Tassology: the art of reading tea leaves

The shapes of tea leaves in my cup on February 22nd 2012

Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy or tassology) is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments.


I am not sure I believe in fortune-telling. I believe we are the product of our intentions and mindfulness. But in great, great, stillness, the subconscious mind can see into the future–not so much as interpret one’s fate but to create a greater awareness and set the sail in the direction of possibilities.  So, with the right mindset (and intentions) tea leaves can be read but for that matter so can clouds and sand. The world is in motion and if one is very still one can get an inkling of the direction of the forces. I am not sure I am entirely there yet in terms of inner development.

I just got back from a meditation workshop so I decided to give tassology a try. I drank my cup of tea in great quiet this morning, then I stared and stared at the shapes in my teacup (above). This is what I saw: a human pyramid!

My interpretation: Person #1 is standing on a rock and reaching out. Person #2 is holding Person#3 (a child) by the foot. The child (Person #3) has the other foot (long foot!) on Person#1’s head!  The child (Person #3)  is also being helped up on a ledge by Person #4 who morphs into a woman (Person #5) in a billowing skirt and a hat who is stepping out holding something (a gift?) in her hands. How very intriguing! Do I believe in any of this? Let’s put it this way, I am not questioning anything. I will keep open mind for now. But I do see hope and people helping me on the path. My guidance for the the day is to have the trust and innocence of a child and to allow others to help me on my journey. Of course, you may not see all (or any) of what I see! Tassology is entirely in the mind  of the beholder.

If you want to learn how to read tea leaves here is a good YouTube video by Amber McCaroll. You can find out more about tassology symbols here.


Layla, the protagonist in my novel “Teatime for the Firefly” is born under an unlucky star but she uses her free will to shape her own destiny. You can read the synopsis and first chapter here.




Tea talk on Tea Buddy
What is Assam Tea?
Types of Assam tea: ORTHODOX & CTC
What is the difference between Green Tea and Black Tea?
Is global warming changing the flavor of Assam Tea?


  1. Hi Shona. The 1st paragraph reminds me of writing. When i sit down it seems like i “set the sail in the direction of possibilities.” I don’t know where i’m going, just that i’m ready to go somewhere i’ve never been or to return there with different (and hopefully more generous) eyes.

    Hope your day had its share of innocence. If not today, then tomorrow 🙂


    1. teabuddy says:

      I am that way too, with my writing!


  2. Subhakar Das says:

    Interesting. I have heightened pareidolia and see things and faces in the most inane of objects.


    1. teabuddy says:

      Had to google “pareidolia”. Learned a new word today! Thanks!


  3. A meditation workshop…what fun! I like this post, Shona. Would love to meet you someday. I think we have much in common.
    Write on, woman!


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