*This is a guest post by Paige Sullivan-Ashmore
There is something magical about having a cup of tea. While sipping tea, you can let your thoughts drift as the blend of tea leaves infuses the water with their healing properties. It is my belief that when we drink tea, we commune with nature. So many possibilities arise from it that are mostly untapped from this communion. Tea has ceremony around it, comfort, magic and even divination.
Called tasseography, the art of reading tea leaves began in China thousands of years ago, and spread as a method of divination only in the sixteenth century because of the gypsies. It became popular in Victorian England and there is a strong tradition of tea leaf reading in Eastern Europe and the Middle East as well.
Divining one’s fortunes through the reading of tea leaves is a gentle art and can be learned. One does not have to be descended from a long line of psychics to be able to do it. When I’ve taught tea leaf reading before, I’ve likened it to cloud gazing on a cloudy day. Have you ever looked up at a cloud and saw some identifiable shape. A rabbit, a boat, or some other shape.
How you feel about the shape you’re looking at defines your fortune. If you see a cloud shaped like a rabbit and you think rabbits are lucky, then you can follow that and see how your day unfolds after you see it in the sky.
For tea leaf reading, the best kind of tea to use is black tea, simply because it’s easier to see in the cup than a green tea or any other, although you could certainly use the others. Also, it’s important that leaves are relatively small as they will clump together in more variety of shape than larger leaves.
If you want to practice this yourself, you simply add a teaspoon of your favorite black tea into a cup and pour some boiling water over it and let it steep for a few minutes. Then, as you sip your tea, just let your thoughts drift. Think about what you want to know.
Drink most of the tea, while leaving a teaspoon’s worth of liquid in the cup. Place a saucer over the top of the cup and holding them together tightly, flip the cup and saucer so that the cup is upside down. Turn the cup three times clockwise and make a wish before picking up the cup to consider the pattern of tea leaves inside.
I also shall also add here that it’s important to use a round cup, because the events inside will be read like the wheel of the year. While holding the handle of the tea cup, you proceed above it in your interpretation of the patterns of the leaves by imagining the face of a clock circumvented over the circle of the tea cup. Imagine the increments of the 12 months over the cup. Then search for shapes you recognize and go from there.
This could be something fun to do with friends. Like cloud reading, just look for shapes you recognize and then ask yourself how you feel about them. Like Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, so don’t worry about what a book on tea leaf reading says it means. Go by your own observations and remember to take it lightly. The future is in your hands after all and you will always have a brilliant one when you make empowered choices.