D.I.Y Tea-Leaf Reading
Fall is upon us: the leaves are changing colors, that nice, chill breeze follows us everywhere we go, and tea lovers can finally retrieve their collection of loose leaf tea. There is no better time to boil some hot water and attempt some amateur tea-leaf reading.
Divination can be done many different ways, studying the movements of the stars, reading tarot cards or palms, but tasseography (tea-leaf reading) seems to be the perfect way to begin an attempt at predictions. All you need is hot water, tea leaves, a cup with a saucer, patience and intuition.
For the reading to work, you must be of an open mind because a big part of reading tea leaves is allowing one’s imagination to take over. The first steps are to brew a nice cup of loose leaf tea and enjoy drinking the tea till the very bottom of the cup is dry or has minimal water. Next, you must hold the cup by the handle with your left hand, and quickly swirl the contents three times counterclockwise, while keeping in mind the questions or desires you wish to know about your future.
Don’t fret if leaves cling to the sides of the cup, because immediately after, you will tip the cup upside down on the saucer and wait about a minute for the remaining liquid to dry. Afterwards, gently turn the cup back up and look at the position the leaves have clung to the cup. It doesn’t matter if there are few leaves or many, you should let your body relax and try to tune in with how the leaves gathered.
Intuitively—or creatively—begin to make associations with the shapes the leaves suggest and keep in mind the significance and meaning behind symbols. If you find it difficult to see any shape, try reading the leaves from a different angle by turning the cup until a shape speaks to you. Your initial thoughts on the leaves tend to be the most accurate so do not overthink the meaning if you want a clear reading. Chronologically, it is better to start by the rim of the cup which signifies the present and the events that will happen soonest, the sides show events in the not so far distance, and the bottom shows the distant future.
Although tea-reading is unique to each cup of tea, here are some pointers as to what some shapes mean: a line of smaller leaves usually mean you will have a journey, but if it’s a broken line it means it is a challenging journey. Celestial bodies and birds indicate good fortune, success; a heart means a lover but if it isn’t distinct it means they aren’t permanent; although birds are a sign of luck, the owl is a sign of poverty, and small triangles mean unexpected fortune. Smaller bits of broken tea leaves surrounding a potential shape could mean money if it makes sense with the context of the reading. If your questions are about a particular person it is not unusual that the letter of their name should appear.
It may take a while to get accurate readings but the more you practice and the more instinctual you let yourself be, you’ll soon be able to predict yours and others future events.