Reading Tea Leaves

The ancient art of reading tea leaves and cups, better known as tasseography or sometimes teomancy, has been around for centuries as a way for people to learn what the future holds for them. Although many other mediums can be used including coffee grounds and wine sediment, tea leaves and tea cups have always been the most popular.

Tasseography can be better defined as a fortune telling method that uses the patterns in the tea leaves that are left in the tea cup to interpret future events. It dates back to medieval Europe where fortune tellers first popularized the practice.

tea leaves cup in hands tasseomancy

How to Read the Tea Leaves

To begin the tea leaf reading, the medium, or person with the ability to divine, must first pour a cup of hot water over loose tea leaves. The tea must be allowed to steep for a good amount of time as the stronger the tea is, the more accurate the reading will be for the user. It’s actually a very straightforward method of divination that can be done almost anywhere by almost anyone.

Pour 1/2 inch hot water.
Turn cup upside down on napkin.
Client turns cup all the way over once.
Client places left hand on cup to tune into the client’s vibrations.
Remove napkin.
Turn cup three times counter clockwise.
Read patterns formed by grounds in cup.

The next step in reading the tea leaves is to decide what symbols you see and then decipher them into an actual reading. Everyone interprets the symbols differently just as we all see things differently and from our own perspective than others do. One person might see a snake, while another sees a ring and yet another might see the symbol as a heart. It takes time and effort on the part of the reader to become more and more accurate with the tea leaf readings.

The symbols seen in the tea leaves often range from the very clear and concise to the very vague and uncertain. This is where the practice and experience comes in; tea leaf reading, when done correctly, can be very accurate and even divine certain events in a person’s life.

tea leaves in cup question mark

What Do The Tea Leaves Symbols Mean?

Following is a list of symbols that may be seen in the tea leaves. These symbols should be grouped together to form a true reading as only one symbol is not a solid enough indicator of a foretold event.

Apple– this symbol signifies knowledge or anything to do with education.
Birds Flying– this symbolizes good news ahead.
Candle– a candle signifies enlightenment.
Cat– an untrue or deceitful person
Dog– this symbol relates to someone who is loyal to you.
Kite– if you see a kite in the leaves, your wishes will come true.
Raven– a raven signifies death or very bad news.
Shamrock– this symbol means good luck is on its way.

Just as the symbols can be vague to see in the tea leaves, the meanings themselves and their interpretations can also be seen differently by many people. The best way to read the tea leaves and interpret their meanings is to concentrate closely on the symbols and take the time to decide what they will mean to your life.


If you would like to learn more about reading tea leaves,

buy “Your Fortune in a Tea Cup” on Kindle by Tim Forst.



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