Have you ever looked inside your teacup and thought you saw your tea leaves form a specific shape? Amy Taylor from The Art of Tea and Tasseomancy and Mystic Tea Room is an award winning tea leaf reader based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She describes tea leaf reading (also referred to as tasseomancy) as the art and practice of divination using loose leaf tea leaves and a teacup. For those who have not experienced this form of reading, to do so, one would drink a cup of loose leaf tea that has not been strained or filtered and then the tea leaves are left over in the cup to be examined by the reader. The reader would see what kind of patterns and shapes have formed in the teacup and explain the meaning.
For example, Amy once saw the figure of Archangel Michael in a woman’s cup. This was a sign that the woman was being taken care of, watched over. In another person’s cup, a willow tree bending in the wind appeared. This was a sign that this person needed to stand firm but show some flexibility in a particular decision. There can be many different symbols found in someone’s cup but some of Amy’s favourites are rabbits, dinosaurs and turtles as they mean children coming and motherhood.
Amy Taylor is an intuitive reader and says she “takes it a step further” by taking the energy of the person who drank the tea and applies it to the patterns and symbols that are revealed in their cup. “With this information I can then divine what the past, present and potential future holds,” Amy shares.
I always had interest in things such as oracle cards and astrology so it only made sense when I first heard about tea leaf reading years ago that I would be quite intrigued. I only had my leaves read by someone else once before. Other times I have attempted to read my own tea leaves at home with a beginners book, a symbol tea cup and even tea leaf fortune cards. But, there are more things to learn about this form of reading, especially if you are interested in having your tea leaves read or plan to learn how to do so yourself. So, I connected with Amy to have a chat about her profession and discovered 7 fun facts about tea leaf reading…
Tea Leaf Reading Facts
1. Anyone over the age of 16/18 can have their tea leaves read. “As long as they realize that the information that comes forward, would be a glimpse of what is possible. It is best to go into a reading with an open mind and to be honest and open about what is being said. A person shouldn’t have a reading if they want to hear something specific, readings don’t work that way. Readings tell you what you need to hear at that time, and not what you want to hear.”
2. Smaller leaves are best to use when performing a tea leaf reading, but the tea depends on the reader’s preference. “Over the last nearly 30 years as a tea reader, I have used several types of tea to do readings with. Some teas, for example Taiwanese oolongs or Chinese green or white teas, can have enormous leaves which would make shapes on their own. Black teas also have larger leaves (unless we are talking about CTC teas) that would create their own shapes as well. I prefer using smaller leaf teas, more correctly tisanes, as the leaves are smaller, and don’t create their own shapes as they rehydrate in the water. I find smaller leaves will give me a much more comprehensive spread in the teacup to work with, this is why I love using rooibos. But ultimately you can use what ever teas you would like, as the reading process is unique to each tea leaf reader.”
3. Tea leaf reading is open to any types of questions. “If it is in the cup, they can be answered. If there is no clear answer indicated, then maybe it’s not the time for you to know. I have found however, because I am able to see so much in most cups, the person having the reading doesn’t usually have any questions as they will get the answers as the reading is done. I always say to my clients to wait until the end of the readings as I may answer their questions as I go along.”
4. There are several factors that will determine if the patterns are positive ones or challenging ones. “Where the leaves land in the cup, how many leaves there are, what kind of white space is there, are there recurring patterns are all factors to consider when looking at the spread in a cup.”
5. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s possible for tea leaves to just not want to be read. “Sometimes a person will come and have a reading and I will just know something is blocking, or holding back. When I would look into their cup, all the patterns would be saying to come back at another time, that it isn’t the right time to have a reading. Then at that point I would say to them that it was a lovely cuppa, but not charge them as there was no reading.”
6. You should not plan to have your tea leaves read often. “I always suggest to people that putting at least 3 months, but more often 6 months between readings, as it gives time for things to change, grow, and develop, etc.”
7. Traditionally, tea leaf reading would have been passed down through family generations. But today, it isn’t done that way. “If you’re interested in getting into tea leaf reading, the first important factor is that you should really like tea. Seriously, know your tools! Secondly; there are a lot of resources, like books about tasseomancy and online sites where they can learn from. There are also places where people can take courses to learn the art. I myself have been teaching Tasseomamcy for the past 17 years. Ultimately, I think the most important bit of information I can give is this; no tea leaf reader will practice the art the same, so find your preferred way. Truly, it is among the most accessible of the divinatory systems, tasseomancy requires nothing more than a plain cup, a bit of tea, and a quiet receptive mood.”
What are your thoughts on tea leaf reading? Have your tea leaves been read before? Share your experiences in the comments below!