In a recent radio show, Miss cat made mention of "the year of the rootworker." This was based on a conversation Miss cat and I had in which we made some observations about the sudden springing up of dozen and dozensof people either claiming to be rootworkers or trying to become professional rootworkers. It is a phenomenon that needs addressing and one that is certainly interesting.
In the past two years there has been a surge of people attempting to get into the field of rootwork. These individuals generally are very new to the tradition, having taken a year or two of courses in it, and do some work here or there for friends and family. Generally, they do have some skill in the field and have success in what they do and from this success they feel confident enough to go on to being a professional rootworker. In my opinion this can be troublesome.
While these individuals have some skill, they are no where near to being an effective professional rootworker. Whether their intent is to make money (stupid reason, rootwork isn't that lucrative), or to help people they lack that essential element that makes a person a real professional rootworker: a calling from Spirit. I am not talking about feeling like you should get into this field or thinking that you'd be a great rootworker, I am talking about a powerful compulsion from Spirit itself, one that can be objectively confirmed by a neutral third party reader.
Usually these people make medicore rootworkers at best and even business-wise they'll find themselves starting out extremely sluggish. In my opinion this is a sign from Spirit. Rootworkers that are called to this work start right off the bat with secure practices, not necessarily a huge client base, but one that starts smoothly as an indication that they are anointed for this work with those they are suppose to help finding them.
While the intentions of these individuals are relatively well-meaning as they simply want to be able to help people with rootwork and make a living at it, their presence is nothing short of irresponsible. Their grasp of rootwork is rarely hands on and usually limited to online learning here or there. They lack the indepth experience that an authentic rootworker has gained by studying with real professionals. As a result, they lack the experience and insight to really help clients. This is evidenced by the fact that they generally know work that they picked up from a book or online. They may for example find themselves using one or two conjures for a variety situations, lacking the true knowledge necessary to apply the right technique to the right situation.
This is further complicated because clients will leave without having their situation resolved, without feeling like they were truly helped, and worse they allow for an influx of scammers. With the rise of the wannabe rootworker there is a rise of the scammer. The sheer number of these individuals allows for scammers to take root amongst the community and prey on those in desperation.
In my humble opinion, the number of *real* rootworkers are far more limited than people think. The community of real practitioners who are truly anointed for this type of work don't get into this because it is the latest fad, or because it is "cool" to be a professional "spell-caster", but are deeply spiritual individuals who were raised in this tradition, called to it, and fulfill a specific societal and communal function as spiritual counselor and link to the spirit world.
For those seeking true spiritual and magical aid, I suggest you seriously examine who you hire to be your rootworker and limit yourself to those individuals who are established rootworkers with a strong reputation, demonstrate deep knowledge and skill, and who connect to this community more than simply going to a botanica here or there or being online.
For the rootworker wannabes, I suggest you seriously consider whether you are gifted for this type of work, set your own desires and ego aside, for you are taking on the responsbility of another person's life. There is nothing wrong with practing for yourself and family, not everyone is a professional rootworker. Should you jump the gun and try your hand at professional work without having that spiritual calling, you'll find quickly that not only will your spiritual practice suffer, but that the spirits of rootworker's past may not be so gentle in their judgement of your skill.