Reading Tea leaves or Teacup-reading!!!
Md. Shahrear Talukder
Sometimes we get superstitious when we fail to find any solace, help or courage in everyday life. We seek assistance from people with extraordinary power (we believe in that way). Intrinsically we are obsessed with time and events unforeseen. We want to know our future. If present gives us trouble, means to get rid of this upsetting present becomes our main concern. We can only avoid anything unpleasant, unwanted, perilous or unseemly if we can foresee tomorrow’s events today. But we don’t possess this prophetic power to predict the future. Some of us are said to be blessed with the power to prophesy. We desire to be clairvoyant, almost all of us. And if we can’t be like that we look for people with that capacity of a seer or fortune-teller. There are palmists, astrologers, soothsayers, psychics, and mind-readers who are considered to be people with supernatural power. They are admired and obeyed- sometimes by some people- because of their intuitive understanding of the situations and telepathic connection with time and events past, present and future.
The other day I was reading Arab News (Friday, June 3, 2011), a Saudi national daily newspaper. There on page 3 I got stuck on a report titled “With teacup-reading women seek to get to ‘bottom’ of problems”. It says-
Seeking predictions from teacup-readers has become a hobby of Saudi women as many of them get mental satisfaction and happiness from them.
Even highly educated women approach teacup-reading experts in the hope it would help them solve their problems. The practice is prohibited by Islam.
This teacup-reading is commonly known as Tasseography and the person who practices this is known as tasseographist. Tasseography, otherwise known as tasseomancy or tassology, is the art of tea leaf reading. “Tasse” or “tass” is an Arab root, meaning small cup or goblet.
It is an ancient practice interpreting patterns made by tea leaves in the cup. In addition to the reading of tea leaves, the tradition of tasseography includes the reading of coffee grounds and wine sediments.
Gypsy fortunetellers are known from ancient time for familiarizing tasseograpy. Asia, the Middle East and Ancient Greece are credited for introducing the tradition of tea leaf reading. The Scottish, Irish and cultures throughout Eastern Europe have been associated for a long time with modern tasseography.
The primal human desire for understanding the self is the main reason working behind this cross cultural and historical pervasiveness of tea, coffee and sediment reading. During the Victorian era, tasseography became popularized as a parlor game. It is not an application of magic. It is a kind of practice which relates to our subconscious and corresponds to pattern recognition and symbolism. Tasseography can be a powerful meditative tool providing insights into the reader’s subconscious.
Method of tea-leaf reading
“After a cup of tea has been poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer. The diviner now looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and allows the imagination to play around the shapes suggested by them. They might look like a letter, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are then interpreted intuitively or by means of a fairly standard system of symbolism, such as: snake (enmity or falsehood), spade (good fortune through industry), mountain (journey of hindrance), or house (change, success).
It is traditional to read a cup from the present to the future by starting along the rim at the handle of the cup and following the symbols downward in a spiral manner, until the bottom is reached, which symbolizes the far future. Most readers see images only in the dark tea leaves against a white or neutral background; some will also read the reverse images formed by seeing the symbols that form in the white negative spaces, with a clump of dark leaves forming the background.
Some people consider it ill-advised for one to attempt tasseography using tea from a cut-open tea bag or to use a symbol dictionary. The reasons for these prohibitions are practical: tea-bag tea is cut too finely to form recognizable figures in the cup and tea-leaf reading has its own historic system of symbolism that does not correspond exactly with other systems, such as symbolic dream divination.”
POSSIBLE INTERPRETATIONS OF SYMBOLS
AIRCRAFT – journey; travel.
ANCHOR – at top = stability, constancy in love or business; at bottom or broken = instability, inconstancy; can also symbolize an unpleasant situation or burden you should sail away from.
ANGEL – good news; protection.
BABY – new life; possible pregnancy; small worries.
BOUQUET – romantic interest; validation for your work or talents.
BAG – a trap; if open = escape.
BALL – desire to travel.
BALLOON – busy social life; inability to settle down if near handle.
BICYCLE – individuality; choose your own path.
BIRD – good news or message; standing bird = delay; flying bird = good news; good news coming soon; flock of birds = profound or exciting news; goose= successful financial venture; peacock = pride and display; eagle = power and transcendence; crow/raven = ill omen, warning, time to relax; parrot = beware of idle gossip; chicken/hen = happy homelife and childhood comfort; dove = peace and love; owl = wisdom, knowledge and learning; rooster = a boastful person or wake up and seize the moment; swan = romance or someone graceful and beautiful; vulture = lay low and beware of enemies; swallow = love and new beginnings.
BREAD (loaf) – nourishment; care for your health.
BRIDGE – a life-changing event or person. Look for nearby symbols.
BUTTERFLY – overdue happiness.
CAKE – a wish fulfilled; celebration.
CAMEL – you will overcome burden and pressure to reach oasis.
CANDLE -there will be light upon an uncertain path; help from friends.
CAR – if clear = travel; if broken = mechanical trouble.
CARPETS – true friends and happy social engagements.
CASTLE – expand your horizons; open up a little.
CAT – deceit; an untrustworthy friend.
CHAIN – if well-formed = fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken = trouble, disruption.
CHAIR – a guest or new addition to the family.
CASTLE – expand your horizons
CHILD – new idea; family.
CIGAR – a new friend or business relationship.
CIRCLE – unbroken = success, completion; broken (like letter ‘c’) = a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
CLOCK – warning against procrastination.
DOG – good friend; if at bottom friend needs help; if barking, untrustworthy friend; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dog year
DOOR – be aware of opportunities.
ELEPHANT – be patient, you will be supported with kindness.
ENVELOPE – you will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
EXCLAMATION MARK – pay attention; beware of impulsive actions.
EYE – a protective symbol; insight into a long standing problem.
FAN – a flirtation.
FEATHER – need for concentration.
FLOWER – praise and compliments are coming your way.
FLY – an annoying person.
FROG – fertility; abundance; a disguised handsome/beautiful lover.
GATE – be aware of opportunities around you.
GLASS – celebrations, parties, social events.
GLOBE – long distance travel.
GOAT – your persistence will pay off, but take some time to recreate; or, a person born under the sign of Capricorn.
GRAPES – abundance and epicurean enjoyment.
HAND – if open = karma or destiny; if closed means an argument; look for added meaning where the hand is pointing.
HARE – unlike the shorter eared rabbit, the long eared hare represents something important brewing in your destiny in love or travel.
HARP – love; romance.
HAT – you will experience a change in roles; or business success.
HEART – love, friendship, romance.
HILLS – small challenges which will leave you improved.
HORSE – if galloping means good news; if just the head means a lover
INSECT – distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
IVY – this is not a good time to be too independent; trust friends to help you.
JEWELS – material success; you will receive a valuable gift.
LION – male lion represents a powerful contact or important man; the lioness represents a strong family; or, may represent a person born under the zodiac sign of Leo.
LOCK – there are obstacles in your way.
LOOP – if well-formed = fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken = trouble, disruption.
MAN – a visitor of either gender; if near handle = someone close to you.
MASK – a secret to be kept.
MOUNTAIN – a difficult, but possible, goal.
MOUSE – be cautious of credit deals.
QUESTION MARK – reconsider your plans; be aware of an important question you should ask yourself.
RABBIT – fertility in family or business; someone born in the Chinese Zodiac year of the rabbit.
RAINBOW – your wish will come true; similar to an arch, it links represents the path between today and your destiny.
ROSE – new romance; deepening of love.
SPIDER – a small reward or win.
SPIDER WEB – potent symbol of fate; beware of traps.
SPOON – you will be comforted by someone’s generosity.
STAR – success, recognition and praise.
STAIR – your position will improve.
SUN – a new beginning.
SWORD – caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
TABLE – a happy social interlude.
TENT – travel may help you foster your spiritual health.
THIMBLE – focus on fostering your home life.
TORNADO OR WHIRLWIND – prepare for turbulent weather.
TORTOISE OR TURTLE – lasting success through slow, determined and patient efforts.
UMBRELLA – protection from harm or loss.
URN – be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
VASE – a secret being kept from you; be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
VIOLIN – allow your feelings to surface.
VOLCANO – there is an obstruction in your life that must be dealt with before it explodes.
WATERFALL – wealth and prosperity.
WHEEL – events outside your control will change the direction of your life.
WINGS – do not box yourself in or limit yourself unnecessarily.
WOLF – you will be challenged or betrayed by someone.
YOKE – domination or control you should not allow.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia