Book Reviews

Book Review: Reading Tea Leaves – The Modern Mystic’s Guide to Tea Leaf Divination

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By A Highland Seer

Publication Date:  August 16, 2022

112 Pages

This is said to be the oldest English guide to reading tea leaves, or tasseography, updated for a more modern audience.  I’ll admit, I’m drawn to all forms of divination and have toyed with the idea of reading tea leaves, so thought I’d give this a go.

First off, it’s a really quick read.  I breezed through it in an hour.  Think of it more as a guide book than something you need to memorize.  If you do decide to try your hand at it, you’ll want to keep this handy.  The author covers a short history of tasseography (especially in Scotland), gives a few pointers on what types of tea to use, provides some guidelines for reading the leaves based on where they are situated in the cup, and wraps up with a comprehensive list of symbols one may encounter and their meanings.

This is kind of a first for me because I’m basing my review on what was included in the ARC I received.  Meaning, I don’t think I had a complete version.  There was a space left for a Foreward that, I’m assuming, may have contained some cool history on tasseography.  There was also mention of several diagrams of tea dregs in the cup with interpretations, but they weren’t included in the ebook I had access to.  And I really, really wanted to see those diagrams. I’m a picture kind of gal and a little nudge helps me out a lot.  

“Reading Tea Leaves” interpreted by Wombo Dream

That’s okay, I bought a tea cup and saucer anyway (why not?), brewed up some loose-leaf Honeybush, thoroughly enjoyed it, then flipped and spun the saucer.  First thing to note – don’t use too much tea or you’ll get a bunch of blobs that don’t mean anything.  I had heard that the pictures on a Lenormand deck closely match tea leaf symbols, so I tried that.  Nope, they didn’t help too much, so I wound up on Pinterest looking for diagrams that I thought might have been close to what the book mentioned.  That helped a little but, like any divination method, you really just need to sit with it and trust your own intuition as to what you’re seeing in the cup. 

To wrap up, the information provided was clear enough that I felt armed with adequate knowledge to give interpreting my own cup of tea a shot.  It’s probably a great beginner’s resource if the diagrams are included.  Without them, it felt incomplete and left me scrambling for other sources of information.  So while I’d recommend it if you’re thinking about giving tasseography a try, I’d flip through it first to make sure everything is there.

I rated this book 3 stars.  ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing this ARC.  I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.


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