In the leaves

“I believe people know their future,” she says. “Reading the tea leaves is like reading a person’s subconscious…But it’s like a blueprint, we still have a choice.”

December 6, 2014

I cannot complain: I have had much written by and about me as a tea leaf reader/tarot reader/psychic.

Here is an article written about me:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

June 16, 1999

In the leaves

by Susan Lundy

No matter how I squint my eyes or tilt my head, the small heap piled on the inside of the tea cup looks like nothing more than a clump of tea leaves.

Hard to believe that mess of soggy specks is actually a blueprint of my life for the next 12 months. But I hope it is, because tea cup reader Tanya Lester sees money flowing like a river towards me all summer long.

“There’s gold all around you,” she says. “It will be a good, abundant time.”

The gold of course may have something to do with the multi-hued Angel Mist tea Lester poured us, but I’m willing to accept her word.

She’s been at this business for three years, and when she stares at tea leaves in a cup, she sees pictures and patterns that help her peer into the future.

Today she is set up at Treasured Spirit, where the soft scent of incense has about us in a rear room.

Lester makes a pot of tea and pours us each a cup. It’s important, she says, that I handle the cup and and allow my energy to permeate the vessel.

“I believe people know their future,” she says. “Reading the tea leaves is like reading a person’s subconscious… But it’s like a blueprint, we still have a choice.”

In other words, if we hear something   we don’t like, we can change it. (But I’ll keep the money.)

Lester once saw a burning station wagon in the leaves and discovered her client’s daughter drove a vehicle of that type. She recommended mother and daughter travel together in a different car for the next while.

The prediction allowed the woman to take precautions and divert the course on her life path, Lester says.

Lester, who is also a reiki master and helps people write their life stories, delved into the seer business after purchasing a tea reading book to take to a party. She soon found that referring to the book was interfering with her own intuition.

“I’ve found that the bizarre (images) do fit — you have to take a risk and say what you do see. You use intuition and imagination; it’s like storytelling.”

Originally from Winnipeg, Lester has been on Salt Spring since last July. She felt a “spiritual pull” to the island, but also confesses to succumbing to the beauty and the weather.

Did she consult the leaves before the move?

No. It is hard to be objective when it’s your own future staring at you in a cup, she says, and “some people believe it’s bad luck to read your own leaves.”

But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t consulted other tea leaf readers. One looked into her cup and knew right away Lester was a fellow tea seer. She reiterated the need to toss the book and trust her intuition.

The Angel Mist tea (direct from the Tera Bella Tea Company) has a pleasant fruity flavor. Lester likes to have colour in the tea leaves (and I certainly don’t object to those golden specks) because colour can trigger images.

Once, a yellow-coloured cluser of leaves sang out “yellow dress” to Lester. It turned out the client needed to clean out her life — literally and symbolically — and was considering giving away her favourite (yellow) dress.

Some tea cup readers swear by Chinese or Indian tea, but Lester say they all work because it’s the intuition that’s the focus.

Tea leaf reading probably started in India and spread with the gypsies as they travelled door to door looking into the future of tea-drinking Europeans.

As I finish my tea, Lester has me tilt the cup upside-down on the saucer and turn is clockwise. Then she takes it, puts on her glasses and peers at it intently.

Having peeked at it myself, I know my leaves are all clumped together in one part of the cup. This, she told me earlier, can make it difficult to read.

When the leaves are together, she explains, it usually reflects a “time when there’s not much new happening. When there’s specks of leaves all over the cup it suggests (the client’s) focus is in 10 different directions.”

With that information I figure my leaves should be all over the cup and the saucer, but as Lester begins the reading she gives enough little tidbits to make me wonder if she’d taken a book out on my life the night before.

But as she talks about my kids, not much makes sense.

“Could you have reversed them?” I ask, suddenly realizing that switched, everything falls into place.

Turns out they’re close enough in height to have caused some confusion, and she shows me the image of them lying together under a blanket in bed.

I can see it! However there’s no gold around them — that’s all up at the top near the rim. For me. This summer.

She reads my cup for about 20 minutes and then asks if I have any questions.

I’m a bit stumped here, but most people aren’t, Lester says. Many of her clients ask about romance. Others wonder about work, the direction of their lives, or have specific questions prepared.

One woman wanted to know the outcome of a pending court case. Then, it was more important for Lester to read what wasn’t in the leaves.

“The answer should have stood out but it didn’t,” Lester recalls . In the end, the client didn’t have to go to court.

As I leave Lester and the Treasured Spirit, I clutch several pages worth of predictions — tidbits I intend to evaluate several times over the next 12 months.

And then, it begins. As I walk into my office a few days later, my colleague Gail Sjuberg hands me an envelope.

Inside is a $50 bill from a most unexpected source.

At this rate, drinks are on me in September.


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