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Tossing the Cup

Newfoundland Recipes-Tossing the Cup 1-www.saltjunk.com

On the West Coast of Newfoundland Tea-leaf Reading is known as “Tossing the Cup” or Tasseography, the art of reading tea leaves to tell the future.

It all starts with a pot of good steeped tea made with loose tea leaves.  Usually the tea pot is given a stir or swirl prior to pouring into a white cup (it has to be a white cup or at least the interior must be white).

Now the ritual beings; the seeker (the person who drinks and requests his/her cup to be tossed) drinks the cup of tea, leaving only a small amount of liquid and tea leaves behind.

The reader now takes the cup with his/her left hand and turns the cup three times in a counter-clockwise direction. The seeker is then asked to turn the cup over onto the saucer and to place his/her left hand on the upside-down cup, and turn it again three times counter-clockwise with the teacup handle facing the reader.

The reader carefully turns the cup upright avoiding any disruption of the tea leaves. The concentration of the reader is very important, there must be peace and quite while the reader interprets the tea leaves.

Also, the timing of events is important within the reading, usually a reading is for a one month period, however, an excellent reader can predict a lifetime of events.  A symbol at the cup’s rim indicates an immediate event; things that are half-way up will occur in two weeks; below those three to four weeks.

Now the reading begins; the reader looks carefully in the cup, checks the disposition, formation, clearness and size of the tea leaves before he/she begins the reading.  Sprigs and stalks represent people; tightly curled ones are male, loosely curled ones are female. If the tea leaves settles near the cup’s brim, something will happen soon, if tea leaves settle near the cup’s bottom, something will happen in the distant future.

Tea leaves that settle near the rim of the cup foretell happy events, whereas, tea leaves that settle near the bottom foretell sad events.

Tea leaves that settle close to the cup’s handle suggest home and family, whereas, tea leaves that settle farthest suggest strangers.

Tea leaves that settle to the right of the cup’s handle suggest events or people coming into your life, whereas, tea leaves that settle to the right suggest events or people leaving your life.

As a reader you must be intuitive, focus, imaginative and creative when reading symbols.  Listed below are a few symbols and meanings that can help you when deciphering or tossing the cup:

  • Acorn – at the top means success and gain: At the bottom means good health.
  • Aircraft – journey; if broken means danger of accident; can also mean a rise in position
  • Anchor – at top rest, stability, constancy; at bottom means clouded, inconstancy
  • Apple – achievement
  • Axe – difficulties; if at top overcoming of difficulties
  • Baby- small worries
  • Bag – a trap; if open, escape
  • Ball – variable fortunes
  • Bell – unexpected news; good if near top
  • Birds – good news
  • Boat – visit from a friend, protection
  • Book – if open it’s good news; if closed you need to investigate something
  • Bush – new friend or opportunities
  • Butterfly – fickleness
  • Cabbage – jealousy; with dots means at work
  • Candle – help from others
  • Cap – trouble
  • Cat – deceit, a false friend
  • Chain – engagement, a wedding
  • Chair – a guest
  • Cigar – a new friend
  • Circle – success, completion; with dots means a baby
  • Clock – better health
  • Clouds – trouble; with dots means many problems
  • Coin – money coming
  • Comb – an enemy
  • Cross – suffering, sacrifice
  • Cup – reward
  • Dagger – danger from self or others; beware
  • Dish – trouble at home
  • Dog – good friend; if at bottom friend needs help
  • Door – odd event
  • Duck – money coming
  • Egg – good omen
  • Elephant – wisdom and strength
  • Envelope – good news
  • Eye – caution
  • Face – a change, may be a setback
  • Fan – flirtation
  • Feather – lack of concentration
  • Fence – limitations, minor setbacks, not permanent
  • Finger – emphasizes whatever sigh it points at
  • Fire – at top achievement; at bottom danger of haste
  • Fish – good fortune
  • Flag – danger
  • Fly – domestic annoyance
  • Fork – false flattery
  • Forked Lined – decision
  • Fruit – prosperity
  • Gate – opportunity, future success
  • Glass – integrity
  • Glow – a challenge
  • Goat – be careful of enemies
  • Grapes – happiness
  • Gun – anger
  • Hammer – hard work needed
  • Hand – if open means friendship; if closed means an argument
  • Harp – love, harmony
  • Hat – improvement, especially in a new job
  • Hawk – jealousy
  • Heart – pleasure, love, trust
  • Horse – if galloping means good news; if just the head means a lover
  • Horseshoe – good luck
  • Hourglass – need to decide something
  • House – security
  • Iceberg – danger
  • Insect – problems are minor and you will easily overcome
  • Jewels – gifts
  • Kangaroo – harmony at home
  • Kettle – any illness is minor
  • Kite – wishes coming true
  • Knife – broken friendship
  • Ladder – promotion, a rise in life
  • Lamp – at the top means a feast; at the side means secrets revealed; at the bottom means postponement
  • Leaf – new life
  • Letter – news
  • Lines – if straight means progress; if wavy means uncertain path
  • Lion – influential friends
  • Lock – obstacles
  • Loop – avoid impulsive actions
  • Man – near handle means a visito
  • Mask – excitement; insecurity
  • Mountain – great goals but with many difficulties
  • Mouse – theft
  • Mushroom – at top means journey or moving to the country; near bottom means rapid growth; if reversed means frustration
  • Nail – injustice, unfairness
  • Necklace – complete, admirers; if broken means danger of losing a lover
  • Needle – recognition, admiration
  • Oak – health, long life
  • Octopus – danger
  • Ostrich – travel
  • Owl – gossip, scandal
  • Palm Tree – success, honour
  • Parasol – new lover
  • Parrot – a journey, but also can mean people talking
  • Pig – greed
  • Pistol – danger
  • Purse – at top means profit; at bottom means loss
  • Question Mark – need for caution
  • Rabbit – need for bravery
  • Rake – watch details
  • Raven – bad news
  • Ring – at top means marriage or the offer of marriage; at bottom means long engagement; if broken means engagement broken off
  • Rose – popularity
  • Saw – interference
  • Scale- legal issues; if balanced means just result; if unbalanced means unjust result
  • Scissors – quarrels, possibly separation
  • Sheep – good fortune
  • Shell – good news
  • Shelter – danger of loss or ill health
  • Ship – worthwhile journey
  • Shoe – change for the better
  • Snake – an enemy, but also wisdom
  • Spider – reward for work
  • Spoon – generosity
  • Star – health and happiness, hope
  • Sun – happiness, success, power
  • Sword – arguments
  • Table – social gatherings
  • Tent – travel
  • Thimble – changes at home
  • Tortoise – criticism, usually beneficial
  • Tower – disappointment
  • Tree – improvements
  • Triangle – something unexpected
  • Umbrella – annoyances
  • Urn – wealth and happiness
  • Vase – a friend needs help
  • Violin – egotism
  • Volcano – harmful emotions
  • Wagon – a wedding
  • Wasp – romantic problems
  • Waterfall – prosperity
  • Wheel – if complete means good fortune; if broken means disappointment
  • Wings – messages
  • Wolf – jealousy
  • Yoke – domination
  • Zebra – adventure, especially overseas

pigs may fly, but they are very unlikely birds – hope in vain


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