I have decided to try my hand at Tasseomancy. So in preparation I thought I would read a few books to get a general idea of the technique and then go from there.
I usually like to read a little about the author for insight into their perspective. However, there is a dearth of information on Jacqueline Towers. The book is dedicated to her Great Grandmother. So I am assuming that she inherited some of her information and skill from her. Philosophically, I think we are on the same page. She seems to believe that tea leaf reading is a skill, can be improved with practice and we all have intuition to draw upon. She encourages you to come up with your own dictionary of symbols.
Where we part ways is in the conclusion of the book she suggests that we, “perhaps give up some of your “integrity” and soften the message”, if there is difficult information displayed there. I think there is always a way to reframe information. You can be completely honest and not scare someone at the same time. Readings are meant to empower personal choices, not cripple clients as victims of FATE. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I stopped giving readings to the public long ago over such issues. My mission is to empower others to take the reigns of their lives and create what they want. Reality is that not everyone wants to do this. I will now teach others to do this for themselves because I suspect that the very act of reading for someone shifts the balance of power out of their hands and into the reader’s.
For me, the experience of a book is more than just the information between the covers, all the senses come into play.
Visually the book is pleasing. The covers and pages are shiny and the colors and illustrations are charming. The only issue this causes for me is that it does not lend itself easily to highlighting. Which I am prone to do with all books I read but especially ones that contain information I plan to remember for later. For many bibliophiles, it is the ultimate form of treason but for me it is the highest display of love. You can flip through my books and tell right away if I finished the book and how much I liked it based on the amount of highlighting you see. For this task only Sharpie Liquid Highlighters will do.
The formatting of the text is simple and clear, making it a quick and easy reference.There is an error in the book when astrological symbols are being discussed. The symbols for Scorpio and Virgo are mixed up. This is probably a typesetting mistake. For clarification take a look here for traditionally accepted astrological symbols.
I am a book sniffer. So how could I not. Because of the shiny pages you know right away not to expect the lovely vanilla, paper fragrance. What you do get is a petrol chemical smell that makes you taste plastic. I know that does not sound pleasant but it is really not that bad. The smell does not wafted off the book. You do have to really put your nose in there and breathe deeply to come away with the scent. For me, it recalled the baby dolls I had as a young child. So it made me feel nostalgic.
You really do get all the information you need to start reading on your own. There is a crash course in the types of tea, how to make tea, how to use coffee to do readings if you are not a tea drinker. You learn what the different locations in the cup signify. From there, you are taken alphabetically through an index of symbols. Some of which are so complex it is hard to believe that tea leaves in my cup would ever form themselves into these shapes.
Drawing on my own experience I have to assume that the tea leaves are a focal point and your subconscious kind of takes over from there. The leaves may suggest a shape but your mind has to run with it. Many of the symbols are listed with traditional meanings others contain meanings that are obviously held by the author but could be interpreted in different ways. “Clown: Enjoy yourself, laugh be in high spirits.You can look forward to uncomplicated pleasures and joy.” Hmmmm. “Chimney: Beware of hidden danger.” Santa? “Cauldron:There are sacrifices to be made.” This last one calls to mind ancient Celtic rituals of human sacrifice and gives me chills every time I think about it.
Some of the symbols are things I have never heard of. What is a Monkey Puzzle Tree? If I get this symbol in my cup it would be lost on me. “It is time to cut out the deadwood in your life and to clear the clutter from your home.” While this is not a comprehensive list of symbols it definitely is enough to get you started and spark your imagination with possibilities.
All these years, I have been drinking the delicious sludge at the bottom of my coffee and tea cups. What have I been missing? Go forth, try something new and report back. What did you learn about yourself?