Taking a brief look at the history of tea leaf reading, tea leaf reading is also called tasseomancy, tasseography or t
eomancy. In each case, the root word “tasse” comes from French meaning cup. It is also related to “tassa” the Arabic word for goblet. Essentially it is the study of the cup and its writings or prophecies.
Tea leaf reading – or fortune telling by tea leaves began to make its mark in popularity during the 17th century when tea was introduced into Europe from China. Many believe tea leaf reading originated in Chine and that present day tea leaf reading is thought to have originated in Asia, the Middle East and Ancient Greece.
The beauty of this form of divination is its simplicity. The only tool is a cup of tea! No elaborate set up or complicated ritual is required. And the best thing about reading tea leaves is that it’s not limited to professional psychics. It is a skill that anyone can learn. In fact, it can actually help you to develop your intuition and your own psychic abilities. Here are some basic steps to perform tea leaf readings for yourself and others.
Interpreting the signs and their meanings can be challenging. Some tasseographers insist that there are universal shapes with specific meanings.
1. The Cup of Tea
Obviously the best way to start is with a nice cup of tea. A light colored cup is recommended so that it is easier to see the leaves. Most practitioners recommend using a loose leaf type of tea without a strainer. This ensures that there will be some nice clumps of leaves or shapes in the cup for the reading.
2. Focus, Intent and Action
Next is the focus of the reading. Is there a particular question or is it just to see what the future holds? The person seeking the reading should drink the tea or at least take a sip or two, rather than just pour the liquid out of the cup. Why? This helps the seeker to set their intention for the reading. It is a nice gesture to the universe that says “I make a commitment from my own lips to seek the truth.” It is not mandatory to do this, but it can help set the tone for a better reading. Once the tea nears the bottom of the cup, the seeker can swirl it around a few times, then dump out any remaining liquid. Some readers recommend swirling three times, but it’s always a good idea to follow your intuition. Go with whatever feels right!
3. Reading and Interpreting the Leaves
With no liquid remaining, there should be a nice array of shapes left in the cup. Here is where the magic happens. Take a few moments to center yourself before gazing into the cup. Being in a relaxed state calms the mind and opens the path for intuitive impressions to come through. Start to look inside the cup and notice if your eyes are drawn to any particular areas or shapes made from the leaves. You can turn the cup and examine it from different angles until something catches your eye. Once you lock onto something, begin to verbalize it. For example, if you see the shape of a bell it could mean an announcement or an upcoming wedding. You may also see shapes and get impressions from the empty white spaces or negative space in the cup. In many ways, tasseography is like a Rorschach test where you look at inkblots and interpret what you see. This will get easier over time as you practice.
4. Helpful Techniques
Interpreting the signs and their meanings can be challenging. Some tasseographers insist that there are universal shapes with specific meanings. In fact there are many books and internet resources listing tea leaf symbols and their meanings. Similar to a dream dictionary, these listings can help you interpret some of the images you view. Sometimes however, it is best to go with your own gut feelings without relying on outside materials. Have confidence in strengthening your own abilities!
Another technique used by many readers is to read from the top rim of the cup to the bottom in order to gauge timelines. Generally the area near the rim represents present time while the bottom of the cup indicates the future. This can help guide your divination but it is not an absolute requirement. Once again, follow your own guidance!
5. Finishing Up
The reading is considered complete when there are no more impressions received by the diviner. This means a reading could last only five minutes or it could go on for awhile. Occasionally nothing comes up and you need to try again later. Don’t be discouraged. Patience and persistence is the key to developing clairvoyance in a cup. Most of all remember to have fun while enjoying a good cup of tea!