Tarot by the Mouthful Theresa Reed and Kyle Cherek

Kyle is a foodie who loves Tarot. Theresa is a Tarot reader who loves food. 

Together, we host Tarot by the Mouthful: a mouthwatering, multi-media culinary tour through the world of Tarot. 

Sublime recipes. Soulful stories. Essays, videos, interviews and delicious surprises. 

Join us every Sunday for a new installment — and get ready to sip, slurp, crunch and savor your way through the entire Tarot deck! 

This week: Ace of Wands

tarot by the mouthful ace of wands

Ace of Wands: A new creative beginning or job.  A big break.  Possibility or potential.  You’re being offered a chance for a fresh start, an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.  Consider this your green light, your sign that you can go for it without hesitation.  A big thumbs up to any question. The Ace of Wands also portends birth, and that can be the birth of a child or an exciting new project.

Kyle: White Hot

Kyle Cherek and Josh Ozersky

When Buckminster Fuller, inventor, architect, blossomer of ideas and creator of the geodesic dome was asked by child who pointed to logs burning in a fireplace, “What is fire?”  Fuller answered that “ When the log fire pop-sparks, it is letting go a very sunny day long ago, and doing so in a hurry.”

I first discovered that quote after reading the foreword written my late dear friend Josh Ozersky, which he had penned for Smoke: New Firewood Cooking, by Tim Byres.

Considered one the best books on BBQ cookery published in the past few years, I found it while traveling with Josh. Traveling to eat.

We were killing time in a gorgeous, albeit pricey lifestyle store, around the corner from our next meal. The shop was the sort that sells $8,000 suits, modernist etageres, and smart crystal cognac snifters, all on the same receipt.  The book appeared from a shelf in the accessories area, amid a menagerie of what I would call swell gentlemen stuff that no one really needs.

Dinner was next, at what would soon be anointed as one of the best new restaurants in America, but for now, we were content to metaphorically  kick the tires of things we would never buy, and lounge on Ligne Roset sofas that cost more than our cars.

The book had been found by my fiancée,  and was boon in the midst of our erstwhile limbo preceding dinner.  Josh was delighted by its finding.  A lucky penny in the middle of the floor of a grand waiting room.  Nice as it is, a waiting room all the same.  “I wrote that in a white heat” Josh said walking by, wine glass in his hand.  We had been there long enough, that the salesmen had offered us drinks.

The writing was gorgeous, as so much of Josh’s was.  He held cooking by flame in the highest of regard, and meat, it’s cultivation, it’s cuts, it curing, smoking, grilling, as act of primacy to his role as human being.  He was a gastronome who knew good food, and cooking by fire, was for him, sacred.

This card I am to meditate on for this entry, the Ace of Wands is not a huge baller of a card, like The Tower, The Empress or some of the other Major Arcana.  Tarot  cards are supposed to cut across cultures and time with signatures of universal experiences and archetypes. If the Ace of Wands stands for anything to me, it represents those times when we’ve all had brilliance come forth “in a white heat” if we have lived our lives right and well. By right and well, I mean if we have followed our creativity, not in some namby-pamby sing-song way, but even when it hurts. My friend Josh had done that, through and through, and there it was preserved on the pages of his forward to the book.

The Ace of Wands is creativity, culmination and results that come forth like fire, from a stored spot in our souls.  It signifies the moment when the fire longs to come out of the log, and if we are lucky, it does so in a white heat.

Josh Ozersky

Theresa: Got fire?

In Tarot, the Wands suit symbolizes the “fire element” and the Ace of Wands is the new creative beginning or the initial spark that promises something great to come.

As I circled around the Ace of Wands in relation to food, I found myself wondering out loud to my husband:  When did cooking become “a thing” that people did?  At what point did some person think to throw a slab of meat on a fire?

I decided to investigate.

Most of us learned in elementary school that primitive people began making fires. While anthropologists debate whether some of the earliest sites were human-made or wildfires, there has been evidence that people were using fire about a million years ago.

But the theories about cooking are just that…theories.  Some speculate that cooking may have been accidental, perhaps when someone discovered that an animal toasted in a forest fire tasted pretty good.  According to Wikipedia, archeological clues point towards cooking becoming a serious thing about 250,000 years ago, when ancient hearths were discovered in Europe and the Middle East.  But that’s about it…some scanty evidence and a whole lotta speculation.

We may never know who was the first person to get the bright idea that something on the fire might actually be pretty tasty but whoever that person was, they changed the human race forever.

Think about that the next time you have an idea, perhaps even in your kitchen.  Test it out.  Work with it.  Lean into it.  See where it goes. It might just grow into something that could make a huge change in your life…or the world.

That’s the spirit of the Ace of Wands.  Flame on.


History of Cooking

Food Timeline

A Brief History of Cooking With Fire

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham

Bon Appetit!

Theresa and Kyle

© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

photos from personal collection and Jessica Kaminski

Hungry for more? Click here to explore the entire Tarot by the Mouthful series, from the very first card… right up to our latest installment. Bon appetit!

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