Editor Tatiana Boncompagni with Rootfoot Founder, Laura Huth
I heard from my editor that someone from your company, possibly you, came up with your oil formulations by sending someone out in the forest to harvest while on like a Ayhuasca trip. Can you tell me more about this?I love that you have oils based on spirit animals. Do people tend to buy the oils based on their own spirit animal that they've discovered through a healing ritual or practice? How do you formulate these oils?
These oils are used as tools and guides in many types of sacred ceremonies and rituals, both by the small group of women who have informed their creation, and by the people who have chosen to bring them into their lives. I have heard from customers who have found them to be particularly profound teachers when using ayahuasca. Without getting into too much detail, many of these ceremonies are intended to help us shed the haze that accumulates over our consciousness in a lifetime of grinding through a disconnected reality of consumerism and technology, and in order to create these oils in such a way that they will become effective tools, we, as creators, must devote time to clearing that haze from our own consciousness.
The spirit animal collection is created in collaboration with a very amazing woman that I am blessed to know. Her name is Stephanie Athena-Marie, and she is an extraordinary healer. We met during a yoga training in Boulder, and have been friends ever since. She has the ability to connect with and heal people at great distances. Her work is absolutely incredible, and she has personally helped me find my way through anxiety disorder and panic attacks that had all but taken over my life around the time of my Saturn's return. Anyway, she and I connected with each animal species in order to determine the personality traits that best matched them, and then I worked with plants' wisdom to determine the blends that invoke the qualities of the animal.
People approach these oils from all different angles, and that's one of the things that I love so much about them. For some people it's easy, their spirit animal is Eagle, or whatever it is, and they pick up Eagle, and smell it, and love it, and it's perfect. For others, it's a little less cut and dry.
Some people have a deep connection with several different animals. We like to remind people that these oils are meant to be guides, and that everyone needs to be guided in different directions at different times. Like if you have been stuck in a rut of being too serious lately, then maybe Coyote is the right oil to guide you toward playfulness and adaptability. Or, maybe you are very creative and want to set an intention for the day of keeping your feet on the ground, then Bear would be a good guide to wear. Part of what is happening is the aromatherapeutic effect of the oils, and the rest of what is happening is coming from inside you. It is an actual, literal connection between you and the plants, and that requires a contribution from both sides of the equation.
I think the best way to identify your spirit animal or animals is to pay attention to your circumstances or where your thoughts are when you encounter certain animals. If you are thinking about how nice it would be to make a change in your life and you suddenly hear a coyote howl, then it might be worth following through with that change. Using an animal's appearance in our lives can be a great way of injecting meaning into our daily experiences and enhancing our connection with nature.
How is one meant to use these oils? Do you make suggestions in terms of how people should incorporate these products into their spiritual practices in your packaging?
For my husband and I, Deer have always appeared at very pivotal points in our lives. When we first met, a few days into our first date (we actually like to pretend that we are still on our first date, even though we have been together for over eight years), I invited him to go to Shambhala Mountain Center near The Redfeather Lakes Northern Colorado for a silent hike. On the drive in, we listened to Sigur Ros and got ourselves in the mindset. When we arrived, we started walking along the path, and almost immediately we came upon a group of three deer. We just stopped and watched for a moment, amazed at how close we had come to them. They looked at us, completely unconcerned, and began walking away up into the forest. We looked at each other and knew without words that the dirt path that was laid out, was not meant for us. The deer were to be our guides for this hike. We stayed a respectful distance behind them, dismissing everything we knew a hike to be, and just wandered slowly, aimlessly, and without the slightest thought of a destination or a course. We removed our shoes in order to feel the dirt and grass and rocks beneath our feet and to connect. It changed the way we put our feet to the ground. We were softer and more fluid. As we hiked, the deer would pass over a hill or change direction, and we would lose them. But we kept wandering, slowly and silently, trying to approach the mountain through the eyes of a deer. And the whole time, as we discussed afterwards, our minds were going crazy connecting all of this symbolism and creating all this meaning, about the paths we were taking through life, and about how easy it is to just go through the routine of taking the path and how special it is to find a moment when it just feels right to diverge from the path. And maybe my favorite epiphany from that whole trip is that every time the deer had been out of sight for a long time, I could feel myself giving up on the idea of finding them again, and I would allow myself to let go of the idea of being in pursuit of them, and I would just relax and wander and play and be in awe of the beauty of the moment, and then suddenly, the deer would be there again. The universe has such an elegant way of communicating with us, and letting us know when we are on the right path. In a lot of ways, the spirit animal oils are a prayer, that more people will be able to experience a profound symbolic connection with animals like the one we were able to share at Shambhala that day.
We suggest applying the oil as daily ritual, perhaps beginning in the morning. Find a moment for quiet and to connect to yourself. Breathe in the fragrance and take a moment with the plants wisdom. Consciously set your intention. The beautiful thing about using these products as an instigator for this intention setting, is that throughout the day, every time you catch that scent rising off of your body, you will be reminded of your intention. The connection between scent and memory is very powerful which makes fragrance a potent tool for guidance and reflection.
Are your customers people who have ongoing spiritual practices (is that how they find out about you) or are they drawn to your products for other reasons and if so what are they?
Can you tell me a little more about your background?
Rootfoot's customer are people from all walks of life. They are people that have profound spiritual practices and people that are beginning to seek something that provides a bit more meaning to their day. My favorite thing about Rootfoot is that there are so many different points of entry, and people can go as deep with it as they want. We like to meet people where they currently are, and give them places to go. Some people are drawn to us because we provide extremely high-grade natural fragrances and find the subtle qualities far more attractive than synthetic perfumes and colognes. Some people identify with intentions of the products, or with the sustainability of our approach, as we support organic agriculture and eco projects to support the earth's vitality. But, on the deepest level, Rootfoot products are tools that help users reconstruct routine into ritual, support higher conciousness, and bring about transformation and healing.
Why do you think women today are seeking more of a spiritual experience with their skincare and haircare routines? What is it about our society or other trends you see that you think might be helping women to create links between their spirit and their skin?
Rootfoot is an extension of how I connect with the universe; I believe all the steps in my life have been guiding me closer to understanding my purpose. Rootfoot project began in 2008 after a year-long powerful yoga training of focused meditation, pranyama, and spirit work. At that point I was 25 and felt fully aligned with my truth and ready to listen to what was being called to me. I've found that I seek to pay reverence to nature and the beauty of all existence, and to provide ways for others to connect with this as well. I remain open to receive wisdom from nature, ancestors, and universal conciousness for my personal transformation and in order to offer effective mechanisms for connection. The main message that I am receiving from the universe is that we are nature. We are natural. All we have to do is remember.
I think that in general right now, we are seeing a very strong movement toward female empowerment and a reinvestigation of the power of the sacred feminine. There are so many different women's gatherings sprouting up that celebrate and uplift women and pass along ancestral knowledge through skill-share workshops. Energetically this is happening, because there is a natural and imperative shift from masculine to feminine. For quite some time, society has been functioning in a relatively masculine-based (surya/ yang) energy. This is a fire/ sun energy that is helpful for structuring and implementing; the energy is active, rigid, and provides form to all things, which at one time was an essential phase of our evolution. For the next phase of evolution, we are tapping into the feminine (chandra/ yin) and finding the marriage between the feminine and masculine. Feminine energy is represented by the moon; its nurturing, sensitive, restoring, and provides spirit to all things. With this energetic shift, one significant aspect that is being emphasized is the idea of self care. Self care is a form of taking care of ourselves, including our physical body, mind, and spirit so that we are a guiding light for our own experience and can take care of our communities and planet effectively. This momentum is being incorporated into our skincare and haircare routines. We are adopting ancient methods as contemporary ritual and looking to plants as healers. The times of day when we are preparing and grooming are fitting for ritual as this is a moment of pause where we focus on ourselves and our health. Essentially, we are spiritual beings seeking spiritual experiences.