How To Start Reading Tea Leaves Successfully

Reading tea leaves is an ancient practice, and in the right intuitive hands today, the simple dregs of a tea or coffee cup becomes a fortune telling oracle. Like the infamous Ouija board, reading tea leaves became a popular past-time during the American Spiritual Movement. Many guests sat spellbound while their host attempted to predict future events from spent tea leaves.

Reading tea leaves is also known as tasseography and tasseomancy (tasse is the French word for cup and -mancy means divination). The reader intuits symbols that are formed in the teacup from loose-leaf tea. Although the same principle can be used for coffee grounds, tea leaves are the preferred method. It blends the time-honored tradition of having tea with a glimpse into the spiritual realm.

It is no surprise that tasseography has the same birthplace as tea itself: China. The Chinese have a rich history of divination, and developed a spiritual art for reading tea leaves left inside of their tea cups. Unlike the Western-style cup, Chinese tea cups have no handle. They were easy to stack and transport as needed.

Even if you are just beginning to delve into your psychic abilities, it is easy to learn the basics of tasseography.

Remember that with all psychics reading tea leaves, be it a psychic you visit locally in your town or go online for a psychic reading where you communicate from a distance over the phone, a psychic is still human and each may differ in how they read the tea leaf symbols. There are no solid rules for reading symbols - it is all open to your own psychic intuition and perception. You can have fun learning this ancient divination with these helpful hints:

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How To Start Reading Tea Leaves Yourself

Choose The Right Teacup For You

Approach finding the right teacup the same way that you would any other special divination tool. If you plan to read for a group, you may find a whole setting of cups that would be appropriate. You should choose a wide cup with a shallow bottom, and sides that gently slope. Since the inside of the cup is going to be your canvas for psychic symbols, you need to find cups that are white or lightly-colored on the inside. You cannot do a proper reading if the cup is clear or has designs on the interior. Coffee mugs and taller cups also should be avoided.

You do not have to go out and buy an expensive tea set. If the ones you currently have fit the criteria, they will do just fine. There are some gifted families who pass down tea-reading cups from generation to generation. Some people who practice tasseography say that certain teacups just “feel right” to them. Trust your intuition when you choose a divination cup.

Which Tea For Me?

If your experience with brewing tea involves dipping a teabag by its string into a cup of hot water, do not feel bad. You will soon be introduced to the fascinating world of loose-leaf tea. Most grocery stores sell different blends of this kind of tea. Common blends are oolong and black tea.

To really treat yourself to heavenly bliss, visit a tea shop and peruse their proprietary blends of herbs and tea. Find a scent that you love and buy a few ounces. Certain names and scents may resonate with your inner awareness. Just because a certain tea has a big price tag per ounce does not mean it will give clearer messages. Simply buy a tea that you love.

Creating the Right Atmosphere

Yesterday’s Victorian parlors were not saturated with the technical interference that today’s living rooms have. When you plan to do any kind of divination you want to set the mood. You will need a space that is quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions. That means that all technology (i.e. televisions, computers, phones) need to be turned off. Electricity and other kinds of energy can cause disturbances in the spiritual realm.

It does not have to be an elaborate tea with scones and Devonshire cream (unless you want it). Just set a nice table with tea and a plate of tempting sweets. Another wise step is to ask for your guardian spirits and angels to be with you and to encircle the assembled company with love and light.

The Process of Brewing

There are many books and websites that are dedicated to the “proper” way to brew tea. The Japanese have perfected it into an art form. Some traditional methods require you to use two different teapots. Feel free to do some research to find a method that fits your needs best. 

For a simple method, measure a couple tablespoons of tea in each cup and pour hot water over it. Let it steep for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally with a teaspoon. Provide lemon, cream, sugar, or honey for your guests to add to their tea. It will not affect the tea leaves reading at all. What if a guest does not like tea? Simply put a teaspoon of tea leaves and splash of hot water in their cup for reading purposes.

To do a reading for guests, you should do it from the cup they drank their tea. Most importantly—have fun! This should not have the somber atmosphere of a funeral. Yes, we need to be respectful when dealing with divination and the spirit world; however, it can still be done with freedom and joy.

It's Time To Start Reading Tea Leaves!

Your guests can enjoy as many cups of tea as they please. When they are finished, ask each guest to leave at least a teaspoon of liquid with the leaves at the bottom of their cup. Each guest can get a reading one at a time.

These are the necessary steps for reading tea leaves:

  • Ask the guest to close her eyes and think of questions and problems she is facing.
  • Picking the teacup in her left hand, she should gently swish the contents around three times (a mystical number).
  • Now, the guest should gently turn her cup upside down onto its saucer. Have a few napkins ready if there is a little overflow of liquid.
  • Ask her to rotate the cup three times to the left in the saucer with her left hand.
  • The guest should put her left hand on top of the cup and meditate on her questions for seven seconds (7 represents divinity).
  • As the reader, you will turn the cup over, making sure the handle faces the guest.

Keep in mind that divining the meaning of tea leaves is completely subjective to the intuition of the reader.

There are some traditional ways of reading tea leaves - When looking for messages in the leaves make reference to their position in the cup:

  • Consider the different parts of the tea cup as a divination tool. The handle (turned toward the guest) represents him, his family, and home life. It is his “domain”.
  • Symbols to the left of the handle are influences of the past. Those that are in line with the domain are present situations, while symbols to the right are future influences.
  • In the depth of the cup, leaf patterns that are closest to the domain represent immediate family and close friends. The middle portion of the cup may represent people you know on a surface level. The third section is complete strangers and outside influences.
  • You may also consider the depth of the cup as a timeline--usually things within 6 months. The closer the signs are to the domain, the closer they are in time. Closer things may also be seen as more pressing matters.
  • Look for patterns in the leaves—as if you were seeing formations in the clouds. It is up to you as the reader to discern the significance of the symbol. Perhaps you see the shape of a tree, and you may intuit a spiritual or financial growth in the guest’s life. Tiny drops of leftover water may represent hurts from the past, or some obstacles in the future.

As with any tool of divination, the more you practice reading tea leaves, the more psychically tuned you will become. Tasseography is a helpful tool, and is not meant to dictate the choices you make. We are all free-moral agents who are ultimately in charge of our destinies. When used correctly, you may give friends and family some inspiration for the patterns in their lives.


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