The 101: Tarot, palm and tea leaf readings

Lyndsie Yamrus, Assistant Opinion Editor

Halloween has come and gone, but the fall season is still in full effect. It is a time for fun- pumpkin carving, dressing up, hay rides and so much more. If you’re still in the spooky spirit, you might be interested in some spiritual fun of predicting the future by tarot, palm or tea leaf readings.
Divination is often associated with rituals and tends to contain more religious aspects, but fortune-telling has been accepted in America as an everyday practice that assists in understanding the past, present and future. Fortune telling is most often used for personal gain and awareness. Many dismiss it as bogus, but some of the prediction methods can be fun and inspiring.
There are many ways to do tarot readings, and some are more intricate than others. Readings of all sorts can either be done by someone to you, or alone.
One of the most basic tarot spreads is the Five Card Spread. This spread is meant to propose a course of action for a certain problem. The cards are placed into a diamond shape in a certain numerical order, designed to offer insights into the past, present, future, the potential within the situation and the reason behind the question. The fortune teller will usually speak from her own knowledge about what your cards mean, but guides are available if you are doing the reading yourself.
During a palm reading (palmistry), the reader studies the unique lines on a person’s hand to find meaning. The positions, relative sizes and intersections of the palm lines supposedly reveal different things about your life, similar to the tarot.
Major lines include the heart, head and life lines. The heart line is also known as the love line and depicts the health and status of the heart, for example, your relationships.  The head line reveals intellectual and intuitive information about an individual. The life line reveals information about overall relationships, emotions and life encounters.
Minor lines reveal pieces of information about a person’s interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses. Hand shapes, finger shapes and fingerprints also contribute different pieces of information about the individual. The thing about palmistry is that everything is relative.
Tealeaf readings, or tasseography, is a method of fortune telling by reading leaf patterns formed in a teacup. This is not rocket science. You can interpret the patterns any way you want and there is no right or wrong answer. Some people might see an apple, which depicts something about knowledge. Others might see that “apple” as a dog, which represents loyalty.
When I was younger, I was very interested in this type of stuff. I’ll even admit that I charged crystals and gemstones, followed the zodiac, attempted to see things in crystal balls…the works.  Some of it you really have to devote yourself to in order to make yourself believe.
But I realized that methods such as these aren’t meant to be tell-alls. What they really do is cause your brain to manipulate the “meaning” of the reading into what you really want deep down. If the cards “tell you” that you should take caution in your relationship, you probably already knew that, but might not have been fully aware.  If you see a bird pattern in your cup, there’s probably some good news in your life, but come on. People get good news all the time.
If you’re getting a reading done to you, it could be interesting because the person might not know you at all. He or she could say anything to you, and your brain will instantly heighten your awareness and relate the reading to something in your life that you thing it should be related to.
So go ahead, see what you can get out of your subconscious self- it might just give you the direction you need.

Cheat Sheet:

Suit of Cups: The cups suit is representative of the element Water. The cup cards deal with emotions of love, feelings, connections and relationships. Negative meanings of the cups could be feelings of repression, lack of passion, disengagement and unrealistic expectations.

Suit of Pentacles: The pentacles suit  is representative of the element Earth and covers material aspects of life, including property, money, work and material possessions. Negative aspects of the suit include greed, possessiveness and over-indulging, among others.

Suit of Swords: The swords suit is representative of the element Air. The suit covers more powerful and dangerous things such as conflict, destruction, change, force and power. Anger, negative judgement and abuse are common aspects of this suit.

Suit of Wands: The wands suit is representative of the element Fire. It is the spiritual suit, associated with strength, determination, consciousness and core beliefs. Negative aspects include egotistical behavior, lack of direction and impulsiveness.