The people of ancient Israel used a footbath to show respect to guests — a practice that began because most people wore sandals.
Christian initiation is a liturgical bath called Baptism. In other Christian washings priests, bishops, and abbots show humility and respect when they wash the feet of the parishioners in their care — a practice enforced by threat of excommunication by a Synod Of Toledo.
Today some pagan traditions mandate a bath before certain rituals, and some ancient traditional religions include a ritual bath similar to (and much older than) the Baptism sacrament in Christianity.
REIKI practitioners are taught to wash their hands in cool water before and after a healing session. They do this to neutralize any non-REIKI energy.
Are you beginning to see a pattern? Washing does more than remove physical dirt?
PSYCHOLOGICAL effects result from liturgical baths. As a priest or bishop washes another person, it serves as a reminder to the clergy that theirs is a life of humility and service. It is hard to be uppity when you are cleaning with dusty, smelly feet.
When a postulant is initiated with water, the symbolism is that she is leaving physical imperfections behind. After the initiation bath, she enters a new life as an initiate without any baggage.
BATH PREPARATION is more than throwing some colored salt into a bathtub! Step one is to focus your mind on your intent. If you are creating a ritual bath before a sacred rite, begin thinking about the purpose of the ritual. This is not the time to worry about messing up the ritual or forgetting your lines: it is the time to ponder the deepest meaning of what you are about to do.
· First meditate on your pending ritual (or spell). Boil about a cup of plain water on your stove or microwave. You can use regular tap water for this. When the water is at a rolling boil, remove it from the fire and stir in the herbs in this package. What you are making is an herbal infusion, which is what herbalists call a tea. With the pot away from heat, cover it and let steep for about 5 minutes.
· Then get the salts and oils from this kit. Combine them into a bowl as you meditate on what you want to accomplish during the ritual. It is best to visualize the outcome as though it had already happened. This visualization is working on non-physical levels and may be the most important thing you do at the bath! Breathe the aroma of the oils as you stir them into the salts. If you are right-handed, stir the salts and oils with your right hand. If you are left-handed, stir them with that hand. The hand you use is called your “dominate” or “emanating” hand. You are using your dominant hand because you are projecting your energies into the salt and oil mixture.
· Next run your bath water — at a comfortable temperature.
· Pour your herbal infusion (water and herbs) into the bath as you continue to meditate on the purpose of the pending ritual. Swish the infusion around the bathtub water until they become one.
· Set the salt and oil mixture near the tub. Don’t add them yet: just get them handy.
· Step into the bathtub. Put about a tablespoon of the salt mixture in the palm of your hand. Mix with a little bathwater in your hand and gently rub the salt over your body. The grit from the salt will exfoliate your skin a bit.
· Add the remainder of the salt to the bathtub and swirl it around. Sit or lie in the tub as you continue to meditate on the ritual. You should stay here at least 5 minutes, but feel free to stay in the tub longer if you want.
· When you are finished, open the drain while you are still in the tub. Do not get out of the tub until the water is completely drained! You want the impurities of the physical world to wash down the drain.
· Finally step out of the tub to dry. Put on your ritual clothes (unless you are working skyclad).
Notice that you saw nothing about soap! This is a ritual bath, not a regular bath. If you are truly dirty, rinse off with soap and water before you begin. Then begin preparing the herbal infusion.
INGREDIENTS of the bath kit are very simple. The salt can be regular salt or Epsom salt. The oil is made of liquid glycerin and no more than a few drops of essential oils (anything stronger will be a skin irritant). If you don’t have bath salt dye, add a tiny amount of food coloring. You don’t have to use an herbal infusion, but we think this organic token rounds out the bath nicely.
There are lists of what herb or oil should be used for various rituals. Use those lists if you want, but remember that the most important ingredients are you and your intentions.
©2002. The Eye Of Newt. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND.The other side of this sheet has instructions and lists of ingredients. Can you guess what the most important component of the package might be? It’s you. Everything else is just “stuff.” If a book you read said that money spells were supposed to use green as the main color, but you have personal experience or an intuition that said red feels more like wealth or money… go with the red and don’t look back.
The materials and words in the instructions are a good place to start. They were selected because each offers a different aspect: blue is a color of high vibrational qualities and can be thought of as a turbo-charge for many rituals, the herbs are associated with earth, and the oils are sacred to the element of fire.
What the instructions try to do is get you involved in the process in a fundamental way. You are the conduit between the physical, the astral, and the spiritual planes. It is your personal experience that brings the magick to all three venues, and there is nothing you can read which will either enhance or diminish your role.
What this kit really is trying to do is to give you some confidence to do it: begin your journey on the path, improve your technique in the craft, and experience new wonders within sacred space. And you will do all those things! Bring your willingness, your honesty, and be open to lessons of the spirit.
A friend repeats an old Christian prayer at the end of his ritual baths, as he watches the spent water drain. Remember that you should remain in the bath until all the water is drained, signifying your cleansing from the debris of the physical plane. Our friend’s meditation is this: Great Lord and Gentle Lady — make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Oh, Ascended Masters, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
We asked him: what’s a nice pagan like you saying a Christian prayer like that?
He laughed and said it isn’t a prayer at all. He said it is a magickal formula — that when you want to be loved, go out and love someone; when you are in a bad place and need someone’s help, go help someone else (which, by the way, is also the secret of the Twelfth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous — and is anybody beginning to see the pattern developing here?).
Be a wizard, if you want. But always keep that sense of child-like wonder.
If you are using an herb or oil for the first time, use just a tiny amount and be aware of your reaction! Here are some oils and herbs to try—
Dittany of Crete
You don’t need protection. Clear yourself and your space with smudge (white sage), and then turn whatever is bothering you over to your guardian angel. That’s what you pay him to handle!
Cloves, cinnamon, and most citrus oils are used for power. Be careful: cloves and cinnamon are skin irritants, and citrus oil stains the skin in sunlight. Use any “power” oil with caution.
Do you need “money” or do you need something money buys? Think and be specific.
i.e., freedom from financial worries
Be careful: lust and love “spells” often do little than mark yourself on the astral as a wimp and loser who can’t even deal with personal relationships. Do a lust spell but think about it before you do!
We will list these but you have to promise to be careful about each and every ingredient in the list. If you think you need to do something called “exorcism” than you are already ready for strong stuff. Some of these are toxic or skin irritants or full of other nasty side-effects. Study each before using:
Best bet: do the ritual bath before doing a circle in which you ask your Holy Guardian Angel to take over whatever it is that scares you. Don’t ask for help: ask “HGA” to do it for you.
** Be careful about using any oil or herb that is new to you. Be especially careful about those shown with **.