Author Topic: Tea Leaf Reading  (Read 3948 times)

Offline Flutterbit

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Tea Leaf Reading
« on: June 12, 2005, 11:18:39 PM »
Excerpt from: Ancient Wisdom: Magic from Around the World by Cassandra Eason. Pub: Parragon.

The History

Tea leaf reading is probably the most widely practised intuitive art and is found in the folklore of families around the world.  Most people have a grandmother or elderly aunt who reads the leaves and the art is usually passed down through the female line.  It is a form of natural folk magic that cuts across cultural and social barriers.

Tea was produced in China as early as 3000 BC for its medicinal properties as well as being a drink.  China tea with its firm, large leaves and aromatic fragrance is still considered best of all for divination, whether taken in the traditional style without milk, lemon or sugar or served with all the trimmings of a full English afternoon tea.  From China the secrets of its cultivation and divination spread to India and Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon.  From India, the Romany gypsies brought the magical art to Europe.

Tea did not reach England much before the middle of the seventeenth century and was very expensive, cost six to ten pounds per pound.  It was not until 1885 that tea from India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) reached England and in any quantity and so even in Victorian times it was a great luxury, kept in a locked wooden box by the lady of the house.

But the art of divination from the dregs left behind in a cup or glass was practised in Europe and much earlier.  Wine dregs were consulted, a craft known as olinomancy.  From early times, peasant women made herbal brews for minor ailments and to preserve good health and the coarse leaves formed an early source for leaf readings.  For example, camomile tea was routinely taken for centuries in rural areas to help insomnia and anxiety as well as minor skin irritations.  Afterwards leaves from the brews would be used by the family matriarch to discover the root cause of the distress.

Coffee was introduced into Europe a century before tea and the first London coffee shop was opened to the public in 1652.  Because coffee was not so expensive as tea, coffee grounds reading was, for a time, more popular and still forms the chief material for tasseography in countries as wide apart as Turkey, Greece and the United States.  In Merimee's story Carmen, the Gypsy tells her lover Don Jose before he kills her: "I have seen more than once in the coffee grounds that we would meet our deaths together" (the story was changed for the opera and she foretells their deaths with a deck of cards).

Traditionally, coffee grounds are considered better for matters of the inner world and dreams, but this is entirely a matter of preference.  If coffee is used, it should be the thick Turkish kind or a heavy grain, made by hand, boiled with water and the remaining syrup after drinking drained in the saucer, using the method suggested for tea leaf reading.

Offline Christine

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How interesting
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2005, 11:26:35 AM »
That is really interesting! I have long wonderedd about tea leaf reading. So how do people read the leaves now when we mostly do not use teeapots and we starin the leaves out when we do drink tea from a pot?
So would it be a matter of letting some get into the cup?
Is there a method to it? Do you have to swirl the leaves around or is it read by how they sit in the cup when you are finished?
I would love to know what the patterns mean. If we could find examples of some patterns we could post them up in here.
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Offline High Priestess

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How to read Tea Leaves
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2005, 06:51:35 PM »
How To Read from a Cup:

1. Prepare a cup of tea loose tea leaves or grind coffee. Select a tea or coffee that has character in terms of texture, flavour, or history. Plan on using a rounded teaspoon per person. Make it right in the cup and watch it the colour deepen. It's a different experience than brewing tea or coffee in a pot or using a filter bag.

2. Use a white china cup with no inside pattern or decoration. The exception to this is a cup which is made expressively for tasseomancy. It is white but it has symbols of various kinds inside the cup. Sometimes you can find these special cups at tea speciality shops or at antique stores. They are fun, but not really necessary.

3. Sip and enjoy your cup to the fullest, leaving only a small amount of liquid. Consider your question mentally. Ask simply for spiritual guidance. Holding the cup in your left hand and the handle right in front of you, swirl the liquid three times clockwise, sweeping the leaves up to the rim of the cup without spilling it.

4. Invert the cup into the saucer, holding it for a count of seven and letting the liquid drain away. Turn the cup right side up. Empty your mind of all concerns. Relax and start to observe the cup with unfocused sight centreed in the bottom of cup. This sight is very important because of need for your Third Eye activation. After the few minutes of unfocused observation images in the cup will start to discover themselves. You can get insights in form of pictures, emotions, smells and sounds. This is the best way to interpret the mysterious images that have formed.

Tips Concerning Interpretation

Most people wonder if they can interpret symbols in the cup. I'd say it's as simple as seeing forms and pictures in the clouds. So looking into cup you will notice that some the symbols resemble various items. They might be geometric shapes or forms found in nature. An number, alphabelt letter, or astrological symbol could be looking up at you. After you've recognised the symbols, your Third Eye will help you to interpret them. It is not important to memorise the list of meaning if you can use your Third Eye.

If you do not use your Third Eye at the beginning you can look at the web for some a lists of meanings.  After you have identified the symbols, you notice if they are inverted or incomplete, which will modify your interpretation. You'll need to consider the overall pattern of the cup.

Many tea leaves left in a cup means a full or busy life, while fewer means a simpler or more empty life.

Any larger image is more important than a smaller one. Images closer to the rim are about to happen, while those deeper down toward the base are going to take place, but they will take time.

Symbols around the side of the cup going away from the handle are events that have just happened or are about to happen, usually within the family. Here we see an anchor. This shows that you will soon find an answer to a problem, maybe a family issue that has caused anxiety but will soon be over. Symbols around the side of the cup coming towards the handle represent near future events outside the family. Here we see a key. This predicts a fiery and passionate relationship that may occur soon.

Pay attention to anything lurking in the very bottom of the cup; that could be some area of your life that needs special attention. Symbols at the bottom of the cup need to be taken seriously as they depict your emotions. Here we see a cherry - this is a powerful symbol of love and emotion. Perhaps indicating that you are in the middle of a secure and loving relationship.

Around the rim of the cup is the happy zone, depicting fun, light-hearted events. Here we see an egg. This is an excellent sign as it signifies fresh plans, fertility and an increase in wealth and success in whatever you are currently doing.

I'd also suggest that if you are reading for someone other than yourself, that you politely ask them what the symbol might mean to them. And always offer the most uplifting interpretations that may occur to you.


ACORN - a very strong and fortunate symbol indicating happiness and contentment; at the top = financial success; at the bottom = good health.
AIRCRAFT - journey; travel.
ALLIGATOR or CROCODILE -- beware of false friendship lurking in your professional life.
ANCHOR - at top = stability, constancy in love or business; at bottom or broken = instability, inconstancy; can also symbolize an unpleasant situation or burden you should sail away from.
ANGEL - good news; protection.
ANT -- hard work or busy phase will end productively.
APPLE - life; creative or artistic achievement; abundance.
ARCH -- positive opening or opportunity (look to nearby symbols for added meaning).
ARM -- pointing up = new directions; down = you need to motivate yourself; horizontal = help others or receive help from others.
ARROW - up = good direction, yes; down = wrong direction, no; horizontal = no change. Note where pointing.
AXE - you have the power to overcome difficulties.
BABY - new life; possible pregnancy; small worries.
BOUQUET - romantic interest; validation for your work or talents.
BAG - a trap; if open = escape.
BALL - desire to travel.
BALLOON - busy social life; inability to settle down if near handle.
BARREL - abundance in laughter.
BASKET - harvest, abundance; material gain; possibly a new baby.
BAT (the animal) - a productive busy phase.
BAT or CLUB - situation calling for alert caution.
BEACON or LIGHTHOUSE - situation calling for your leadership and/or inspiration.
BEAR - a grouchy and difficult person; strength, courage and endurance; if teddy bear = children or childhood.
BED - sleep on it before establishing a close love or business relationship
BEE - fruitful hard work.
BEETLE - renewal; progress; need for foresight.
BELL - unexpected good news in love or business; call to attention
BICYCLE - individuality; choose your own path.
BIRD - good news or message; standing bird = delay; flying bird = good news; good news coming soon; flock of birds = profound or exciting news; goose= successful financial venture; pea(you radiate sunshine and light) = pride and display; eagle = power and transcendence; crow/raven = ill omen, warning, time to relax; parrot = beware of idle gossip; chicken/hen = happy homelife and childhood comfort; dove = peace and love; owl = wisdom, knowledge and learning; rooster = a boastful person or wake up and seize the moment; swan = romance or someone graceful and beautiful; vulture = lay low and beware of enemies; swallow = love and new beginnings.
BOAT - worthwhile journey; your ship is coming in.
BONES - situation calling for inner strength and spiritual fortitude.
BOWL - invitations, money or generosity .
BOOK - if open = an answer to a question; if closed a question to be investigated.
BOTTLE - explosive atmosphere requiring caution; do not overindulge.
BOW - fortunate symbol meaning gift or celebration of achievement.
BOX - you are about to receive a gift.
BREAD (loaf) - nourishment; care for your health.
BRIDGE - a life-changing event or person. Look for nearby symbols.
BROOM - new home; new era in your life.
BRUSH - need for improvements and/or beautification.
BUBBLES - floating on surface of tea or coffee means money coming.
BUGS - distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
BUSH - an obstacle to new opportunities; branches signify choices.
BUTTERFLY - overdue happiness.

CAKE - a wish fulfilled; celebration.
CAMEL - you will overcome burden and pressure to reach oasis.
CANDLE -there will be light upon an uncertain path; help from friends.
CAR - if clear = travel; if broken = mechanical trouble.
CARPETS - true friends and happy social engagements.
CASTLE - expand your horizons; open up a little.
CAT - deceit; an untrustworthy friend.
CHAIN - if well-formed = fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken = trouble, disruption.
CHAIR - a guest or new addition to the family.
CASTLE - expand your horizons
CHILD - new idea; family.
CIGAR - a new friend or business relationship.
CIRCLE - unbroken = success, completion; broken (like letter 'c')= a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
CLOCK - warning against procrastination.
CLOUDS - small and fluffy = happy optimism; thick and dark = gloom; sadness.
CLOVER (four leaf)-- good luck that you have worked hard to attain.
COFFEE POT OR TEA POT - a special visitor is coming, probably not romantic.
COIN - a lump sum of money is coming your way.
COMB - improve your self appearance.
COMET - brink of pivotal change or dramatic event in your life.
COW - abundance; prosperity; physical or creative fertility.
CRAB - admonition to be more direct or someone born under the zodiac sign Cancer.
CROSS - if like a 'T' = hard won success and happiness; if like a solid 'X' = warning (look for meaning with nearby symbols); if like a broken 'X' = obstacles and losses are ahead.
CROWN - honor and recognition for your talents.
CUP - be patient, this is not a time to assert yourself.
CUSHIONS OR PILLOWS - comfort; admonition against laziness and procrastination.
DAGGER - caution against sharp words or revealing personal information
DAISY - new love.
DASHES or DOTS - many short trips which may cause wasted time.
DEER - a shy, timid person; you should be more assertive to overcome shyness.
DIAMOND - gift or other surprise windfall coming you way.
DICE - destiny and change, go with the flow.
DISH - interpret as a circle unless containing food; contains food = domestic comfort.
DOG - good friend; if at bottom friend needs help; if barking, untrustworthy friend; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dog year.
DONKEY - stubbornness and stamina.
DOOR - be aware of opportunities.
DRAGON - scheming or flashy person; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dragon year.
DROPS - tears or sadness.
DRUM - a change; a call to action.
DUCK - devoted mate; money.

EAR - you will benefit from something you hear.
EGG - if whole = new life, successful new beginning; if cracked/broken = failed plans or financial problems which can be overcome by action.
ELEPHANT - be patient, you will be supported with kindness.
ENVELOPE - you will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
EXCLAMATION MARK - pay attention; beware of impulsive actions.
EYE - a protective symbol; insight into a long standing problem.
FACE - look for nearby initials for identity of face; if near the rim or handle it is a warning against too much introspection; if facing another symbol indicates importance of that symbol.
FAN - a flirtation.
FEATHER - need for concentration.
FENCE - temporary and self-imposed limitations.
FINGER - emphasizes whatever symbol it is pointing; up = caution; down = stop.
FIRE - passion; hot emotion; sexual desire.
FISH - sharing of knowledge; a teacher; a person born under the Zodiac sign of Pisces (especially if there are two fish).
FLAG - danger, look to nearby symbols for added meaning.
FLEUR DE LYS or LILY - femininity; a loving woman.
FLOWER - praise and compliments are coming your way.
FLY - an annoying person.
FOOT - movement in love, career or location.
FORK - get advice from trusted friends before deciding.
FORKED LINE - a decision to be made.
FOUNTAIN - overflowing happiness.
FOX - a cunning person may be trying to trick you.
FRUIT - prosperity, fertility.
FROG - fertility; abundance; a disguised handsome/beautiful lover.

GATE - be aware of opportunities around you.
GLASS - celebrations, parties, social events.
GLOBE - long distance travel.
GOAT - your persistence will pay off, but take some time to recreate; or, a person born under the sign of Capricorn.
GRAPES - abundance and epicurean enjoyment.
GRASSHOPPER - summer delights.
GUN - danger; a bully.
HAMMER - an attempted persuasion.
HAND - if open = karma or destiny; if closed means an argument; look for added meaning where the hand is pointing.
HARE - unlike the shorter eared rabbit, the long eared hare represents something important brewing in your destiny in love or travel.
HARP - love; romance.
HAT - you will experience a change in roles; or business success.
HEART - love, friendship, romance.
HILLS - small challenges which will leave you improved.
HORSE - if galloping means good news; if just the head means a lover
HORSESHOE - good luck; very positive especially for travel.
HOURGLASS - a warning to be punctual.
HOUSE - comfort and home.

ICEBERG - danger.
INSECT - distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
IVY - this is not a good time to be too independent; trust friends to help you.
JEWELS - material success; you will receive a valuable gift.

KANGAROO - travel; a journey.
KETTLE - a special visitor is coming, probably not romantic.
KITE - your wish will be granted.
KNIFE - caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
LADDER - promotion; an improvement in your business life.
LAMP - at the top means a feast; at the side means secrets revealed; at the bottom means postponement
LEAF - the turning over of a new leaf; inevitable changes with the passage of time.
LETTER - you will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
LIGHTENING - startling events; sudden insights.
LINES - journey on a road; if straight = progress; if wavy = uncertain path; if many = many short trips.
LION - male lion represents a powerful contact or important man; the lioness represents a strong family; or, may represent a person born under the zodiac sign of Leo.
LOCK - there are obstacles in your way.
LOOP - if well-formed = fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken = trouble, disruption.

MAN - a visitor of either gender; if near handle = someone close to you.
MASK - a secret to be kept.
MOUNTAIN - a difficult, but possible, goal.
MOUSE - be cautious of credit deals.
MUSHROOM - rapid growth, success or fertility.
NAIL - an unfair assault.
NECKLACE - complete = personal relationship stability; broken = instability in a personal relationship.
NEEDLE - painful repair.

OAK - long life characterized by good health.
OCTOPUS - warning.
OYSTER - passion and desire.
PALM TREE - wealth; beach vacation.
PARASOL - protection from harm or loss.
PIG - a greedy or jealous person.
PISTOL - warning of danger.
PURSE - money.

QUESTION MARK - reconsider your plans; be aware of an important question you should ask yourself.
RABBIT - fertility in family or business; someone born in the Chinese Zodiac year of the rabbit.
RAINBOW - your wish will come true; similar to an arch, it links represents the path between today and your destiny.
RAKE - you are at a crossroad and your destiny is determined by hard work.
RECTANGLE OR SQUARE - you will face a challenge or difficulty (look to nearby symbols, especially symbols within the shape, for added meaning.
RING - represents marriage but usually interpreted as a circle; unbroken = success, completion; broken (like letter 'c')= a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
ROSE - new romance; deepening of love.
RUG - go with your instincts in distinguishing from a rectangle or square; represents joyful social events and true friendship.
SAW - something should be removed.
SCALE - a legal matter; if balanced = justice will prevail; if unbalanced = unjust result; a person born under the zodiac sign of Libra.
SCISSORS - it may be time to remove yourself from a situation or relationship.
SHEEP - a calm and peaceful person; an admonition to control impulses.
SHELL - you will find a simple treasure.
SHIP - worthwhile journey; your ship is coming in.
SHOE - you are on the correct path; be wary of advice to change.
SNAKE - someone who does not deserve your trust.
SPIDER - a small reward or win.
SPIDER WEB - potent symbol of fate; beware of traps.
SPOON - you will be comforted by someone's generosity.
STAR - success, recognition and praise.
STAIR - your position will improve.
SUN - a new beginning.
SWORD - caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
TABLE - a happy social interlude.
TENT - travel may help you foster your spiritual health.
THIMBLE - focus on fostering your home life.
TORNADO OR WHIRLWIND - prepare for turbulent weather.
TORTOISE OR TURTLE - lasting success through slow, determined and patient efforts.
TOWER - risk of disappointment.
TREE - alone = family, roots, heritage; leafless = family conflict; many leaves = family contentment; group of trees = family unity; evergreen = enduring relationships; palm = wealth or beach vacation.
TRIANGLE - you are involved in a three way relationship; if wedge shaped = one person is getting in the way of your relationship with the other person.

UMBRELLA - protection from harm or loss.
URN - be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
VASE - a secret being kept from you; be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
VIOLIN - allow your feelings to surface.
VOLCANO - there is an obstruction in your life that must be dealt with before it explodes.

WAGON - childhood; simple pleasures.
WASP - danger of small harm.
WATERFALL - wealth and prosperity.
WHEEL - events outside your control will change the direction of your life.
WINGS - do not box yourself in or limit yourself unnecessarily.
WOLF - you will be challenged or betrayed by someone.
ZEBRA - be more flexible and adventurous in your travel plans.

High Priestess
Life is simple..........
It's people that make it hard.

C Ferris


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