The Tea Leaf Reading Goddess
by Lindel Barker-Revell
Saturday, December 03, 2011
© Copyright Lindel Barker-Revell 2011
My vision for you is:
You are cradling a perfectly round cup in your hands. It is like you are holding the whole cosmos for that moment. Tea leaves are swirling before your eyes and settle into clumps that become somehow known to you. No longer are they brown blobs, but pictures come forth as you breathe… a clear dolphin is leaping from the centre of the cup. A hand reaches out across the rim, its fingers seem to be pointing something out to you… You are beginning to “see”.
So, take out your tea cups, dust off the teapot your granny gave you – the Goddess of Tea Leaf Reading is making a comeback. Young women are rediscovering the joys of tea. They love to dress up and go out for afternoon tea. And the Goddess in us all wants to read those leaves. It is fun. It increases your intuition and makes the everyday event of drinking tea, magical.
Many years ago I learned tea leaf reading from a psychic woman called Nina. She was much older than I was at that time, and I often think of her when I am sharing this art with younger women. What I remember most about her, was her ability to look into a cup and to “see” so much from what looked like a mess of leaves to me. And somehow this gift of “seeing” was transferred to me. As I get older, it becomes stronger.
We can all learn to see the pictures the leaves make, but it is difficult to read psychically for ourselves. So, it is always best to practice reading the leaves with a friend or group, so that you can have many eyes looking at the same cup.
Your tea table
Everyone has their own style and you can create your tea table into a special place. Put out a lovely table cloth or a couple of pretty scarves to make a lovely base. Mix and match your cups and saucers. I like to put something old – maybe a cup and saucer my mother gave me, alongside a set I have found at a second hand market or odd bits I have matched up myself. A flower, petals or a small posy add to the ritual tea table, and a tea light candle always adds that gorgeous glow.
What you will need:
Some loose leaf tea: You can go for familiar supermarket brands, or buy something more expensive from a specialty tea shop. To start with, it is best to keep it simple, and make it easy. Later you can learn the nuances of real tea drinking and reading.
Water (cold) brought to the boil. Take the teapot to the hot water and warm it for a moment or two. Add one teaspoon of leaf tea for each person, and one for the pot. Let the tea settle to the bottom of the pot. Like us, the tea leaves need time to unfurl to reveal themselves.
A teapot: Any teapot will do. If the leaves don’t come out of the spout, take out a teaspoonful and put it in your cup. They will sink to the bottom of your cup.
A cup and saucer: You will need a rounded cup, not square set at the bottom, like a mug, but bowl or breast-shaped. This shape gives the tea leaves the opportunity to swirl easily around the cup and up the sides. Cups with white or light interiors are best, so that it is easy to see the pictures.
Preparing your cup:
Pour a cup of tea for you and your friend(s). Add milk or sugar if you wish. The idea is for you to enjoy the tea and relax over drinking its liquor. As you come near to finishing the cup leave enough liquid at the bottom to just cover the tea leaves. Swirl the cup slowly, holding it with two hands, the handle to your heart. Gently, tip the liquid out and turn the cup right over on the saucer.
How to turn the cup:
We need to turn the upturned cup slowly, three times, anti clockwise.
I was recently told by a wonderful old lady that in her day, it was done this way…
The first turn is for LOVE, the second turn is for MONEY or ABUNDANCE and the third turn is for WHAT YOU WISH YOURSELF. To awaken the Goddess of the cup, and your own divinatory power, tap the upturned cup three times.
At this point the Goddess of divination enters into the cup!
Reading the cup:
Let your eyes go soft and turn the cup upwards. Hold it with the handle to your heart and look into the cup and see what pictures emerge.
Don’t try too hard, relax and breathe.
Look for animals, birds, and familiar objects. You may see shapes, dots, stars or moons. Freely speak about what you see. You don’t have to interpret the cup to start with. Talk about what it looks like: “I can see a house. It is not a flat or a unit, it is a house. It has an upstairs and a tree nearby.” You could then talk to your friend about what a house might mean for them. Are they looking for a house? Do they want to move? Do they need to feel more “at home” within themselves, or at work, or with another person. A tree always signifies growth, shade and a home for birds and animals – those instinctive parts of us. It can be a symbol of the family and its branches may show new additions etc. Go with what you first think, and take your time. The pictures only have to suggest something to you, they are not exact, so there is plenty of room for your own tea Goddess to unfurl and express herself.
Above all else, enjoy your time with the tea and with friends of the cup.
Magical times lie before you as you explore this nearly forgotten art. My book “Time for Tea: The Gentle Art of Reading Tea Leaves”, Allen & Unwin 2007, goes into the divination in more detail.
Lindel Barker-Revell is an inspirational writer, astrologer and tea leaf reader. Time for Tea (Allen & Unwin 2007) is Lindel’s third book. (The Tarot and You, Lansdowne 1994, The Goddess: Myths and Stories Lansdowne 1997) Check out her website www.tea-wise.com.au. You can find Lindel and the Tea-Wise team at The Observatory Hotel, 89-113 Kent St, Sydney 2000 reading tea leaves as part of their Mystic High Tea. Bookings at the hotel: 02-9256 2222. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lindel 0430 384 851.