The reading of tea leaves may seem mystical but it is not as mysterious as you might think. Divination - the act or art of foretelling future events - requires a question to be asked and an answer to be revealed.
The art of tea leaf reading requires some basic supplies, techniques, and an open yet focused mind. Start reading tea leaves with this simple guide.
Gather Your Supplies
To start a tea reading session you need to gather all of your supplies. You need loose tea, hot water, a white (or light colored) tea cup, saucer, and a napkin. Take a teaspoon of loose tea leaves and place them inside the cup. Then, fill the cup with hot water.
The Tea Reading Process
Allow the tea a few minutes to steep. The person who is having the reading (also sometimes called the inquirer, the seeker, or the querent) should hold the tea cup in the palm of his/her hands. While doing this, the inquirer should focus his/her mind on their question. The question can be spoken out loud or kept private.
The inquirer should drink the tea when it's lukewarm, and leave a small portion of water in the bottom of the cup, taking care not to swallow the leaves. The inquirer should continue to think about the question and sit in quiet reflection while consuming the tea. The longer the cup is held by the inquirer and the more they focus on their question, the better the reading will be.
The napkin should be placed on top of the saucer. The seeker must swirl the residue in the cup three times in a clockwise direction and then touch the edge of the saucer. He/she then makes a wish and turns the cup over onto the saucer so the tea can drain away before it is passed over to the reader.
If there is a great deal of sadness in the inquirer's future, the drops of tears (or tears of tea) will not drain away. If the symbol of a star does not appear at the top of the tea cup then the seeker's wish will not come true.
Interpreting the Symbols
The seeker hands the cup and saucer to the reader, who must take the cup with his or her right hand. The handle should be facing the querent. The near/inner side of the cup contains the fortune of the seeker.
The cup is looked at in terms of a time period, such as a month or two, but some readers can see even further than that. The top of the cup represents today while the rim is right now. Some readers think of the top as the present and the bottom as the past. The leaves that are found halfway down the cup are events that will take place in approximately two weeks, while further down are events that will occur in three to four weeks.
Not every reader interprets the symbols exactly the same; however, it is important to know that the clarity and size of the symbols or images is of tremendous significance.
Tea Reading Advice
The meanings for the symbols that are revealed in a tea leaf reading are meant to be used as guidelines and not absolutes in life. The true art that surrounds divination is such that you are encouraged to use your intuition and become your own psychic. The more you practice reading tea leaves the better you will get. You can also learn a great deal from having your tea leaves read by someone who has been doing it for some time.
Many leaves point to a full life. Lots of specific images symbolize many important issues. Contradicting images imply indecision in the person's mind. The larger images are the more important issues in the person's life. Objects on the left of the handle may denote the past and objects to the right, the future. Sometimes the top of the cup is seen as lucky and the bottom is seen as unlucky.
These are only guidelines to help you get started. A genuine reading is dependent upon the reader's own interpretation of the symbols. Here are a few examples of traditional (but not necessarily fixed) meanings of some more common symbols:
Circles: finances, gifts
Clouds: Mental or emotional struggles
Crescent: Rebirth, renewal, feminine
Egg: Fertility, good luck
Fish: Wealth, desire, good news, distant places.
Flower: Success, growth, blissful unions
Heart: Future pleasures
Horseshoe: Security, travel, fortunate journey
Hour glass: Warning to be careful
Pear: Abundance, social accomplishment
Ring: Commitment, eternity
Shell: Money, inspiration
Squares: Serenity, calm
Star: Luck, loveliness, spirituality
Straight Line: Rewarding travels, peace, long life
Triangle: One point up - good luck; one point down - bad luck
Wavy Lines: Loss, annoyances