Ritual, Sacred and Spiritual Bathing

Ritual, Sacred and Spiritual Bathing February 6, 2020
Ritual Bathing – Image by Canva

There is nothing more delicious and divine than sinking a tired body into a warm tub of water. Sacred and Magical bathing is a central practice for many Water Witches and truth be told for many magical practitioners of all paths. It has really become popular lately! It seems as if I can’t go a day without seeing a beautiful bathtub decked out in flowers and crystals on Instagram. Many people love this type of bath. I know I am one! Some don’t and that is ok too. There are many different ways to bathe. They include ritual bathing, magical or spiritual bathing, and sacred bathing.

Ritual Bathing is bathing that is done in a ritualistic manner. It may be done as a group or in a religious setting. Such examples include the Hindu practice of bathing in the sacred river the Ganges and the Christian practice of Baptism. They are often done on location such as a tub or fount in a church, and sometimes in a river or sacred spring. They often include full immersion into water such as in a baptism or a sprinkling of water. Of course, Witches can ritually bath as well. I have been known to do this before ritual with the specific purpose of ridding myself of funky energies and to prepare myself for ritual. My baths often include salt and specific herbs. Sometimes I add white rose petals which are sacred to my craft.

While ritual bathing is an important part of many practices, I wanted to discuss Sacred and Magical bathing. There is a lot of confusion about what sacred and magical bathing is. Did you know they are actually two different practices? They are actually two very different types of bathing techniques and are approached differently and have different purposes, uses, and reasons for creating them. So, what is the difference between these baths and why do you need one over the other? Well, the truth is that you probably need both. Now, let’s break this down…

Sacred Bath – Image by Canva

Sacred Bathing

This type of bathing is an important part of my practice and has brought about deep healing. Sacred Bathing, is a beautiful ritual and while I don’t classify this as a ritual bath like above, the act of sacred bathing is a ritual unto itself. Those images you see on Instagram with a bath filled with flowers, crystals, and candles these are Sacred Baths. These rites have been insanely healing and very transformative. They are used as healing rites, to take vision journeys, and to connect with certain energies and for deep contemplation. These rites are powerful rituals that are done to create change, to practice magical self-love, and for beauty rites. There is magic in tending the physical body and Sacred Bathing is the place to do it!

In my own practice, I have worked with Sacred Baths by creating space that corresponds with the thing I am working on. For example, my Dark Moon Persephone Sacred Bath is a bath that is decorated with garnets, smokey quartz, apples, roses and pomegranates. Black salts are used, and a pomegranate is used to help process anger, grief, and trauma. A lot of crying is involved. My Aphrodite Sacred Bath is one of self-love, filled with apples, rose petals, pink salts and rose quartz. I call on Aphrodite at this time to help me learn to love myself and to heal wounds around self-image. I also take these around the Sabbat, there have been snow baths decorated with Brighid’s crosses at Imbolc and Samhain Baths decorated with deep red roses petals and black bath salts.

There is a lot of correspondence here when it comes to the reason you are taking this bath. There are no rules either, but you should be cautious about your ingredients and know your plants and crystals before you put them in your tub! Please note that not all crystals are safe to bath with and you should take caution before putting them in your bath as you can slip and hurt yourself. It is best to decorate the side of your bath and bathroom. Or create a gem elixir (direct or indirect) to add to the water. This goes for plants as well. Know your plants, their magical meaning, and physical properties before adding them to your bath. You don’t need to be bathing in chili peppers and some people are allergic to cinnamon and cassia. Just know before you throw!

Magical Bath with a random flower – Image by Annwyn

Magical Bathing

This type of bathing is also called spiritual bathing, or a spiritual bath in some traditions. In my own practice, this is more of a magical bath. It is used much like spell work. It is a hard hitter; they don’t take hours to prep and they are very pointed and serve specific uses. I like to think of these baths like spells. I use them for resetting energy, removing blocks, removing hex or curse energy, or blocking and removing the evil eye. They can be timed with the planetary hours, done on specific days for specific reasons, or they may be a series of baths that you take every day or once a day for a few weeks. They may also be timed with the tides and the phase of the moon. This type of bath is working with the energies around you. They are sent to you, causing you to slow down or get behind and from general success in life.

Magical or Spiritual Baths may come from a particular type of practice or tradition. Some are old recipes others are new and innovative. You may find that they are messy and include salt like above, but most likely regular salt rather than pink or black salt. Though I always substitute Sea Salt because it is my preference. These baths are almost like a giant cup of tea. You are immersing yourself in water, that has been imbued with prayer, incantations and the power of plant medicine to work on issues that are blocking you. These serve to remove negative energies such as curses, hexes, and the evil eye. They bring in positive energies like luck, prosperity, and abundance. They reset your energy and help you focus on living a healthy magical life.

Which type of bath do you need most right now?

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About
Annwyn Avalon is a Water Witch, Water Priestess, and the founder of Triskele Rose Witchcraft, an Avalonian witchcraft tradition. She has devoted her life to the study of art, witchcraft, and magic. She is an initiated Witch and Priestess, Reiki Master Teacher, award-winning Dancer, published author and has a BFA in sculpture, BA in Anthropology with emphasis on plant and human interactions and has received an apprentice certificate in Herbalism. She writes for the Magical Times Magazine in the UK and has contributed to other published works such as The New Aradia a Witches handbook for resistance. She is the author of Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition and forthcoming Weiser book about Water (2020). Visit her at www.WaterWitchcraft.com, www.WaterPriestess.com and www.TriskeleRose.com You can read more about the author here.

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