Friday, December 6, 2013

My Magical Tea Cup

There are many divination tools in this great big world of ours: cards, runes, bones, stones, candle wax drippings, crystal balls, scrying, and astrology, just to name a few.

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to try my hand at reading tea leaves. It sounds so quaint! In fact lately it most often brings to mind the two elderly ladies from the movie Coraline, who foresee “great danger” at the bottom of Coraline’s cup.

I’m always open to trying new things, especially new forms of divination, so I was all for it when my mentor presented the idea to me.  She said that normally you would actually drink the tea first, and then, when the last dregs remained, you’d flip the cup, swirl it around a few times, and then peer in to see what you could see. She wasn’t in the mood to drink tea, so she threw some peppermint leaves and a little bit of hot water into a couple of newly purchased white tea cups, and set them to steep for a few minutes. Once the leaves had rehydrated, she poured out most of the water (there wasn’t much to begin with) and flipped the cups – first one, then the other. She turned the saucers each three times, and then turned the cups right side up.  I spent some time gazing into my cup, and bit by bit started to make out some minute images… a palm tree…. a series of Ws….a gun… I revolved my cup I suddenly saw that I had a visitor perched on the edge of my cup: a crouching figure that very much appeared to be a Green Man.  That was pretty cool!  I was so pleased that I took a picture:

Green Man crouched in my tea cup!

Now palm tree, guns, Ws….all of these things hold little meaning for me, but the point of the practice is to grow accustomed to identifying symbols, and then associating them with various meanings, and then applying them to a particular context or issue in order to provide clarity and guidance.  In this way it’s much like card reading, where each of our cards holds a multitude of meanings, and on top of that endless intuitive meaning potential, and we allow these disparate elements to come together to create a meaningful story for our clients, based on their concerns and unique situations.

The Green Man, however, was pretty cool. This does hold meaning for me, as a representative of the deep connection I feel with nature, with forests, with trees, with the wild parts of our own human nature. So I was very pleased to see him sitting in my cup, poised to leap.

Wildwood Tarot
Mark Ryan, John Matthews, Will Worthington
Sterling Ethos, 2011

Tea reading was fun, though I’m not necessarily going to make it a focus of extensive studying at this time. Tarot itself is a never-ending journey, and recently I’ve added Lenormand to that.  Runes are high on my list, but I’m trying to pace myself!

If you try tea leaf reading, please feel free to share your experiences!


  1. For me it is the same thing
    I like to read about these kind of things but I do not want to learn them for myself
    You are wise to stick to Lennies and Tarot for the time being. :D

    1. Whew, Lenormand is going to keep me busy for quite a while! Today I compiled a list of keywords, and watched a couple of Donnaleigh's videos….. Will have to do some sentences later for practice! :)

    2. She is the best. I've learned a lot of her too. I watched some of her videos even a couple of times. Watch out you don't trim your Gilded Reverie though :D

    3. I couldn't bear to trim it! It's perfect as is :) Yes, Donnaleigh is greatly improving my weak Lemormand skills!

  2. When you make the cup of tea and have lots of tea leaves floating on the top it means there will be lots of people around you soon. Like meeting people or a get together. :-)
    That's all I know. I love your green man.

    1. Cool, Sarah! I'll have to keep that in mind. My girls like the novelty of tea leaves. Thanks, I was pretty happy to see him in my cup!