Sunday, January 6, 2013
If you’ve never had your tea leaves read, I highly recommend it. It’s fun. It’s interesting. And it’s enlightening.
The art of tasseomancy or tasseography began humbly in medieval times when people read symbols found in wax or lead spatters. Tea – a much nicer medium – was introduced in the 17th century when the Dutch began importing tea into Europe. In middle-Eastern countries the art of reading coffee sediment has enjoyed a long and prosperous history and wine sediment readings have been around since Bachus first brewed berries into delightful spirits.
It helps if you like tea. But it’s okay to use the leaves from herbal infusions as well. A finer grind is better than chunks of stems or leaves, as it tends to sink as it steeps, preventing it from being sipped up by the person having the reading. The sipping part is supposed to be relaxing, so unless you enjoy getting bits of infused tea leaves stuck in your teeth, settled material is preferable. Once the tea is drunk to the point where it’s difficult to continue sipping without drinking in the tea leaves as well the reading can begin.
I was instructed to hold the cup in my left hand, twirl the remaining liquid three times widdershins and then, with the saucer covering the cup, flip the cup upside down so that the leaves and liquid would be caught by the saucer. Then I had to wait. The leaves needed time to settle into their final patterns before they could be interpreted.
I had dolphins, seahorses and a sailboat show up in my reading. A dinosaur also appeared. But mostly there was a big blob of tea leaves that was muddying my future. The dolphins indicated playful social activities. The seahorses, in my recent past, showed that I have a new outlook on life. The little sail boat recently delivered gifts from far away. All very true. The dinosaur triumphantly conquers some sort of possible trouble buried within that pesky blob through the revival of something from my past. Sadly there was no romance or riches forecast in the next few months. (Sigh.)
Over the years, I have studied and attempted to learn a few different forms of divination with varying degrees of success. Palmistry mystified me and runes baffled me. I found pendulums to be quite fickle and scrying to by quite trying. I had the greatest success with Tarot cards, doing readings for others for 20 years. I never did try tea leaf reading.
During the holidays I was privileged to get a reading from a new friend of mine who developed her own unique form of divination by reading stones and shells that she has collected and assigned specific meanings to. It was one of the best readings I’ve ever had done for me. Though it, too, left out the romance and the riches!
As a Tarot card reader, I learned that the cards were merely a tool. I didn’t need them in order to give people information; they served as a point of focus for the energy exchange that was taking place between me and the client. All I really needed was to be empathetic and compassionate and open myself to the energy that was being freely given. I could not tell anyone anything they didn’t already know – subconsciously. What was happening, had happened or would happen was already being created. The only thing that separates anyone from their past, present or future is the willingness to look within.
I grew weary of the dependency that some people put on the readings I did for them. I was always very careful to council my clients that they were the authors of their fates and that they could choose to change the direction of the paths they walked at any time. My only goal in doing readings was to assist people in connecting with themselves and taking conscious steps to create the lives they wanted. It didn’t always work that way. As someone who enjoys having readings done for me – and having an understanding of the process – I accept the call to consciousness being given to me and use that information to re-evaluate and reshape myself and my life.
My tea leaf reading this morning was fun. I was pleased to see the young reader opening herself up to the process. It was heart-warming and, I must admit, I felt a twinge of pride in her engagement in learning. What a thrill it is to see her spiritual gifts coming to the forefront.
I don’t know if I will ever take up the cards again. At the moment, I am focussing on developing my artistic skills through digital media and am looking forward to applying them in some spiritual respect. I don’t know what the will be yet. In the meantime, I will also look forward to more readings – tea leaf or otherwise – when the opportunities present themselves. One of these days there will be romance and riches!