Photo by Magenta
Divination with tea leaves (or coffee grounds if you don’t like tea. Wierdo.) involves looking at the tea leaves left behind at the bottom of the cup, and spotting any images or shapes they make. As one can imagine, the options available for interpreting the tea leaves are vast, and it can be overwhelming at times. It’s easy to get lost in the details of whether the leaves are making a shape, and if they are…how to interpret those shapes as readings. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use the intuition that comes with being a Lenormand reader to help you make sense of things. Here are a few helpful tips on how to use Lenormand card meanings to get the most from your tea leaf reading.
What are Lenormand cards?
Lenormand cards are a deck of 36 cards with simplistic pictures on them that represent everyday situations. Each card, and everyday situation on the card, has some very specific, but super simple noun, verb or adjective “keyword” associations. So reading lenormand cards is really about understanding nouns, verbs and adjectives and making little sentences using the keywords. For example, the Rider card has keyword associations of “a messenger”, “messages” and “messaging”.
Using Lenormand meanings to read tea leaves
Instead of using 36 cards to divine, we propose applying the Lenormand meanings to any shapes made by tea leaves in the bottom of the cup. To begin, make a cup of tea using fresh leaf tea (not a tea bag!), a teapot and boiling water. Allow a few of the tea leaves into the cup by not using a tea strainer the whole time the tea is poured into the cup. Drink the contents of the cup leaving tea leaves and a very small amount of liquid in the bottom.
Swirl the cup a few times to allow some of the tea leaves to stick to the sides of the cup. Finally slowly turn the cup upside down over a small plate or saucer and leave it there until all tea has drained away.
Upon picking up the cup and looking into it, it will at first appear as though the tea leaves are just amassing in nonsensical clumps! But give it a few minutes and by tipping and turning the cup, the shapes the tea leaves have made will become clearer. Looking for shapes in the tea leaves that align with the Lenormand cards is key to using Lenormand as a system for reading tea leaves.
To successfully use Lenormand meanings to read tea leaves, it is important to look for shapes in the leaves that align with the 36 Lenormand cards. Some shapes will be easier to look for, for example an Anchor or a Cross shape, so don’t worry too much about trying to find all the Lenormand cards represented in the tea at once!
Getting the most out of Lenormand meanings to read tea leaves
One set of meanings applied to two divination methods
There are 36 symbols associated with Lenormand, which gives a manageable number of shapes and symbols to look for in the tea leaves in any reading. The meanings are also well defined and easy to learn, and if you are already using Lenormand cards to give readings, reading tea leaves is another method you can use to read with, without having to learn more meanings of symbols.
A structured reading using little sentences
Interpreting Lenormand cards relies on combining nouns, verbs and/or adjectives to make little sentences. The same method can be applied to looking at the tea leaves. As with using Lenormand cards, a decision on how many symbols to look for and whether to interpret the symbol as a noun or as a verb will come from the question being asked, the context and the reader’s intuition. It’s probably useful to keep the number of symbols to look for at three or below. There’s no Grand Tableau with our tea leaf reading!
Telling the time
Each Lenormand card has a time indicator associated with it, so using the card’s time associations can be applied to the tea leaf reading in a similar way. For example, spotting a tree shape in the leaves might indicate a slow timeframe or a timeframe indicative of 5 months or 5 years, which is the time indication of the Tree Lenormand card.
Yes / No answers
Lenormand cards also have “positive” “negative” or “neutral” meanings associated with them. So applying these to a tea leaf reading means the leaves can be read when asking closed questions to get those ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. For example, if a star shape was spotted in the tea, this may indicate a “yes” answer because the Star Lenormand card is a generally positive card.
Difficult symbols to spot
As mentioned above, there are 36 symbols associated with Lenormand. Including some that would be difficult to interpret using tea leaves.For example, there are four different “people” that may appear in the tea leaves. These are Rider, Child, Man and Woman. These may be difficult to distinguish. Instead, it is useful to have a back-up plan and look for alternatives in the tea leaves. These might be using glyph symbols for Man and Woman, rather than trying to look for human shapes in the leaves. The same could be said of the various animals that appear in Lenormand. For example, it might be difficult to spot the difference between a Fox and a Dog.
Reading the symbols in order rather than in rows
Lenormand cards are read in rows and columns, for example following a ‘comic book style’ of reading the cards from left to right. It is unlikely that the tea leaves will cluster in easy to spot shapes all lined up in nice little rows! Instead allow the symbols to reveal themselves as the cup is tipped or turned. Sometimes the tea leaves will lend themselves to more than one shape. The order in which the symbols and shapes show themselves then becomes the order in which the symbols are interpreted.
Have a go using Lenormand meanings to read tea leaves
As far as a system for interpreting tea leaves goes, using Lenormand with its 36 symbols is pretty simple. Have a go the next time you make a lovely cup of tea!
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