Reading Tea Leaves
The best kind of tea to use if tea-cup reading is to be followed is China tea, Indian tea and the cheaper mixtures contain so much dust and so many fragments of twigs and stems that often times they will not combine to form pictures or symbols clearly to be discerned. The best shape of cup to use is one with a wide opening at the top and a bottom not to small.

Cups with almost perpendicular sides are very difficult to read, as the symbols cannot be seen properly, and the same could be said of small cups. A plain surface cup is the best to use and the interior should be white and have no patterns printed upon it.

The ritual to observe is very simple. The tea drinker should drink the contents of his or her cup so as to leave only about half a teaspoonful of the beverage. They should next take the cup by the handle in their left hand, rim upwards, and turn it three times from left to right in one fairly rapid swinging movement. They should then very slowly and carefully invert it over the saucer and leave it there for a minute, to permit all the moisture to drain away. The cup to be read should be held in the hand and turned about in order to read the symbols without disturbing them, which will not happen if the moisture has been properly drained away.

The handle represents the consultant, by this fixed point, judgments are made about journeys from home, messages or visitors to be expected, relative distance and so forth. The bottom of the cup represents the remoter future foretold; the side of the cup represents not to be far distant, and matters symbolized near the rim are those that may be expected to occur quickly. The fortune may be equally well told whether there are many or few leaves, but of course there must be some.

To find what the symbol really means to you, look at the symbol, what first comes to mind? Look only at the qualities associated with your question, or if you didn't ask a question apply the symbol's meaning to your life.

Below are some traditional / suggested meanings of symbols, if you disagree with the meaning, disregard it and go with what it means to you...

Acorn: Men, youth, improvement in health, continued health and strength
Airplane: Travel, new projects
Anchor: Voyage, rest, a lucky sign, Success in business and love
Angel: good news, especially good fortune in love
Apes: secret enemies
Apples: long life, gain by commerce
Apple Tree: change for the better arch, a journey abroad
Arrow: a disagreeable letter from the arrow's direction, misfortune overcome by patience; or a legacy axe, difficulties overcome, news
Badger: long life and prosperity as a bachelor
Basket: Gift, an addition to the family
Baby: New interests
Bat: fruitless journeys or tasks
Bear: a long period of travel
Bees: Industry, frugalness, hard work
Bell: Celebrations, marriage (Bells ring in the new but also ring out the old. The bell may be tolling hard times as well.)
Bird: Psychic powers, movement, motion, good luck, a lucky sign; good news if flying, a fortunate journey
Boat: Discoveries, a friend will visit
Book: Wisdom
Bridge: a favorable journey
Broom: Cleanliness, feminity, domesticity, purification, healing, warfare with negativity
Bull: slander by an enemy
Bush: an invitation into society
Butterfly: Frivolous things, non-essentials, success and pleasure
Cage, prison bars: restriction, isolation, solitude
Camel: a burden to be patiently borne
Car: approaching wealth, visits from friends
Castle: unexpected fortune or legacy
Cat: Wisdom, intellectualism, aloofness, difficulties caused by treachery
Cathedral: great prosperity
Cauldron: Transformation, great change, women, new beginnings, endings
Chain: an early marriage; if broken, trouble in store
Chair: an addition to the family
Church: a legacy
Circles: money or presents
Clock: Death, time in any manifestation, change
Clouds: Headaches, mental problems, the mind, thoughts, a serious trouble; if surrounded by dots financial success
Clover: a very lucky sign; happiness and prosperity
Coffin: Surprise its not death! A long and boring but not serious illness
Comet: misfortune and trouble
Compass: a sign of traveling as a profession
Cow: Money or a prosperous sign
Cradle: Strangers
Crescent: Freshness, newness, mother, women
Cross: The forces of nature, the elements, great energies at work, a sign of trouble, delay or even death
Crown: Success and honor
Crown and Cross: good fortune resulting from death
Dagger: favors from friends
Dog: Love, fidelity, faithful friends
Donkey: a legacy long awaited
Dove: a lucky symbol; progress in prosperity and affection
Dragon: a great and sudden change
Duck: Wealth, plenty
Eagle: honour and riches through change of residence
Egg: Increase, fertility, luck
Elephant: a lucky sign; good health
Eye: Introspection, inspection, evaluation
Falcon: a persistent enemy
Fish: Sexuality, riches, lucky speculation, good news from abroad; surrounded by dots, Immigration
Flag: danger from wounds inflicted by an enemy
Fire: Purification, change, the will, domination, driving forces
Flower: good fortune, success, happy marriage
Fox: treachery by a trusted friend
Frog: success in love and commerce
Gallows: a sign of good luck
Glove: Luck, protection
Grasshopper: a great friend will become a soldier
Gun, pistol, rifle: Discord, disaster, slander
Hammer: triumph over adversity
Hare: a sign of long journey or return of absent friend
Harp: marriage, success in love
Hat: Rival, honors, success in life
Hawk: an enemy
Heart: Love, pleasures to come
Hen: increase of riches or addition to the family
Horns: Fertility, godliness, spirituality, forces of nature
Horse: Strength, travel, grave, desires fulfilled through a prosperous journey
Horseshoe: Luck, protection, travel, a lucky journey or success in marriage
Hour glass: Caution, imminent peril
House: Success
Hummingbird: Communication, visitors
Jug: good health
Kangaroo: a rival in business or love
Kettle: death
Key: Mysteries, enlightenment, security, prosperity, fertility, money, increasing trade, a good husband or wife
Kite: a sign of lengthy travel leading to honour and dignity
Knife: a warning of disasters through quarrels and enmity
Knot: Manifestation, hindrance, marriage, binding, restriction
Ladder: Turmoil, sun, ascent, descent, evolution, initiation, a sign of travel
Letters: signifies news
Lily: on top of cup, health and happiness, bottom, anger, strife
Lines: indicate journeys and their directions
Lion: Influence, royalty, power, strength, ferocity, greatness through powerful friends
Lock: Obstacles, protection, safety, security
Man: a visitor arriving
Mermaid: misfortune, especially to seafaring persons
Mirror: Reversal, moon, women, love, reflection, beauty, knowledge, transference, communication
Monkey: deception in love
Moon: (as a crescent), prosperity and fortune
Mouse: Theft, danger of poverty through death or swindling
Mushroom: Shelter, food, sudden separation of lovers after a quarrel
Nail: Pain, anguish
Numbers: very lucky, long life, good health, happy marriage
Oblong figures: family or business squabbles Owl: Wisdom, an evil omen, indicative of sickness, poverty, disgrace
Palm tree: good luck, children to a wife, marriage to a maid
Parrot: Brashness, color, scandal, a sign of emigration for a lengthy period
Peacock: Luxury, splendor, vanity, success and acquisition of property; a happy marriage
Pear: great wealth and improved social position
Pig: good and bad luck mixed
Pineapple: Hospitality, easy life
Pine cones: Food, sustenance, winter
Pine tree: continuos happiness
Pistol: disaster
Purse: Gain, money
Rabbit: fair success in a city or large town
Rat: treacherous servants, losses through enemies
Raven: death for the aged, divorce, failure in business
Razor: lovers quarrel and separation
Reptile: Quarrels
Rider: good news from oversees regarding finances
Rifle: a sign of discord and strife
Ring: Marriage, containment, eternity; if near clouds an unhappy marriage
Rose: Love, lost love, richness of life, the past, a lucky sign denoting good fortune and happiness
Saw: trouble brought about by strangers
Scales: Balance, justice, lawsuit
Scissors: Quarrels, separations, illness, separation of lovers
Serpents: spiteful enemies, bad luck, illness
Shell: Creativity good luck, money, prosperity, emotional stability
Ship: Increase, travel, news, successful journey
Skull & Crossbones: Death, resurrection, comfort, consolement
Snake: Wisdom, eternity, masculinity, a man, secrecy, knowledge, or a bad omen. Great caution should be exercised
Spider: Very good fortune, cunning, secrecy, hidden things, a sign of money coming
Spoon: Luck
Squares: comfort and peace
Star: Excellent luck, divine protection, fortune, wealth, high honors, respectability, success, surrounded by dots foretells great fortune
Straight Line: a very pleasant journey
Straight Lines: peace, happiness and long life
Swallow: a journey with a pleasant ending
Swan: Good luck, a lover, a happy marriage
Sword: Life, death, conflicts, arguments, negativity, disputes, quarrels between lovers
Sword (broken): Victory over an enemy
Timber: Logs of timber indicate business success
Toad: deceit and unexpected enemies
Tree: Good luck, forces of nature, age, stability, power, prosperity, and happiness
Triangle: One point up-good luck and unexpected legacies, one point down-bad luck
Turtle: Sluggishness, fertility, retreat, stagnation
Twisted Figures: disturbances and vexation
Umbrella: annoyance and trouble
Unicorn: scandal
Wagon: a sign of approaching poverty
Wavy Lines: Denotes losses and vexation
Well: Spirituality, inspiration, Mother Nature, love
Wheel: Seasons, reincarnation, completion, endings, forever, an inheritance about to come
Windmill: success in enterprise
Wolf: beware of jealous intrigues
Woman: pleasure and happiness, several women indicates scandal
Worms: indicate secret foes, pleasure and happiness
Yew Tree: death of an aged person leaving his legacy to you
Zebra: travel and adventure in foreign lands