24 Jul Spotlight on Tabitha Dial – Tea Reading 101: Creative Divination
Do you overlook this extra divination opportunity in your Tarot readings?
Like most diviners I know, I have a little ritual I do before I start a Tarot reading. I lay out my cards and any other crystals or tools I need, grab a cup of tea, and then spend a few moments centring myself.
Is yours similar?
If so, you have another divination tool sitting right in front of you… your cup of tea.
Tea reading, or Tasseography if you’re fancy (and you know you are) has been used for centuries all over the world and is a wonderful oracle tool that can be used alone, or with other divination systems.
Plus, it’s delicious.
A nice cuppa tea represents hospitality and nurturing. It can be used as a way to make yourself, or a client feel relaxed and open to receive the messages to come from their readings.
The tea itself can also aid your psychic work depending on the herbs in them. Mugwart, eyebright, elderflower, and jasmine are common ingredients in clairvoyant teas.
Tabitha Dial has joined the Tarot Summer School faculty this year to teach the art of Tea Reading. I interviewed her to learn all about how she got into Tea Reading and how it applies to Tarot readers.
How did you get into tea reading?
My grandmother was the inspiration. We would go to Asian inspired restaurants and occasionally she would order the Chinese tea (which was a beverage that I didn’t care much for as a kid). At the end of the meal, she would look at what was left in the bottom of the tea pot and start talking.
I really can’t remember if she was using just metaphors, poetic language, or telling stories or fortune telling but it really captivated me. It’s those memories that made me realize when I started Tarot cards that I also wanted to learn Tea Reading.
Where did Tea Reading start?
Turkish coffee grounds are the origin of tea leaf reading. If you go to a Mediterranean restaurant they will commonly have it, when you get to the end of it you’ll see that it’s syrupy and grainy at the same time. You can turn it over and it leaves a trail you can read it.
Another technique you can use with Turkish coffee grounds is to draw a symbol at the bottom to help and then turn it over, and then read them. I cover this in the course.
How do you feel like Tarot and Tea Reading interlink?
I believe that divination is a healing practice. So Tarot and Tea Reading interlink because you are using the same sense of imagination and intuition to try to help somebody (or yourself). In some Tea Readings when I see an image, I immediately think of a Tarot card and that sparks a conversation about that archetype.
Tea leaf reading is a lot like cloud gazing – it’s one of those things that you just have to practice.
How do you think Tarot Readers can benefit from learning Tea Reading?
They will be able to see how the images in the cards relate to each other. In a tea cup, things can appear anywhere and you’re trying to relate one image to the next. I find it helps me get clarity on what the most important card is in a Tarot reading.
What if you aren’t sure about what the images are?
In my course for Summer School, there is a whole lesson that is about the difficulty of seeing anything when you look at the tea leaves – diviners block – and what to do to help you start seeing things.
Sometimes it’s helpful to use negative space or let yourself channel rather than trying to make sense of the tea leaves. I also suggest incorporating some of your other tools until you get more fluent in the use of the tea leaves.
How do you use tea reading?
I do live screen readings. It’s also become a creative practice and my own personal therapy.
Do certain types of tea work better?
You do want to use loose leaf tea. I really like a blend that has some rose petals or sunflower petals. I really like that touch. It also helps because you have this cool colour contrast that can be really surprising and will help with the imagination and signal things to you.
Do you have to be a witch or psychic to read tea?
Not at all. If you are childlike or poetic it really helps. I think a lot of witches are that way too. Just a willingness to explore and an interest in unique things are the key elements.
How do you think people can bring in Tea Reading to their everyday lives?
It can become a ritual in their morning or evening, similar to pulling a card each day. Or it could be a special thing once a week. One thing I’ve noticed is I work in a specialty cheese shop and I’ll be cutting the cheese and I’ll see patterns in pepper jack or blue cheese. So you start seeing the patterns emerge everywhere – in the clouds, pieces of bread, whatever is in front of you.
Tea Reading 101: Creative Divination Is Now Available
You’ll learn the basics of tea reading, beginning with common symbols to the placement of leaves in your cup, the different types of readings, how to ask questions and how to develop your own personal code.
So bring your teacup and your favourite loose leaf tea and get ready to cozy up with the wisdom of the leaves.