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Reading Tea Leaves

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

ReadingTeaLeaves1


Tasseography: The Art of Reading Tea Leaves

Tasseography is the practice of reading tea leaves with a goal to derive deeper meanings.  These meanings could be of a fortune-telling nature, but I’m more inclined to read the leaves for the purpose of broadening perspective or confirming intuition.

Tasseography was initiated and mastered by the Chinese who have held a deep reverence for tea and its life-affirming qualities for centuries.  Coffee grounds and wine remnants can also be interpreted, and these practices also fall under the heading of tasseography.

This article offers a few tips on reading tea leaves as was passed on to me by one of my teachers.

Choosing a Tea:

Choose a tea of choice.  Black, green, herbal – it makes no difference.  Whichever you prefer.  Choose a loose tea for optimal results (I love oolong, rolled or cut – makes great designs in the cup).  If you don’t have loose tea, you can cut open a bagged tea.

Brewing the Tea:

Put your loose tea in a small teapot.  Fill the pot with water and put to a boil.  Swirl your teapot a bit (think of your question as you do so) to kick up the loose tea and then pour out the tea in your cup being careful not to burn yourself.  Note: Use a teacup with a handle.

Settling the Sediment:

1)  Enjoy drinking your tea.  As you do so, think about a question you want clarification on.

2)  When you are almost done, swirl the last little bit of liquid and tea remnants three times:  Clockwise if you need clarity on future events, counterclockwise if you need clarification on past events.

3)  As you are swirling think upon the issue/question  you are seeking guidance about.

4)  Place your teacup rim-down on the saucer to empty out the last bit of liquid remaining.

The sediment left in your cup is what you will read.

Reading the Tea Leaves:

The Chinese have a whole dictionary of tea-leaf-shapes and meanings.  These reference guides are filled with hundreds of potential symbols that may be interpreted from remnant tea leaves.  You can certainly use reference books (there are several books on the market, or you could go to your library).  However, my teacher encouraged the use of self-determination and imagination to interpret leaves.

There are a few ground rules however.  Your teacup will serve as a guide in your tea leaf interpretation.  Specifically, the position of the handle on your teacup in relation to the tea leaves will help you determine the timing of your oracle (past or future).  The cup will also help to determine if your oracle is referencing you, or other people – consciousness or unconsciousness.

Here are some diagrams to illustrate what I’m talking about:

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When you are contemplating the arrangement of tea leaves, and they are mostly flowing to the left half of the teacup (according to the left-pointing handle) then you are dealing with past issues.

Alternatively, if most of your leaves are arranged on the right half of the cup (according to the handle), then you are dealing with the future.
How you turn the cup handle will be determined by your intuition.  You will see, during the practice of tasseography, the leaves will convene naturally to make a coherent design.  That design will look differently according to how you turn the cup.

The tea leaf design will look more coherent and take on a real shape depending upon which direction you’re turning the cup.

The last illustration on this page will explain this more fully.
In the same way, you can determine if the tea leaves are offering an oracle about yourself or about others.

ReadingTeaLeaves3

Likewise, your leaves can tell you if your question/issue is rooted in your conscious awareness, or buried in  your subconscious.

So how do we read the actual leaves? 

Turn your cup around to get the best view of your tea leaves.  You will notice that turned in different directions, there will be no discernable feature.  Yet turn the cup in a different direction, and you may be able to make out a clear figure.

Take this image (left) for example.  When I turned the cup clockwise (with the handle facing left), my intuition could not make out any definitions.

ReadingTeaLeaves4

However, when I turned the cup the other way (handle facing east/right) then I could clearly see a rabbit leaping about.

Can you see the rabbit?

You will have to move the cup (not the remnants, that cheating) around and your intuition will tell you which position offers the clearest tea-leaf-symbol.

Once you define a specific symbol in your leaves, allow your intuition to provide the answers.  My tea leaves form a rabbit, so I ask my intuition “What does the rabbit mean to me? How does it relate to my life?”

Rabbits, in my training symbolize fertility.  And, as I’m not having babies any time soon, that means my future is filled with a different kind of fertility.  I could interpret this as: “New creative ideas will be born in my future.”

Keep it simple.  Let your intuitive vision fall on very simple symbols. Then allow your basic reasoning skills to understand what that symbol means to you, and how it applies to your life experience.

And don’t forget the most important rule: Have fun and enjoy yourself during the process.

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on tasseography as a means for clarification.

Wishing you happiness while reading tea leaves,

Avia

Rain, Rain Go Away. Folk Predictions of Rain and Storms

Thursday, April 14th, 2016


Folk Predictions of Rain and Storms

It’s that time of year again. Spring is pushing into our lives, stomping her foot down on Winter.

Spring can be a crazy-unpredictable time. It has to do with the transitional nature of the season. Winter and Summer tend to take command of their time in the year. Spring and Autumn, however, are all about shifts and changes. For more symbolic seasonal insights click here.

So Spring is springing (in the Northern hemisphere). That means rain. It can also mean big honking storms.

Now, I’m a huge fan of rain. It’s symbolic of neat stuff like:

  • Healing
  • Renewal
  • Cleansing
  • Emotional Rebirth
  • Gifts from the Heavens

All good things, right? Indeed, rain is a super-keen meteorological event. Without it, we’d all be in a world of hurt. From replenishing vital water tables, to insuring food on our tables – we owe a lot of appreciation to the rain spirits.

But sometimes Mother Nature can go bonkers. Whatever the reason, sometimes Madame Nature takes those life-giving raindrops and transforms them into bullets of destruction in the form of a storm. You’ve heard it said “Into every life some rain must fall”. Well, same is true with storms. Both literal and metaphorical storms happen. To all of us.

So what? Nothing we can do about it, right? Wellll, I wouldn’t be so committed to that view.

I grew up with a friend whose mother was a walking encyclopedia of folk wisdom and medicine. She had hundreds of ways of predicting the weather. She also had equal amount of ways in thwarting bad weather.

Did her methods for shooing away storms work? I can’t say for sure. But I do know her prediction skills were better than the weatherman on TV!

Whether you believe in folk methods for weather prediction and prevention or not – sometimes it’s fun to entertain the ideas.

The following are some old folk tips on predicting rain, as well as ways to dissuade storms ruining your Sunday picnic.

Folk Ways to Predict Rain and Storms

Turning over a new leaf:
When leaves begin to turn over, it’s often a sign of upcoming rain or storms. I’ve written about this phenomenon on a symbolic level here: Turning Over a New Leaf – It’s Symbolic.

Pitter pat, check out the cat:
When cats rub behind their ears during a cat-bath, rain is on its way.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out:
Spiders are predictors of many things in folk lore. Spiders ducking for cover and seeking shelter is a sign of rain or storms.

Oh! My achy breaky bones!:
Perhaps the very best barometer of rains a’coming is aching bodies. I know it certainly works for me. So pay attention to those cranky corns on your feet, creaky bones and stiff joints – it could mean impending rain storms.

Folk Ways to Prevent Storms

Pass the salt, please:
Sprinkling salt on a ceremonial fire is thought to thwart torrential storms in the Spring.

X marks the spot:
Appalachian lore says marking an X on windows with your right index finger protects the home from storm damage.

More bark than bite:
Find a piece of bark from a tree that’s been hit by lightning. Folk tales say keeping this tree bark will protect you from lightning and ill effects of a bad storm.

Get stoned:
No. Not like that! Striking two stones together sends a message to the thunder and storm spirits. One stone must be black, the other white. If you’re about to be caught in a storm outside, strike these two stones together until you are safely under cover – it’s said to protect you from storm damage.


All superstitions aside, deluges of rain and epic storms are nothing to snicker at. It’s up to you whether you want to employ any of these folk tactics to predict or avoid weather threats. Admittedly, I find myself doing some of these things out of habit. I remember my old friend employing her folk remedies and predictions – and I guess they rubbed off on me over time.

Belief is a big ingredient in any method of honoring rain and storms. Symbolism certainly plays its part too. While the folk ways offer nostalgia, I still find the best tact is a path of respect. For example, tap into the symbolic meaning of rain. Once we’re familiar with the deeper meaning of rain and storms, we tend to connect with it. We may even auger a sense of honor and respect for it. I certainly do. In that same vein, I practice a simple ceremony. Just a closing of the eyes and uttering words of honor and gratitude for Mother Nature and the nourishment she provides. I also pay respect to Her power in the form of storms. All that said, I ask for the very best outcome for all involved. Then I sprinkle salt on the fire, X my windows and put Ben-Gay on my poor knees. LOL!

I hope you found this post on folk predictions of rain enjoyable. Maybe it will come in handy. Maybe not. Either way, I’d like to think you came away with a little laugh and a renewed respect for Mother Nature.

As always, thanks for reading!

Mightily Brightly,

Avia

If you liked this post, be sure to check out related articles here:

Spinach and First Dates

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

FirstDates

A dear friend of mine is dating, and that got me thinking about my own dating experiences.  She’s feeling the bloom of new romance. From first date to current, she’s reveling in that intoxicating experience of getting to know someone.  I’m utterly thrilled for her!

My friend is classy, eloquent and highly impressive.  It sounds like her new beau is her equal on all counts. Rock on!

I wish I could say the same for myself.  I’ve got a fabulously awesome partner right now…but that wasn’t always the case.

To explain…I’m not the most orthodox gal.  I’m wired a little funky, and I don’t comply to society’s idea of femininity.

I could write a book about the epic failures I’ve had on first dates (or consecutive failed dates, for that matter).

I’ll suffice to just share this one…

Meet Ben.  Accountant.  Shy.  Well-meaning guy. A good guy.  Really trying hard to make an impression, but we both know within the first hour we’re not really a smart match.  We even admit it to each other!

As Ben relaxes a little, and the pressure is off (because we both know a 2nd date is out of the question), he asks me:

“So…Avia, if you were to describe yourself in under 5 minutes with total, brutal honesty…what would you say?”

This is not the question to ask a ridiculously honest Sagittarius who has had a few Lowenbrau’s on a date.  So I asked Ben, “Are you sure you want the low-down?”  He said, “Absolutely”, with a sly grin.

And this is what I said…

“Photographic memory.  Attended 4 prestigious colleges.  Kicked out of 3.  Earned a degree at the college that didn’t give me the boot.

Don’t always follow the rules, but know how to conjugate a verb, and how to avoid dangling participles.

Multi-Lingual in HTML, XHTML, CSS, SEO, and not too shabby at Spanish.  Pretty sure I could get around in Italy too.

French horn player for 15 years. 3 of those years as a pro, and sat as an alternate for a major metropolitan symphony.

Refuse to drive an automatic.  Jeep driver, always with a standard.  Drove a 18-wheeler too.

Clocked 80,000 miles on a Harley Softail.  Super fun.

Put a few people through school.  Donated thousands to charity. Support my local SPCA.

Been 250 pounds with a fantastic stuttering problem, compounded by an ugly skin condition and chained to an asthma inhaler.  Conquered all that in my 30s.

A product of two amazing parents who are still well-respected and completely awesome.”

There might have been more I divulged to Ben, but I remember keeping it under 5 minutes.

At the end of my deluge, all Ben had to say was this…

That’s all well and good, but you have a big piece of spinach between your front teeth.

Isn’t that nice!?!?

This brings me to the point of this post…

Was I bragging to Ben?  Am I bragging to you?  Yeah…maybe I was, and maybe I am.

But the Universe has a funny way of bringing us down a notch.

It’s fabulous to be aware and proud of our remarkable achievements through our lifetime.  But my experience has taught me not pull out the braggadocio to the enth degree.  Lest we get caught bragging with spinach in our teeth! LOL!

Mostly, I want this post to remind all of us that it’s not what we say about our achievements….it’s what we do with them.  I’ve learned to live as an example…not just talk about stuff I’ve done.

Being a mentor,  an illustration of the best action is the most effective tact in showing others what we’re made of, in my opinion.

Just thinkin’.

xo

PS:  And learning how to laugh at ourselves is a major plus. (see image above).  ;)

FYI:  Ben and I still keep in touch via pen-pal.  He’s a great guy.