Tarot by the Mouthful – The Hanged Man

by Theresa Reed on June 21, 2015

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: The Hanged Man

the hanged man tarot by the mouthful

The Hanged Man – Then Hanged Man is the card of sacrifice and letting go.  Here, the figure hangs by one foot, completely at ease despite his predicament.  It’s because has faith – he has turned his situation over to a higher power.  Let go and let God take over.  Limbo.  The wait.  Suspended action.  The need for a new perspective.  Faith.  Trusting in the Universe. A precarious position. Getting out of your own way. What are you ready and willing to let go of?

Kyle – Get Out  Of  The Way of the Ingredients

There is perhaps no card more important to us all, than the Hanged Man.  I remember when I first began getting readings in my mid twenties –  I would blanch at the appearance of the card.  Something was coming to end, or should. Aspects of my life needed conclusion, or where, without my wishing, going to revolve lest they get stale, rot, grow stagnant, minus the vitality that brought them forth.  Alas, for sure, and usually damn.

Anxiousness of that sort, I think is endemic of many peoples in their twenties.  That estuary of years where one’s idealism mixes with how the world works, who we expected we would be, and how our soul’s highest contributions play out, begin to blend. It is a decade of letting go, or we calcify into burdened people, and that burden of broken promises to ourselves, and inflexibility rules much of the rest of our life.   “Get out of the way of yourself” was a phrase I had coined and shared with friends by the time I reached my mid-thirties.  “The Hanged Man is going to come up in the spread. Just trust.” was another phrase I shared with those closer to me, though it was often easier said then done.

In the culinary world the phrase “get out of the way of the ingredients” has been in vogue for some time, as American cooks have discovered our agricultural bounty and the precious goodness that pours forth from the mixture of sun, ground, and seed.  The ability to step away from ones intention, and still remain poised, like the Hanged Man, is a life skill that can be applied to cooking, career, and relationships alike.

The cook that has decided exactly how the dish should taste before they prepare it is nearly as dangerous as one that is cavalier with cleanliness.  Expectations, knowledge, tradition and experience are fine, but without a chef letting go with faith and poise, and allowing the ingredients speak, we would still all be eating meat turned on spits and unleavened bread.  In a greater sense across the timeline of our souls in this life, the Hanged Man card is either the correction we need, the cause for reflection, or the celebration when it appears in our cards.  There is a Native American story that the warrior of true faith will ride backwards on his horse as he plunges into battle.  That’s the same spirit of the Hanged Man.  The illusion that we are singular, and that “this” is all out about us, is elegantly corrected and made clear, when we are turned our heads.

Theresa – The Sacrifice

Every day when we sit down for dinner, we dive in and often forget about the sacrifice that went into creating the meal before us.  Not just the hard work of the chef who created the meal but also the toil and effort of the farmer and the butcher, and, most importantly, the living things – both plant and animal –  that have given their lives for us.

Most of what we purchase for our own food comes neatly packaged at the grocery store.  We don’t see the the plants and animals grow nor do we have any part in tending the garden or butchering and cleaning the animals.  This makes us very out of touch with source.

So we eat and never think twice about all that went into those ingredients.

Fruit sacrifice altar in Bali

Fruit sacrifice altar in Bali

In many cultures, it’s a very different story.  The sacrifice is duly noted, the animals and plants are prayed over – or the gods are offered parts of the meal in gratitude.  For example, in the Santeria tradition, celebrations called bembés, where the Gods come to life, have not only an animal sacrifice but also elaborate meals set out to honor and welcome the Gods.  The practitioners also partake of the food but the altar to the Gods is not touched or consumed.  It’s simply for the God.

While most of us will never attend a ceremony like that, we can still make our own meals a sacred place where we honor the gifts that the Universe has given us and the life that was sacrificed for our sustenance.

The easiest way to do that is through a simple blessing of the meal before eating.  This could be a formal prayer that comes from your religious tradition or a humble “thank you” to the bounty on your plate.  When you give a blessing, you not only make the meal sacred but you’re also acknowledging the sacrifice of the animals, plants, gardeners, butchers, migrant workers, store owners, chefs and everyone else who has poured their good efforts into your meal.

Give thanks and trust that the Universe is indeed working for your highest good.  That’s the spirit of The Hanged Man right on your plate.

Bob Rogers: Blessings the food – ways to say “grace” before meals.

Bon appetit!

Theresa and Kyle

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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