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Posted By Susan Bernhardt
Since ancient times, the art of tea-leaf reading has 
fascinated tea drinkers. Believers in tasseology, the mystical art 
of tea-leaf reading, are convinced that the wet tea leaves 
scattered in their cup after the tea has been drunk are their 
personal guide to future events.

In the Kay Driscoll mystery series, Kay's two best friends, 
Elizabeth and Deirdre are recurring characters. Deirdre, has a 
passion for astrology, tarot cards, and tea-leaf readings. The 
following could be a typical scene with the three of them.

Kay and Elizabeth were at Deirdre's discussing Sudbury Falls ever-
decreasing population. Another death, ruled accidental, had 
occurred. Kay decided to investigate, so justice could prevail.

Kay noticed how unusually quiet and preoccupied Elizabeth 
appeared. "Elizabeth, you've hardly said a word. What's wrong?"

"I've been thinking about how unsuccessful I am with love."

Elizabeth spoke the truth, staying in a loveless marriage for 
twenty years because of her son. After her divorce she threw all 
caution to the wind, going from one relationship to another. She 
had fallen again, head over heels for a man.

"I'm wondering what my chances are with John."

"I could read your tea leaves," Deirdre said.

Kay gave Deirdre an incredulous stare. Elizabeth's inevitable eye 
roll that Kay expected did not appear. Instead she had a gleam in 
her eyes. "Sounds like fun," Elizabeth said.

Deirdre ignored Kay. "I'll go make a pot of tea." Minutes later, 
Deirdre returned carrying the tea on a bamboo tray. "I used my 
special homegrown tea leaves. Let's go to my sanctuary."

Kay looked at Elizabeth and raised her eyebrows. They followed 
Deirdre into a cozy room in the back of her home. An antique tea 
table stood in the center with green plants and pots of herbs 
scattered around the room. With a touch of a button, New Age music 
poured from the wall speakers. Deirdre lit several candles.

In a calming voice Deirdre extended her hands and said, 
"Elizabeth, please hold my hands, close your eyes and relax, 
breathe deeply. Visualize the tension leaving your body." After a 
couple minutes, Deirdre poured the tea.

"Elizabeth, sip your tea and think about what you want to learn. 
When there's about a teaspoon left in your cup, stop and I'll tell 
you what to do next. Kay, if you like, you can do the same."

"Thanks, I think I'll just observe. Delicious tea though."

"Elizabeth, now hold your cup in your left hand and turn it 
anticlockwise three times. Then turn your cup upside down on your 
saucer. Allow the remaining liquid to drain out of it. When you 
are finished, please hand me your cup."

Elizabeth did as directed. Deirdre held Elizabeth's cup with the 
handle pointing towards her own body and studied the tea leaves. 
Elizabeth looked up at Kay. Did Elizabeth take this seriously?

"Your question concerns your happiness with John. The leaves 
scattered nearest the handle deal with your personal life. The 
leaves at the bottom represent difficult emotions. Luckily, yours 
aren't there. Those to the right of the handle, your future. Yours 
are towards the right and around the rim telling of happy events."

"What about the tea leaves that fell on the saucer?" Kay asked.

"Oh, that's a good sign! I need to focus on the leaves."

We sat silently. Then Deirdre spoke. "I have your answer."

Kay focused on an abstract painting on the wall waiting to hear 
Deirdre's words. She didn't want Deirdre to see her disbelief. 

"And?" Elizabeth asked.

"I see a butterfly symbolizing pleasure, a tree and fleur-de-lys 
close to the handle meaning happiness and success with the 
assistance of someone special."

"Lovely!" Elizabeth brightened. 

Kay looked over at the cup. All she could see were the tea leaves 
in an indiscriminate state. But, Deirdre's predictions had already 
come true. Elizabeth's attitude changed from night to day. 

Deirdre glanced at Kay's teacup and smiled. Seeing this, Kay stood 
up and started clearing the table.



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Susan Bernhardt


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