Cultivating intuition through tea leaf readings by Ciaran J. Keast

Many of us have been taught that our intuition is bad or faulty. As someone who was raised religious and socialized female, that message was especially strong; I quickly learned to resist the magic of following my gut.

And yet, that quiet inner voice never fully went away, and when I was brave enough to listen to it, I found that it was always right. As an adult, part of my path to wholeness has been learning how to use my intuition more – and that’s where tea leaf reading comes in.

The art of reading tea leaves is a method of divination that looks for symbols and patterns in loose tea leaves. The reader can then use these symbols to gain a better picture of what’s going on in their life, get advice for a particular problem, or learn about events that will happen in the future.

You can use a symbology dictionary to interpret the leaves, but you’ll very often encounter symbols that won’t appear in any kind of symbology book or magical tradition (hedgehogs in party hats or anime characters, anyone?). The best and most accurate readings I’ve done come from using my intuition; the more I follow my inner guidance, the more I’ve found the tea leaves to be strikingly accurate, especially when it comes to showing what’s going on in our inner landscapes and nudging us toward the things we need in our lives.

The neat thing is, the more you use your intuition in one area, the easier it is to use it in others.

Want to try it? Be mindful of your gut feelings in different situations: interacting with people, choosing what to take when you leave the house, doing your own divination or magical practice. Keep a journal of all the times you’ve felt that little tug of intuition and followed it, even if it didn’t seem logical at the time. What was the result? If you need to refer to a symbol directory, try this one! 

I think you’ll find yourself with a growing appreciation for your inner wisdom and innate magic.


Ciaran Keplinger is the Director of Content + Community for Plum Deluxe, a handcrafted tea company here in Portland but is also a tea leaf reader. They have been studying and practicing tea leaf reading for about three years now, and offer an exclusive reading every month to their tea club members.

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