The Sacred Bath
The greatest achievement of the human spirit
is to live up to one's opportunities and
make the most of one's resources.
- Marquis De Vauvenargues
The rites of passage are transformational ceremonies that celebrate the biological transitions of human
development and the milestones of human achievement that we all experience: birth/naming, coming of age,
initiation, maturity, marriage/partnership, dedication, saging and parting. Neglecting to honor these
traditional rites of passage has created an American culture that is out of touch with its own natural
cycles, and for pagans, spirituality that is out of balance with the natural world that we find sacred.
So, starting with one of the basics, we prepare ourselves for the ritual with either a bath or at the very least, washing hand and feet.
From lustrates (Latin), p.p. of lustrare, to “to brighten.” A ritual cleansing using water.
~ Cleansing / Special Intention Ritual Bath
Service candles for mood lighting
Incense (Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Nag Champa)
2 glass votive candles subject specific color for special intention (or white or black for cleansing)
Bath salts/oils (sacred - lotus, sandalwood etc for cleansing)
Bath salts/oils (the type to achieve you goal, love, health, etc)
Herbs and/or Flower petals – dried or fresh
Sacred water (spring water, sea salt and sacred oil)
Fill the bath (Water) as it is filling…
Light service candles for light and turn lights off
Light incense and start music
Anoint candles with sacred oil and set them up to force your 'stepping through' them to get in the bath.
Light the candles
Pass the incense (Air) over the water.
Pass the candle (Fire) over the water and step into the bath.
Banishing pentagram when tub is full.
Pour the cleansing bath salts and/or oils (Earth) into the water.
Sprinkle Herbs/flower petals into the bath, [if you like you can make herb sachets for easier clean-up]
Stir banishing 3 times. (Deosil if right handed, widdershins if left)
Pyramid focus on your goal.
Have a pitcher or tumbler of Holy Water (spring water and sea salt and/or oils) within reach from inside the tub.
Have subject specific bath salts or oils for your special intention (if any) within reach from inside the tub
Have a glass of wine within reach from inside the tub
Step through the lighted candles…
Lower yourself into the water. Sit back, relax and enjoy the water, the scented air and the music. Just let yourself drift. Breathe. Then when you feel it’s time, sit up and pour the holy water slowly over your head, imagining that as you pour it draws away all the dross from your mind, body and spirit. Visualize it sluicing off an out of you - cleansing you of all negativity, like gray smoke desolving into the clear water. Three cleansing breaths.
If you are seeking a special intention after cleansing --
Now add subject specific salts/oils to the bath. Stir attracting 3 times. (widdershins if right handed, deosil if left) Meditate about the ritual you are about to participate in, spell you are about to do or event you want to magickally infuse.
Pour some wine into the water, an offering to the Gods, and drink the remainder. Relax. Continue to concentrate on your special intention or something pleasant or nothing at all.
When you are done, drain the tub while still in it. As the water is draining, chant until the water is gone:
All of the dross, drains out of me;
Out with the water, down to the sea.
When that is done, turn on the shower and scrub yourself with a fragrant soap from feet to heart, then from head to heart. Use a loofah sponge, to remove the last bits of soap and dirt.
After that's done, step out and anoint yourself: forehead, wrists and ankles with the subject specific oil of your special intention. Or anoint yourself with a sacred oil that pleases you after cleansing alone. (Spirit). Put on a loose gown or other clothing, unless of course, you prefer to work skyclad.
© 2004-2012 Ardriana Cahill
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