Divination Tea Leaves

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Divination tea leaves can give you a peek at what the future holds in store.

A Little History about Divination Tea Leaves

The art of Tasseomancy, otherwise known as reading tea leaves, has existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. It's interesting to note that it developed independently across the continents. From the Chinese to the Greeks to the Romans to the Europeans, consulting the leaves has long been a common practice for those seeking guidance.

Not limited to just tea, the dregs of other beverages have been used in much the same way. You can apply the theory to reading wine sediment as well as coffee grounds as is the traditional method used in the Middle East.

Preparing for a Reading

The best way to commence with a divination tea leaf reading is by brewing a cup of loose leaf tea. This means no tea bag, and you can also put away your tea ball. The leaves must be free and loose in the cup so you can work with them after you've drunk nearly all the liquid.

Most tea leaf aficionados recommend you use a light colored teacup with a wider opening. This will allow you to clearly see whichever patterns are created.

Now, take a few moments to relax and gather your thoughts while you brew and drink your tea. It's best to have as few distractions as possible, so turn off the television. Begin to think about what is currently important to you. You'll likely find that a particular question surfaces in your mind. Contemplate this question while you enjoy the tea, drinking all but just enough liquid to slosh the leaves around the cup when you're finished.

Concentrate on your question, and gently swirl the cup around three times so the leaves swish up and stick to the sides. Many readers advise swirling in a clockwise pattern because it represents moving toward the future, just like the hands of a clock. Next, turn the cup upside down on the saucer and tap it three more times so some of the leaves drop out. Look in the cup, and you should now be able to discern patterns/formations in the remains. It is these that you will meditate on to receive your answer.

Finding Symbolism in Patterns

There are two ways to go about reading your tea leaves.

Look at the Leaves

Many people only consider the formations of the leaves themselves, and disregard open surfaces between them. This is an acceptable way to conduct a reading, and is a good way to begin if you're new to tea leaf divination.

Look at the Bare Spaces

Alternatively, some people choose to contemplate the bare spaces between the dregs. This is rather like looking at the negative of a photograph, but you can still gain insight using your powers of intuition.

Identify Patterns

There is almost no limit to the kinds of formations you might see, and sometimes two people will look at the leaves and see very different images. Keep in mind that this is largely an intuitive art, and when you open yourself up to the universe, you'll see exactly the images you're meant to see.

You might find geometric shapes, various kinds of lines, outlines of animals and other familiar shapes. Each has a symbolic meaning. With literally hundreds of possible shapes, you'll need a good resource to help you discern symbol meanings as you begin to interpret their personal bearing in your life.

A few suggestions include:

  • Simply Tea Leaf Reading by Jaqueline Towers offers loads of info on how to conduct a reading as well as interpretations for dozens of common symbols.

Consider Placements

The placement of symbols also has meaning. Patterns located near the handle are said to represent things that will actually happen to the seeker, while symbols on the opposite side relate more to world issues. The dregs that cling to the bottom of the cup represent difficulties that lie ahead, while formations near the lip of the cup generally portend good fortune in the theme they symbolize.

Examples of Meanings

Here are several examples of symbols and placements you might encounter.

  • An egg on the handle side of the cup: The possibility of a new family member
  • The moon on the bottom of the cup: Challenges in the area of love/romance
  • The sun on the opposite side from the handle: A general upswing of happiness/optimism in the world

Of course, you may divine other meanings when you look at these symbols in relationship to the question you had in mind. Personal interpretations are of the utmost importance.

Reading for Others

Once you've gained a good deal of experience in reading for yourself, you can branch out to reading for others. This takes some practice on your part as well as cooperation from the person you're reading for in order to interpret the symbolism in a way that has meaning to that individual.


There is definitely more than one method for reading divination tea leaves, so don't hesitate to try several. If one method just feels right to you, that's the one you should use. If you already consult the tea leaves and use a different method than the one described here, please share it in the comments box at the bottom of this page.

Divination Tea Leaves