Tea leaf reading is a great way to enjoy your morning break. If you don’t have a teapot, tea-cosy and leaves, though - you can break open a bag.
Teabag Reading and PredictionThis is a ‘dry’ reading which is good for rehearsal until you are confident enough to invest in a full teapot, cup and saucer and a nice tin of something… My friend, the Vogue and Sunday Times astrologer Shelley von Strunckel wrote a very good book in 1990 called The No-Nonsense Guide to the Sixth Sense (Corgi). She wrote, “Though instruction books do exist for reading tea leaves, the talent seems to be inborn. The ability to see forms suggestive of events from a spread of scattered leaves is a display of true intuition. Aside from using a book to learn how to brew the leaves properly, how to select tea of the right texture and an ideally shaped cup, practice is the great teacher here.”
Choosing the Cup or MugChoosing the right cup or mug (and setting it aside as your tea-leaf oracle favourite) is your first step. I’ve found, in sessions with students in Britain, that choosing a favourite tea also helps. So, if you have something in the cupboard that is exotic, now might be the time to re-open it. The psychic Kyra Oser gave me a beautiful Leo bone china mug from Fortnum and Mason for Christmas one year, and I use that (my Sun sign is Leo) along with some T2 teabags, labelled ‘Melbourne’ also given to me for Christmas. Choose whatever suits your mood. You’ll obviously have a good half hour, or hour, to yourself, with the kitchen or bedroom door closed.
Your Psychic Powers and Tea Bag ReadingFrom my book, Amazing You: Psychic Powers, Hodder Headline, Sydney 2004. “The Golden Psychic Rule…Always do what you do for the highest good of all. In fact, you might even like to say it out loud before you do any kind of psychic stuff: “I’m doing this for the highest good of all.” Another simple way to say this is, “Help me to help others and help myself.” When you read tea leaves, dry, in a cup (or you can make a cup of tea, drink it, then break the bag at the end, and swirl it around in the dregs) you are using your sixth sense. Like driving or sailing, you need lessons, preparation and a basic knowledge of the conditions. You wouldn’t just get on the road without knowing the speed limit or the map, or leap onto your yacht and head for the great unknown. This simple rule can be applied to tea bag readings, the Tarot, scrying, crystal balls, and all the Sixth Sense practices.
Technique and Tea Bag ReadingYour first test is to accurately define the present with a symbol, in the bottom of the cup, which you find by reading the tea bag contents dry (splitting the bag open and just shaking the leaves in your cup or mug) – or wet, if you need some Elevenses or Afternoon Tea to break up your day. One of my favourite books is Mysteries of Prediction, by Angus Hall and Francis King (Bloomsbury Books, London, 1991). It has some words of wisdom on technique: “The tea leaf reader takes the cup in her left hand and swirl the dregs and tea leaves in a counterclockwise direction, three to seven times. If a man is giving the reading, he swirls the leaves clockwise.” Their book continues, “By using her intuition and imagination, the reader will interpret the numbers and initials she will be able to see in the plain cup rather than a patterned one, which can divert the mind.” (Best not go for that Snoopy mug, then, or the heavily floral teacup you picked up at that garage sale). Still, a little focus can surely help, no matter what your mug or teacup looks like! Snake, Mouse, Spider, Umbrella, Apple The authors continue “The art of reading tea leaves is often passed on, from generation to generation, but it can easily be self-taught, and the basic rules are quickly learned. The shapes most frequently formed are those of serpents, birds and animals.” You might see a snake, mouse, horse, goat, spider or hen. And perhaps a hammer, ladder, scissors, steeple, umbrella, apple or acorn. Perhaps, the hands of a clock.
Reading the Present to Read the FutureSymbols speak. Random tea leaves show a picture. You can be a fast reader (first thought, best thought) or it may take you a few minutes of thinking. If you can’t see anything obvious, swirl the leaves and tea again, or shake – if you are reading dry. Marie-Louise von Franz, author of On Divination and Synchronicity (Inner City Books, Toronto, 1980) worked with C.G. Jung and her book is drawn from a series of lectures at the Jung Institute in Zurich. She wrote, “There are innumerable divination techniques, which to my mind are techniques to catalyse one’s own unconscious knowledge. These do not use number, but some chaotic pattern; still much used among white men are tea leaves and coffee grounds, but you can use any other such pattern.” Africans, for example, used to throw chicken bones on the ground. What you are doing here, is interpreting one symbol, as deeply as you can, to speak to you about the present. What does it tell you about yourself and your life right now? What about the people you know, and your household and local area? What about your country? The world? Take notes in a journal and write the date down. Something may occur to you later, even if you think you’ve squeezed as much as you can from the symbol.
My Experiment With Yorkshire Gold Tea I’ll use my own tin mug of tea, and some nice Yorkshire Gold bags, to show you the way this works. I’ve finished my tea and have broken open the bag, to see what floats on the surface of the water. What I’m actually seeing here is the number 2. This brings me to a technique you can also try, in this modern 21st century way of seeing the leaves.
Using Your Phone Camera to Zoom in on Your Reading You can see things quite clearly if you photograph the bottom of your mug or cup. In fact, using a smart phone you will get so much more, than just a symbol in the leaves. You can read the light and shade. The shadows in the image. The picture then fills out the story that you are seeing. The number two doesn’t really mean much to me. I don’t know anyone born on the 2nd. I don’t live in a number 2 house. But I am a professional astrologer and the Second House or 2nd House is ruled by Taurus, which in turn rules business and money. I currently have a rare cycle in that zodiac sign and house, not seen in my adult lifetime. Making it Personal Now, the reading makes real sense to me. I’m experiencing a transit of Uranus (radical change) in Taurus (business and charity) in my Second House (fundraising). And sure enough, a few hours ago, a friend, a well-known bestselling novelist I worked with about 20 years ago, got in touch about a Penguin and HarperCollins book series called Girls’ Night In and Kids’ Night In. The website can be found here. It’s Personal! Teabag Reading and You I hope you can see why even a book of symbols is far less useful than an intensely personal reading of what you see. Nobody else would probably have interpreted ‘2’ like that except me. And I know what that tea bag is telling me. (I’m going to write it down in my journal.) The astrology is talking to me. That reminds me. If you are a Premium Member, even if you only joined up for a month (for around the price of two cups of tea) please make sure you have downloaded your complimentary journal. That’s the place to jot down your insights. Symbol Interpretation for Deeper Readings The best book on symbols I have found is a Penguin Reference guide, Dictionary of Symbols, by Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant (Penguin, London 1996). Continuing to use myself as a guinea pig to explain how this works: They define 2 as “Day and night” which is fascinating to me, as our series for HarperCollins in Great Britain and Penguin in Australia was called Girls’ Night In. The second book was called Girls’ Night In, Boys’ Night Out. I think there’s a clue there. Two is basically how we split the book – you read one half of it upside down for men (we had some outstanding writers like Mike Gayle in Britain and Nick Earls and John Birmingham in Britain.) But that’s a message for me… My point is, this simple tea bag reading has given me a real Eureka moment about a project that literally just slipped into my Twitter Direct Messages a few hours ago. Without that ‘2’ in the cup I would never have remembered our male-female and pink/blue upside-down edition. I can also see what my astrology cycle in the Second House of fundraising is telling me. Over to You – Why Your Present is Valuable There is so much emphasis on seeing the future, or prediction, in Mind, Body, Spirit disciplines. I actually think you get just as much from reading the present. See what your unconscious mind can pick up. We might also call this your Sixth Sense, psi ability, or paranormal sense. Work your way around the present and see what you get. If you can, use your phone camera to capture the image and then decode it in as much detail as you can.
Premium Members, you can also go on to the next part of this #TransformationTuesday in the very good company of my old Elle magazine colleague, Alicia Fulton.
…the remainder of this article is available exclusively to Premium members.
Want to continue reading?
LoginLogin now to access your Premium Astrology content.
Trouble logging in? Login using classic mode
Join now for instant access to more premium Astrology features
Find me on Twitter
Find me on Twitter @jessicacadams for updates and a conversation about Astrology.