Once you have settled on your teacup, teapot and choice of tea-leaves, it’s time to see what secrets await you in your cup.

Swan and Leap Frog

Here you can see a clear cup with two main pictures. One is a swan and above is a leaping frog. You will often see 2 or 3 main images in the cup. The swan is the symbol of transformation from ugly or unwanted, to beautiful and desired. If you think about the Fairy Tale “The Ugly Duckling”, this will illustrate the above. So I know we are seeing a person feeling better about themselves and really beginning to feel a sense of belonging. This can be in work or relationships as well. You can see the swan’s feet underneath paddling away, so movement is happening in this person’s life. To reinforce this picture, the top image shows a leaping frog another of the great symbols of transformation. Frogs start off as eggs, change to tadpoles, which then they begin to grow legs and forelegs. Finally they lose their tails and become frogs. Frogs move from the water to the air. This leaping frog indicates a huge transformation in this person’s life. It looks like the small paddling of the swan changes to a great leap. I feel this person has been undergoing change for some time and when the changes come, they will just go for it, taking just a little from the past, except that wonderful feeling represented by the swan. The “little something” is shown by something held by the frog in its front leg.

A Cup with Many Pictures

Often when I look into a cup I see a mess of leaves, and it seems like there are no pictures. Do not dismay, I let my eyes move around and eventually some little clumps of leaves start to make sense. There is excitement in the cup as the pictures are just starting to form. Dots mean things are coming into being and they also can mean money or coins. At the bottom left I see a sedan car. It is close to the handle and it means the person is starting off on a journey. The dots also show a road map. As it is low in the cup it means the journey is within, perhaps one of self discovery, or it can mean a journey not too far from home.  Above is a kind of Catherine wheel exploding and throwing out dots. I see this as a sudden event, or experience that starts a new cycle of life. It also represents a windmill, meaning that this person can symbolically begin to harness the power of nature to bring more energy into their life. In the bottom centre of the cup I see a man sitting on a the edge of a chair which seems to be inhabited by a dark leaf. To me this means that a new job, or “position” is nearly ready, but at the moment, someone else holds that position. The starburst above means that the person will get the job, as they will be noticed and employed. There is more in the cup and as you look, you will see more and more.

Nice Dog

In this cup we see larger leaves forming clear pictures. In the centre of the cup I see a nice dog made up of two main leaves, the body is light green and the head, bright brown. From the dog’s face comes a long, straight piece of twig. It meets two other twigs to form an “H”. The leaves can more easily make capitals with straight sides, rather than curves. I feel the main meanings of the H are Happiness, Health and Hope. The dog represents friendship, faithfulness and fidelity. It is a particularly fine picture of a dog so I see a friend offering the H to the person. A good friend and all those qualities of a dog are central to the person as it is in the centre. I see a tall figure behind the dog pointing to the right, the future. Such figures are often spirit beings, and this one has a sort of wing, so might even be an angel, supporting the dog picture. This points to the happiness H. I also see a hammer at the handle, which sees something being secured, as the colour of the blade is light and bright. This brings good security.

The images on the right hand side are connected to the dog via the twigs and I see the bird on the far right as bringing good news. This person is playful and will achieve his goals.

Dragon Emerging

Here we see a baby dragon emerging. Its wide open eye and mouth bring the gifts of vision and expression to the cup. Gunpowder Green is the tea used in this reading. It is a very long unfurling leaf and gives broad brushstroke images. However, the effect is dramatic. Dragons are the keepers of the waters of life and bring new life and energy to any reading.

This dragon is just beginning to show its wings, and will take off soon. In front of the dragon is an ornate letter “H” so we know the dragon is bringing words beginning with that letter into being – maybe health, happiness, home, hope or even hard-work.

Horse Rising Up

In this picture a clear horse’s head is seen rising up the side of the cup. In tea leaf reading, those images that are elevated are the most important as they have travelled the furthest when swirling. Horses are always symbols of dignity and power. We speak of “horse power” in engines and the horse brings the power to move beyond where we are presently.

This horse is looking inwards into the cup, and its nose is slightly raised off the cup’s surface. It is as if the horse is sniffing the wind and is about to take off.

Bull Meets Warthog

Sometimes there is so much detail in a cup you may not know where to start. Look to see any group of pictures that seem to tell a story. On the left of the handle a few animal images may be seen – a warthog faces a bull with a large mouse above. A stand off between the animals idicates a conflict that will rouse the emotions.

It could be a Taurus (bull) is involved. 2008 is the year of the rat in Chinese astrology, so we can read this as something is coming to a head during the year.

Spiritual Devotion and Awakening

Sometimes in a cup we see something very spiritual, like the flowing shape of the woman and the reverent way she is bowing before the snake. Snakes are very powerful symbols, connected to the life force within us all. The snake can shed its skin, but not die, thus represents our ability to transform. Beneath the woman is a large bell and the story that came to me is that of an awakening (bell) of the woman (the feminine or soul).

She is filled with wonder and bows before the transformative power of life. Such a picture portends a huge, healing change in this person’s life. Something wakes one up, and the response is spiritual wonder.

Other meanings of snakes in the cup: Snakes are close to the earth and have acute hearing. You may have to listen hard when a snake appears, or if it is coiled up, it represents unleashed power.

Scissors or Shears

Sometimes a cup reveals a clear image of an object. In this cup it is a pair of scissors or shears that takes centre stage. It is unclear what is being cut, but there is certainly something in the blades. Symbolically this means a cutting off of something – it can be a relationship or perhaps around work. Usually the rest of the cup will show what needs to be cut.

Animals usually represent people, chairs often represent work, hearts are the love area. In gardening, the pruning or cutting back of plants causes them to thrive in the new season, so I often apply these thoughts to such a cup.

Woman/Goddess of Creation

Sometimes we are blessed by seeing a large picture in a cup. A woman sits back in a field, made up by the greenery of the cup. Her wild hair flows freely back and from her lap arise many birds and animals. She holds an infant child on her knee. It is almost an image of the Goddess of all creation giving birth to all the forms. On a more human level, such a picture shows a time of abundant creativity ahead.

Look a moment at the head of the figure, and the myriad of ideas that are coming from it. It could predict a baby as well, or a “baby” project, such as a new career, new home, new something that will grow in a fertile way.