I was having such a moment this morning as I was considering our relationship to cause-and-effect in the world, and the methods that we can use to influence positive outcomes in our lives. Rootwork, in my experience, is one such method that is both subtle yet powerful in its efficacy. A working, when well planned and executed, softly influences the energy of the universe, something like tossing a stone into a pond and watching the ripples unfold. It is nothing more than a suggestion we make, but it is real, and can be very effective. For me there is great mystery and holiness in that.
So I decided to pull a card from my Halloween Oracle, while holding this topic gently in my mind, and I pulled: Barmbrack.
|Halloween Oracle; S. Demarco, J. Manton|
Barmrack is the name of an yeasty Irish fruit bread that is traditionally made at Samhain (Halloween). Before the bread is baked various objects are inserted into it, such as a toothpick, a coin, or a ring. If a party-goer received a slice of bread with the toothpick they could expect a year of disputes ahead (similar to the Birchrod in Lenormand). If they received the coin, they could expect money, and if the ring, a marriage.
In the Halloween Oracle this card is subtitled "Sweetness and Synergy" and refers to value and power that exist in the present, as opposed to worrying about the future. The author, Stacey Demarco, writes:
"We have the tools to change our future should we choose. The sweet energy of barmbrack - all the ingredients including the objects [baked within] are more complete and powerful together than they are individually."
This is a beautiful representation of what rootwork is and does. Rootwork is a ritual process of utilizing roots, herbs, stones, and things made with natural essences (such as oils) in combination to help achieve a specific end (such as finding work, improving finances or business, healing those who are ill, and even for protection). The ritual of rootwork - the careful and purposeful selection of materials, the process of preparation, the focus and intention of the worker and the work itself - is like a sacred dance, a weaving of energy where each element merges and combines to create something greater than the sum of its parts - powerful synergy.