Tasseography, Tasseomancy, Tassology
This is a subject that I know next to nothing about, but am extremely curious about, so I thought I would write my ‘T’ post on it – Tea leaves! More specifically, the reading of them.
Some of the girls in my local Circle and I joined a tea co-op, and for $6, I now have bags upon bags of wonderful, flavored and traditional loose teas sitting in my kitchen just begging to be read.
I also come from a long line of teacup collectors, so it seems natural that tea leaf reading would be implied. However, the religion I was raised in had very strict censures on anything even remotely related to divination ‘lest the demons get ‘cha‘, (you have to say that part with one eye squinty and a really bad Southern accent to get the full effect of that statement), so I’ve never had the opportunity to play with it much.
I also didn’t know that there were special tasseography cups, so the combination of tasty loose tea, knocking on Satan’s door via the practice of divination and another tea cup to collect? Sign me up!
To begin with, I haven’t yet bought any books or materials to go along with this art. I say ‘yet’ because of course I am going to be collecting books on the subject; I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I had The Girls over a while back with instructions to bring teacups so we can practice. We had a lot of fun trying to interpret our own cups and each others.
Some of the websites I’ve found that I plan to use are:
This seems to be a pretty good step-by-step for the beginner site. I have read through the steps, but still haven’t learned enough to go without a refresher. This website says that since tasseography is so subjective, that reading your own leaves is preferable and likely more useful than having someone else read for you. She likens it to the Rorschach tests – what I see may be totally different than what you see. That makes sense to me; since what I am thinking about while reading may be something totally unrelated to what you’re thinking about, and so our readings will naturally reflect our differing states of mind. I do like that she gives a pretty long list of symbols and possible interpretations; I think that, like dream diaries, keeping a log of my own symbols and interpretations would probably be useful as well.
There’s another symbol list at mojomoon.net, but the one at tasseography.com seems to be a little more complete, and has more symbols. I tend to prefer multiple lists and usually create my own with a mixture of traditional meanings and space to write my own interpretations as well.
For practice, Reading Tea Leaves has a long list of specimen cups that you can work on to improve your reading skills. I thought that was a neat thing to offer! There’s also quite a bit of general information on tasseography as well. There’s also a symbol dictionary as well.
Serena Powers’ website has something different than other sites I’ve seen; she mentions that before you even drink the tea, the reading has begin. Signs to look for are bubbles, floating tea leaves, an accident of teaspoons… I wonder how much of this is superstition and how much of it might be considered a true part of the reading, but most superstition has roots on coincidence of facts, so who knows. It’s fun, in any case. Serena also has a symbol guide at the bottom of her page.
There is also a set of tea leaf fortune cards that I think would be fun to play with.
What is your experience with reading tea leaves?