Purifying ourselves is an important step to all ritual. Unfortunately it is often overlooked. When we are just starting out, we’ve read all the books and are following everything to a T. However, as the years pass and our families expand and our lives get more busy we let things fall by the way side. Ritual bathing is usually the first thing to go. We figure “hey, a good smudge with sandalwood is just fine.” I am guilty of this from time to time. It really is an important part of our rituals and celebrations. We need to keep ourselves away from complacency. Sometimes it helps to make things as simple as possible leaving us no room to make excuses. You’re about to do a ritual anyway, what’s another 5-10 minutes to prepare yourself.
Purification baths prior to ritual helps us to connect and ground and get in the right frame of mind. It then becomes a trigger for our brains, telling us we are preparing for a spiritual experience. Not to be overlooked is the simple act of cleansing ourselves of the negativity, doubt and stress that assaults us daily.
Here is a very simple way to cleanse before ritual.
Fill your tub with warm water. Make it a temperature you are comfortable with.
Add three handfuls of sea salt to the water and stir counter clockwise. As you stir visualize all negativity leaving the water. Many practitioners “know” when this has been completed. However, if you are new to the craft or unsure about sensing, you can stir the water 12 times (or other number you feel is appropriate) knowing that that will complete the purification of the water.
Next, get into the tub and submerge every part of your body at least once in the salt water. Visualize the water absorbing your negative energy and creating a barrier of protection.
Allow yourself to soak, relax and feel all of your negativity leaving your body. When you are ready, get out of the bath and watch as the tub drains; visualizing the negative energy, stress etc. going down the drain.
Dry off and get into your ritual wear.
To add a few more lovely elements to this, I like to light white candles and a purifying incense. There are many options for incense so choose one that is pleasing to you. Examples are dragon’s blood, myrrh, frankincense and sage, just to name a few.
You can also add words to this ritual. I really like to add words as it makes me feel the most connected. The choice is yours. An example for using all the elements in your bath (Air-incense, Fire–candle, Earth-salt, Water-bath water) follows:
Air, Fire, Water, Earth
Cleanse me now as I submerge
myself into this cleansing bath
to prepare me for my sacred path.
So mote it be.
You can add or edit as you see fit.