The Veil

Nationality: American

Primary Language: English

Other language(s):  French

Age: 52

Occupation: n/a

Residence: California

Performance Date: 3-25-18


What it is: Tea Leafs and the Veil

“Papa’s Grandmother had been taught how to read tea leaves from a very young age. She was what is not considered to be a gypsy but in Ireland they call them travelers. So she was an Irsish ‘gypsy’ and would read tea leafs. Even in her old age she would, after drinking tea (afternoon), would read the leaves. My grandfather would have to beg to read the leave, she wouldn’t always do it. She also was said to have second sight (see what would happen in the future). One of her sons had been born with a piece of the placenta attached to his face, and this was considered to be a great omen, so she preserved it. The say is ‘If you were lucky enough to be born with the veil’. When he was in World War II, papa remembers her becoming very concerned about him and sent him the placenta in the mail. He was in a great fierce battle after he had received his mother package and was the only one in his platoon to survive.”

Why they know it:  Meghan was told the story from her father about ‘the veil’ and her grandmother reading the tea leaves but never witnessed it herself.

When is it said: This is a family legend and is told at family events or when sharing family stories to others.

Where did it come from: Ireland

Why it’s said: Enjoyment and nostalgia

How they know it and what it means: This is something that has been passed on.

Thoughts: I have always believed in ‘witches’ and people being able to sense things others can’t. I’ve always believed I have been able to do so as well. So hearing about my Great Great Grandmother, who was able to do something similar makes me feel connected to my ancestors in a completely different way. As well as being connected to a ‘homeland’ I have never been too. Through these investigations I have learned a great deal about myself, my family, my culture, but I have also learned a great deal about the commonalities I have with people I have never met, peoples of lands I have never visited, etc. It makes me feel as if I have a whole new circle of connections and knowledge that I never knew existed.