The Intricacies of Tasseography
Now add cups and saucers to your arsenal of fortune-telling tools. Also known as Tea Leaf Reading, Tasseography is a divination method that interprets patterns and symbols in tea leaves. The word derives from the French word tasse meaning cup and sometimes also employs coffee grounds or wine sediment for the same purpose. Originating in the 17th Century, when the Dutch introduced tea to Europe, tasseography involved clairvoyants and psychics looking at the shapes formed by the leaves in cups and “reading” them to answer specific questions. Today, one does not need to be a psychic to read the leaves because the art has been simplified and well-documented over the years.
A blank, light-colored, round teacup with a handle and a broad-leaved tea variety is all you need. Add a teaspoon of the loose leaf to the cup, pour some hot water into the cup and let the tea steep. Once the tea is ready to go, the person receiving the reading should drink from the cup until there is about a teaspoon left, all the while thinking about their questions or life in general. At this point, they must grasp the handle of the cup with their left hand and swirl the tea around three times, being sure to swivel the cup onto its sides as well. Men should rotate the cup clockwise; women, counterclockwise. Then, they should flip the cup upside down and place it on the dish. After waiting a bit for the excess liquid to drain, they can flip the cup back, and the person doing the reading can begin looking for the symbols and patterns.
The internet is rife with information about what each pattern means and how to interpret them together. So go, brew up a divination. Find a heart that symbolizes love, a bird indicating the arrival of good news, or a dragon that precautions an impending difficult decision. A simple Internet search and a hot cup of tea later, you too will be able to predict people’s future, but only about a year ahead. As you read further down into the cup, from the rim to the base, you go farther into the future…