Looseleaved: Beginnings

Ella Luna here! Welcome to my final column for Sunset Media Wave. This cycle, I’ll be shifting away from my variations of fiction and instead will be doing something new to both myself and to the column content here at the Wave: tasseomancy!

For those of you who don’t know what tasseomancy is (hopefully, all of you), fear not. I didn’t know the fancy, long-worded term for this either, but I had heard about its colloquial name: tea leaf reading. I was inspired to do this by my AP Studio teacher, who had us read each other’s clay crumbs from our carving project. We used traditional tea leaf reading charts and diagrams, as well as Native American symbols, coffee grounds readings, and even Harry Potter divination guides. It was well-thought through, and I actually got to read the clay of one of the Wave’s own writers, Lily Young, creator of Heart-to-Art. Finding symbols and meanings in the clay and connecting them together was surprisingly calming and natural-feeling to me, and I knew I had to do it again and again, for real. Hopefully, this isn’t a gateway to me ending up holing up in my dorm next year, obsessively staring into a dirty teacup.

This is a weird year for me. I’ve been thinking and worrying about the future a lot, so I thought I would relax myself and others who are probably thinking and worrying about the same things (with warm beverages!), by distracting myself from my own problems and assuaging the doubts of others. Throughout my tea time adventures, I’ll be employing a teapot, so more than one person can enjoy my tea (a nice Taiwanese black tea). After everyone drinks the tea, I will randomly choose one of the drinkers and the analysis I’ve created from the symbols reflected in the way the leaves fall. It’ll be fun and super cryptic, which is the best way for anything to be, ever.

I wanted to do a sample reading for this first intro post, but trying to take a reading from myself proved to be difficult. When I reached the bottom of the cup of tea, the leaves said nothing. I saw a bird, a few, but I generally just make up bird shapes when I can’t see anything. So, instead, I turned to Michael and told him to drink some tea. I had him drink it in a cup on his own (which is actually how you’re supposed to do it, shhhh) rather than reading the teapot, as I will with the other readings. Here is the analysis.


X (twice): Obstacles or losses ahead.
Frog: Fertility/abundance.
Hummingbird: Quickness, rapidity or fluidity of life
Insect: Distractions, need for relaxed focus.
Handkerchief: A cleaning or purge of some kind.
Flower: Praise and compliments.
Dog: Barking: Untrustworthy friend.
Foot: Movement in love, career, or location.


(Quick reference to the only tea leaf reading reference in popular media)

I don’t mean to be vague, but the leaves have been vague with me. Difficulties and stumbling blocks lie in your path, and many of them. They litter the stairs that you currently climb. Keep your eyes open: you will need to react to them with grace, and with quick, decisive actions. Strike hard and true. Think not too much on the things that may pull your attention from what is important, it may lead to your downfall or lead you to lose something. Cleanse yourself of these things; these things that work in dark corners to stray the sharpness of your focus. However, fear not, drinker: for you will arise from this turmoil, and with flying colors. You may even be able to shake the unhealthy attitude of an untrustworthy friend. If you meet all the conditions properly, you may emerge with a level-headed mind, which will be well noted by others. Use your mind; clearly, you have done things like this before. You are experienced in life, and will grow for the better from this experience.