Monday, September 17, 2012

Tea Leaves

This weekend I picked up something new to try out - a tea leaf reading cup. I enjoy reading tarot cards, runes, goddess cards and other oracle cards, but have always wanted to learn tea leaf reading as well. While you can use any tea cup for this, I picked up a specially designed one to help me learn.

Tea leaf reading or tasseography has been around for centuries. The art of fortune telling with tea is said to have originated in China, though people having been using various drinks to tell the future. In the Middle East, particularly in Turkey, coffee grounds were and still are used. In Europe during medieval times, people read the dregs in wine, so when tea was brought to the West, it was only natural that tea leaf reading should follow.

Romany "gypsies" known for their fortune telling skills helped spread this form of oracle around the British isles and Europe, in the 19th centuries. It became very popular throughout Scotland, Ireland and England during Victorian times, mostly as a parlour game for amusement. Some companies even started making specially designed tea cups for this.

Vintage fortune telling tea cup with symbols.

Another one with card symbols inside the cup, combining playing card reading as well.

Tea leaf reading became less popular during the 20th century, especially with the advent of tea bags. I'd really like to become proficient at it, as I think it's a fun skill to gave. I've tried it with coffee grounds without much success. I think I will buy myself a nice loose leaf that it is also delicious.
What are your thoughts on tasseography?

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  1. I met someone a couple of weekends ago that had that exact cup! It's so awesome! I think I want one!

  2. Interesting! I didn't know there were special cups for that!

  3. That's so amazing! Definitely on my wish list <3

  4. Very cool - my grandmother used to read tea leaves as well as tarot cards. Very interesting to see. I'm glad you are continuing this tradition in our family!!

  5. Another great, informative post. I've never given tea reading a thought since before or after first learning about it in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Sounds like a pastime worthy of steampunkers and neo-Victorian lovers alike!

  6. Where did you find your cups? I'm not particularly interested in learning to read tea leaves myself, but those are some stunning tea cups. I am very interested in them :)