The Art of Sacred Bathing

Since antiquity sacred wells, hot springs and bathhouses have been used and revered by the ancients for their curative, healing and even cursing properties. While most of us are used to bathing on a daily basis, many of us choose to shower instead. It is easy and more convenient to jump into a warm shower clean up and start our day. But have you ever considered slowing down? Sinking into a tub of Epsom salts filled with fresh rose petals and melting down into the warm waters? Once there even trying to meditate or perhaps even a little spirit flight?

Sacred Bath to Sulis- Image by Annwyn
Sacred Bath to Sulis- Image by Annwyn

Sacred bathing or dipping in water for sacred reasons, transformation, cleansing, blessing and even baptism have been practiced all over the world from antiquity to modern day. Each culture has its own mythos, folklore and practices surrounding the sacredness of water. Some cultures believe that the water is holy or is an entity of itself; sometimes earning the name living water. Others believe that it can reverse or neutralize negativity. Using water for these purposes is not limited to complete immersion into the waters either. Sprinkling, saining, pouring, scooping and even drinking water is a sacred act for many cultures!

A majority of cultures do agree that water is an agent of cleansing and spiritual purification; baths or using water to cleanse and purify is often part of rites of passage or can be part of a transition ceremony. Water can help remove toxic energies in the body, on objects, holy relics, and votive offerings. Water is often part of a religious ceremony and the water’s edge is a liminal space bridging the mundane and the otherworld together.  Holy and sacred waters are often prayed over to on special days or for a specific number of days in an effort to make holy water. This belief was held sacred by our ancestors and was scientifically explored by Dr. Masaru Emoto.bath

The ancients knew that water was sacred. They held these beliefs as sacred and in turn built temples around or near holy, magical or sacred water sites. Water was revered for cleansing and was used for oracular purposes. Dr. Emoto set out to prove what these ancient people knew was in fact correct. The body of his scientific work recorded hundreds if not thousands of photos of water molecules. He performed experiments where he prayed over water, spoke to water, played music to the water and even collected water from different sources and compared polluted water’s molecular structure to pure and sacred site water’s molecular structure. What he found was astounding. He was able to record photos of water molecules and how they differed from water source to water source, he then took it even further and recorded what a water molecule looked like when it was prayed over or spoken nicely to, in contrast he played heavy metal music and spoke negatively to water and recorded that as well. The difference in the molecules was not only great but profoundly different. He was able to prove that water is receptive, water holds energy and transforms with sound and vibrations. His work was groundbreaking and proved what we suspected the ancients knew and held dearly, water was sacred, water was receptive and water was magic…

Based on Dr. Emoto’s work, we now know that water is receptive and absorbs the energy of what you put in it; everything from subtle voice vibrations to crystals, salts and flowers. Taking the practices of the ancients and combining it with Dr. Emoto’s work, I began to create a magical practice surrounding sacred bathing by introducing elements such as reiki, prayer, and even adding elements such as crystals, herbs, and flowers in the bath to create change in myself. By combining these ingredients with magical intent, the water becomes a magical soup held in a great porcelain cauldron into which I submerge myself for magical and spiritual healing and purpose. There is nothing more delectable than the warm water gushing out of the spout, pouring out fast and furiously splashing onto the white porcelain with steam curling and floating upwards. Just the process of starting the sacred and magical bath can set you in the mood to receive abundance healing. Water works in conjunction with plant and stone spirits; absorbing, matching and often amplifying the frequency of these natural vibrations, working in conjunction with the spirits to deliver deep healing, transformation and magic.

Sacred Dark Moon Bath- Image by Annwyn
Sacred Dark Moon Bath- Image by Annwyn

My own practice as a Water Witch incorporates at the very least two baths a month. One in conjunction with the full moon and one in conjunction with the dark moon. Each one aligned with the energies of the moon and how it affects the tides and in turn myself. When it is time to ritually bathe, I begin by gathering the ingredients I wish to add to the bath. During the dark moon I will select stones that align with the dark moon energies, dark purple or blue flowers, pomegranate juice or full pomegranates along with black lava salts. For my full moon baths I will select stones such as quartz or rainbow moon stone used in conjunction with healing; Epsom or pink Himalayan salts, intermingled with white flowers and often rose petals.  After the candles are lit, the lights dimmed and all is quiet in the house, I begin to fill the bathtub with warm water. Gazing at the white porcelain tub, water pouring from the tap, fresh and dried flower petals drop from my hand and begin to swirl; mixing with the bath salts turning and twisting at the bottom of the tub, steam rises from the warm water as I ender a light trance state, dipping my toes and then entire body into the water. Here is where I enter the otherworld, stepping from the mundane world through the watery threshold and into the watery otherworld. I sink down like a miniature mermaid floating in a cup of rose petal tea. Here is where I meditate the best; where my body can relax, floating in the water, my cares drop away and I connect with the water like it were a womb.  Here is where I connect with the wisdom of the ancients, the magic of the otherworld and create change in my own life and watery sphere…

If you are interested in starting a sacred bath ritual or practice try aligning your bath with the cycle of the moon or even the sacred Witch sabbats. Set your space by cleaning it on the mundane side and then cleansing it on the magical side. Add any shrine objects to your bath, and select a nice quiet time. If it is hard to find a quiet time to ritually bath, perhaps consider adding a little meditation music, or even a guided meditation to your ritual by placing a musical device outside your tub. I have also included a few recipes dark and full moon to help get you started! Enjoy!!!!

Dark Moon Bath Recipe

  • 1- Smokey Quartz
  • ½ cup black Hawaiian salt
  • 3 drops – rose oil
  • 1 cup- dark red rose petals

Full Moon Bath Recipe

  • 1- Clear Quartz
  • ½ cup – Epson Salts
  • 3 drops Jasmin Oil
  • 1 cup – White Rose Petals

Enjoy!

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