Tasseography, otherwise known as tasseomancy or tassology, is the art of tea leaf reading. "Tasse" or "tass" is an Arab root, meaning small cup or goblet.
Tea leaf reading is an ancient practice interpreting patterns made by tea leaves in the cup. In addition to the reading of tea leaves, the tradition of tasseography includes the reading of coffee grounds and wine sediments.
Although tasseography is commonly associated with Gypsy fortunetellers, the tradition of tea leaf reading arises independently from Asia, the Middle East and Ancient Greece. Modern tasseography has also been associated with the Scottish, Irish and cultures throughout Eastern Europe.
The significance of the ubiquitous, cross cultural and historical pervasiveness of tea, coffee and sediment reading may be related to the primal human desire for understanding the self. Just as psychological analysis grew prodigiously during the Victorian era, tasseography became popularized as a parlor game. But the practice distinguishes itself from amorphic fortune telling, mystical, occult or other magical activities. Specifically, tasseography is not an application of magic, but rather a tool for tapping into the subconscious by applying meditation to pattern recognition and symbolism.
Tasseography can be a powerful meditative tool providing insights into the reader's subconscious. The signifance of symbolism in psychological study finds theoretical foundation from Plato through Karl Jung. From a modern sociobiological standpoint, procedures such as drinking from the opposite hand, may coordinate left and right brain activity to stimulate creative problem solving. Common sense indicates that slowing down to focus and organize one's own thoughts is an effective problem solving methodology.
The process of tasseography stimulates the imagination to create individualized interpretations and solutions. Tea leaf reading is a fun, healthful and creative way to listen to yourself.