Tea Leaf Reading Tips

I've been asked HOW to read Tea Leaves, so this blog will share with you some tips and how to get started.

Firstly let me tell you that I first had my tea leaves read when I was 17 (about 1993) and I was hooked. I am a very visual person - and have a great imagination and find shapes in clouds, floor coverings and other weird objects. And this (imagination) is something you will need to have to proceed successfully with tea leaf reading.

I bring out my cup ritually on or around my birthday each year to see what the cup says for my year ahead. I also bring it out sometimes throughout the year, and with others who visit, or attend retreats if they're interested.

Aside from a few basic techniques, most of my tea leaf readings are intuitive. I look for letters, numbers, shapes and groupings of things and how they feel to me. Sections can tell us a story. The symbols within tea leaf reading can be very active, and it's not unlike reading cards (unless you use a guidebook).

Only yesterday when I read mine for my birthday I saw a capital M (my daughter is Madi) which also become an E (her boyfriend's name starts with E) right next to a house (see image).

The house has the door in the centre of the front and 'hip' roof shape. I saw an old chimney - which felt like an old heating system in the house which is no longer in use. And there was a thick arrow pointing to the house. These were all in very close proximity (barely a couple of mm's between each symbol - see image above). I intuitively new that my daughter would be moving into a house - as described. Because it was on the base of the cup towards the opposite side to the handle, I new it would likely be around the month of November (6 months away), but unlikely this year, maybe 2021 or 2022.

I write everything I pick up from my cup in my journal with relevant dates etc, so I can look back on it as things unfold. Don't worry about figuring out the dates, we will talk about timing below.


- A cup and saucer. It is best to use a plain and white cup (it is easier to see the tea leaves). It's also helpful if the cup is shallow and open. A high and closed cup with straight walls can be used - however they are more difficult to see the leaves properly.

- Loose tea leaves. You can open a tea bag, however I do find the tea tends to be much finer (which is not the best option). I use Loose black tea - which you can buy in your supermarket.

- Teapot. Any teapot which can hold the tea leaves and water for steeping will be fine.

- Journal to write your reading down.


- Put your water on to boil and get your cup, saucer, tea leaves etc ready with a tea spoon. You can add milk and sugar to your tea, once it is poured into your cup, if you prefer.

- Add 1 x teaspoon of dried loose tea leaves to the pot per person, plus 1 x extra for the pot. So if it is for 1 x person - add 2 x teaspoons (1 for person and 1 for pot). If it is for 2 x people - add 3 x teaspoons (1 per person and 1 for the pot) etc.

- Pour freshly boiled hot water over the tea leaves and place the lid on the pot. Let steep (sit) for 5 - 7 minutes.

- Make the space and time for your reading. A quiet space is best so you can concentrate and really use this time to 'see' into your cup. It is time for you.

- Once your space is ready and the tea has been sitting in the pot, go ahead and pour out your tea from the pot into the cup. You can have half a cup or more of liquid. Add extra tea leaves from the bottom of the pot with a teaspoon to your tea cup. I usually add about 2 x teaspoons of extra tea leaves into my cup from the pot.

- When ready to drink, just drink it. There is nothing special you need to do. However I do recommend that you drink through your teeth - using them as a filter, otherwise your mouth will get some stray tea leaves in it. It's not a nice tea to drink - so just over half a cup full and just close your eyes and drink it is a good attitude. Don't think normal tea - for it isn't. It will be strong and bitter.

- As you drink - when almost out of liquid - ensure you leave enough so you can swoosh the leaves around your cup walls and they stay there. If all tea runs down to the bottom - there is still too much liquid. If it is dry and clumpy - add a little more liquid. Usually having the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup just covered in liquid is enough.


- Next step is to swoosh your cup - have your saucer handy. I hold my cup and swoosh the tea leaves and remaining liquid around the sides of the cup itself. I do this a few times until it feels done and there is a good covering on the walls. Don't overthink, just do.

- Then quickly tip your cup upside down over the saucer - but not hard onto it yet - keep it slightly elevated from the saucer - and keep your cup upside down.

- Gently place your upside down cup onto the saucer now and rotate your cup clockwise three times.

- Lift up the cup (keeping it upside down) and give it a very gentle shake over the saucer to flick out any excess liquid.


- Turn your cup right way up now and read away.

- TIMING - Your cup is divided into timing sections - like a clock. Look into the cup - the handle is positioned at 12 o'clock - which represents now. Rotating clockwise - 3 o'clock from the handle is about 3 months from now. 6 o'clock is about 6 months from now and so on until you get to the 11 - 12 o'clock mark which is 11-12 months away. Keep an eye on your handle - it will help you mark time / months.

- The leaves at the bottom of your cup are usually further away from manifesting. They may come to pass in the 12months - however they may be undeveloped ideas or fluid potential for your future - possibilities.

- I start by placing the handle opposite my body so I can see into the handle section of the cup itself clearer. I look for pictures, symbols, letters, numbers and areas which stand out the most. As I do this I gently rotate my handle to my left and read the inside clockwise, checking back on the position of the handle for timing.


- One of the hardest things about tea leaf reading is making any sense of the symbols. However through experience you will get to know what they mean.

- Triangles are usually seen as lucky.

- Arrows either pointing to something or representing movement or change.

- Rings can be union / relationship connected.

- Letters are usually connected with people we know or who will come into our life. I look and see what is with that letter to get a sense of the message.

- Faces and people are just that - people around us.

- Butterflies, love hearts, birds and any sort of animal can have the usual metaphysical meaning (look up eg, butterfly power animal to see what it represents).

- Bigger picture areas - often there will be action happening within the cup. Like in my reading yesterday (I didn't take a photo of it to show you) - there was a large straight backed chair with 2 x clear stars behind it, and slightly above it looked like a person who was sitting on the chair, but not, slightly leaning forward and their head in their hands - deep in thought. This represented me, and I sensed that the stars felt like very good signs - likely new ideas, and the chair felt solid and supportive. Even though I wasn't on the chair, it felt like I was, and I was thinkingt - perhaps ungrounded thought - because I was not on the chair itself. This was in my end of June area of the cup - so I will reflect on the reading and see how it fits in as time passes. This will help me be able to decipher symbols in the future.

- Scenes can be fun to spot. I also had a heavy tea leaf area from Sept to Nov - and then coming out of it was a horse with two people on it - moving out of an intense and probably chaotic period.


You see it's very much intuitive and how things feel.

If feet are big in proportion to the body of a figure in your cup it may represent grounding. If the head is big, it may represent thinking or thought. If a large figure is overpowering a smaller figure we may need to be alert of being too dominating or others trying to dominate us.

If there is big open space in an area - note it - it may represent a lull or time of potential. If there is a big area of activity - note that too.

Look closely at the small details, but also expand your vision to the larger areas too.

I go around my cup slowly initially - take note of what I see and sense, and note the timing. Then I pull the cup away from my normal vision length so I can see it from a little further back. This may help me see something which I didn't notice close up before.

Mostly you are looking at the tea leaf pictures and symbols, however sometimes the 'white' of the cup and the tea around it can also leave pictures.

It can be frustrating for some, especially if their imagination is not really happening.

Have some fun, keep practicing if you enjoy it and perhaps create an annual ritual to read your tea leaves.

What I share above is what I have developed myself and is not based on any tradition, book or from any teacher. Take it as a guide and I suggest you develop your own way if you wish.

Let me know if you have any questions or if anything shared here is unclear and I will try to better explain. I'm also keen to know if you find this useful and if you would like any further Tea Leaf Reading resources - like an eCourse or group tea leaf reading times online etc.

Thank you so much for connecting,

Lee-Anne Peters

=== If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting me via this website, or on Patreon at www.patreon.com/templeofbalance ===





  • My Grandma used to read my tea leaves. She often surprised me with accurate information. It was interesting reading this tip blog. Thank you.

    Karen Welk
  • Hi, you mentioned your guide to tea leafs readings this week, I sought it out immediately. Well explained in the way it’s all intuitive.. I love what your doing!

    Angela Kelly

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