The joy of reading tea leaves - Lindel Barker-Revell
Tea Leaf Reading Reborn
I was delighted, recently, when speaking to Felicity, who is over
eighty years old, and she began to reminisce about tea-leaf reading in
her younger years, pre-children, fifty to sixty years ago. Felicity told
me that it was quite the normal thing when women friends gathered
together for afternoon tea, to all look into each other’s tea cups.
Felicity said she had really enjoyed it and that my book had
brought the flavour of those days back to her. ‘I was actually quite
good at it (seeing the pictures),’ she said and talked about how much
enjoyment those gatherings had brought to all her friends. After the war
instant coffee became available, then tea bags, and leaf tea was put
aside by many.
It made me so excited to think that we are starting to bring back
this almost forgotten art. Next time you get together with friends,
bring out the pot and the tea, your nice cups and saucers and get
involved again with the humble tea leaf. I believe the tea bag is
starting to be challenged by leaf tea, and people can again peep into
the cup for enjoyment and relaxation.
Tea leaves can bring surprisingly accurate predictions.
One day, my friend Jenny told me she was looking for a new family home so we both looked to see what the tea leaves had to reveal.
I saw a tall gum tree with a long trunk and spreading branches reaching up almost to the rim. Beneath this tree were a few leaves seeming to form the outline of a slight hill and the shape of a kangaroo nearby.“I think your house might be near or on a hill with a very big tree nearby,” I told Jenny, “but let’s look if we can see a house.”
Suddenly, Jenny saw a symbol of a tortoise. I was very sure then: “You are on the move”, (tortoise), I said. “But your new home will come slowly and surely - like the tortoise who won the race with the hare.” Trees often mean the family, or growth of all kinds.
Jenny rang me several months later and said she had eventually found a home on a hill. One day she was looking in a certain direction and saw the spreading of the tall gum near the new house, with a kangaroo was standing up, just below. “I feel I’m starting to branch out myself, “she said, “I’ve decided to show some of my pottery, and even sell it!”