Reading tea leaves – how much more esoteric can one get! One might expect to find this in a quaint little tearoom, or perhaps in a Harry Potter movie, but as an everyday part of life … something that we can all do? Not without years of training, and a very will developed intuition and imagination. In reality, Rae Hepburn did have years of training … from her father, who studied Oriental and Indian metaphysical philosophies. Her father invented games for her when she was a child, games that were based on intuition. One of their favorite games was absorbing energy from another person's aura and interpreting it. Hepburn learned to go with her gut feeling, bypassing the logical processes of the brain.
Hepburn learned tea leaf reading from an Aunt. Hepburn's friends were eager to learn tea leaf reading, and asked her to compile a list of images and their meanings. The list that she compiled was daunting – 500 images, and their associated meanings. Seeing that memorizing this list could be rather over-whelming, Hepburn decided to develop a set of cards that would serve the same purpose as the images in the tea leaves. To make the list more manageable, Hepburn concentrated on the images that appeared most frequently, eliminating the ones that rarely appeared. She also eliminated symbols that duplicated the meaning of another symbol. The cards are round, so that they resemble a teacup. A personal thought here is that round cards can also convey degrees of meaning (as part of a circle of 360 degrees).
The deck and companion book come is s sturdy cardboard box, with a cover that lifts up, but not completely off. There are two sections for the cards, along with a gold bag to place them in so that they can be mixed and drawn for readings.
The 98-page companion book begins with a history of tea and tea leaf reading, then moves into the actual manner in which tea leaves are read from actual tea. I found this to be both complex and fascinating. I also found myself thanking my lucky stars that I was going to be reading from a deck of cards! This section also gives an example of one type of Tea Leaf reading - Reading For The Coming Year.
Three methods are presented for using the Tea Leaf Fortune Cards – (1) The Coming Year, (2) The Coming Week, and (3) Astral House Pyramid. The suggestion is made that the reader use the Coming Year reading first, so that the Seeker's long term energy has time to be absorbed. I am fascinated by this method, as the reader ends up with four cards for each month, which are then interpreted together. One card is drawn for each month, then the cards are remixed, and the next round is drawn. Quite interesting! For the coming week, seven cards are drawn, mixing the cards between draws, with the Seeker concentrating on what is going on in their life. The cards are read as a whole, as a story, rather than as individual days.
The Astral House Pyramid begins with the Seeker picking an Astral House card that represents the area of their life that they want to know more about. Underneath this card are placed three lines of cards – two cards in the first line, three cards in the second line, and four cards in the third line. Each line represents things that could happen within that number of days, weeks or months. Sample readings are presented for each of the three spread types. The imagery in the cards is presented in a very gentle, “Currier & Ives” type manner, circular in nature, to fit in with the card itself. The edges blend into the card, rather than standing out against it. Symbols are diverse, including Angel, Apple, Axe, Bat, Bread, Butterfly, Candle, Claw, Harp, Nest, Older Man, Older Woman, Torch, Wheel and Wreath. I found the depth of symbols to represent life and its issues and situations very well. Anyone, from any background, could read well with these cards. It is a fun system to work with, but it is also accurate. (My readings did reflect what was going on in my life, and my clients’ lives.) Whether reading the cards for pleasure, or looking for specific answers, the Tea Leaf Fortune Cards have wonderful insight to offer!
—Bonnie Cehovet, Aeclectic Tarot
"The drinking of tea and the reading of tea leaves to divine the future are so intertwined that the history of one cannot be told without the other," starts the book that accompanies this unique oracle deck. If you've ever been interested in reading tea leaves but found memorizing the 500+ symbols daunting, this deck has condensed the most frequently found tea leaf symbols and incorporated them into a clever deck that mimics the tea leaf reading experience. With round cards that are designed to represent round teacups (and keywords/phrases to help you springboard into a reading), this pleasant deck will create a unique reading experience with some surprising results.
An actual soft-cover instruction book is included, 98 pages of high quality matte stock paper. This book is a dramatically improved version of the previous book from the first printing, with new pictures of actual tea leaf readings and much more detailed interpretations of the card symbols. The meanings of the cards are expanded in the book, based on traditional tea leaf interpretations that have been passed down through generations.
The most unique trait of this deck is the clever shape of round cards to mimic teacups. The packaging of this deck is gorgeous; I am not sure how something of such quality slipped through at such a low price. There is a *lot* here for the price.
I have had some great fun with this deck. I was originally introduced to it by my own psychic, who gave me a whopper of a reading with it several years ago, sending me on a wild goose chase on the Internet to find one for myself. At the time, the deck was out of print and selling for over a hundred dollars in many forums. What a delight that it is back in print and very affordable. This is a completely unique oracle system, and can be used independently or in conjunction with other oracles such as runes, angel cards, or tarot cards. While it is a friendly deck with some delightful cards, you will also find some difficult cards that mirror many of the tough situations we come to a reading to explore (real life!).
This deck is a bounty, and you get more than what you pay for. I love that there are no borders, and the smaller size of the cards makes them easy to handle. The colors are both rustic (to match the feel of tea leaf history) and bright. From front to back, this deck is an excellent production and very fun to use in readings.
—Donnaleigh De LaRose, Divine Whispers
I could not be any happier with these cards, they are amazing! These have to be my favorite if not top 3 of decks (I have a library of them). Having read the section in the book on how to read actual tea leaves, I'm actually quite happy Hepburn came out with these cards as an alternative! There are quite a few cards in the deck which I love because I feel as though the reading is more specific this way. Great card stock, pretty card backs and the overall energy of these cards is lovely.
Packaging is giftbox style and you can store it in your bookshelf, much like an actual book. Comes with a gold drawstring bag although I'm not really sure what to do with it. Nice touch anyway. I love the round shape for a change which feels nice in your hand while shuffling. If you cut the deck in half you can manage to riffle shuffle and I can still do that other shuffle type with the whole deck. I highly highly recommend these cards as a gift to someone who reads (or not, even) they are so wonderful!
— R. Tcherkez, Amazon customer
Rae Hepburn’s Tea Leaf Fortune Cards offer a unique way of reading both cards and tea leaves. I’ve been reading cards for over 20 years – everything from Tarot to Lenormand to Gypsy Witch. I’ve also been reading tea leaves for years. I really have to say that Rae Hepburn did a fantastic job with this deck. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, it’s also extremely accurate. The cards are round like a teacup, with the symbol in the center – much like the bottom of a tea cup. The name of the symbol and its meaning are printed on the cards, making it really easy to do a reading without the book and without having to memorize the meanings of 182 cards. The book that comes with the Tea Leaf Fortune Cards is filled with useful information. It teaches how to do an actual tea leaf reading, complete with illustrations to help you to understand how images in a cup are read. The cards are very easy-to-use, with no learning curve. Simply open the deck and draw cards. That’s all there is to it! Every Tea Leaf Fortune Card spread I have done has been spot on. That’s the true sign of an excellent deck
— Brigitte, teaanswers.com