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A brief history lesson on a pleasant
pastime . . .
Written by Amy Taylor, The Art of Tea and Tasseomancy
People have been drinking tea for about five thousand years, and it is likely they have been reading the leaves of our favorite beverage for as long. Tasseomancy is believed to have begun with the ancient Chinese, who read the residue in the bottom of their cups for patterns, signs, and omens. As tea became more popular and started to make its way around the world, so too did tea leaf reading. And in the 1600s it quickly started to outshine other, older ways of divining the future.
The earliest reference I have found documented for the lead up and into the Art of Tasseomancy is 1610, however, some who go by the Old Testament of the Bible say that it goes back as far as the times of Joseph where there is reference to ‘The Divining Cup’ which was believed to have originated from the ancient Egyptians. But it is more than likely it was the Babylonians as the reference of divining by cup also shows up much earlier in Babylonian texts in about 1800 B.C.
Most people who are familiar with the Art have either heard of it, or experienced it through the very old custom, (and even through my research I found a book written by a woman who is only known as The Highland Seer, in the early 1900s where it is even then, called ‘a very old custom’) it’s believed to have come from the Irish and the Scots where it was called ‘Cup Tossing’.
The Art was long passed down from mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter, aunt to niece etc., it was normally a family tradition. Traditionally, tea reading would be done in the morning before one would start their day to see what would unfold, or tea leaf reading would have been done in the afternoon.
By the mid-nineteenth century, porcelain manufacturers began to create Tasseography (Tasse= Cup or Goblet, Graphy= Map, or to, Graph, or Layout, or Write) cups. These cups became quite popular in the late 1800s/early to mid 1900s where the fascination with the occult, and supernatural became more popular. They were generally easy to use, and most Ladies would use them as part of an Afternoon Tea event and Ladies Tea Events, where the hostess would read the fortunes of her guests. These cups came with their own definition booklets, so the use of psychic and intuitive ability was very loosely utilized as the fortune would be determined by what symbol the leaves land on, as apposed to the true form of the art where the leaves create their own patterns, shapes and symbols.
Tasseomancy is the Art and Practice of divination by the interpretation of symbolic patterns made by tea leaves in a teacup. (Tasse = Cup or Goblet, Mancy=Form of Divination). The Art is thought to be largely dependent on psychic intuition. Tea is poured into a cup without the use of a strainer. The one seeking psychic help, the inquirer, drinks the tea in the cup. If any moisture remains it is shaken out onto a napkin. Another method is to leave a little moisture in the cup. This allows the leaves or dregs to be swished around. The cup is the upturned into the saucer. The reader picks up the cup and begins examining the formation of the dregs. The reader would then discern the shapes the leaves would make and tell the Enquirer their fortune based on those shapes and the locations of the cup the leaves were in.
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Firstly, I offer two types of readings; traditional Teacup Readings or Lenormand Tea Cards.
Tasseomancy, Teacup or Tea Leaf Readings:
these are all the same type of reading. It involves you drinking a cup of loose leaf tea and after I have tossed the wet remnants into the saucer I begin the reading process. Tea leaf reading uses symbolism, energy and intuition. I apply what your energy feels like to the symbols and patterns that show up in the cup. These readings can be very helpful and are also a great way to see if you are on track, or perhaps need to change tact. Tasseomancy is very accurate and insightful, however because the symbols in the cup remains static, it is not as flexible as the cards and sometimes when questions are asked, there is not an answer in the cup. These readings are what you need to focus on for the time being. Readings give info over about a year, give or take and depending on what shows up in the cup. And not to mention, a lot of fun!
Lenormand Tea Cards:
It is much the same, and as accurate as having a Teacup Reading, but with out drinking tea. The cards have a strong connection to the art of Tasseomancy (tea reading) as they were first associated with coffee grind readings. Wha I find fantastic about the cards, is that they allow for more flexibility and for questions to asked and answered. When the teacup and tea is used, it is much more static and there isn’t as much flexibility for questions to be asked. The way that I use them, the cards have 4 layers to them: colours, playing cards, numbers and the symbols. Having these four layers allows for more information to work with, and visually they are very clear to see for the person having the reading. These readings give info over about a year give or take.
I offer readings out of my private Tearoom in East Hamilton for individuals and small groups, on Wednesday’s through Saturday’s. The appointments are booked in the afternoons and early evenings with my last appointment being 6:00 or 7:00pm on Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday’s I accept walk ins from 1:00 to 5:00pm for Lenormand Tea Card readings. Private readings are approximately 30ish minutes each per person and includes either a traditional Teacup Reading or Tea Lenormand card reading. OR if you would like to do both, it can take 45 mins to and hour per person.
When you sit down to a reading with me, keep in mind that you are getting a touch point of where you have been, where you are currently and where you could be going in the future. Sometimes a reading will focus mainly on one thing, but I never know until I turn over the cup. The leaf readings traditionally were never meant to give you information very far into the future, they would have been done first thing in the morning to see what your day would hold. So readings with me are not long term readings giving information over several years like other forms of divination, they will generally be able to give you information for the next 6 - 16 months maybe shorter depending on what is going on in your life.
As I am an intuitive tea reader, I am able to give you a lot of information to work with. It is important to look into ones past to see what the future holds as it is all connected. An important thing to keep in mind is that readings are not about what you want to hear, they are what you need to hear. Sometimes the things that come through the reading are hard to hear and will be challenging for you. This is because the information that comes forth, usually is an opportunity for clarity, healing and for re-focusing your energy towards a happier and more progressive time in your life. At other times a reading will be a reaffirmation of your direction and to give you confirmation that you are on the right path.
As well, if there is a message from a loved one who has crossed the veil, I can be a messenger for them. I am not a medium, so am not able to call them forward, however if they come through, then the message can be delivered. I am only a conduit for them to pass on a message should they need to.
How often can you get read? Well, that depends on a few factors but as a general rule of thumb, I tell my clients that its best to wait at least 3 months, but mostly 6 months to a year between readings would be best.
All I ask is, if you are going to come to me and have a reading, is that you have an open mind and to not be afraid of what is to be seen. After all, you are joining me for a lovely cup of tea and conversation, and there is nothing at all scary about that.
At this time, I am not able to do readings via Skype or FaceTime but hope to have that set up to accommodate requests in the future. I do not provide telephone readings. But please, book early as my schedule fills up months in advance.
**All readings are completely confidential. I don’t allow the readings to be filmed or recorded, however you are more than welcome to take notes.