Tasseography, otherwise known as tasseomancy, is the art of tea leaf reading. Tea leaf reading is an ancient fortune telling art interpreting patterns made by tea leaves in the cup. In addition to the reading of tea leaves, the tradition of tasseography includes the reading of coffee grounds and wine sediments.
Although tasseography is most commonly associated with Gypsy fortunetellers, the tradition of tea leaf reading arises independently from ancient Asia and Ancient Greece. Modern tasseography, popularized in the Victorian era as a parlor game, has also been associated with the Scotch, Irish and cultures throughout Eastern Europe.
TEA Use a loose, black tea. Do not attempt to cut up a teabag because the tea within is too finely cut. My personal preference is Earl Grey. You may also sprinkle some coffee grounds in a cup of coffee.
VESSEL Use either a traditional asian or european tea cup. The bowl of the cup will fit in the palm of your hand. Select a light colored cup without decoration. You will also need a small plate or saucer.
MAKE TEA Without a strainer, sprinkle the leaves into a teapot. Add boiling water and steep until it is your desired strength.
BEGIN Keep a pen and pad handy. Inhale deeply and quiet your mind. Pour the tea into your cup. Leaves will flow into your tea cup along with tea and aroma. Remain calm and contemplative as you wait for your tea to cool to a comfortable temperature.
If you are right-handed, lift your tea cup with your left hand. If you are left-handed, lift your tea cup with your right hand. If you are ambidextrous, reach for the vessel as you normally would, stop and use the other hand.
DRINK When the tea has cooled to a comfortable temperature, drink until the cup is nearly empty. If you see a twig or little stick floating in your tea, that is an early sign representing an imminent visitor. There will be a little liquid and remaining leaves within your teacup. Swish them about as desired.
ASK YOURSELF You will get a general fortune if no particular question is looming in the forefront of your consciousness (other than: does this really work?).
SPIN 3 You many either walk your body slowly in three circles, pass your hand three times over the cup and/or count to three aloud.
DUMP Remain quiet and meditative while you pour out the remaining liquid into the saucer. Pour slowly so that some of the tea and most of the leaves remain in your cup. Leave your cup turned upside on the saucer. After a minimum of three breaths, you may turn over your cup. The remaining liquid will have drained from your cup, leaving a leaf pattern behind.
SEE 3 Imagine three levels on your cup. Remember when the cup was full? The surface area of your tea when you began to drink and above is the Rim Section.
Remember the amount of tea you left in your cup before you dumped it out? That is your Base Section.
Visualize the area of the cup that exists between the rim section and the base section. That is your Middle Section.
ZONE In a relaxed and dreamlike state of mind, watch the inside of your cup. Allow patterns to drift into your consciousness. Interpreting the leaf patterns and shapes is like taking a Rorschach Inkblot Test. Allow your imagination to wander.
IDENTIFY If your vessel has a handle, read clockwise from the handle. If you vessel does not have a handle, read clockwise from 12 o’clock.
The first pattern you see is the symbol representing your dominant character, quality, state of mind or question. Jot down your observations on a piece of paper.
READ RIM The rim section of your tea cup represents this moment in time. From your own inner quiet and open minded sight, do you recognize any symbols or patterns? View a symbol lexicon for some ideas to stimulate your imagination. Jot down your observations.
READ MIDDLE The middle section of your tea cup represents the near future — usually no more than a fortnight. From your own inner quiet and open minded sight, do you recognize any symbols or patterns? View a symbol lexicon for some ideas to stimulate your imagination. Jot down your observations.
READ BASE The base section of your tea cup represents further away in time. From your own inner quiet and open-minded insight, do you recognize any symbols or patterns? View a symbol lexicon for some ideas to stimulate your imagination. Jot down your observations.
READ THE REST Bubbles represent money. Little twigs or sticks represent people. Horizontal twigs warn of untrustworthy people; vertical twigs represent straightforward people. Drops represent tears or sadness.
INTERPRET Study your list of observed patterns and symbols. What do they mean to you? Seeing a dog can mean one thing to one person and quite another to someone else. View a symbol lexicon for some ideas to stimulate your imagination. More symbols are defined at www.tasseography.com. The patterns in the rim section apply to your present. The middle section patterns are speaking to your near future. The images you see at the base of your cup relate to your distant future or the ultimate conclusion of your question.
REMEMBER The power of tea leaf reading comes from your own subconscious and imagination, identifying the patterns you see. The patterns you recognize in this process are unique to your own personal state of mind. You can also use this process to see and describe patterns thereby stimulating the introspective imaginations of your friends and family. With compassion and kindness we learn to link ourselves together in this precious cosmic dance.