Fancy a cup of tea? Hardly the most mystical question is it? Yet, before the advent of teabags such a simple question could be the prelude to some serious tasseomancy (tea leaf reading by its more common name) by the folks involved.
Tasseomancy is an old art, it began in China but it moved west with Romany travellers. The great thing about tasseomancy is its simplicity. All you need is some loose tea, a plain cup and saucer (not a mug) and a teapot without a strainer plus whatever sugar and milk you need to make the drink palatable.
Make the tea in the teapot using loose tea (you've guessed it, teabags just won't work). If the questioner wants milk and/or sugar let them add it and stir it themselves. Let the client drink the tea but try to keep chit-chat to a minimum, as this might colour your reading.
When the questioner has finished drinking take the cup in both your hands and swirl it anti-clockwise. Turn the cup so the handle is nearest to you, calm yourself and begin to read. The quarter of the cup nearest the handle symbolises the things that matter most to the client or their home.
The next quarter moving clockwise shows events moving further away. Opposite the handle is the area associated with strangers and distant places. The next quarter shows events moving into the subject's life.
Symbols that appear near the rim of the cup or the handle refer to the immediate future, those below that cover events in the next few months whilst the lowest part of the cup represents the distant future. The bottom of the cup shows negative influences - particularly if there is any liquid left there.
If you find a negative symbol near the rim the event will be less severe than if it is lower in the cup. Symbols pointing to the handle suggest something is coming to the questioner, if they face away from the subject they are moving away from them.
There are lots of symbols and you may find that you develop your own but here are a few hints.
Tea stalks represent people, large ones are men, the smaller ones women. A single leaf at the side of the cup tells of a stranger. Symbols associated with relationships include; circles, anchors and arches. Circles represent power and completion, or a romantic partnership, however if the circle is at the bottom of the cup near the handle means a relationship may end.
Business and finance symbols include triangles, dots, mountains, eyes and ants. An eye near to the handle means you will receive an offer but you need to be cautious. On a more sombre note; knives, unsurprisingly, tend to be associated with problems, especially deceit. A question mark warns you that you may need to be more cautious around plans and motives.
General good luck symbols include upward facing triangles (the opposite if they are downward facing), stars, horseshoes, keys (unless they are at the bottom of the cup - in which case beware of thieves) and rainbows.
If you find it hard to see any symbols at all don't worry; relax and let your mind wander and as you do so the shapes will appear to you just as clouds form shapes on sunny days. Maybe tea isn't your favorite beverage don't despair, you can read coffee grinds or herbal tea leaves too!
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