Kitchen Notes: How to Use Tarot for Cooking/Baking

We often need inspiration at some point. We may hit a slew of creativity that feels boundless, but that will always end. 

Sometimes I worry that I won't make something beautiful again, but then I realize how ridiculous that thought is.

Tarot is a pack of cards used for self-exploration. The deck stimulates thought, intuition, and inspiration. I use the cards to aid thought loops, bring light to difficult questions, and get inspired. To be clear, I don't believe that the cards are divine. Our interpretations and ability to elaborate give the tarot cards their magical hue.

So how do you consult the cards for inspiration? It's essential to know how the cards are structured. For now, I'm going to concentrate on the four suits of the minor arcana—Wands, Swords, Pentacles, and Cups. Each suit has an assigned element and each one symbolizes a set of archetypes.

I'll go through my interpretations of the elements, and what foods/flavors/essences I associate each element with. You may feel differently, and that's beautiful! Go with your intuition! If you feel that different ingredients better fit with the card or element—go with those! These are only my opinions that I've adopted from books, personal experience, and friends and family.

Wands:

Fire: spirituality, creativity, sexuality

Ingredients: aphrodisiacs, peppers, highly pigmented fruits, ingredients that contain caffeine (chocolate, coffee, tea).


Pentacles:

Earth: material possessions, stability, practicality.

 Ingredients: root vegetables, foods rich in iron, earthy flavors, and timeless recipes.



Swords:

Air: mental landscape, communication, action

Ingredients: Foods with subtle flavor (tofu, rice, cabbage, jicama), ingredients with air incorporated (whipped cream, meringue), citrus.



Cups:

Water: emotions, subconscious, sensitivity

Ingredients: Any comfort food, local ingredients, florals, infusions (teas, simple syrups, etc.)


How to Interpret the Cards

If you are new to tarot, you can base your reading on just the element. Once you get more comfortable, you can look into the meaning of the card you draw, keeping its element in mind. Here are some examples of ways to interpret the minor arcana for food inspiration:

Three of wands

You can choose to get inspired solely by the element. In this case, the card is in the suit of wands, which represents fire.


You can decide to make something based on what fire represents to you. I would choose to make something with chocolate and spice. You can end your reading there.

OR

You can also look into the meaning of the card. You can flip through the mini handbook included in each tarot card set, or look it up online. (Don't worry about memorizing each card's meaning.)

Three of wands:

progress, expansion, movement.


It may seem vague, but that's the beauty of it. Thought-provoking tools are abstract on purpose to leave room for creativity—the point is to get you thinking.


When interpreting the meaning of the Three of Wands, I keep in mind its element of fire. I know that fire deals with creativity and determination, so I apply those aspects to the card's meaning.


I can expand my creativity, but I need to be willing to take action.


Now I have an extra prompt to influence my cooking/baking—or take it as a friendly reminder to keep in mind as I bake/cook and continue throughout my day.


Inspiration can come from anywhere, and as long as your seeking it, you will find it. Whatever tools you may use to stimulate thought are not the source of the magic—you are. 


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