Also known as Tasseography
Tea-leaf reading will require a lot of effort and practice. Tea-leaf reading is visual and instinct-based. It is what you see in the cup and how it is interpreted by universal symbols or as you interpret them. For example when you look into the cup, you need to try and see something in what appears to just be a filthy cup. It requires one to be creative or think in a creative manner. If you are really going to start reading tea-leaves then this article will help you tremendously.
Introduction to Tea-Leaf reading
What is tea-leaf reading? A widely adapted definition will be to stare into a cup that someone has drunk from, and looking for symbols or signs of what is to come, in the remains.
Patience must be exercised when attempting to read tea-leaves or in any other form of divination. The powers of clairvoyance can't be forced. And the subconscious self is not ruled by arbitrary laws such as time, therefore the "need to hurry" must not exist. Take it slow, revise a few thousand times if it need be, but don't rush.The powers of clairvoyance is unlimited, so the time and patience spent on it, is well worth it.
When using tea-leaves as a method of divination, the more developed one is, the more accurate the interpretations will be. Practice is a must, especially for those not as gifted with natural clairvoyance as others.
It is said that no Highlander seer would ever take money for predicting the future. This could explain why their powers as clairvoyants were so good. They practiced often, and they refused material items and or money, as it tends to blur the vision. Some Tea-leaf readers claim that a single reading can merely predict the next 24hours. This however is utter crap. Clairvoyance has no restrictions when it comes to time or space. Therefore it CAN'T be limited to human laws of time. There is substantial evidence that tea-leaves can predict things in the far future and the near future, it is not restricted and doesn't have a specific time stamp. The same goes for cards, palmistry, scrying, etc.
There are those who look to tea-leaf reading as merely a form of fun. It certainly would be fun at a boring tea party, especially if friends are there with you. However others regard it as a form of divination and demand that it be treated with respect. So respect it!
Anyone who has learned the principles of tea-leaf reading, and the symbolic meanings which I will give at a later stage, as well as the ability to find their own meanings in the symbols which will be presented, can use this form of divination, and be most successful.
Practice and Method
What you will want is a wide, shallow cup. It is most certainly the best to use, preferably white. Narrow cups will make your life hell, so will small cups, or cups with patterns on them. A plain, even, white surface is required. I have also read that a cup which has a small base and a wide rim works good.
Why can't you use cups with patterns? Because it confuses you and tends to mix up the symbols.
Don't use indian tea or cheaper mixtures as they have so much twigs and dust, you won't be able to see clear pictures, and symbols tend to not be clear enough. China tea is the best. However, I have been using Rooibos tea and its just as great.
Now there are some debate when it comes to tea-leaf reading. Some seers want the person to concentrate. Others don't want the person to concentrate on the cup at all, letting their client's mind merely wander. This same debate exists in the world of cards and cartomantes. I say do what feels right to you.
*So basically a wide white shallow cup, a white semi-flat saucer, decent quality tea, and of course someone to read for like a client or friend.
Reading the tea cup:
Give the person who requires a reading, a cup of tea on a saucer. Instruct them to leave about a teaspoonful of tea at the bottom of the cup. Then let the tea cup be taken with the left hand, and turned 3 times from left(clockwise direction). Then very gently, very slowly and with the utmost amount of care, let them turn the cup upside down over the saucer. Leave it there for about a minute or so, to ensure that all the moisture drains away.
When enough time has passed, and the moisture has drained, the seer(you, the reader) must take the cup, and turn it as necessary to interpret symbols, without disturbing them. (If it has drained well enough, they won't be disturbed).
The handle of the cup represents the consultant/the home/the subject. It is necessary to also have a starting point, because this will help indicate events in time periods ranging from near, distant, and very distant.
*Leaves near the rim may be expected to occur quickly.
*Leaves directly beneath the handle, represent current events or things that will happen almost immediately.
*Leaves on the sides of the cup, represent more distant events.
*Leaves at the bottom of the cup, represent a very distant happening/s.
We couple intuition with time, to try and give the client some sort of idea of when something will happen. However if you don't have an intuitive sense of time, it would be wiser to rather not give them a specific time period :) I don't think I'm terrible with time, in fact I can guess it rather well, but I tend not to give a time period, as there is a slight chance that it is incorrect, and it makes the client worry throughout that entire period of time, which is not always what we want.
(If the turning of the cup, and the draining of the moisture have been done properly as directed, the tea-leaves will be found on the side and bottom of the cup)
To read the Saucer:
Many a time, we often wish to do some further divination. This can be done by looking at the saucer. It can be done because messages within the cup aren't clear enough, or to "double-check" the results found within the cup, as it often confirms the events within the cup. The only slight problem that can occur in this is that one must find the definite point which will represent the consultant/the home. Thus the saucer is usually rejected as a form of further divination.
Reading the saucer:
*Use the centre of the saucer as the consultant
*The circle round it represents the home or events which are just around the corner
*The more distant circle will indicate things in the distance
*The outer circle and rim, will indicate possible events in the far future.
The tea-leaves and moisture from the cup which were drained on the saucer are still there, so the saucer should be taken in the left hand, as with the cup, and turned 3 times to the left(clockwise), by the client. Then the moisture should carefully be poured away, and the saucer must be left inverted for about a minute or 2. Exactly as with the cup, it is to ensure that the moisture does not disturb the leaves when they are being read. The saucer can then be read in the exact same manner as with the cup, exept for the positions of the consultant, home, and time periods which will differ, but they were already discussed above.
Rules for Diviners:
The first hint, I don't really see as a hint, but rather a rule. It states that one MAY NOT give false interpretations. By this I DON'T mean if you accidently make a mistake and mix up a symbol or 2. I mean YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to say you see great things coming their way, if you know that the symbols in the cup foretell misfortune and sorrow. Firstly you are taking divination for granted. Secondly you are ensuring that that client loses their faith in the art of divination, because these events will not come to pass. Thirdly it is very direspectful! If you see misfortune and sorrow coming, and you don't want to tell the client, then don't lie and say you see great things, rather say you can't say at this point in time or you are unsure.
Often times, you will see symbols or signs that are not mentioned in the Dictionary of symbols. When this happens make a note of it, and as the event draws near, ensure to also make a note of what occured. This way we can add it to our dictionary of symbols and be prepared the next time it happens.
All symbols must be interpreted WITH their surrounding symbols. If you see a mouse, a cow, and a shoe, don"t just interpret the mouse.
As a diviner, you should always look at the bigger picture, not just the here and now.
Symbols and signs can also be read and interpreted to not merely events relating to a particular person but also events that will occur in society for example strikes or bad weather.
When seeing something in a cup, and it appears to be an apple at first glance, and then later a cup. Always take the first symbol that was seen. It was shown to us first for a reason. The second or third thing seen from the same scattered leaves are but merely our imagination running rampid.
If you see a symbol, and to you it means health, but the dictionary of symbols says it means death, go for the one that feels right to you. Remember you are the seer, which means the universe shows you what is going to happen in a way that you can understand. However, this doesn't mean if you see a mouse, they have mice or will have mice.
That brings me to my last rule per say. There is a difference between imagination and your mind making up scenes. When we look at the tea cup we use our imagination to interpret the symbols, but we should not let our minds paint us a picture of what is happening or what scattered leves could be based on "oh this looks like a man, lets make him run around in circles". If you see a man, interpret the man with the symbols surrounding him, not what your mind is creating out of nothing.
Dictionary of Symbols :
(I will only be giving the basics, if you want an entire list, feel free to mail me.)
Anchor: For sailors it means a safe landing. For others it means a successful END to a business or personal affair.
Arrow: Can be- Disagreements, Instructions for a journey/path, A letter.
Bell: Good news/wedding
Bird: News(good or bad). Possibility of a journey. Generally companionship.
Boat: Travels. Or somethimes the end of a friendship.
Bridge: Tracel abroad. New friends/collegues. Possible partnership
Broom: Indicates the End of a problem. Changing careers/jobs. With other symbols this means domestically.
Butterfly: Insincerity or rude actions.
Camel: Long journies await. Relocation(temporarily)
Car: Travelling locally. Possibly new business associates or colleuges
Castle: A good living. Perhaps unexpected financial luck E.g like a heritage from your distant great uncle Bob whom you've never met XD
Cat: Female friend/Domestic problems
Chair: Relaxation and entertainment
Church: Marriage. Can also indicate a serious illness, but won't reach death.
Clover: Good fortune. Unexpected Prosperity/success.
Crown: Honor. Credit(for something done, not credit at the bank). Perhaps a promotion
Cup: Love, Harmony. Sometimes close friendships
Dagger: Immenent danger/tragedy
Elephant: Advice needed from an old friend
Fan: Disloyalty or Infidelity
Flag: Warning that defense is necessary
Flower: Unhappiness or Joy. Opinions on this one differs.
Gun: Trouble/arguments/adultery that sort of thing
Hammer: Rewards will be earned if you work hard
Hand: Friendship, advice
Harp: Peace or contentment
Horseshoes: Depends on which way up. Generally good luck though.
House: Security or sometimes authority
Kite: Think twice before you act. Don't do something stupid
Knife: Treachery. Serious misunderstanding
Ladder: Opportunity taken
Man: A visitor/stranger. Help from someone you didn't expect you would get it from.
Mushroom: Disturbances/Problems. (Mostly business related but can be personal)
Palm tree: A short resting period/Temporary relief from stress and work
Smoker's pipe: Thought and concentration will be excercised. Must be interpreted with others.
Scissors: Problems/arguments/treachery. (Most likely demonestic, but can be business related)
Snake: An enemy or love affair
Tree: Comfort and rest. Goals probably achieved.
Umbrella: Temporary refuge/shelter
Wheel: Success achieved through effort.
Windmill: Large business deals/dealings.
Note: Symbolism is different for everyone. Each person has different associations with different things. So if you feel that a windmill shows a country girll, and not a large business, stick to your symbol. The Fates, the Universe, The Spirits, whoever it may be, will show you symbols which mean something to you. These are just some universally recognised symbols :)
That will be all for this thread. I hope you liked this and Blessed Be!
Adapted and derived from:
Telling Fortunes by Tea-leaves, Author Cicely Kent
Raymond Buckland - Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft