There is a deep connection between tarot cards and tea leaves, fortune. Tarot became a popular entertainment, sparking up friends outings and house parties well before the Covid cut off and torn our social lives apart. The millennial attraction to the mysteries of human psyche, the occult and attention on one’s self drive this trend. I admit, I got my first crystals this year. I was literally drawn to them. While these semi-precious stones like tea leaves are the gifts from the Earth, tarot was invented by savvy human minds.
Fortune-telling is about reading the mind through cards
Reading fortune from the tarot cards is not magic or a ritual necessarily requiring a “certified” psychic, yet a spiritualist’s experience is a bit like psychoanalysis, it can guide you in the maze of cards. Still, there are different approaches to this Italian game that entertained the Venetian and Tuscan nobility of the 14 and 15th century. One of them is intuitive. Driven purely by one’s deep connection with the momentous energy of the person whose past, present and future are to be read from the tarot stack. It is based on human psychology and by one’s ability to be sensitive to the subtle signs in the behavior of others. Therefore be mindful of your choice of a psychic, there are many snake businesses in the spiritual domain. The City of Angels, aka Los Angeles is one of them. The megapolis is crowded with neon-lit doors inviting your curiosity in. I have never been tempted by the services of a psychic, yet my own intuition drew me into one tarot reader’s hands very recently. Ready yourself for a blink of your eyelids or a good laugh. My tarot was read in a small room filled with torture machines, a pilates studio on an island in the midst of the Atlantic ocean. An auspicious fortune-telling location, indeed.
The power behind tarot cards
Surprisingly, my questions were answered, but not much by her fortune-telling, but by webbing my own connections between my silent dilemma (as questions often are a matter of deciding) and the confidence to make a choice. Fear is the greatest block on this Earth (I wrote a poem on the Hunter and the Bull in our minds). No physical obstacles can prevent us from reaching a decision or a goal as much as fear does. The tarot cards can unblock your fear and unlock your potential. Beware, it is also your own mind playing cards with yourself, so do not take them dead-seriously. There are many meanings to be read from a card, but more it is about the connections between them that tells the story of your life and your fortune. And who knows you better than yourself?
As I write on my homepage “The Muse cruises the world of myths. A kernel of truth is the soul of every story, so she documents the only sure reality – that of change – the rest is imagination.
FREEDOM is the greatest wealth on Earth, spend it wisely.”
Therefore, imagine, but be grounded in reality. If you do nothing and just wait for your future to land in your lap while sitting and watching Netflix till 1am, it won’t work, I am sorry to be the spoiler. By laziness noone has ever won a truly happy and meaningful life.
Tarot is extremely suggestive, perhaps too much telling you what the symbols mean. I find it imprecise, even dangerous. Recently, I enrolled in the intensive online course on Jungian psychology and I learned that one of the most elemental discords C.G. Jung and Sigmund Freud, two former colleagues and friends had, was the universality versus individuality of symbols in people’s dreams. Jung said that while there is, what he called the collective unconscious, of shared symbols and meanings as Freud’s universal interpretation of individual dreams stipulated, there is also the personal consciousness and the unconscious, unique to each human being. My experience and my gut tell me that Jung was right. Our symbolic interpretation often differs from a person to person. Therefore, do not fall for universal meanings, and consider what this specific thing means to you, your inner eye is a hidden diamond of the soul.
Reading from tea leaves as the gift from the Earth
Similarly, reading from tea leaves had entertained the English courts for centuries and entered the commoners’ (ours) pastimes. Superstitions and fortune-telling aside, I found tea reading being a wonderful spiritual practice enhancing my mindfulness, calming me down and creatively expanding the moment in this time of inner tension. My fortune dwells in my calm and happiness.
Tasseography is the practice of telling someone’s fortune by reading meaning and deciphering the symbols found in a splotched or smeared solid substance left over after sipping away the liquid brew of a loose leaf tea. Such examining the patterns of tea leaves in the bottom of a cup has evolved into a mere curiosity today. Read about this traditional reading from tea leaves elsewhere online, but I would like to teach you something more in touch with reality. For one reason was captured by Gareth May in his article for Vice: I Had My Tea Leaves Read by Kim Kardashian’s Psychic
“As Wallace pours, she tells me the tea itself has nothing to do with the reading. The tea is simply a ‘tool’ just like palmistry or tarot cards are a tool. Something that links psychic energy in order to connect the client to the spiritual world.”
Idiomatically, “Read the Tea Leaves” means to predict the future from small signs.
The present defines future, therefore I weigh more importance on clarity about now. I shared some of my tea rituals in my Tea musing, but here I transformed it into the practice of active imagination. Used in analytical psychology as an entry point into your unconscious mind, here you shall pay attention to what do these leaves left over from your lips’ thirsty sips, say about you?
Can, perhaps, they answer the question present on your mind while sipping this cup of tea? To connect reason with spirit, the magic is in your own mind and so are the answers. Through this meditative focus practice, the subconscious may reveal its truth, but do not press and push. It teaches you patience, open-mindedness and listening to the vibrations of the universe within and surrounding you.
MY METHOD: Brew loose leaf tea, strain but keep a few leaves (minimum two and not more than four as higher number may distract) in the cup with the liquid. I prefer small leaf teas, not rolled like some oolongs as they are too large to form and change, neither sencha that turns bitter during a prolonged steeping time. No wasting here, you may drink your cuppa once your mindfulness session is over. The globally known psychic Jayne Wallace explained. “It’s about the leaves and the energy you put into them. You have to have something quite fine because you need to create pictures. Basil wouldn’t work, for instance. The leaves have to stay close together.”
- Set the tea cup in front of you.
- Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine in a calm room where you won’t be disturbed. Now, close your eyes and follow the length of your breath. Inhale deep, sending the vibe of your breath down through your hips reaching out from the tips of your toes and fingers.
- Mind the gaps, literally. Pay attention to the pauses between each breath.
- Exhale all the tension inside your body, in the muscles, the organs, the heart, out through the crown of your head.
- Meditate like this for a few moments, do not count the rounds, just be present with your breath. Then, slowly open your eyelids. Hold your tea cup with both hands and watch, do not try to analyse anything. There are no symbols to be found now, just play.
- Observing the leaves moving, reshaping themselves into changing constellations. Allow your imagination to flow. The solid leaves in the water will reform into different shapes. Perhaps reminding you of calligraphy, the alphabet, dancers, clowns, dogs, even human figures engaged in some activity. Carefully and patiently notice each form, but do not try to paint them or force any preconceived ideas upon them. Just be here with the changing nature of the leaves. Sip a bit of the brew, and look again, keep playing. Isn’t this wonderful? Keep savoring this connection with yourself though the medium of the tea leaves…
This is zen. Let the magic unfold in the cup. As maturity comes through consciousness and/ or guidance, so does wisdom. Tap on the well inside you.