Telling Fortunes by Tea Leaves
GENERAL THEORIES IN READING THE CUP
At first sight the interior of the cup will show the leaves
scattered about apparently haphazard and with no
arrangement; just a jumble of tea-leaves and nothing more. In
reality they have come to their positions and have taken on the
shapes of the symbols for which they stand, by the guidance of
the subconscious mind directing the hand in the turning of the
The various shapes and the meanings to be attached to them
will at first be puzzling to beginners. A good deal of practice is
necessary before the tea-leaf symbols can be accurately
interpreted at a glance. That, however, will come later, and in
time it will be as easy as reading a book.
If you wish to be a proficient reader of the tea-leaves, practice constantly this interpretation
of the shapes and positions of the leaves. Take a cup and follow out the simple instructions
for the turning and draining of it, and then carefully study the result.
It is an excellent plan to make a rough copy of the leaves as they present themselves to you
in each cup, making notes of the various meanings.
Do not feel dismayed if, when you begin looking at the tea-leaves, you are unable to discover
in them anything definitely symbolic. It is certain that nothing will be found if the seer is
feeling nervous! Keep a calm, open mind, and do not be in a hurry, for it is under such
conditions only that a clear reading of the leaves will be possible. In some cases the symbols
are more easily read than in others. Much depends upon the consultant.
The gift of imagination (by no means to be confused with invention) is of the greatest possible
importance in discerning the symbols which are of such endless shapes and variety. The seer
has to find in the forms of the tea-leaves a resemblance, sometimes it may be but a faint
one, to natural objects, e.g., trees, houses, flowers, bridges, and so forth. Figures of human
beings and animals will frequently be seen, as will squares, triangles, circles, and also the
line of fate.
These signs may be large or small, and the importance of them must be judged by their
relative size and position. Suppose, for instance, that a small cross should be at the bottom of
the cup, the only one to be seen, the seer would predict that a trifling vexation or a tiresome
little delay must be expected; but not for the present, as it is at the bottom of the cup. An
alphabetical list of symbols is given later on, so it is not necessary to define them here. The
various points of a more general character, however, must be studied before it is possible to
give an accurate reading.