Telling Fortunes by Tea Leaves
DIVINATION BY TEA-LEAVES AS AN AMUSEMENT
AND AS A MORE SERIOUS STUDY
The need for patience cannot be too strongly impressed upon
those who are beginning to learn the language of tea-leaves.
Some of the most interesting symbols are very minute, and will
certainly be missed by the seer who is in a hurry.
When tea-leaf reading is indulged in merely as an amusement
to while away a few moments after a meal, a hasty glance at
the cup, or cup and saucer, will suffice. The seer will just note the chief features, such as a
journey, a letter, a parcel, or news of a wedding, and pass on to the next cup. But this is far
from being a really interesting method of divination by tea-leaves, wherein so much
knowledge is to be found, and so much useful information gained.
Those who closely study this fascinating subject will certainly be well rewarded by a deep
personal interest, in addition to the pleasure they give to others.
It is wonderful how rapidly converts are made to this form of divination. Some who in the past
have been heard scornfully to assert that they "have no belief in tea-leaves," become the
most regular inquirers. Moreover, these skeptics have proved to be very efficient students.
There is always a satisfaction in persuading another to one's own point of view. The more
obstinate the opposition, the more glorious the final conquest!
It is a rare occurrence nowadays to meet with three people in the course of a day, and not to
find that one at least is deeply interested in fortune-telling in some of its various forms.
Quite recently I had a letter from a girl who has gone on a visit to British Columbia, asking me
if I would "do the cards" for her, as she could not find anyone in her vicinity who was
particularly good at divination. She went on to say that "there is a perfect rage for fortune-
telling out here, and everyone is keen on it." Another instance of this universal popularity was
given to me by a friend who had recently been to America. She was amazed at the numbers of
women whom she saw absorbed in the reading of their tea-cups each day of the voyage.
The male sex holds aloof and leaves us to "perform these follies." Some ascribe it to man's
superiority. Or as briefly summed up by a delightful member of their sex, who when
declaiming against the possibility of the future being made visible, said, "With all apologies to
you, I must say I am not so profoundly stupid as to believe in these things; it cannot be
anything more than rot."
It is remarkable how such protests die away when clairvoyant evidence, either by cards, tea-
leaves, or other means, has accurately predicted some event of the distant future that at the
time appeared absurd and impossible of happening.