The knack: How to read your tea leaves,

"Use Darjeeling, Assam, or Chinese green tea; they have big leaves and form the best pictures. Use a cup which is not fluted or shaped, preferably white and definitely not a mug. Add milk and sugar if you want, it doesn't matter. After drinking, swirl the cup anti-clockwise three times, and then drain the dregs of liquid off, leaving the leaves in the bottom. Then look for the pictures. It's quite straightforward - anything that looks like a ring is likely to be a wedding, journeys are represented by boats or birds, and anything that looks like a knife or other weapon means a possible attack of some sort, although not necessarily physical.

It helps to have an artistic eye and it's very much to do with intuition. Generally speaking if the leaves are towards the rim, the events predicted will be happier than if the leaves were at the bottom: if they are bunched to the side, where the handle is, the reading has got far more to do with home and domestic matters than if on the other side, where they are more to do with business and worldly matters. Also, if something is pointing towards the handle, then that thing is coming to the person; it's like fate, they haven't got to make much effort. But if it points in the other direction then they've got to make it happen themselves. Sometimes you'll get a few leaves and stalks floating to the top before you drink, and they have a meaning as well - if you're looking for a tall dark handsome man look for a tall dark handsome stalk!" Interview by Fiona McClymont

Sasha Fenton is a writer specialising in mind, body and spirit titles including `Astrology ... On the Move!' (Zambezi, pounds 10.95)

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