Reading Tea Leaves
Tea Leaf Interpretations
Possible Interpretations of the various shapes and signs most commonly found when reading tea leaves. These symbols also hold true for dream interpretation and other omens and signs. As always, what feels true for you may be different than what is listed here, when in doubt always trust your own intuition.
- ACORN – Continued health—improved health. A very strong and fortunate symbol indicating happiness and contentment; at the top: financial success; at the bottom: good health.
- AIRCRAFT – Journey; travel.
- ALLIGATOR or CROCODILE – Beware of false friendship lurking in your professional life.
- ANCHOR – Lucky symbol. Success in business or in love. If blurred or indistinct just the reverse. At top: stability, constancy in love or business; at bottom or broken: instability, inconstancy; can also symbolize an unpleasant situation or burden you should sail away from.
- ANGEL – Good news; protection.
- ANIMALS – Domestic animals:friends. Domestic animals snarling: friends turn on you or behave strangely. Wild animals: a new experience, independence. Wild animals attacking: beware of enemies.
- ANT – Hard work or busy phase will end productively, success through hard work.
- ANVIL – Others rely on you, and may expect too much. Don’t be taken for granted.
- APPLE – You learn something to your advantage. For the student, the chance for further education. Life; creative or artistic achievement; abundance.
- ARCH – positive opening or opportunity (look to nearby symbols for added meaning).
- ARM – Pointing up: new directions; down: you need to motivate yourself; horizontal: help others or receive help from others.
- ARROW – Hasty news, probably bad. Also note where pointing. Up: good direction, yes; down: wrong direction, no; horizontal: no change.
- AXE – You have the power to overcome difficulties.
- BABY – New life; possible pregnancy; small worries.
- BAG – A journey or possible trap; if open: escape.
- BALL – You have little control over your own life. Desire to travel.
- BALLOON – Busy social life; life out of control, inability to settle down if near handle.
- BARREL – Abundance in laughter.
- BASKET – Harvest, abundance; material gain; possibly a new baby.
- BAT (the animal) – A productive busy phase.
- BAT or CLUB – Friends talk behind your back, situation calling for alert caution.
- BEACON or LIGHTHOUSE – Situation calling for your leadership and/or inspiration.
- BEAR – A grouchy and difficult person; strength, courage and endurance; if teddy bear: children or childhood.
- BED – Sleep on it before establishing a close love or business relationship
- BEE – A lucky few months to come. Things go your way, fruitful hard work.
- BEETLE – Renewal; progress; need for foresight.
- BELL – Unexpected good news in love or business; call to attention
- BICYCLE – Individuality; choose your own path.
- BIRD – Good news or message; standing bird: delay; flying bird: good news; good news coming soon; flock of birds: profound or exciting news; If flying, good news from the direction it comes. If at rest a fortunate journey.
- Goose: successful financial venture;
- Peacock: pride and display;
- Eagle: power and transcendence;
- Crow/raven: ill omen, warning, time to relax;
- Parrot: beware of idle gossip;
- Chicken/hen: happy home life and childhood comfort;
- Dove: peace and love; owl: wisdom, knowledge and learning, keep your own council;
- Rooster: a boastful person or wake up and seize the moment;
- Swan: romance or someone graceful and beautiful;
- Vulture: lay low and beware of enemies;
- Swallow: love and new beginnings.
- BOAT – Help in time of trouble. Worthwhile journey; your ship is coming in.
- BONES – Situation calling for inner strength and spiritual fortitude.
- BOWL – Invitations, money or generosity.
- BOOK – You will have dealings with the law, solicitors, or some official body. If open: an answer to a question; if closed: a question to be investigated.
- BOOT – Generally a lucky sign. You will move on in life. A planned journey will be a happy one. Difficulties pass.
- BOTTLE – Don’t neglect health problems. Explosive atmosphere requiring caution; do not overindulge.
- BOUQUET or FLOWERS- Very lucky, true love, true friends, happiness in all areas of life. Romantic interest; validation for your work or talents.
- BOW – You will gain what you hope for, but only through hard work. A fortunate symbol meaning gift or celebration of achievement.
- BOX – You are about to receive a gift.
- BREAD (loaf) – Nourishment; care for your health.
- BRIDGE – An excellent opportunity is given to you. A life-changing event or person. Look for nearby symbols.
- BROOM or BRUSH – You can sweep all your worries away. New home; new era in your life.
- BUBBLES – Floating on surface of tea or coffee means money coming.
- BUGS – Distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
- BUSH -An obstacle to new opportunities; branches signify choices.
- BUTTERFLY – A care-free period is about to begin, overdue happiness.
- CAGE – Restriction. Illness
- CAKE – A wish fulfilled; celebration.
- CAMEL – You will overcome burden and pressure to reach oasis.
- CANDLE – You can be of help to others. There will be light upon an uncertain path; help from friends.
- CAR – If clear: travel; if broken: mechanical trouble.
- CARPETS – True friends and happy social engagements.
- CASTLE – Promotion. Official position. Expand your horizons; open up a little.
- CAT – Deceit; an untrustworthy friend.
- CHAIN – Marriage or business contract. If well-formed: fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken: trouble, disruption.
- CHAIR – Happiness in domestic matters. Security, contentment, a guest or new addition to the family.
- CHILD – New idea; family.
- CHURCH – Marriage, christening or funeral, depending on surrounding omens.
- CIGAR – A new friend or business relationship.
- CIRCLE – Completion of any matter concerning the enquirer at the time. Unbroken: success, completion; broken (like letter ‘c’): a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
- CLOCK – Warning against procrastination.
- CLOUDS – Small and fluffy: happy optimism; thick and dark: gloom; sadness.
- CLOVER – Good luck, Four-leaf clover – exceptional good luck.
- COFFEE POT or TEA POT – A special visitor is coming, probably not romantic.
- COFFIN – The end of something.
- COIN – A lump sum of money is coming your way.
- COMB – Improve your self appearance.
- COMET – Brink of pivotal change or dramatic event in your life.
- CORN – Prosperity; money worries end.
- COW – Abundance; prosperity; physical or creative fertility.
- CRAB – Admonition to be more direct or someone born under the zodiac sign Cancer.
- CROOK – A shepherd’s crook, others rely on you to take the lead. Your advice is requested.
- CROSS – Sacrifice, unhappiness. If like a ‘T’: hard won success and happiness; if like a solid ‘X’: warning (look for meaning with nearby symbols); if like a broken ‘X’: obstacles and losses are ahead.
- CROWN – Success, honor and recognition for your talents.
- CUP – Your efforts are noticed and rewarded. Be patient, this is not a time to assert yourself.
- CUSHIONS OR PILLOWS – Comfort; admonition against laziness and procrastination.
- DAGGER – An enemy tries to harm you. Caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
- DAISY – New love.
- DASHES or DOTS – Money. Alternatively – Many short trips which may cause wasted time.
- DEER – A shy, timid person; you should be more assertive to overcome shyness.
- DEVIL – You feel like letting your hair down. Don’t overdo it; you may suffer.
- DIAMOND – Gift or other surprise windfall coming you way.
- DICE – Destiny and change, go with the flow.
- DISH – Interpret as a circle unless containing food; contains food = domestic comfort.
- DOG – Good friend; if at bottom friend needs help; if barking, untrustworthy friend; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dog year.
- DONKEY – Stubbornness and stamina.
- DOOR – Be aware of opportunities.
- DRAGON – Scheming or flashy person; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dragon year.
- DROPS – Tears or sadness.
- DRUM – A change; a call to action.
- DUCK – Devoted mate; money.
- EAR – Take no notice of gossip. You will benefit from something you hear.
- EGG – If whole: new life, successful new beginning; if cracked/broken: failed plans or financial problems which can be overcome by action.
- ELEPHANT – Be patient, you will be supported with kindness. Good Luck, good health, happiness.
- ENVELOPE – You will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
- EXCLAMATION MARK – Pay attention; beware of impulsive actions.
- EYE – Be aware of what is going on around you. A protective symbol; insight into a long standing problem.
- FACE – A new friendship, or an old friend comes back into your life. If the face is unpleasant, beware; the person is not as nice as they seem. Look for nearby initials for identity of face; if near the rim or handle it is a warning against too much introspection; if facing another symbol indicates importance of that symbol.
- FAN – Don’t try to cover up the truth, it will cause trouble in the future. A flirtation.
- FEATHER – Something you laugh at may not be so trivial after all. Also a need for concentration.
- FENCE – Obstacles, temporary and self-imposed limitations.
- FINGER -Emphasizes whatever symbol it is pointing; up: caution; down: stop.
- FIRE – Passion; hot emotion; sexual desire.
- FISH – Sharing of knowledge; a teacher; a person born under the Zodiac sign of Pisces (especially if there are two fish).
- FIST – Something threatens you. Quarrels and disputes.
- FLAG – Danger, look to nearby symbols for added meaning.
- FLEUR DE LYS or LILY – Femininity; a loving woman.
- FLOWER – Praise and compliments are coming your way.
- FLY – An annoying person.
- FOOT – A journey overseas. Movement in love, career or location.
- FORK – Get advice from trusted friends before deciding.
- FORKED LINE – A decision to be made.
- FOUNTAIN – Overflowing happiness.
- FOX – A cunning person may be trying to trick you.
- FRUIT – Prosperity, fertility.
- FROG – Fertility; abundance; a disguised handsome/beautiful lover.
- GATE – Be aware of opportunities around you.
- GALLOWS – A loss of money or position.
- GLASS – Celebrations, parties, social events.
- GLOBE – Long distance travel.
- GOAT – Your persistence will pay off, but take some time to recreate; or, a person born under the sign of Capricorn.
- GRAPES – Abundance and epicurean enjoyment.
- GRASSHOPPER – Summer delights.
- GUN – Someone speaks ill of you; danger; a bully.
- HAMMER – An attempted persuasion.
- HAND – If open: karma or destiny; if closed means an argument; look for added meaning where the hand is pointing.
- HARE – Unlike the shorter eared rabbit, the long eared hare represents something important brewing in your destiny in love or travel.
- HARP – Love; romance.
- HAT or HELMET – You are offered work. You will experience a change in roles; or business success.
- HEART – Love, friendship, romance. A lover. If close to a ring, marriage to the present lover. If indistinct, the lover is fickle.
- HEAVENLY BODIES —(Sun, Moon, Star) — Good luck; great happiness and success.
- HILLS – Small challenges which will leave you improved.
- HORSE – If galloping means good news; if just the head means a lover
- HORSESHOE – good luck; very positive especially for travel.
- HOURGLASS – A warning to be punctual. You may not have as much time to finish a task as you expect. Do it now.
- HOUSE – Home, family, security. Help from the family. Comfort.
- ICEBERG – Danger.
- INSECT – Minor worries and irritations, distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
- IVY – Faithful lovers and friends. This is not a good time to be too independent; trust friends to help you.
- JEWELS – Material success; you will receive a valuable gift.
- JUG – Good health.
- KANGAROO – Travel; a journey.
- KETTLE – Contentment in the home. A special visitor is coming, probably not romantic.
- KEY – New project. The future is in your hands.
- KITE – Your wish will be granted.
- KNIFE – Separation, broken friendship or love affair. caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
- LADDER – Advancement, promotion; an improvement in your business life.
- LAMP – The lamp throws light on something that has puzzled you. The way ahead is clear. At the top means a feast; at the side means secrets revealed; at the bottom means postponement.
- LEAF, LEAVES and TREES – Good news, good health, growth. The turning over of a new leaf; inevitable changes with the passage of time.
- LETTER – News is on the way. You will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
- LIGHTHOUSE – Take heed of any warning given to you.
- LIGHTNING – Startling events; sudden insights.
- LINES – Movement. Single line, advancement. Double lines: a journey. Long lines that cross: decisions that affect the course of your life; journey on a road; if straight: progress; if wavy: uncertain path; if many: many short trips.
- LION – Male lion represents a powerful contact or important man; the lioness represents a strong family; or, may represent a person born under the zodiac sign of Leo.
- LOCK – There are obstacles in your way.
- LOOP – If well-formed: fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken: trouble, disruption.
- MAN – A visitor of either gender; if near handle = someone close to you.
- MASK – A secret to be kept.
- MOON – Crescent Moon: Prosperity, fame. If cloudy, difficulties will be solved.
- New Moon: good fortune, especially for new ventures.
- Half Moon: love.
- Old moon: bad luck.
- MOUNTAIN – A difficult, but possible, goal.
- MOUSE – Be cautious of credit deals.
- MUSHROOM – Rapid growth, success or fertility.
- MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS – Peace, harmony.
- NAIL – Enemies try to harm you. Two-faced friends. An unfair assault.
- NECKLACE – Complete personal relationship stability; broken: instability in a personal relationship.
- NEEDLE – Painful repair.
- NET – Beware pitfalls. Danger surrounds you.
- OAK – Long life characterized by good health.
- OCTOPUS – Warning.
- OWL—Indicates sickness or poverty. Warning against starting a new venture.
- OYSTER – Passion and desire.
- PALM TREE – Good omen. Success in any undertaking. Single people learn of marriage. Wealth; beach vacation.
- PARASOL – Protection from harm or loss.
- PEOPLE – Representations of people mean exactly what they show, for example, a policeman, an old woman, a doctor, or someone angry, sad, celebrating, and so on.
- PICK AXE – Determination gets you what you want.
- PIG – A greedy or jealous person.
- PISTOL – Warning of danger.
- PURSE – Money.
- PYRAMID – Concentrate on the spiritual side of life.
- QUESTION MARK – Indecision. The symbols around it should help to make up your mind. Reconsider your plans; be aware of an important question you should ask yourself.
- RABBIT – Fertility in family or business; someone born in the Chinese Zodiac year of the rabbit.
- RAINBOW – Hope for the future. End of strife. Your wish will come true; similar to an arch, it links represents the path between today and your destiny.
- RAKE – You are at a crossroad and your destiny is determined by hard work.
- RECTANGLE or SQUARE – You will face a challenge or difficulty (look to nearby symbols, especially symbols within the shape, for added meaning.
- RING – True and lasting love. Represents marriage but usually interpreted as a circle; unbroken: success, completion; broken (like letter ‘C’): a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
- ROSE – New romance; deepening of love.
- RUG – go with your instincts in distinguishing from a rectangle or square; represents joyful social events and true friendship.
- SADDLE – Take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.
- SAW – Something should be removed.
- SCALES – You will be treated just as you deserve. If the scales are weighed down at one side, you’ll be unjustly treated. If they are weighed down with a lucky symbol close by, you will get away with something, or get up lightly. A legal matter. A person born under the zodiac sign of Libra.
- SCISSORS – It may be time to remove yourself from a situation or relationship.
- SCYTHE – The sudden end of something. Accident or death.
- SHEEP – A calm and peaceful person; an admonition to control impulses.
- SHELL – You will find a simple treasure. Good news. Happiness near water.
- SHIP – Worthwhile journey; your ship is coming in.
- SHIPWRECK – Theft. Loss. Forlorn hope.
- SHOE – You are on the correct path; be wary of advice to change.
- SNAKE – Recovery from illness. Alternatively, someone who does not deserve your trust.
- SPADE – A period of hard work.
- SPIDER – Persistence will pay off. A small reward or win.
- SPIDER WEB – Potent symbol of fate; beware of traps.
- SPOON – Others prove helpful. You will be comforted by some one’s generosity.
- STAR – Good fortune, success, recognition and praise. Shooting star – sudden fame.
- STAIR – Your position will improve.
- SUN – Happiness, confidence, a new beginning.
- SWORD – Caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
- TABLE – A gathering, a party, a happy social interlude.
- TEAPOT – A small gathering. Don’t speak ill of others.
- TENT – An adventurous period in your life. A new job may find you doing something completely different. Travel may help you foster your spiritual health.
- THIMBLE – Focus on fostering your home life.
- TORNADO or WHIRLWIND – Prepare for turbulent weather.
- TORTOISE or TURTLE – Lasting success through slow, determined and patient efforts.
- TOWER – Risk of disappointment.
- TREE – alone: family, roots, heritage; leafless: family conflict; many leaves: family contentment; group of trees: family unity; evergreen: enduring relationships; palm: wealth or beach vacation.
- TRIANGLE – You are involved in a three way relationship; if wedge shaped = one person is getting in the way of your relationship with the other person. Alternatively it could mean unexpected good fortune. Pointing upwards: success. Pointing downwards: failure.
- TRIDENT – Prongs upwards: gain through the sea, a journey by water, a sailor comes into your life. Prongs downwards: loss through water.
- UMBRELLA – Protection from harm or loss. Help comes when needed.
- URN – Be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
- VASE – A secret being kept from you; be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
- VIOLIN – Allow your feelings to surface.
- VOLCANO – Something kept hidden suddenly emerges. Anger. Frustration. There is an obstruction in your life that must be dealt with before it explodes.
- WAGON – Inheritance; childhood; simple pleasures.
- WASP – Danger of small harm.
- WATERFALL – Wealth and prosperity.
- WHEEL – A turning point in life. Events outside your control will change the direction of your life.
- WINGS – Do not box yourself in or limit yourself unnecessarily.
- WOLF – You will be challenged or betrayed by someone.
- YOKE – Domination or control you should not allow.
- ZEBRA – Be more flexible and adventurous in your travel plans.
This post was compiled from various sources by Shirley Twofeathers, you may repost and share it only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.
How to Read Tea Leaves
Follow this simple 6 step procedure to read tea leaves for yourself or a friend. Tea leaf reading is easy, fun and possibly a little bit enlightening!
Step 1: Make a cup of tea.
Choose a white or light colored teacup. Almost any leaf tea will do nicely. My personal preference is Earl Grey. If avoiding caffeine, you might even choose an herbal variety. The herbal options are delicious: jasmine, peppermint, chamomile… the list goes on and on.
If you do not mind the tiny floating bits, you can open a tea bag and sprinkle the tea into a cup of hot water. A middle eastern option is to sprinkle coffee grounds into a cup of coffee.
Step 2: Steep your tea and quiet your mind.
Steeping time is a personal preference. Green and black teas are usually ready in a minute or two, while herbal teas may take longer.
This is a time to quiet your mind and relax. What you are about to exercise is your mental creativity. Pattern recognition and symbol recollection will require focus and concentration. Distracting conversation, music or activity will detract from your experience. As in beginning meditation, attempt to empty your mind of all thoughts.
Step 3: Sip tea while you find your focus.
Once your tea is cool enough, begin sipping. Leaves may be floating, so do the best you can to avoid consuming too many. If you are right-handed, lift your cup with your left. If left-handed, drink with your right. If ambidextrous, reach for your cup, stop, and then use the other hand.
Now that you are quiet and relaxed, identify the issue foremost in your mind. In meditation practice, one attempts to empty the mind — blocking out all thoughts. As you attempt to think of nothing in particular, is there a stubborn thought that keeps returning to your attention? If so, that is the subject of this reading. Focus on that thought.
If nothing in particular comes to mind, then this will be a general tea leaf reading. Focus on your breath and the taste of the tea. Leave a small amount of tea at the bottom of your cup.
Step 4: Swirl three times and dump.
Hold your nearly empty teacup in your hand and give it three good swirls. The tea leaves will disperse around the interior of cup. Gently dump out the remaining liquid by turning your teacup over into a saucer.
Wait at least three breaths before turning your cup back over. You are ready to begin reading your tea leaves!
Step 5: Identify symbols and jot them down.
Tea leaf reading is a highly personal and subjective process. Because abstract pattern recognition keys into our subconscious, self analysis produces the most relevant reading. One person may see an egg, while another sees a beetle in the same spot. Tea leaf reading is very much like a Rorschach (Ink Blot) Test. We are most likely to recognize symbols having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand. Therefore, you are the most qualified person to read your own tea leaves.
If your cup has a handle, begin there and read clockwise. If your cup has no handle, begin reading from 12 o’clock. Make a notation of the first symbol you see. Mentally divide the cup into three sections: rim, middle and base. The rim area is above the tea level when you first poured your tea. The base is the level of tea left before you dumped out the remainder. The middle section is the area between the rim and bottom. Note where the symbol is located and if it is next to another symbol. Note whether you see bubbles, twigs or droplets in your cup. Work with quiet concentration and take your time.
Step 6: Create your tea leaf reading.
Translating symbols into meaning is just as personal and subjective as their identification. Individual language, cultural exposure, experience, knowledge and mental state contribute to interpretation of symbols. For example, the letter “K” might first bring to mind your friend Kurt rather than your sister Kirstin. Next to each symbol you wrote down, jot down the meaning that comes to mind first.
Again, abstract pattern recognition keys into our subconscious, so self analysis produces the most relevant reading. You are the most qualified person to read your own tea leaves. That being said, this site provides an extensive symbol lexicon to assist you in identifying and recalling symbols.
The first symbol you saw represents your dominant character or someone near or influental. Symbols in the rim section apply to this moment in time. The middle section represents the near future — usually no longer than a fortnight. Both the rim and middle section represent influences in your outcome. The base of your cup represents the ultimate answer or conclusion.
- Mari: Reading Candle Wax
- Ali: Notarikon
- ALI: Notarikon
- AlixKRex: Reading Candle Wax
- AlixKRex: Reading Candle Wax