Tasseomancy, or tea-leaf reading as it is more commonly known, is thought to have originated in Asia, the Middle East and Ancient Greece.
The name derives from the Arabic word ‘tassa’, meaning cup and the Greek word ‘mancy’ meaning divination.
Reading with the aid of tea leaves has often been associated with Gypsy fortune tellers and is still very popular today because it is an effective tool for tapping into the subconscious.
While it is a rare thing to find a practising tea leaf reader, let alone a genuine tea leaf reading Gypsy, it is still an interesting and uncannily accurate form of divination and with a little practice you will soon be able to read your
own and others’ tea cups.
What you need to read tea leaves
You can still buy loose leaf tea today from most supermarkets. It’s always best to use a fine grain tea if you can, because the leaves will stick better to the cup. The second item that you will need for a successful tea-leaf reading is a white or pastel- coloured teacup. The cup you use should also have a wide brim so that the leaves have a greater chance of sticking to the bottom and sides of the cup. Additional items that you will need are a wide saucer, a teaspoon for stirring the tea and a teapot. The teapot should be a china or porcelain, rather than metal.
Boil a kettle of water. When it has boiled, throw a small handful of tea leaves into the teapot and give it a stir. Pour the tea into the cup and allow it to cool – do not add milk.
Concentrate on a question or an issue you wish to resolve. Take three sips of the tea, then throw the rest away, but leave a small amount in the bottom of the cup.
Reading the tea leaves
Take the cup in your most dominant hand and turn it three times in a clockwise direction. Pour any remaining liquid from the cup down the sink. Place the cup upside down on the saucer and once again turn it in a clockwise direction three times. The leaves will be clumped together in different places inside the cup, including the rim, the side and the bottom. You are now ready to read the tea leaves.
As you turn the cup around you will notice different shapes emerge in the patterns formed by the tea leaves. Below is a list of common shapes and their meanings:
- ACORN near the top, it means success and gain, while at the bottom, it means good health
- ANCHOR stability, constancy
- APPLE knowledge, achievement
- BABY a new venture, pregnancy
- BALL completion, variable fortunes
- BUTTERFLY transition, transformation
- CAT deceit, a false friend
- CROSS protection, sacrifice
- DOG friend
- DOOR opening (to something new) or
- closing (old issues and relations), spirituality
- EGG good omen, creation, new beginnings
- ENVELOPE a message is on its way, whether positive or negative
- FIRE achievement
- FISH creation, good fortune
- FLAG nationality
- GATE opportunity, future success,
- GLOW enlightenment
- HORSESHOE good luck, attraction
- HOUSE security, change, success
- INSECT good luck is on its way
- JEWELS gifts are on their way
- KANGAROO harmony at home
- KITE wishes coming true, flying free
- LADDER promotion
- LEAF new life
- MOUNTAIN obstacles or a specific area
- MOUSE theft
- NAIL injustice, unfairness
- NECKLACE admirers. If broken,
- it means danger of losing a lover
- OAK health, long life, tree of life
- OCTOPUS danger
- PALM TREE success
- PIG greed
- QUESTION MARK need for caution
- RABBIT need for bravery,
- RING a phone call or coming full circle. Near the top, it means marriage or the offer of marriage. At the bottom, it means a long engagement. If it’s broken, it means an engagement has been broken off
- SCALE legal issues
- SCISSORS quarrels, possibly separation
- STAR health and happiness, hope
- TABLE social gatherings
- TENT travel, cover, hidden truth
- URN wealth and happiness
- VASE a friend needs help
- VOLCANO harmful emotions
- WASP romantic problems
- WHEEL if complete, it means good fortune. If
- it’s broken, it means disappointment
- YOKE domination
- ZEBRA adventure, especially overseas
- SHAPES If you come across any of the following shapes in a reading you should pay particular attention to them:
- TRIANGLES equal good karma
- If you see a SQUARE there is need for caution
- A CIRCLE equals great success in any venture
- LETTERS usually refer to names of lovers, friends and relatives
- NUMBERS indicate time, as in months and years
A teacup reading can only predict up to a year in the future. Tea leaves stuck to the bottom of the cup mean they will happen in about a year’s time. Tea leaves stuck near to the top of the cup indicate that events will happen within a few
days or weeks. As a general rule, the bottom of the cup represents people, ideas, situations or past events. The middle part on the side of the cup represents the present and the top part of the cup represents what is coming up in the future for you.
Another very common form of Gypsy fortune telling is palm reading and, while it takes many years to learn this intricate art of divination, there are some basics to the art that you can learn quickly.
Palmistry is also known as chiromancy, which comes from the Greek word ‘chirology’, which means ‘hand study’. This ancient art has been studied by many cultures including the Chinese, Egyptians and Tibetans.
The lines on your palm gradually change as you change, and they tell a story of your life, past, present and future.
Palms should be clean, dry and free of grease or dust and you should be sitting comfortably and relaxed. You won’t get an accurate reading by reading just one palm. You need to look at both hands. The most dominant hand on a person (usually the right) will tell you what they are like with others, while the less dominant hand reveals more about their private self and inner world.
Reading the palm
Start by feeling the skin texture on the palm. If the skin is damp, it signals that a person is highly sensitive and has strong emotions. If the skin is silky, which is more common on women than men, it denotes that a person is very in tune with others and often psychic. Papery skin tells that a person is a good communicator and rough or coarse skin reveals someone who loves being outdoors and is at one with nature.
The main four lines on the palm
While every palm is crisscrossed with numerous lines and creases, there are four main ones:
The Life Line (A on the palm above)
This is the line that curves around the ball of your thumb and, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t predict how long you will live. The Life Line does, however, reveal your energy, vitality and stability in life and will change as you grow.
- A short or weak Life Line highlights someone who is insecure and cannot settle in one place for too long.
- If the Life Line is long and deep, this signals a person who is stable, strong and someone who the whole family can turn to.
The Head Line (B on the palm opposite)
This is the line that goes from the same point as the life line, but goes vertically across the palm. This line shows how a person thinks.
- A straight line shows a practical, logical person who can be over sensitive in love.
- A curved line indicates that a person is reliable, has their feet firmly on the ground and is relaxed and adaptable to change.
- A short line signals someone who refuses to listen to others.
- When the Head Line is forked at the end, it denotes someone who is adaptable.
The Heart Line (C on the palm opposite)
This is the line that begins from your little finger and runs across the top of the palm. This line deals with your emotions.
- A full Heart Line denotes someone who is passionate and emotional in relationships.
- When the Heart Line ends under the middle finger, it signifies a need to be more considerate to your partner.
- A forked Heart Line means that you are balanced with your emotions and adaptable in relationships.
The Fate Line (D on the palm opposite)
This is the line that travels from the wrist to the middle finger and is often one of the weakest lines on the palm. If you look at a child’s palm,
you will not see the Fate Line.
- A clear line denotes someone who has a clear sense of their goals and will achieve them.
- A broken Fate Line signals someone who will possibly jump from job to job.
- A faint line suggests someone who is trying to be the person that others want them to be rather than being true to themselves.
The finger on which a person chooses to wear a ring can tell you a lot about them, too:
- A ring on the forefinger tells of a seemingly egotistical person, but who actually lacks confidence and self-esteem.
- A ring on the middle finger signifies someone who is very materialistic and needs security.
- A ring on the ring finger is conventional as a wedding or engagement ring. However, if there are multiple or large rings adorning it, this shows an emotional and creative person.
- A ring on the little finger is common with people in showbiz and anybody else who sets out to achieve fame and money.
Crystal balls and Gypsies go hand in hand and have done for thousands of years. Also known
as crystallomancy or scrying, it is thought that this ancient art evolved in Egypt, but the Hindus, Greeks and Australian Aborigines all used scrying throughout their history as a form of divination.
How does it work?
As with all forms of divination, crystal balls are
a tool to help us tap in to the subconscious and the degree to which you can predict forthcoming events lies in how tuned in you are when you look in to the crystal ball. Crystal balls come in
all sizes and you can buy one from new age shops and shops online.
Before you read the crystal ball you should cleanse the ball in water to rid it of any residual energy from previous readings. Dry it with a clean, fibre-free cloth and place it on its stand. Your ball should be large enough to read clearly. Always keep your crystal ball wrapped in a velvet cloth when you’re not using it and never leave it in direct sunlight. If you don’t have a crystal ball you can get the same results with a bowl of water. The bowl should be a dark colour.
Reading your crystal ball
As with any form of divination, you need a time when you have peace and quiet and it’s best done when you are alone. If you have a black backdrop behind the crystal ball, all the better.
Sit comfortably and relax. As a beginner,
you might not get anything during your first attempts, but the more you relax, the easier you will find it. You need to let go of any mundane thoughts that enter your head and try to gaze through the glass of the ball. After a while you should see some sort of change. The ball may become cloudy or dark, or you may see some written messages or something similar to a film strip appear in the glass. Shapes, shadows or silhouettes are very common when you first use the crystal ball. It’s quite rare to see anything that makes sense, so make a note of what you see and you can work out what it means later.
If you see an image in the centre of the crystal ball, this refers to the present, images at the back are the past and those at the front of the crystal ball deal with issues in the near future.
Below are some common images and their meanings:
- ANCHOR a safe haven
- BIRD a message bringing good fortune
- CLOUDS positive news
- CUP love coming your way
- DRAGON strength
- EYES fate will step in
- FRUIT children
- HOUSE a move is on the way
- LION recovery from illness
- MOON family life will be good
- PEOPLE a party and good friends
- SNAKE new found knowledge
- STAR fame
- TOWER an authoritative man
- UNICORN innocence and fantasy
- WATER good communications
- WHEEL a change in fortune