain, - also: you need an encouragement,

black: you will experience an excitement,

knows: a happy message,

coffee grounds: you hear a news.

(European ones).:

the coffee beans are the same symbol like fruits, - big domestic luck, - as a drink is coffee symbol of the suggestion,

see: Friends will disapprove of own marriage plans, - one is already married, it comes to violent differences of opinion,

act with coffee or sell: points to business losses,

shop: with ease keep his good call,

green coffee: stands for audacious enemies who do not show the right direction and pursue fall of one,

dry coffee beans: warn about bad intentions of strangers,

burn: one will have a pleasure,

prepare: brings pleasant guests,

grind: if a quiet family life, promises

see ground coffee: Bad luck successfully survives,

cook: comfortable family life, - soon pleasant guests can welcome, - also: if prosperity can announce,

other people with the coffee drinking see: a lot of clap and gossip is about one in the circulation,

drink themselves to good ones: a nice leisure pleasure or a very pleasant entertainment will arise,

cold with milk drink: brings a failure,

to black ones drink: meant an excitement,

with milk: one will receive an invitation,

wash coffeepot: if satisfaction brings after a heavy work,

see coffee grinder: domestic satisfaction, - care, one should bend forward any gossip by correct behaviour,

see coffee grounds: if illness and material worries tells in,
Seeing or serves a young woman to coffee, she becomes quick to the ridicule if she is not discreet.

Roasting a young woman coffee, she escapes bad things by a happy marriage with a stranger.


prepare: Prosperity in the house,

drink: you are liked with the people very much.

The meanings are so varied that it’s hard to draw any general associations from the above but there seems to be a thread of friendship and/or domesticity or problems with same. Perhaps this is because of domestic nature of preparing coffee, and it’s tendency to be consumed among friends (with a lot of talk accompanying it.)

My own thoughts about coffee are really different, at least as they apply to me personally. When I was first thinking about coffee and what it meant in my most recent dream I kept thinking about two things: 1) it’s dual nature (bitter/sweet), which is like salt and 2) its similarity to wine. Salt has a dual nature of bitterness vs. wisdom.
What turns the ashes of failure into the crown of victory is indicated by the fact that ash is alchemically equivalent to salt… Basically salt symbolizes Eros and appears in one of two aspects, either as bitterness or as wisdom. Jung writes: “Tears, sorrow, and disappointment are bitter, but wisdom is the comforter in all psychic suffering. Indeed, bitterness and wisdom form a pair of alternatives: where there is bitterness wisdom is lacking, and where wisdom is there can be no bitterness.” …
(Edward F. Edinger, Anatomy of the Psyche)

Coffee is similar; with coffee, the dual nature is bitterness vs. sweet. Coffee is either drunk with a lot of cream and sugar or it’s black and bitter. The thing is, it’s the bitterness of the coffee that makes it so delicious when you add fat and sugar (it’s the same reason why chocolate is so addictive – add a bit of bitter to fat and sugar and the brain goes nuts.)

The other thing coffee reminds me of is wine: Like I said, as with wine coffee is a “mana” drink. It’s basically a liquid drug. Wine, which is associated with Dionysus, is an agent of solutio; it erases boundaries and brings everything together in a blur of ecstacy (or, pushed further, into madness.) Coffee is like an anti-Dionysian liquid; it’s strongly associated with work and getting things done. But it’s a mind altering liquid just the same. Where wine is an agent of solutio, coffee is an agent of exhilaration and the motivation to go after your desires.

Coffee is also black. It’s a black liquid, a kind of bitter nigredo. It’s black and bitter, but it’s the bitterness of the coffee that adds flavor to life. Without the bitterness, the sweet is just overwhelming… or worse, just bland and tasteless. It’s the bitterness of the chocolate that makes it so delicious, that and the sweetness and the richness. The inability to appreciate what is bitter in our lives is a sign of childishness; to love the bitter for itself shows a maturity of taste and a sophistication in the art of living. It’s the cold night that makes the warm light so pleasurable… but the night itself has its own winter-like beauty, if you’re artistically and emotionally sensitive enough, and mature enough.

I think this idea is what all these coffee dreams may have been leading to.


  1. Love this...Thank you for sharing your insights!!!

    1. My pleasure! Thanks for the lovely comment! :)


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