The practice of reading tea leaves, also known as tasseography, is a centuries old practice which probably had different origins and developed independently in ancient Greece as well as in Asia and Middle East.
The ritual of reading tea leaves is ceremonious and involves several practices.
What does it take to read tea leaves?
Obviously you need loose tea (bagged tea or tea in bags where the leaves are crushed will not do), hot water, a white or light-colored teacup, a saucer and a cloth or napkin.
While preparing the tea, the person requesting the reading should mentally photograph the problem or question they would like answered.
Once the tea has been prepared, the person requesting the reading is asked to sip it. Once the tea has been consumed, the remaining tea leaves and liquid are analyzed by the reader.
Two options are possible at this point in the reading:
- Most tea leaf readers do the reading inside the cup. In this type of reading, the cup is read from the circle downwards, which represents the present into the future.
- Some readers pour the tea leaves onto a white cloth or napkin and analyze the shapes on the fabric.
The reader looks at the tea leaves and searches for images, shapes, and patterns. The formations are then interpreted based on a somewhat standardized system of symbols, along with the reader’s intuition.
Common symbols and their meaning
- Acorn – placement at the top of the cup signifies success and gain; placement at the bottom indicates good health.
- Still – it stands for good luck and success; if blurred, it means exactly the opposite.
- Circle – represents the end of a cycle or group of people.
- Moon Crescent – indicates prosperity, fame, if unfocused, it means that difficulties will be resolved.
- Elephant – luck and happiness.
- Heart – when it is close to a ring, it means marriage with the current lover, if indistinct, the lover is fickle.
- Home – denotes change or success.
- Letters – represent names of people or clues to places.
- Mountain – a challenging journey is on the way.
- Numbers – indicates the time, days, weeks, months or years.
- Owl – depicts illness or poverty. Warning against starting a new business.
- Palm – represents good luck and success in any endeavor.
- Snake – symbolizes lies and falsehoods.
- Triangles – suggests unexpected luck.
Because symbols often have multiple meanings, interpretation is largely dependent on the intuition and experience of the reader. Although a popular practice that has been around for centuries, there is no scientific proof that individuals can divine future events by reading tea leaves.