Reading Tea Leaves: Symbols and Meanings
Reading Tea Leaves
Tea leaf reading is a technique of divination that dates back centuries in Europe, probably to the early seventeenth century. Tea leaf readings are also known as tasseography and are thought to stem from readings of splattered wax or lead, a divination used during Medieval times. It is a form of divination very similar to mirror scrying, augury, cloud scrying, and casting runes, and yet it is completely unique. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of psychics who perform tea leaf readings every day, divining their hopeful client's future events, solutions to current problems, and even looking into their past lives to find deep-seated aspects of themselves.
But reading tea leaves doesn't have to be a difficult divination technique left only to the professionals. Tea leaf readings are literally available for anyone with a cup, tea leaves, water, an open-mind and a ready heart.
The only things you'll need in order to do a tea leaf reading is a teacup, hot water, and loose tea leaves of your choice. After making your tea and drinking the tea, the point is to let the loose tea leaves fall into a pattern or picture at the bottom of your teacup. Some people will say to swirl the cup around to make a pattern on the bottom (I've never found this to be necessary), and traditionally you should read the tea leaves from the outermost edges going in a circular motion towards the middle of the bottom.
Reading tea leaves symbols in a teacup is as easy as letting the clouds form shapes right in front of your eyes. There is no right way of reading tea leaves symbols, as symbols and shapes take on different forms to different eyes. For instance - in the teacup to the right, the photographer posted that she sees a dog and a bird flying above the dog. But when I read the tea leaves here, I see a cloud and a lady in a beautiful, long gown looking up at it.
Each tea leaf symbol you see in your cup could have many various meanings, but the point is to interpret it as the images come to your mind. Don't force the interpretation, whatever pops into your mind first with the tea leaves is what message you should take away from it. This technique of reading tea leaves symbols is on the same level as almost any other type of scrying divination - let the message come to you in one steady flow of information. After drinking a cup of hot tea, your body and mind should be relaxed enough to read the tea leaves with ease.
Believe it or not, coffee grounds are even used by some in tasseography. I am not a fan of loose coffee grounds in my coffee cup, but some find this method just as effective and sometimes it even becomes a tea leaf reader's favorite form of divination.
Play around with the types of tea leaves that you use, and practice your tea leaf readings whenever you drink a cup of hot tea. The more you practice, the more you will get used to interpreting the images and applying them to your life or others' lives.
Meanings of Symbols
Everyone who looks at tea leaves might see something completely different from what you see. That doesn't make any one person right or wrong. What you read in the tea leaves is right for you or for the person you are reading at that time. Tea leaves symbols and meanings could also have various meanings for different readers, depending on the reader's experience with the symbols and things they see in the tea leaves.
Here are some tea leaves symbols and meanings to get your mind working:
Butterfly - transformation
Bird - freedom
Circle - change, evolution
Cloud - movement, emotion
Dog - loyalty
Fish - wisdom
Flower - new life, growth
Frog - fertility, spirituality
Heart - love, betrayal, family relationships
House - success, stability
Money - new job, promotion, new opportunity
Mountain - obstacle, opportunity
Ocean - love and intuition, psychic development
Snake - healing, deep spiritual growth, transitioning
Turtle - perseverance
In addition to scenes in nature that you might see during your reading tea leaves session, you could possibly also see letters, numbers, and faces.
Types of Tea Leaves to Use in Readings
In my personal opinion and experience, almost any type of tea leaves can be used in reading tea leaves symbols. Sometimes the smaller the better, especially if you're a beginner. I have used everything from lavender tea to pau d' arco bark in my readings. Uva Ursi is also another herb that is perfect for reading tea leaves. Of course you have to let these tea leaves float loosely in your tea, not from within a tea ball or bag.
Some other tea leaves you can use in reading tea leaves symbols and meanings include: chamomile, spring puochong, anise, peppermint, and the list could go on and on. Even larger fresh tea leaves can be used, they are just a little more difficult to interpret if you are a beginner. However, if you've been practicing reading tea leaves for quite some time, large tea leaves can add a new system of mystery and challenge. Oolong tea can be used in this way.
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Have you ever tried to read tea leaves or had a tea leaf reading done?
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© 2012 Nicole Canfield