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Part 4: Occasions to Perform a Tea-Leaf Reading

There are many occasions to perform a tea-leaf reading, and each occasion provides a unique opportunity for insight into your questions. In this section, we’ll cover various occasions to perform a tea-leaf reading, questions that you can ask, and how to perform readings for your friends or even your pet!


For some, tea-leaf reading becomes a daily activity to help reflect on everyday events and activities. Those who use tea-leaf reading for these meditative purposes generally prefer to perform the readings in the morning, before the events of the day unfold. If you have an important meeting on a certain day, you can ask the leaves for insight into how the meeting will go, or ask a specific question about what may happen. If you’re worried about a big job interview, the leaves can ease your worries and help you figure out how to prepare mentally.

The best part about daily, meditative tasseomancy is that you will see a sharp improvement to your skills and intuition. You can speed the process along by keeping careful notes in your journal, and if you have artistic talents you can also sketch out what you observe. Here’s a simple routine that you can follow until you form your own habits:

  1. Prepare everything in the usual way. In the morning, it can often be a bit more difficult to stay calm and centered, so make the extra effort to stay focused. Center yourself on the questions that you want to ask the leaves.
  2. If you have asked a specific question, examine your teacup for the guidance you seek. If you are only seeking general advice, carefully scan the cup and keep an open mind about what you see.
  3. Use this guide to help you interpret the shapes and patterns, and take careful notes in your journal.

Answering Questions

From time-to-time, we all face burning questions that we just cannot seem to answer ourselves. Sometimes, you’ll want guidance on a new romantic relationship that seems promising. Other times, you may want to ask about issues with your family or friends. Tasseomancy is perfect for these sort of specific questions, and there are steps that you can take to push the tea-leaves toward revealing the most insight to you.

The first step is to construct a question that is as simple as possible. As we saw earlier, overly complex questions can confuse even the most experienced tea-leaf readers. Yes or no questions are best when possible. The leaves themselves do not say yes or no, but they have other ways of communicating an answer to us. For example, you may wonder if your sister is going to have a baby. The tea-leaves will not spell out the words yes or no, but they may very well show you the pattern of a child. If this happens, you can interpret this answer as yes.

Until you develop your own ritual, here’s a simple routine to ask the tea-leaves a specific, immediate question:

  1. Prepare everything in the usual way. As you drink the tea, ask your question either silently or out loud, whichever makes you the most comfortable. Relax and put your mind at ease.
  2. Carefully scan the teacup for an answer to your question. Remember to look for relevant shapes and patterns, as the leaves cannot tell you yes or no. Use the dictionary of shapes in this guide to help you interpret the leaves.
  3. Record what you see in your journal, and if possible record the precise symbols that you observe. If you feel unsatisfied with your answer, you may always try again.

Special Occasions

Some days in our lives take on important meaning, and it can be wise to consult the tea-leaves on such special occasions. One especially important day is, of course, your birthday! On your birthday, it is best to perform the ritual as if you are performing a daily, meditative reading. However, you will want to focus your energy on questions about your life and fortune over the next year. If you keep a good journal, you can look over the patterns that you observed during the year to come and gain insight into the events of your life. You may also wish to consult the leaves on your wedding day, a child’s birthday, or any other particularly meaningful day.

Performing Tea-Leaf Readings for Friends

As you develop your skills, it’s likely that your friends will start asking you to perform readings. This is a great opportunity for practice, and with a few simple tips you can make sure that the experience is rewarding for both of you. The intimacy of the tasseomancy ritual may even draw the two of you closer together!

At the very start, assure your friend that the reading will be entirely confidential. This is especially important if you share mutual friends. Once this formality is out of the way, it’s time for both of you to relax and make yourselves comfortable. The same suggestions about setting the mood with music and candles applies here. When it’s time to pour the tea, we recommend that you let your friend take charge. It’s often more rewarding to feel as though you are truly part of the experience. When your friend has finishing drinking that first cup, ask that she hand it to you to begin.

When you perform the reading, be careful not to sound overly negative. Read the leaves in a calm manner, and make sure to ask your friend questions along the way. If your friend finds the specifics of your reading relevant, you can delve deeper and deeper into the details. If your friend has trouble connecting the reading to her life, do not panic, as it may simply take time for everything to sink in. You may also find that the very act of sitting down together in this intimate setting leads your friend to talk to you about very personal subjects. Be prepared to listen and offer your support.

Performing Tea-Leaf Readings for Your Pets

We all love our pets, and we do what we can to better understand them. If you want to gain a better understand of your pet’s physical or mental well-being, you’ll want to consider a special tea-leaf reading. As you prepare for the ritual, bring your pet into the room to share his or her energy with the leaves. ONce you’ve turned the cup over and placed it on the saucer, allow your pet to smell or nudge the teacup with its nose. This is how many dogs and cats participate in the tea-leaf reading. Now, you can examine the teacup for patterns and symbols that will give you insight into how your pet is doing.

Next Chapters

Part 5: Common Tea-Leaf Symbols and Meaning

Or, if you’d like, you can return to previous installments of this series.

Part 1: The History of Tea and Tea Leaf Reading
Part 2: How to Prepare for a Tea Leaf Reading
Part 3: How to Perform a Tea-Leaf Reading

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