Barmbrack is a bread that is baked as part of the Irish Halloween custom. Traditionally the bread contains various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barmbrack a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring are placed in the bread. Each item carries a specific meaning to the person receiving it: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, the person would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, the person would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, the person would enjoy good fortune or prosperity; and the ring, the person would be wed within the year. (Wikipedia)
The Barmbrack card indicates our curiosity to know what is ahead, but it is important to balance that with the present. It also reminds us that much of our future is malleable, and we do have tools to change our future should we choose. While we do not always know our fate, certainly our tarot and oracle decks are tools that we can use to gain insight to better shape our future through the decisions we make and the actions we take. In other words, our tarot and oracle cards can help us be our own life coach.
When I first looked at this card, baking came to mind, pumpkin bread to be specific. I do enjoy baking with pumpkin in Autumn. Pumpkin on its own is not tasty, but add some sugar, spice, and everything nice, and it can be transformed into some sweet and tasty treats. This goes to prove that the ingredients together in a recipe can be tastier than each ingredient separately. It’s synergy at work. This encourages us to each find our own sweet spot by mixing different aspects in our own life in hopes that we might come up with a successful and sweet combination.
Through cooking, the cook can set intentions when preparing the dishes, such as add love to the food. Those intentions might be the difference between a good cook and a great cook. Why not play with your food and make cooking and food a part of your daily spiritual practice? I recommend The Mystic Cookbook: The Secret Alchemy of Food by Denise and Meadow Linn, which is not your ordinary cookbook. While it does have some recipes, it more about a sacred journey that teaches you to harness the hidden power of foods, to learn how to infuse purpose and intention into the cuisine, how to invoke the secret alchemical power of a spice, and ways to combine ingredients for specific results and so much more.
Our ancestors used what they had available to them, so if you have a pumpkin, let’s make a Jack O’Lantern, make some pumpkin bread or pumpkin soup with toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s what we got! Our pumpkin friend is generous in sharing his gifts with us. His flesh makes all kinds of yummy treats that nourish us, while his shell gives us an outlet for our creativity and to make art, and his soul stands guard protecting us on Samhain night and lighting the way for our Ancestors to visit us.
Interestingly, I got two Barmbrack cards in my deck. I chose to leave the extra card in my deck. I would not put much significance in this other than a problem at the printers, but I have pulled this card more than any other card the first year I got the deck. Interestingly in one reading, I actually got both Barmbrack cards. If nothing is by accident, then this card must have a special lesson to share with me, which is why I have chosen to explore it.
Good fortune, sweetness, and synergy to you.
The Halloween Oracle is created by Stacey Demarco, illustrated by Jimmy Matton, and published by Blue Angel Publishing.
To find out more information about the Mystic Cookbook, go to http://themysticcookbook.com/.