Q. – Thanks a lot for collaborating, Tabitha, and welcome! So, I am a huge fan of Tea Reading, I have always thought that it is such an interesting divinatory practice but to be entirely honest, every time I’ve tried I’ve felt terribly confused and I’ve ended up thinking “You’re playing with damp tea… Think it through!” So, I guess my first question is: How do you get to a point in which you say “Hey! Here’s a boot!”?
T. D. – Oh, so you see that boot, too? Thank goodness I am not the only one! I appreciate you inviting me to collaborate, Maria. How do you see a boot? It took years of playing around with tea before I felt I was halfway good at spotting any symbols for anyone who wanted a reading.
A big turning point for me was when I took a photo of my tea cup while I was still learning how to read. I recommend everyone try that, because I was taking notes on what my intuition told me about an image in my cup. And then I glanced back to my phone screen for reference. I saw the image a little differently there. I remember gasping with recognition. I think I saw a figure sitting at a desk.
Being a writer, I could interpret this concept! Whatever seemed correct before fell away and this became easy to explore. It was very exciting.
You may have to go through a few readings that feel forced or faked before you have your own breakthrough as a reader. That’s more than ok. The key is to talk, talk, talk, treat it with playfulness, and keep trying.
Q. – Could you share any shocking, interesting or funny anecdote related to
T. D. – It is very important to respect that readers see with their personal filters. And that reading experiences are particular to each person and each moment. The needs and the spirit of each reading is what motivates it. And I believe we draw the type of people who resonate with us and understand us.
That is especially evident after an individual has dedicated years to an area of their life, such as tea leaf reading. I’ve had the honor to read for a lot of sex-positive folks like myself: There have been times where it is appropriate to indicate that one interpretation for a cluster of tea is a phallus. This open up discussion about fertility, creativity, pleasure, and masculinity.
through other methods of divination besides Tea Reading?
T. D. – I share the usefulness of tarot and lenormand cards in my course. I give some examples of how such imagery has enhanced my experience of tea leaf reading.
Primarily, I focus on my favorite technique for reading tea, how to prepare it, and a handful of different categories of symbols that can crop up.There are a number of common symbols, as well as pop culture symbols, like imagery from video games or memes.
A little time is also spent on piecing together the images in a couple of the lessons so folks can do that a couple different ways. I also offer ways to use the cup as a map for timing and talk about astrological symbols in tea.
Q. – What is the role of divination in your life? What other means of
divination do you use?
T. D. – Divination represents another means of appreciating my experiences. Some times I incorporate tea reading images or a tarot card reference into a poem or private discussions with others who are literate in tarot. I’ve recently introduced lenormand into my lineup of readings after doing tarot for a number of years.
I treat divination as an opportunity to evolve, and to give a service to others.
enrich the practice of a diviner?
Developing diviners may not always feel they are channeling something beyond themselves, but my experience with tea reading has given me that experience numerous times, and allowed me to let it happen without reservation when I read cards, too.
I feel this opportunity, and the fact that the course touches upon many essential symbols (trees, birds, archetypal animals) and how their placement can influence each other provide practical enrichment for any diviner. It’s also a fun, fairly unique activity to engage in.
T. D. – Honestly, I was somehow startlingly lucky with my very first tea reading. It was a big clump of tea, all of it at the bottom of a dear friend’s cup. I almost apologized for my new experiment and said I didn’t see anything. Then I picked up a quick impression. It was a giant bow. I began to speak about it. “It’s an exaggerated bow. Like Dr. Suess.” And it even had the feeling of being red, like the one on the cat in The Cat in the Hat. “Treat your love life like a big bow. You need to keep it tight in the middle so it doesn’t unravel. But let it fluff out. Let the ribbons flow free.”
Thank you for letting me spend time talking with you!