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Reading Tea Leaves is generally known as Tasseography although this really means “reading tea cups”. These days tasseography applies generally to either reading tea leaves or reading residual coffee grounds.
Tasseography is believed to have originated from ancient China when the people then used to read the inner markings of bells for divinatory purposes. In ancient times, Chinese teacups had no handles and when inverted they looked very similar, in shape, to bells.
Any tea cup with sloping sides can be used as well as any liquid drink too providing the liquid leaves a residue of some sort on the bottom and sides of the drinking vessel. The markings left by the residue are interpreted by considering the patterns made and generally purport to the drinker’s future.
Straight sided tea or coffee mugs can be used or indeed any drinking vessel but tradition states that established tea cups with sloping sides are the best to use and especially for the novice reader.
The originating method used for either reading tea leaves or coffee grounds is well accepted. The traditional method of preparation is to use unstrained tea or coffee. After the tea or coffee drinker has finished drinking nearly all of his/her beverage, the residue is swirled clockwise around the cup three times so that the residual grounds disperse over the bottom and right up the sides of the cup in a scattering of symbols.
The cup is then inverted and placed onto either a saucer or a plate to allow any surplus liquid to drain away - up to the traditional count of seven. As a modern cup will no doubt have a handle, the reader will turn the cup the right way up and with the handle facing him or her. The handle generally represents the enquirer.
Events in the past are shown to the left of the handle while future events are shown to the right of the handle. The inner length of the cup is divided into three imaginary sections; the inner top of the cup represents the present or very near future while the middle section represents more distant time and the bottom of the cup is considered as an unlucky area and indicates ill fortune.
The tea leaves or coffee grounds stuck to the sides or on the bottom of the cup will form various patterns or symbols. Some may take on an obvious shape. It is important to take into account all shapes and symbols and not to interpret any particular one in isolation to another.
The key to practising is to allow your imagination to roam freely while taking into account the sizes, proportions, positions and clarity of the symbols left by the tea leaf or coffee ground residue.
An easy way to practice interpreting shapes into meaningful symbols is to look at clouds in the sky and consider the possibilities for those; this will help to train your mind to see the not so obvious recognition of everyday objects, things, people, animals, plants, buildings, vessels, etc.,
A medium might allow the spirit world to channel supporting information to any self interpretations of tea leaf or coffee ground patterns. The medium may be inspired too; to look at a pattern in an unusual way, perhaps.
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