Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners

I came across a book today that I remember having as a child, in it was an article on reading tealeaves.  Nowadays in the age of teabags ,tealeaves seem to be a dying trend , however , I know many that use leaf tea , my grandmother was one and she mastered the art of reading the leaves.

Entertainment at Sunday tea was having our leaves read, and even though the thought of getting leaves in our mouths was not pleasant, we insisted on this ritual being performed.

We would have our tea in a china cup, which was very special and grown-up, and were told to drink until we finished, but, leaving just a few drops in the bottom.

Then , we had to take the cup in our left hand and twirl the tea slowly round three times. The cup was then turned upside down in the saucer to drain.

The pictures that appeared within the leaves all had special meanings , here are a few that I remember.

ARROW  -  Somebody is falling for you!

BIRD  -  Good luck is coming.

BUTTERFLY  -  Happy days.

CASTLE  -  A wish will soon be granted.

CRESCENT MOON  -  You'll have a stroke of luck soon.

DOG  -  You've got a faithful friend.

DOT  -  Small dot..a letter, Large dot..a present.

EYE  -  Be on the lookout for an opportunity.

FEATHER  -  Your luck will change for the better.

FISH  -  Good news from abroad.

FLOWERS  -  Happiness

GATE  -  Not so good. Something stands between you and your wish.

HAND  -  Pointing up, good luck.  Down,disappointment

HEART  -  Somebody loves you very much.

IVY LEAF  -  Contentment.

JUG -  Be careful you don't break something when washing up!

KEY  -  You'll soon learn something very interesting.

KITE  -  Work hard, and your ambition will be fulfilled.

LADDER  -  You'll rise in the world.

MOUNTAIN  -  You'll tackle a difficulty successfully.

NEEDLE  -  Trouble quickly followed by joy.

OWL  -  Luck in love.

PEN  -  Somebody, somewhere, wants a letter from you!

PIPE  -  Long life.

RING - Happiness, but if a stslk goes through it there may be a disappointment.

ROSE  -  Good luck

SHIP  -  A letter or present from over the sea

SQUARE  -  Joy and peace

STAR  -  A very lucky omen

TREE  -  You may be moving to a new neighbourhood

UMBRELLA  -  Open..fantastic good luck. Closed..disappointment

VASE  -  You'll do a good deed soon

WHEEL  -  Hurry,hurry, hurry or you will miss something good

WINGS   -  Surprising news

YACHT  -  A happy holiday

Remember the proper way to read the cup is from left to right, and if there are hardly any leaves in yours , this is supposed to be the luckiest omen of all.

Have fun , because we certainly did..Speak to you soon

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Comments 22 comments

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

nice hub!

We still use tea leaves, my mother would get irritated if anyone tried to give her teabag tea!

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks LondonGirl, have you tried reading the leaves , takes a bit of practice but it is fun.

Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

My mum used to read the tea leaves, but I think she was making it up to entertain us, as it usually involved us having to wash the dishes . . .

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Ha, your mum must have seen a lot of jugs, bet she warned you to be careful and not to break anything too.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I never have - perhaps I should (-:

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

If you don't Londongirl ,who knows what you could be missing out on

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

nice article

whiteorchids profile image

whiteorchids 7 years ago from Tropical Paradise

How many tea leaves are you supposed to use? What type of tea leaves are you supposed to use? How long should they dry for? How do you determine the different way to read them? Castle? What does it look like after it dries? It was great read , but was missing a little more information. :)

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hello whiteorchids, good to meet you, thankyou for pointing out the fact that I missed the fundamental basics.

you could use any type of loose tea ,as long as you like the taste , of course.

You can buy loose tea ,a good rule of thumb when making a brew , is one teaspoon per person and one for the pot. Pour on boiling water and leave to stand for 5 mins or to taste.

The teacup only needs to sit upsidedown in the saucer until the liquid has drained.

I hope whiteorchids that this helps,as for what the symbols look like ,it's what you see that matters and your interpretation.

Thankyou again

Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

I never knew anything about reading tea leaves. Thanks for the info.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

And now you do, have fun Pete haha

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

What an enjoyable read! Reading tealeaves has been passed down in our family for generations, my granny was the first one I remember (I'm not THAT old lol!) and my mother read tealeaves as well. A few years ago my sister too it up, and I was quite surprised to see that I also could see pictures in the leaves...I haven't pursued it as yet, but ya never know LOL!

Thank you for such an interesting and enjoyable hub.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Pleased that you enjoyed it, Enelle, did you show it to your family?

Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Fantastic. I'm bookmarking this along with a thumbs up. My aunt reads coffe fortunes (greek coffee - which is thicker). That's always fun to watch her do that. Never to mine of course because I don't drink regular coffee let alone greek coffe. Thanks for sharing this.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Stick with the tea and have fun, takes a bit of time but worth the effort.Good to see you here Frieda.

katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Love this hub and the cup, what a great idea.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

HAha, thanks Katyzzz, for reading an d commenting, the readings are easier from a cup rather a mug.

Tamarii2 profile image

Tamarii2 7 years ago from NEW YORK


Just dropping in to read.

sophs 6 years ago

Great hub, I want some tea leaves! Can you still buy them?

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Alison, haven't read one of your hubs for a long time! I love this one. It sounds like so much fun, in a warm and cozy way. Reading tea leaves would be a great addition to a tea party - which seem to be increasingly popular.

ALB 4 years ago

Can you tear open a tea bag and use it? Those leaves seem so tiny.

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

I am sure that that would work just fine, ALB. Let me know how you get on

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