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Ritual Bath

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

The concept of bathing before ritual is not new. It has been a tradition since man first discovered magic, with every culture h a form of ritual purification. Even in modern day, we wash the body of the dead so that the corpse is prepared for its final rest. There is a distinct difference between ritual bathing for spiritual practice and mundane daily cleansing ritual.

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Ritual cleansing does not have to be the removal of dirt like mundane bathing is. Ritual bathing can take many forms, including water, smoke, and even fire. The intent depends much on the form used. Fire is the most complex, since it can create a complex pre-ritual that is truly a ritual all on its own. The making of the fire, including the components of the kindling and what is used to start it, is part of the holy ritual. For a bath of smoke, incense can be used, or the smoke from a ritual fire. Water bathing can become complicated if wished, where the water is actually sacred alcohol prepared with specific intent, or water taken from a local body of water and blessed by the witch personally. There are times that ritual bathing is used to cleanse in a renewing manner, and various materials can be used to help achieve the intent desired.

Ritual bathing is a rite all on its own. It is to help create layers for the mind to better prepare the Will for Intent. Even smearing the body with ash from a cleansing ritual fire can be considered part of ritual bathing, for it is covering the body with material in order to help set the mind of the witch in order to create a ritual space. As the body is washed, the mind should be concentrated for the main ritual that is to be conducted. This is the time when the mind is going over the right words, remembering the moon phase and how it will help potentiate the ritual, and any other thoughts that will help the witch become mentally prepared for the task. Not only will the action of washing help the mind remember the intention of the ritual, but also the scents that are experienced will increase this connection. The sense of smell is tied closely to memory and emotion (olfactory memory), so using scents with ritual cleansing will again help the witch with long-lasting intent, even after the ritual is done. The scents used can be either pleasant or repugnant, depending on the ritual. Even using a spell to help the witch increase vitality could use a harsh smell, to remember what is being left behind.

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For some, the ritual bath must have strict rules that are abided by, from chanting, to hair combing and nail clipping. In some instances, the ritual purification has nothing to do with the physical body, but purely the spiritual. The bathing done to the physical body is reflected on the spiritual to help clean and remove any negative energy. Depending on what the intent is and what is being used, the bathing is taking away from the body or giving to the body. An example would be salt used to slough away the dead skin, versus using infused oil which would provide healing properties to the skin.

These are just a few examples of what should be considered before conducting a ritual that incorporates cleansing. Not all rituals require them, and not all rituals should have them. However, when they are used, they provide another layering aspect to the entire ritual, giving more focus to the witch.

#ritualcleansing #ritualbath #libation #privateritual

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