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Dead Book Diaries - Fortune Telling by Tea Leaves by; A Highland Seer

Updated on October 6, 2014
Writing says what the walls cannot.
Writing says what the walls cannot. | Source

Breathing New Life into Old Texts

For centuries literacy has been the hall mark of human civilization. However, as time passes many once invaluable texts fall to the wayside as technology progresses. It is this author's belief that there is something of practical value to be found found in these old texts. This material would likely be lost to the ages had it not been for those who seek to preserve these texts for future generation.

Just What is a "Dead Book"?

Many books, pending their contents,have something of a shelf life. The length of that life is affected by numerous factors including demand and relevancy. A book "dies" when the company responsible for publishing a given title discontinues that title, and the book subsequently goes out of print.

Ultimately, the general public forgets that these books ever existed with what ever remaining physical copies often becoming valuable collectors items. In recent years, books that have digitized under various licences. Thus, making them accessible to a new generation of readers.


The Book and its Author

Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves was intended as a practical guide to tasseography that what published around the time of the first world war. During this period that author, A Highland Seer, had written in the preface that a large portion of the population immediate to them at the time had been cut off from home due to their participation in the Great War. Leaving many at home anxious, and undoubtedly very desperate, to find any information as to the whereabouts and condition of their love ones.

As the pen name of the author, and many of the references the book makes to the morning practices of the "spae-wife", this method of tea-leaf reading is most likely based of the Scottish Highland tradition. The Highland Seer also has a lot of faith and confidence in their work. Given this it's very likely that they have either extensively studied tasseographical theory, or was a regular practitioner of the art.

While a short read, the text is for the fairly well organized; although the language structure can be a little archaic and thick at times. It not only covers all of the basics of practicing tea leaf reading, but also some of the ethics. Most notably, and perhaps most interestingly, is the warning about doing readings for pay. The book advises never to do so claiming that it negative affects the outcome of the reading by biasing the reader towards seeking profit from their venture.

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Its Modern Value

So how can a book written for the sole purpose teaching a fortune telling technique possible have any practical merit today? In creating a job for someone will to take up the practice. Although the book does warn against charging for tasseography services, it is still a functional guide for providing them. In addition to this, our economic situation makes employment very hard for many people in the United States (and in other parts of the world) to find, and any possible chance to legally earn an income can't be brushed aside.

Realistically though, it's not really all that likely that many people will be doing professional tea leaf reading, if they do it at all. Its value in this instance is largely social. It's handbook for a fun activity that you can with friends over a nice cuppa. A chance to come together and spend time with loved ones and reaffirm social bonds while being engaged with something other than a computer. In this modern age that's something we can really use.


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