People have been drinking some sort of tea or another for about 5,000 years and since we are always looking for signs and omens what better place to look than right in the bottom of our cup? Although the practice is believed to have started in China where people first cultivated and drank tea, the modern version of tasseography (reading of tealeaves) has its origins in Greece where people practiced the art of reading dregs (wine residue) after drinking wine. (I’m sure many people “saw” things in the dregs as I can only assume they had to drink all the wine to get to the residue! For this exercise I suggest enjoying a cup of tea and using your intuition as a guide not alcohol….as it never tends to lead to good things!)
Since tea didn’t make its way to Europe until the seventeenth century, and then it was a luxury item used for medicinal purposes. It wasn’t until into the eighteenth century that tealeaf reading caught on, as it was during this time that drinking tea and coffee became more commonplace.
Let’s Get Started:
As with all meditation and reading practices it is a good idea to prepare your sacred space, protect yourself and the person you are reading and clear your thoughts in order to focus on the reading itself. Here is what you will need:
- Use a midsize cup with a handle. Preferably one with a wider top.
- Always use white, without patterns so you can see the leaves better
- You will need a white saucer as well
- You can make the tea in a teapot or directly in your cup.
- Chinese and Indian tea mixtures are the best and so is Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey because the leaves aren’t too big making them easier to read
Brewing the Tea:
- Fill kettle with cold water. Using cold water is believed to make a better cup of tea because it contains more oxygen and is generally more pure than hot water.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Place water and tea in your teapot or cup.
- Let it stand for about five minutes. The leaves will settle to the bottom of the pot.
- If using a pot, which is preferred, pour tea into your cup allowing leaves to fall into your cup. It is alright to spoon out some leaves should you not get enough from the pour.
- Allow the leaves to settle into your cup then sip away enjoying the brew!
- Obviously the one who is to be read is the one who drinks the tea
- As you drink, think about a question you would like answered
- Try not to talk during this focus time in order to keep your thoughts on your intention.
- Drink until you have only a drop of liquid in the cup.
- Holding the handle of the cup in your left hand, think or say out loud your question while swirling the teacup in a clockwise motion three times or however many times feels right for you.
- Place the saucer over the top of the cup then quickly turn it upside down. This will drain the remaining water from the cup
- Count to seven (or whatever number feels right to you) before turning the cup over. Be sure to give it enough time so the all water will be out of the cup.
- Turn the handle of the cup towards the person doing the reading because the handle will be used as a point of reference to which everything comes back.
- As you look into the cup ask, “what message is here for me?” then listen to what you are guided to see or thought and message you may hear.
- One particular shape will attract your attention the first moment you look into the cup.
- This first image should stick with you throughout the reading, even if at first it doesn’t make sense.
- Everyone who looks into a cup will most likely see something different. However, if you are the one doing a reading for someone, as the reader you are the one who should pick out the symbols and translate. As with all types of readings it is hard to be objective when doing your own.
- Take note of other symbols you may see, what you feel, your thoughts when you look into the cup.
Positioning of the Symbols:
- The handle and the zone around it represent your home life and family, as well as people you know and people you’re about to meet.
- Symbols to the left of the handle represent the past
- Symbols to the right represent the future
- Symbols around the middle of the cup represent events happening in the not so distant future, usually within three months time
- Symbols at the bottom of the cup are considered to be changeable and are also far away in time usually considered to be nine months and on
- Symbols located near the rim of the cup are the most important
- Any formations found on the uppermost part of the cup are considered to be good luck and good fortune.
- Since this is where you lips touch the cup, messages here pertain to matters of the heart
- Symbols near the top of the cup represent things happening close to present time and immediate future especially when to the right of the handle; left of the handle and near the rim would be recent past.
- In general, if there is a symbol close to the handle the problem could come from something within family or close to home and farther away would signifies issues stem from something farther away from the person- outside his or her immediate circle of family and friends.
- Look at the symbol on the bottom of the cup and see who it relates to the person’s question
- Look at all the symbols in the cup and bring them together to form the reading. Don’t dismiss your first impression as it is here that the answer has its beginning.
- It works well to relate an overview based on your first impression then go back and examine each cluster of leaves.
- If you are a bit stumped with the meaning of a symbol, glance at the other symbols to see how the one you are looking at fits in with the other meanings.
- Some consider the symbols at the bottom of the cup to be a warning against any mishaps, bad luck that sort of thing.
- It is also considered that if an angel is seen in the cup it cancels out any bad sign found in the remaining reading. The angel is a very powerful and pure symbol and can also predict happy times for the matters of the heart.
- The more your thoughts are clear and open and more believing the querent the clearer the reading as doubt blocks judgment and shifts positive energy into negative energy.
Remember using tealeaves is just another way to prompt your senses. Don’t dismiss your thoughts and feelings that come to you when looking at the leaves. Some of you are very visual and will quickly see things in the cup while others will look and think they see n nothing but a clump of leaves but have a feeling or thought come right away. I look in the cup then ask, “What message is here and can be used for the higher good?” and I find I will then receive insight.
Above all, have fun with this.