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The answers are in the leaves! Tea Leaf Reading Part I

As we approach a new year, the Teatopit family is thinking about the future and our hopes for health, wealth and happiness in all forms. While a nice cup of tea is always a comfort, for hundreds of years, people around the world have found comfort and reassurance in the reading of tea leaves. Since Teatopit is enamored by all things “tea,” we thought we’d look into this practice.

The art of tea leaf reading, also called Tasseography or Tasseomancy, is a form of divination strongly associated with European fortune tellers, though Middle Eastern cultures also practice the reading of coffee grounds. Beginning with molten substances like lead or wax, the practice evolved to tea after it was introduced by Dutch merchants to Europe via trade routes to China.

In a reading, the subject drinks a cup of tea and leaves a bit of liquid in the bottom of the cup. The liquid is swirled a bit in the cup, turned upside down on a saucer and then turned right side up. There are different ways of reading—some readers interpret the patterns and shapes made by the tea leaves, sometimes the negative space between the leaves is read. Special cups, with symbols that may be interpreted using accompanying guides, may also be used. In tea leaf reading, time frame is interpreted by how close the leaves are to rim, closest being the most immediate.

When done alone, tea leaf reading is highly personal and subjective. The objective is to quiet your mind and allow not only your eyes, but your heart, to see the patterns that your leaves make. Interpretation of the patterns is up to you based on the issues you are facing—the meaning of what you see is supposed to resonate with you and hopefully provide clarity. Be sure to use loose tea (bagged leaves are finer) and a teapot with a wide spout so you’ll get enough leaves in your cup, and a rounded cup that will allow leaves to stick to the sides.

After Teatopit feels like we have the hang of this “art,” we look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so be on the lookout for Part II. In the meantime, share  your tea leaf reading pics with us!

Image Credit: About.com

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Theodore Roosevelt