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The Future Lies in The Bottom of Your Cup

I certainly hope that 2019 was good for you. Now that we are shortly into a new year and a new decade, can you remember just one year ago? We were all standing at the edge of the new year and wondering what was going to transpire? If you wonder what 2019 was like for us, take a look at our year in review. It was so exciting and full of adventure. What Does 2020 Hold For You? Is The Answer at The Bottom of Your Cup?

Tasseomancy or Tasseography

An aged hand adorned with large rings hovers of playing cards on a small table covered in a white cloth
What Does 2020 Hold For You? Is The Answer at The Bottom of Your Cup
Several Methods of Divination Exist

There are several methods of divination including tasseomancy also known as tasseography: the art of reading tea leaves. This method that interprets patterns in tea leaves as well as coffee grounds and wine sediments. The word comes from the French word for cup (tasse) combined with the Greek suffix for divination (mancy) or graphy (study of).

This art can be traced back to medieval fortune tellers in Europe who used wax, lead, and other molten substances. The practice eventually evolved into tea-leaf reading in the seventeenth century. Tasseography is just one of a long list of fortune-telling methods like astrology, palmistry or cartomancy.

How is it done?

After a cup of tea has been prepared without using a tea strainer, the tea is consumed and the cup is then swirled. The diviner looks at the pattern of tea leaves and uses their imagination to ascertain which shapes have been left behind. Some may look like a letter, an animal or a building and they all represent different elements of the future.

A chart with the meanings of symbols used in tasseomancy or tasseography. What Does 2020 Hold For You? Is The Answer at The Bottom of Your Cup

From Now Until Tomorrow, or Next Year

Traditionally, the cup is read from present to the future by starting at the rim and working in a spiral manner until the bottom is reached. The bottom or center of the teacup represents the furthest point in the future.

An info graphic of a teacup as seen from above explaining the order in which tea leaves are read.
What Does 2020 Hold For You? Is The Answer at The Bottom of Your Cup
What Does 2020 Hold For You-The Answer is in The Bottom of Your Cup

What Does 2020 Hold For You-The Answer is in The Bottom of Your Cup

Types of Teacups Used For Tasseomancy

Although many people prefer a simple white cup for tea leaf reading there exist several different types of marked cups making the task easier. In the late 19th century and continuing to the present, English and American potteries like Paragon and Aynsley produced a large variety of different fortune-telling teacups, many sold with a little booklet to interpret the findings once the tea leaves had been swirled.

A set of astrological symbols sometimes used in tea leaf reading.
What Does 2020 Hold For You? Is The Answer at The Bottom of Your Cup
Astrological Symbols Are Sometimes Used in Tasseography

There are dozens of individual designs of fortune tellers’ cups, but the three most common types are zodiac cups, playing card cups, and symbol cups. Zodiac sets contain zodiacal and planetary symbols and the saucer has astrological sign symbols.

An Aynsley fortune-telling teacup and saucer in the forefront and another in the background on a wooden table. What Does 2020 Hold For You? Is The Answer at The Bottom of Your Cup
From my personal collection, these two beautiful vintage Aynsley teacups display cards and came with a small booklet for interpretation.

The playing card cups are adorned with a deck of scattered cards. Some have 52 cards with a joker like a full deck of cards or 32 cards like a euchre deck. In this case, the reader can creatively relate cartomancy to tasseography. In some cases, teacups came with a booklet.

Symbolic teacups are decorated with visual cues that can be found in tea leaves. These cues are often numbered for easy reference and also come with an explanatory booklet.

No Teabags, Please!

If you would like to try your hand at reading tea leaves, only loose leaf tea will do. Good quality tea is often suitable but not the tea from tea bags as it is too fine and will not produce the images needed to predict the future. Adversely, you also want to avoid tea that has very large leaves as it, too, will impede your ability to effectively read them. A great tea to try is one of the tasty blends from Tea With Tracie

As for shape, wide teacups work best like those made by Aynsley and Paragon. Teacups with very tall perpendicular sides do not lend themselves well as the symbols are hard to see.

I can’t tell you what the future will hold except that I know someone will win a beautiful teacup! Here is your opportunity to enter our monthly teacup draw. There is no purchase necessary, everyone is eligible regardless of location and we do not use your personal information for any other purpose than to advise you if you have won. Have a look at our full contest rules here. Click to enter.

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