Tea and Spirituality: Leaf Reading in the Far East

 

reading tea leaves Tea and Spirituality: Leaf Reading in the Far East

Reading the Leaves

 

Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy and tassology) – the reading and divination of one’s future through the reading of tea or coffee remnants in a cup.  The word comes from the French word tasse (cup) which is a cognate of the Arabic word tassa (cup or goblet).  While the suffixes are from the Greek words –graphy (writing), -mancy (divination) and -ology (the study of).

For as long as tea has been around in ancient China, so has the art of leaf reading.  It is said to have started in 2737 B.C. when Buddhist sages began to interpret the patterns that formed at the bottom of their tea cups.

Tea has been an integral part of daily life in the Chinese culture.  It seems only logical that part of the culture including trying to foretell the future with the remnants of their own drunken tea.  The practice originated in China and was spread west in the seventeenth century as Dutch traders brought tea via the trade routes.

It is said by some that Spring Pouchong tea (Chinese;pinyinBāozhòngchá) is popular.  There is a big of a debate as to which type of tea should be used in tasseomancy.  Some believe that the small fannings (or tea dust) found in tea bag is too fine to create the necessary symbols to be read through tasseomancy.  On the other hand there are those that prefer to use the tea bag because the fannings are capable of creating more detailed images.  You decide for yourself, dear readers.

Why do you think, dear readers? Would you like to try your hand at tasseography or tasseomancy?   I have found a great site with symbols in order to try your hand at tasseomancy.

http://www.tasseography.com/symbol.htm

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Tea and Spirituality: Fal – Leaf Reading in the Middle East

 

Minttea Tea and Spirituality: Fal   Leaf Reading in the Middle East

Morrocan Tea Pouring

 

Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy and tassology) – the reading and divination of one’s future through the reading of tea or coffee remnants in a cup.  The word comes from the French word tasse (cup) which is a cognate of the Arabic word tassa (cup or goblet).  While the suffixes are from the Greek words –graphy (writing), -mancy (divination) and -ology (the study of).

In the Middle East, this tradition is known as “fal.”  While tea leaves are utilized in the divination of the future, it is more popular to use Turkish coffee and the ground remnants in order to tell the future.  Even though the coffee grinds are preferred to tea, the process is still the same between the two.

4336663797 ef67f8943c Tea and Spirituality: Fal   Leaf Reading in the Middle East

Hopsitali..tea! Saudi Arabia

The drinker must drink all the liquid until there are only the grinds or the tea leaves.  Then the cup must be covered by a saucer, turned upside down and the turned to face the person whose fortune will be told.  This allows the remnants of the tea or coffee to swirl and settle at the bottom of the cup.   There are some fortune tellers out there that ask that the cup be turned clockwise three times before the cup is covered by the saucer; however that is not always necessary.

It is customary that the reading was performed by a clairvoyant or a fortune teller.  No one should read their own fortune.  The cups used in this tradition are white to represent good and positive.  This was used to be in contrast to the dark grinds which represented bad and negative.

Why do you think, dear readers? Would you like to try your hand at tasseography or tasseomancy?   I have found a great site with symbols in order to try your hand at tasseomancy.

http://www.tasseography.com/symbol.htm

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Tea and Spirituality: Tasseomancy – Leaf Reading in Victorian Europe

victorian1 Tea and Spirituality: Tasseomancy   Leaf Reading in Victorian Europe

Victorian Tasseography Set

Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy and tassology) – the reading and divination of one’s future through the reading of tea or coffee remnants in a cup.  The word comes from the French word tasse (cup) which is a cognate of the Arabic word tassa (cup or goblet).  While the suffixes are from the Greek words –graphy (writing), -mancy (divination) and -ology (the study of).

The art of reading tea leaves had come to Europe long before the Victorian era, usually a task performed by Romanies or gypsies.  It did not reach its peak of popularity until the Victorian era.  It was during this time, especially in England, that it was tradition to have afternoon tea.  The idea was introduced by a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, Anna Maria Stanhope (1783 – 1857) who was also known as the Duchess of Bedford.  Its popularity grew because it allowed people, especially the women, to sit and gossip.  Tasseography’s popularity also grew in parallel to afternoon tea at the same time because the tea was readily available and it was thought to be a fun parlor game.

victorian2 Tea and Spirituality: Tasseomancy   Leaf Reading in Victorian Europe

A Leaf Reading in Progress

During the same time period, psychoanalysis was growing prodigiously, which in turn help boost tea leaf reading.  This is thought to be because tea leaf reading is simply the reading and understanding of symbols.  In essence, anyone could do it.  It did not take someone with psychic abilities to perform this ritual.  With the field of psychoanalysis growing, this led to a greater understanding of the human psyche in relation to symbols and archetypes.

Why do you think, dear readers? Would you like to try your hand at tasseography or tasseomancy?  I found a few sites on the subject that actually tell you step by step how to pour, strain and even which hand to use in order to pick up your cup.

http://www.tasseography.com

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/t/tasseography.html

* Disclaimer: These images are reposted in various sizes across the net. I could find not original attribution and have simply linked to the sites where the imagery was originally located.

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