For our first meet-up of 2014, we had a crafternoon decorating cups, mugs, and saucers for tea-leaf reading. We convened at the Burrow with cheaply-bought or thrift-store-rescued crockery and a whole lot of Sharpies. Before we got started, Christina read to us from that font of all Muggle knowledge, Wikipedia, about Tasseography/Tasseomancy. There’s a lot of history behind it, starting from methods of reading wax spatters or other molten substances. (We don’t recommend lava-reading). The practice transformed into tea- and coffee-reading once those substances were introduced to Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
We also learned about some of the different methods of designing cups and reading the tea. Some cups and saucers have meaningful symbols, such as the zodiac, already designed on them. (I decided to go on this theme, as you can see, at left). Others use playing cards, which seems a bit like merging Tarot-reading with tasseomancy, or else common symbols with their own altheiometer-like meanings. Other methods, however, use a plain cup and interpret meaning based on the shape the dregs form, not just where they land.
So, armed with those variant possibilities, we set to work. Dylan put the Grim in his and decorated the exterior with a favourite fandom design. Amanda also went with a tea-leaf esque design and a quote from the books, while JohnMichael went with a Snitch theme. Christina put a bunny in hers, Noah turned pre-existing figures on his cup into wizards, and Caroline chose a bold red design (below). You can see more pictures of everyone’s work, and a few of the works-in-progress, on our Facebook album.
For anyone who wants to try this, we discovered that using a pencil or a ballpoint pen to trace out your design works really well — you can smudge it out with a bit of spit or alcohol if you make a mistake. Working with the Sharpies takes a steady hand! But even those mistakes can be remedied with a little alcohol. The designs need to sit for 24 hours before getting baked on in an oven.
The Greys are firing everything in their oven today, so perhaps sometime soon, we’ll have a meeting where we actually do readings!