Reading tea leaves isn’t as mysterious as you might think. Divination requires two basic elements: 1) A Question 2) An Answer. The querent drinks the cup of tea, leaving a drip or two of liquid in the bottom of the cup. The cup is handed over to the reader who interprets the meanings of symbols formed by the wet tea leaves.
Time Required: Twenty Minutes
- Gather the supplies needed for your tea reading session. Loose tea, hot water, white or light colored tea cup, saucer, and napkin.
2. Place a teaspoon (not heaping, tea leaves swell when wet) of loose tea leaves inside the cup. Pour hot water over the tea, filling the cup.
3. While the tea is seeping have the querent hold the cup in the palms of her hands. At this time the querent should be focusing her thoughts on the question. The question can be stated out loud, or kept private.
4. When the tea is no longer hot, but warm or luke-warm, the tea is to be drank. Take care not to swallow the tea leaves. Leave a small amount of water in the cup.
5. The cup is then passed over to the reader. The reader gently swirls the liquid in circles inside the cup, allowing the tea leaves to stick to the sides (insides) of the tea cup.
6. Place a napkin on the saucer and turn the cup upside down onto the saucer. After a couple of minutes, return the cup to its upright position.
7. The reader now looks inside the cup and begins to interpret any symbols (dots, circles, triangles, squares, animals, objects, numbers, letters) formed by the tea leaves.
8. Symbol meanings are interpreted differently (Note: Symbols and Interpretations are listed below) depending on the “feeling” the reader gets when seeing them. Numbers for example, can indicate days, weeks, months or even years. Letters can represent clues to a person’s name or place. A circle could indicate the end of a cycle, such as a completed project. Or a circle might indicate a group of people. It is best to be open to any “hunches” you get during the reading while viewing the tea leaf symbols, especially when they look more like green globs than images.
9. Optional: You can also upload a photo of the bottom of your cup to invite readers to intuit meanings for you.
The ancient art of reading tea leaves in a cup is quite simple, and can be learned in a very short time. Although psychics throughout the ages have used it as a system of divination, any one can learn to master the techniques involved. Before long you will be making predictions about the future for friends and family. What’s more, as you develop your intuitive skills and confidence you’ll be in a position to invite people round for readings and charge as much as £50 to £60 ($100) per hour.
You don’t need to posses any psychic ability; all that’s really required is patience to understand the various symbols and their meanings. However, as with all divinatory systems constant use can have the effect of developing and stimulating your natural intuitive ability. Adding clairvoyancy to the skill will give you a deeper insight into the metaphysical energy surrounding the process.
Reading tea leaves is a fun way of stimulating the imagination and tapping into the unconscious mind and listening to your inner self for answers to problems or dilemmas that you may have. The process also links in with Carl Jung’s theory of the ‘Collective unconsciousness’, where by ones intuition isn’t limited by the constraints of space or time. It’s through this that tea leaf readers can look into a persons past, present or future.
The ancient practice of interpreting patterns made by tea leaves in the cup is called Tasseography, otherwise known as tasseomancy or tassology. “Tasse” or “tass” is an Arab word, meaning small cup or goblet. The art also includes the reading of coffee grounds and wine sediments. In China and Japan tea drinking had a ceremonial use and an aid to meditation.
A reader would watch for omens in the patterns and shapes left after drinking the tea. Although tea leaf reading is associated with Gypsy fortune-tellers and Victorian parlor games it’s roots began in Asia, ancient Greece and the Middle East. In recent history it has close ties with Scottish, and Irish tradition as well as throughout Eastern Europe.
Historically, a psychic often had a special cup that he or she would use for readings. Likewise a special spoon may be used to give it a sense of ritual. The cup, saucer and spoon should be first washed or cleansed by immersing it in hot soap and water and rinsing it with cold.
Modern day psychics use cups with astrological markings printed on the inside. This not only gives a reading from the tea leaves but also provides information based on the astrological signs. The cup should have a wide brim and should be plain inside as any pattern would conflict with the interpretation of the leaves.
Part of the ritual of reading tea leaves is in the act of sitting down and enjoying the tea in the company of fellow drinkers as this allows you to relax and gather your thoughts. Typically psychics choose not to use small commercially produced tea leaves but opt for the larger type i.e. Jasmin or Erl Grey etc. The person having the reading would be asked to spoon a measure of tea into a heated pot or directly into a china cup.
Some psychics ask that the person receiving the reading stir the dried leaves before spooning them into the teacup or pot. This is seen as being similar to shuffling tarot cards before a reading. Boiling water is poured over the tea as the person receiving the reading stirs the pot or cup. At the same time he or she should concentrate on the particular question that they would like an answer to. The teapot is swirled and the tea poured into the cup.
When the tea is cool enough to drink the person receiving the reading sips the liquid whilst continuing to concentrate on the question. The person having his or hers tea leaf read should leave about a quarter of an inch of tea at the bottom of the cup. The cup should then be swirled around with the left hand three times in a clockwise direction so that the tea leaves are in a state of suspension. It is then flipped quickly face down onto a napkin, which has been placed on the saucer thus leaving the tea leaves on the bottom and sides of the cup.
In order to interpret the images it may help if you slightly squint your eyes as you look at the leaves and allow your imagination to roam. Making a mental note of what you see; begin reading the cup clockwise, the handle representing the day of the teacup reading should be facing the reader. The rest of the cup is divided into twelve months with the six month position being directly facing the handle.
The leaves near the brim of the cup have more importance than those near the bottom. Some psychics say that images facing anticlockwise represent the significance is departing, whilst images facing clockwise mean the person requesting the reading is moving towards the occurrence.
Interpretation of the symbols can be either exactly as they appear, for example a house, may mean contentment and home, or symbolically i.e. combined with a bell may mean good news or an invitation on it’s way. Contradicting images imply indecision in the person’s mind.
Sometimes the top of the cup is seen as lucky and the bottom is seen as unlucky, but you should use your intuition and common sense when deciding this. The size of the symbol may give you clue to it’s importance. The rim represents the present or things that may happen within a few days or weeks. The sides predict the future. The bottom predicts the very distant future.
Like learning most things the more you practice the better you will get. The same applies to the art of tea leaf reading the more proficient you will become at it. The secrete is to trust your instinct, try and not allow your logic to interfere with what you see.
At first you may only be able to see vague shapes, but with perseverance your competence and confidence will grow. The list of symbols and meanings below is far from complete but will help you get started. It would also be helpful to purchase a book with a more comprehensive list of interpretations or alternatively, there are many resources available on the Internet.
Ultimately, the interpretation should be left up to the reader, and no two readers are the same. The main thing about interpreting what you see is to learn to trust your intuition and gut feelings. You may find that certain symbols have a particular meaning for you alone and vary from the meanings listed below.
Symbols and Interpretations:
Airplane: Travel, going up in the world
Anchor: A journey ends.
Angel: A blessing from your guides
Bell: Good news i.e. wedding etc
Bird: Good fortune on its way
Book: Look for further information
Bottle: Allurement, good social life
Butterfly: None serious about a relationship
Clock: Act now, a meeting soon to happen
Cross: Problems but outcome positive
Cobweb: something guarded or secure
Dagger: Fallout or plotting ahead
Dog: A faithful friend
Flag: Stay fast for good fortune
Fish: Spiritual progress
Gate: Change of circumstance, confidently proceed
Heart: Happy emotional things
Key: Solutions revealed soon
Ladder: promotion, improvement
Mountain: Problems, but conquerable
Ring: Changes for the better
Scales: Decisions need to balance things
Trees: A new start.
Teapot: Warm-loving friends
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Discusses the philosophy of tea leaf reading, tells how to prepare and analyze the cup, and lists symbol meanings for common configurations
Reading tea leaves is a traditional divinatory method passed on through generations. The Cup of Destiny reveals the secrets of this ancient method, allowing you to make predictions for yourself and your friends. This kit includes a beautiful, decorated cup and saucer for making readings, and an illustrated book explaining how to interpret the patterns you will find in your cup. The first part of the book describes the ritual of turning the cup counter-clockwise and draining the left-over tea into the saucer. It goes on to explain the meanings of over 200 of the signs and symbols you are likely to see in the leaves when making a reading. The explanations accompanying these allow you to relate them to real events and future possibilities, providing clear insights which can be startlingly accurate: a heart near the rim of the cup means that love is not far away, while a cake may signify a celebration or a party. So, have a cup of tea and see what the leaves have to say about your future!
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With a cup of freshly brewed tea, you can indulge in an age-old custom that brings you deep relaxation, healthful rejuvenation―and a sense of wonder as you see what the leaves reveal. In six simple steps, you’ll learn to read tea leaves like a pro. …
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About the Author: Paula is a gifted psychic and the owner of www.psychic-trudy.co.uk where personal questions are answered professionally and compassionately by Email.