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I Had My Tea Leaves Read by Kim Kardashian's Psychic

I went to have my tea leaves read by spiritualist to the stars, Jayne Wallace. Between her lack of a porcelain cup and her chillingly accurate observations about my relationship with my father, the whole experience can be summed up in one word: spooky.
October 18, 2015, 3:00pm
Photo via Flickr user brightonmike / mdteachop.co.uk

"Your dad is a stubborn old sausage. He doesn't undermine you. But he wants you to have a proper job."

Crikey. She's good.

I'm in Selfridges on Oxford Street having my tea leaves read by spiritualist to the stars, Jayne Wallace. Tracey Emin, Duncan James, Kim Kardashian—down the years, Wallace has thumbed the crystal balls of many of the modern greats. Larry King considers her a legend.

Sorry, Larry, but I'm a tad sceptical.

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I'm certainly going against the grain. Divination has played a big part in pretty much every major civilization since the dawn of humankind—from ancient Egyptians to Romani people. And tasseography, in particular, has been a stalwart of the spiritual world since 17th-century merchants shipped and sipped the first brew to these shores.

Still, it's tea. What can a cup of bloody Tetley teach me?

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My scepticism isn't particularly helped when Wallace tells me she hasn't actually got any loose tea. Instead, she cracks open a tea bag like a teenager eager to try out his first condom. She also doesn't have any porcelain cups, or even mugs, so we're stuck with using a paper one, the kind they serve Bovril in on the footy terraces.

I attempt a sip of tea to calm the nerves. It's insipid and tepid. I'm more of a Yorkshire tea man myself. But awaiting my potential doom, I'm rather in the mood for a tequila.

As Wallace pours, she tells me the tea itself has nothing to do with the reading. The tea is simply a 'tool' just like palmistry or tarot cards are a tool. Something that links psychic energy in order to connect the client to the spiritual world. Crystals, auras, coffee, they're all tools—and sitting in Selfridges at ten in the morning about to have my tea bag read by a celebrity psychic, I feel like one, too.

She hands me the cup, now a swirling wet galaxy of tea leaves and water. I have to hold it to imbue the leaves with my spiritual energy. I can drink it if I want, but I don't have to.

"It's not about the water," Wallace explains. "It's about the leaves and the energy you put into them. You have to have something quite fine because you need to create pictures. Basil wouldn't work, for instance. The leaves have to stay close together."

I attempt a sip of tea to calm the nerves. It's insipid and tepid. I'm more of a Yorkshire tea man myself. But awaiting my potential doom, I'm rather in the mood for a tequila.

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Wallace takes the tea off me and pours it out into a Tupperware. She swills the dregs of the Tetley around in the bottom of the cup and then pours that out, too.

She stares into the bottom of the cup. I'm half expecting a "Watch out!" or a grave expression to creep across her face before I'm ushered out into the department store surrounded by ashen faces and eyeballs lit up with skulls and crossbones. Instead, I find what Wallace does next a little bit disappointing—she bashes the cup against the corner of the coffee table in front of her.

Finally, she smiles. "Have a look in there," she says, handing me the cup. "What do you see?"

…and that's where the whole thing goes a bit fucking weird.

The way tassography works—or any kind of cluster reading, from wax splatters to coffee to urine splash-back, probably—is through symbolism. The patterns and shapes of the leaves that are left in the cup are used, as Wallace says, to "see where you are as a person and to look into your past, present, and future." More specifically, the symbols you see in the leaves at the bottom of the cup represent the past, present, and personality characteristics. Those on the sides represent the future; those on the rim, outcome and destiny.

These symbols stand for certain things. Some are pretty standard: stars relate to dreams and ambitions; hearts, romance and relationships; mountains, a challenge up ahead which you'll overcome and get over. Other symbols aren't so obvious: a snake means falsehood; a spade, good fortune; a house, change and success.

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The pattern in my cup was pretty interesting, to say the least. At the centre, in the bottom of the cup, were what I interpreted as a man and a woman holding hands under a crescent moon, as a constellation of stars spun all around them. Yes. I know that sounds mad but, in actual fact, if you look at the photo I took on my phone it's hard to dispute that's what the picture shows.

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All of these symbols and patterns and images are open to interpretation, and this is where the seer earns her coin.

"I see a man and a woman there," Wallace says. "They're dancing and, to me, there's a lot of nighttime energy. The moon. The couple. He has a smiley face, look. And there's a bird flying, which says you're a very free person, very creative and passionate. But also somebody who doesn't like to be told what to do…"

If she was cold reading me, I'm quite an easy target. For instance, she said the stars suggest I lead a 'scattered life.' Well, I look like the kind of person who's a bit scattered (read: homeless).

At the arrival of these symbols, Wallace is alive with speculation. If this was a parlour trick, it was a pretty damn cool one to witness first-hand—and as much as some of her suggestions were way off the mark (a passion to move to Latin America, for instance) some really hit home, right in the solar plexus. How could she know that?

Of course, the things she pointed out can be said of a lot of people. If she was cold reading me, I'm quite an easy target. For instance, she said the stars suggest I lead a "scattered life." Well, I look like the kind of person who's a bit scattered (read: homeless). She also said I tend to "go for weirdos" which is something anyone could say of anyone; no one considers their partners to be straight-edge and boring, do they? It's the idiosyncrasies we fall for.

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Conversely though, there were things she couldn't have picked up on so easily. I imagine most childless thirty-somethings give off a sense of pedophobia, in the sense that we kind of want kids but we're scared shitless of actually having them. But Wallace identified it as my "worst fear" because I can't take care of myself "let alone a baby". And the kid thing is just one example of any number of observations Wallace made that had me on the mental ropes. As with any story, it's not what you say, it's the way that you say it.

Maybe I was spun a yarn. Maybe I wanted Wallace to give me a few answers. Whatever was going on in that ball of wool mind of mine, I didn't walk out feeling Wallace was a fraud. I left thinking she got it, she got me. Of course, that doesn't mean she did. It's just the way I felt. Enlightened, accepted, and understood. Like I say, it was fucking weird.

The whole experience can be summed up in one word: spooky. Especially the bit when she said she was communicating with someone from the spirit world called 'Rose'.

The only Rose I know is still alive…

At least… I think she is…