That’s a silly question, but if an ounce of your heritage is from India, China or Europe you could have fun making that claim at a tea party.
Some say Tea Leaf Reading (TLR) originated in ancient China soon after the discovery of tea around the year 2737 BCE. (!) Back then, the Chinese had not yet even begun to think about sharing their teas with the rest of the world. Other cultures were growing and consuming teas too however.
Several varieties of tea are indigenous to eastern and northern India, where it was also cultivated and consumed for thousands of years. During the British occupation, tea from China was introduced to India and the rest as they say is history.
The popularity of TLR in North American culture nowadays may well have originated with the Romani people. My understanding is this origin story can be traced far, far back in time to at least the first century CE when the original Romani left their homes in India, settling in Roman-Egypt, eventually settling in Europe and the Byzantine Empire. Over time the Romani migrated widely; modern day DNA studies indicate people with Romani heritage are now found in every country of the world. Romani have no “country of their own”; throughout history, even within the past decade, they have been persecuted sometimes with insane ferocity, just about everywhere they went. The word “gypsy” was often applied to the Romani, at times in a very derogative sense.
Read more about the Romani people and their history here: https://www.livescience.com/40652-facts-about-roma-romani-gypsies.html
It is unclear why the Romani emigrated from the Indian subcontinent; perhaps to escape the caste system, perhaps to trade. Some say the medieval European Romani fortune tellers also developed a form of reading splatters of wax, lead and other molten substance. Coffee grounds or tea leaves were always a preferred medium, where available.
In Asia, the Middle East, Ancient Greece and in Middle Eastern cultures they typically used coffee grounds early on. Modern tea leaf reading really took off in the 17th century, when tea from China was introduced to India and Europe.
The Romani people continued to spread tea leaf readings throughout Europe, even going door-to-door to offer tea leaf reading services. By the mid-1800s there were many tea parlors and tea rooms offering tea leaf readings to guests. As life was often discussed over a cup of tea, people realized that they could see their discussions reflected in their tea leaves.
North Americans began opening tea parlors after WW1. They would serve light snacks with the tea, then offer to read the leaves afterwards to further increase the experience of sharing and community.
The art of TLR was often passed down from generation to generation, primarily but not exclusively between women. I learned recently that my grandmother and my uncle used to read tea leaves from time to time.
Clairvoyance is involved in tea leaf reading; anyone can learn. TLR has evolved, has been improved through time and integration with other shamanic methods.
Today, over five thousand years since TLR was “discovered”, this truly ancient psychic art form can be done across time and space, thanks to the “magic” of the internet. Or IS it in everyone’s DNA now? J
By Patricia Haggard
May 20, 2021