Tea Leaf Fortune Cards


Review by Terri Clement

Tea Leaf Fortune Cards by Rae Hepburn illustrated by Shawna Alexander

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., www.usgamesinc.com

ISBN-13: 978-1-57281-670-1

ISBN-10: 1-57281-670-8

Grab a cuppa char.  Sip it down, swirl it around and find your fortune.  Rae Hepburn takes a complex and fascinating system of divination and breaks it down into a simple process that anyone can do, with Tea Leaf Fortune Cards.  Tasseomancy, or tea leaf reading was taught to her as a child, by her aunt and the skill had been passed down through multiple generations in her family.  Her father also studied tasseomancy as well as Oriental and Indian metaphysical philosophies.  The creation of the deck/book set was spawned when Rae was approached by friends, who would ask her to teach them how to read tea leaves.   Rae could not find a quality resource material on the subject.  

The set includes 200 round cards and a 98 page, paperback companion book and a gold organza bag.  The cards measure 3 ¼” in diameter.  The cards are round, in order to represent the tea cup.  The large organza bag measures roughly 10” wide x 12” tall, it’s definitely big enough to hold the cards and the companion book.  The set arrives in a very sturdy box that opens like a chest.

They symbols in tea leaf reading number close to 600.  Rae Hepburn simplified this, by removing symbols that were synonymous or similar in meaning, such as “Apple” and “Bottle,” both represent a temptation.  An apple would represent “a temptation of the mind” and bottle would represent “being tempted by substance that can alter a person’s consciousness.”  Rae chose to combine these two meanings into the symbol of the apple and gave it the meaning “temptation will test you.”  By using this method she was able to bring the actual number of cards down to 182 symbol cards, the balance of the deck are months of the year and Astral House, which include:  Love, Marriage, Happiness, Success, Wealth and Career.  The symbol cards have a red back, the month cards have a purple back and the Astral House cards have a green back.  All of the backs have the same design, filled with swirls and leaves.  The cards are printed on a very flexible cardstock, with a light gloss finish.  Each of the symbol cards has the symbol title on the top and the meaning printed on the bottom.


The imagery is done, by Shawna Alexander, in beautiful water color on a very soft yellow background.  Some of the cards are dark and heavy, while others have much brighter and lighter hues and the images bring to mind traditional Chinese art.  

One of the many amazing images in the deck is that of the Broken Bridge.  This card features a wooden bridge that has been built over a raging river.  There is a heavy storm and sheets of rain pouring down.  The center of the bridge has broken, leaving no way to cross the river.  The meaning printed on the cards says, “Unsuccessful outcome to a problem.”  

Another beautiful image is the Ladder.  This shows a beautiful blue and pink sky filled with wispy, but colorful clouds.  There is a ladder reaching far up into the sky.  The meaning printed on this card says, “Climbing towards success.”

The companion book takes the reader through the very interesting history of tea that dates back to 2737 B.C., how tea has been used throughout time, how tea got its name and the art of tea leaf reading.  The book also teaches the reader three different methods (with illustrations) for tea leaf reading and they include:  The Coming Year Method, The Coming Week Method and the Astral House Pyramid Method.  The remaining portion of the book is dedicated to the meanings of the cards, in a dictionary format.

Tea Leaf Fortune Cards can easily be used right out of the box by seasoned readers as well as the novice.  It would make a nice gift to someone looking for something a little bit different than a standard tarot.  The methods taught with this set can easily be transferred over to reading actual tea leaves.

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