How to read your tea leaves
We all know that Brits enjoy a nice cuppa, but did you know that our leftover tea leaves can also help us gain a glimpse into the future? Some know the practice of tea leaf reading better as Tasseography, but regardless, it’s a favourite divination tool among many. It was discovered by accident in 2737 BCE, by the legendary Chinese emperor and herbalist, Shennong, when a wild tea leaf fell into a cup of boiled water he was drinking. People have enjoyed tea all over the world ever since. However, the reading of the leaves is believed to have developed in the 17th century. If you’d like to give it a go yourself, here is a beginner’s guide to reading the leaves.
You will need:
- Loose leaf tea
- A teapot
- A teacup with a handle (not a mug)
- Hot water
Getting started with Tasseology
Brew your favourite loose leaf tea in a teapot and let it sit for a few minutes. This will allow the leaves to unfold. Ideally, you should allow the person you are reading for to drink their tea once it has brewed and cooled slightly. Let the person who is having their tea leaves read hold the pot, and focus their intention on it while giving the pot a little swirl, being careful not to spill any hot tea. This will also allow for the leaves to come to the surface so that some will fall into the cup.
When you are ready, take the pot back and give it a last swirl. Pour the tea into the cup, and when it is cool enough to drink (no need for milk), allow the person to drink a little of the tea while thinking about their question. Take the teacup from them and pour the rest back into the pot, whilst swirling clockwise so that the tea leaves don’t just gather in one place.
Reading your tea leaves
As a general rule of thumb, the cup is divided into three parts. The rim represents the present; the side represents events not far distant; and on the bottom, the distant past. The handle of the cup also signifies the beginning of the year. The rest of the 11 months of the year are placed at equal distances around the cup in a clockwise direction. As you look into the cup, your mind may see images and you might even hear messages. This is because Tasseography is also a form of scrying. Don’t worry if you don’t see or hear these things at first. Look for leaves in the various areas and allow your mind to make pictures. It might just be that there are a few leaves scattered here or there, but there could also be a large clump of leaves in a certain area. A completely empty cup foretells a bright year ahead with no hardship or worries or it also can be a sign that the person you are reading for is clearing out old ways and starting a new chapter. Interpreting tea leaves is very personal, but here are a few classic images you might see:
ANCHOR: A lucky sign; success in business and constancy in love.
ANGEL: A message that your guides have heard your wishes.
APPLES: Abundance and growth in love.
ARROWS: Upwards means news is coming, downwards means you need to tell someone something.
BAT: Fruitless journeys or tasks.
BIRDS: A lucky sign; good news if flying, if at rest a fortunate journey.
BRIDGE: Building bonds.
BUTTERFLY: Success and pleasure.
CAR: Wealth is coming or visits from friends.
CIRCLES: Represents money or presents or gifts coming.
CROWN: Success and honour.
DOG: Faithful friends.
DOVE: A lucky symbol; a sign of prosperity and affection.
DRAGON: Good and sudden changes.
EAGLE: Honour and riches or a change of residence.
FISH: Good news from abroad.
GOAT: Gossip at work.
HAMMER: Triumph over adversity.
HEART: A new love or if accompanied by a ring possible marriage.
IVY: Honour and happiness through faithful friends.
JUG: Good health.
KANGAROO: A rival in business or love.
KEY: Money, increasing trade, and a good husband or wife.
LADDER: A sign of travel.
LETTERS: Initials of people who will feature that year/month.
MOON: Fame and fortune.
MOUNTAIN: Powerful friends; many mountains, equally powerful enemies.
MOUSE: Needing to save money for something such as a home.
NUMBERS: Depends on symbols in conjunction with them.
OWL: Studies needed to be undertaken, or a lesson learned.
PARROT: A sign of emigration for a lengthy period or a long holiday or cruise.
PIG: Good and bad luck mixed: a faithful lover but envious friends.
RABBIT: Fair success in a city or large town.
RAT: Lucky despite their image. Rats are a sign of lots of money coming your way.
RING: A ring means marriage; and if a letter can be found near it, this is the initial of the future spouse.
SCISSORS: Quarrels in love or friendship, a need to break a bond.
SNAKES: Healing from something or studying medicine or anatomy.
TREES: A lucky sign; a sure indication of prosperity and happiness; surrounded by dots, a fortune in the country.
TRIANGLES: Always a sign of good luck and unexpected legacies.
UMBRELLA: Annoyance and trouble.
VULTURE: Someone helping you with finances.
WAVY LINES: If long and waved, denote losses and vexations. The importance of the lines depends upon the number of them and if heavy or light.
YACHT: Pleasure and happiness.
YEW-TREE: A shift in religious beliefs and healing from old emotional wounds.
ZEBRA: Travel and adventure in foreign lands.
Nicola Kelleher is a TV Presenter, an award-winning, international TV Psychic, a Spiritual Author and a fully qualified Wedding Celebrant. Visit nicolakelleherpsychic.com or nicolakellehercelebrant.co.uk and follow her on Instagram @nicolakelleherpsychic or @nicolakellehercelebrant