Tasseography (or the reading of tea leaves) is an ancient method of divination that has Chinese origins. Tasseography can be practiced using tea leaves, murky coffee grounds or the residual sediment found in wine.
What Is Exactly Is Tasseography?
The ‘reading’ or interpretation of the patterns that are created inside a cup, by tea leaf dregs and coffee grounds, is known as tasseography. These patterns were often considered to be symbols and omens and have been used for divination purposes for thousands of years. The art of reading tea leaves originated in China, but is often also associated with gypsy cultures all over the world.
Since the 17th century the strong flavoured, unfiltered ‘Turkish’ coffee has been used for tasseography readings in Turkey. Today, the reading of Turkish coffee grounds is a popular method of tasseography, but not the only form of divination that uses coffee. In some Latin American countries, the steam that rises out of a coffee cup when cold milk or cream is added is another method of fortune telling.
How To Practice Tasseography
Tasseography is a highly intuitive practice that can be done by anyone. Whilst most people prefer to have their tea cup read by someone who is experienced in the art of tasseography, it is quite alright to practice reading for yourself.
What you need:
Loose leaf tea – ½ teaspoon is sufficient if brewing a single cup. You can also make a pot of tea for multiple readings.
A white cup
How to read your tea cup:
As with all forms of spiritual practice it is a good idea to begin with a simple grounding and protection exercise.
Start by pouring the water over the leaves in the cup. Allow the tea to infuse to your liking before drinking it. Sip the tea with care so that you don’t swallow all the tea leaves. Leave a drop of tea in the cup for swirling purposes.
Gently swirl the remaining tea around the inside of the cup, before placing a saucer on top and turning it upside down. As the tea drains, the leaves will settle and dry inside the cup.
Turn the cup the right way up. You can now study the pattern made by the drying leaves. Common shapes that are often interpreted in a tasseography reading are circles, squares, triangles, numbers, letters, animals and other objects that are easily identifiable. The more you practice tasseography, the easier it will be for you to interpret the patterns and symbols.
Initially it is good idea to trust your instincts and spiritual guidance and to simply state what you see. Have fun creating a story around the various shapes and forms that are spread out on the inside of the cup. You can find many practical resources for tasseography interpretation in bookshops and online.
Anyone For Tea?
Invite a few friends over for tea and practice your new reading skills on them. You can also read coffee grounds if your friends are not keen tea drinkers.