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Part 5: Common Tea-Leaf Symbols and Meaning

Okay, now you’re ready to start learning what the tea-leaves actually mean! The leaves may take an infinite number of shapes and patterns, far more than what we will cover in this section. That said, we will cover the basics, and many of the other symbols that you’ll see will be somewhat related to the patterns explained below. There are six categories – career, romance, family & friends, money, health, and travel – and there is some overlap, as a few symbols appear in multiple categories. In these cases, the meaning of the symbol will vary depending on the nature of your question.

Before we get started, there are a few other things we want you to keep in mind. First, although we will give you basic interpretations of many shapes, it’s up to you to take those interpretations and apply them to your questions. Think of our explanations as a starting point, not the final word. Second, trust your intuition about shapes that you don’t find listed here. It may take a while to develop this intuition, but over time you will know better than anyone else how a certain tea-leaf shape applies to you.

Finally, do keep in mind that your tea-leaves are unlikely to look exactly identical to the illustrations below every time you perform the tasseomancy ritual. Instead of focusing on an exact match, use our illustrations as a rough guideline. You know what a key, a baby, or a face looks like. If your intuition tells you that a certain pattern looks like one of these symbols, trust it.

Let’s get started!

Career: The Basic Symbols

Climbing the corporate ladder.


You are successfully climbing the ladder on your way to the top of your profession. Keep up the good work, and remember to continue to practice the habits that have carried you this far.



A very hopeful symbol. A baby represents new possibilities and perhaps the beginning of a brand new opportunity. Nearby symbols may give you more insight into what this opportunity may be.

The snake


The snake is an ominous symbol. You have hit, or will hit, a difficult stretch of your career, and a change is likely. Proceed with caution.

The comet


A very good symbol. Your career is about to make a positive transformation. Look for more clues about what this may entail.

The star


A very favorable sign; you are likely to achieve one of your goals, perhaps the one that is most important to you.


Moon: Everything is not as it seems, and appearances can be deceiving. Proceed with caution and be wary of what others tell you.


Square: Your career’s progress is blocked. Nearby symbols may demonstrate how to remove this obstacle, so look carefully.


Egg: A fertile sign, this means an opportunity is about to hatch. Nurture it, and your career could grow in wonderful, unexpected ways.

The Chair

Chair: You will soon have a new client, colleague, or even boss. The chair alone cannot tell you how this relationship will work out, so look for nearby symbols for guidance on the future of this relationship.


Plane: Two meanings are commonly ascribed to the airplane; both relate to travel. The pattern either means that you’ll soon travel for work, or it means that someone will travel to see you for business purposes.

Dotted line:

Dotted line: A promising symbol, the dotted line suggests that you’re about to come into money. Will it be a raise, a bonus, or a new, better paying job?


Clock: You will have an important meeting or appointment. Take it seriously, as it could impact your career. Examine the teacup for more insight.

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