I cradled the tea cup as I swirled it three times. I flipped the cup over onto the saucer and waited for liquid and leaves to illustrate this (so full) life of mine.
Sunday I had a date with a mystic. As with any good first date, there was low lighting, soft music, and lots of anticipation. I came here dressed in my best self: open, attentive, but with all my baggage and bits tidily tucked away under layers of cotton, wool, and denim.
My tea reader held my cup up and over my saucer. She examined my drips. Two drops clung to the edge of the cup. “You are holding on to two main issues”, she says. She shakes the cup a bit. The drops don’t budge. “And the hold is very strong.”
On first glance at my cup, my reader adjusts her glasses and looks at me with soft eyes. “You are in an emotional tangle right now.” I reached for a tissue. “It is quite a mess. But I see a clearing at the bottom.” She showed me my cup. The edges were strewn with tiny bits of brown green matter which slowly dissolved into a patch of clean, white porcelain.
Photograph taken by Shelagh Duffett of Alice in Paris Loves Art and Tea
I have always been a bit of a new age fence sitter. Time and time again, I have dipped my toe into mystic, new age waters but my openness has always been a bit half-hearted. In high school, a friend of mine, who was more messed up than I, but whom I adored ,was really into magic. She was “studying” to be a witch. On weekends I followed her to the magic shop to pick up roots of this and beads of that. I followed her lead and made conjur bags for love and knowledge which I faithfully wore around my neck. I burned sacred candles in my room while I read my own tarot cards using a Coles Notes style tarot book. But in reality, my half-hearted heart thought it was a bit of hooey used as a desperate measure for hope.
A few years ago, my half-hearted heart and I sat in on a tea leaf reading of a friend. The reader revealed things that could not have been assumed – deep, specific things. There began the crack in my practical fence upon which I sat. With every symbol she saw and every nod of my friends head or tear on her cheek, my fence cracked ever so slightly.
Sunday I had a date with a mystic. From the minute her soft eyes looked at me, I found myself slowly release tension and anxiety and gave my heart over to my mystic companion. And my companion saw me. She saw my vulnerability and my truth. She saw my childhood wounds. She saw my adult struggles. And as with any good first date, my companion crashed through my fence and created a big gap – a new opening to other possibilities.