Friday, 3 December 2010

Tea-leaf reading - my latest attempt

One of my resolutions for 2010 was to learn to do tea-leaf reading.

I was given a book called The Art of Tea Leaf Readinglast Yule, which helped me get started, but reading a single book is hardly mastering the art.

So, as the year draws to a close, I thought it was time to have another go - and I found another book to help me. What's more, it was a book that is downloadable for free.

It is called Tea-Cup Reading and Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves, by a Highland Seer, and is available on Project Gutenberg in lots of different formats including HTML, EPUB, TXT and Kindle versions with and without pictures. I decided to download the Kindle version with pictures.

I haven't actually got a Kindleyet - although I'd like one - but I have downloaded the free Kindle appfor my laptop, which works pretty well and is considerably cheaper than buying the real thing.

And a day when I get two lovely things for free is always a day of good omens as far as I am concerned, so I thought it was an ideal time for a spot of divination. So, I made myself a nice pot of Earl Grey with loose leaves and settled down to read the book.

It was pleasantly concise - one could just about read it in the time it takes to brew a proper pot of tea, pour a cup, let it cool to the right temperature and sip until all that are left are the dregs. To sum the book up, it gives a brief look at the history and background of tea-leaf reading, a short description of how to go about it, a long list of symbols to look for and 10 illustrations showing specimen cups with leaves and the interpretations given by seers.

In many ways, I found Tea-Cup Reading and Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves better to learn from than The Art of Tea-Leaf Reading because the illustrations show real patterns made by leaves and the specimen cups provide excellent lessons in learning to see like the seers. The Art of Tea-Leaf Reading has more illustrations, and they are prettier, but look more like a designer's interpretation of tea-leaf pictures.

After working through all the examples, I found I had got the hang of recognising symbols among blobs of wet leaves in the bottom of my cup. It told me there was imminent risk of danger while travelling and a letter was delayed in the post. Not surprising, really, considering the amount of snow that has fallen recently.

However, if I do have a criticism of the Highland Seer's book, it is that the interpretations it gives are a little bit too laden with gloom and inescapable disaster. Perhaps life in the Scottish Highlands was really that miserable but, unlike many Scots of bygone eras, I don't subscribe to doom-laden Calvinistic beliefs about predestination.

If you do use this book to read your tea-leaves, don't scare yourself witless if it says you are going to be stabbed to death with a dirk in a bitter clan feud. It probably just means some rival at work might aim a sharp comment at you. Things aren't quite so bloodthirsty these days.

If you prefer to get Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves from Amazon you can  order a paperback version. The picture above shows the cover image for the Amazon Kindle download.

Links:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18241
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/01/resolutions-successes-and-failures.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/01/tea-leaf-reading-my-first-attempts.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/06/midsummer-divination-and-mugwort-tea.html
Tea-Cup Reading and Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves
Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6
Kindle app
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/07/tempted-with-kindle.html
The Art of Tea Leaf Reading

7 comments:

Magic said...

Hey! Jus downloaded d page.. Looks interesting.. To be honest, im getting addicted to this blog.. Very informative and intersting topics.. Thanks a ton :)

jerome23 said...

Bizarrely I too decided to study this quintessentially English art and have been scouring book shops for books on it for the last couple of months, without success! Not having one of those bank card things I don't shop online, but I might have to get one fr Christmas now! :)

I have to take the kitty out ofr his nnual shits but I'll have a proper read on my return, but I'm delighted someoe else does no think my urge to read tea leaves is completely insane!

jerome23 said...

Bizarrely I too decided to study this quintessentially English art and have been scouring book shops for books on it for the last couple of months, without success! Not having one of those bank card things I don't shop online, but I might have to get one fr Christmas now! :)

I have to take the kitty out ofr his nnual shits but I'll have a proper read on my return, but I'm delighted someoe else does no think my urge to read tea leaves is completely insane!

badwitch said...

Jerome23 - Good luck in learning tea-leaf reading, hope you enjoy it as much as I am. BTW you do not need a bank card to download Projectg Gutenberg books as they are free downloads.

Soho Secret said...

Hi there, I read about your quest to learn tea leaf reading and wondered whether you might be interested in an event we have going on next Friday 17 and Saturday 18 December. We have the very lovely Amber Garnet doing tea leaf readings and afternoon tea...well, I mean we serve the tea if you see what I mean! Have a look at our facebook page- Soho's Secret Tea Room. Good luck with it!

badwitch said...

Soho Secret - thanks for the details of your tea-leaf reading afternoon, I have added it to my events listing page.

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