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Monday, June 11, 2012

Spiritual Washes 1: Taking a Spiritual Bath

Van Van Liquid Spiritual Wash
Spiritual cleansing is an extremely important part of hoodoo practice. So much so that it might be fairly said that it's the first step in any successful Work. One's power, one's mojo, is delicate. Like food ingredients, you need to be careful not to let it get contaminated, and to scrub it clean before you use it.

With that in mind, these are three ways in which you might use any Spiritual Wash for this purpose.

If you'd like to get your hands on a Spiritual Wash of some sort, just let us know at joe (at) crossroadsjoe (dot) com. We sell Spiritual Washes in every formula that we sell our oils in. Interested? Drop us a line. $5 for a 2oz. bottle of liquid or salts washes.

The Quick Bathing Method
Quick bathing is simple, involving using a liquid Spiritual Wash the way you would use any sort of liquid soap. Something as simple as just scrubbing down your body can be done with intention, of course, to decent effect - particularly if it's something you do every day. Of course, if you have some intentions in mind that are more than just passive in nature, I suggest one of the other methods.

The Relaxing Bathing Method
This is a little more involved, in terms of commitment of time, but is quite relaxing and enjoyable. It involves simply filling your bathtub with nice, hot water and pouring some Spiritual Wash in with it, either as bath salts or as a "bubble bath"-style liquid wash.

If you go this route, be prepared to give yourself some time to luxuriate in the experience. It's good for you! If you want to make sure to give it a little extra added oomph, add a couple drops of an appropriate condition oil to go along with it. Or even better, anoint a candle or two and burn them in the bathroom with you while you sit.

The Intensive Bathing Method
This method is, as its name suggests, the most intensive of them, in terms of time and effort. It is, however, the most traditional, drawing on old methods of ritual cleansing and washing in conjure. You can tell it's old, as it doesn't assume you have a bathe-in tub. :)

1. Pre-Dawn. Traditionally, these kinds of baths are done before dawn, and before you speak to anyone.
  • Do you have to do them this way? It depends - it’s worked fantastically for generations of conjure-users to date. You be the judge.
2. Basin Bathing. Though you can use them as such, these are not bath salts or bubble bath, to be added to a tub full of water.
  • Traditionally, they are used in basin-bathing - filling a large bowl or basin with water that is as hot as you can stand it, and adding the bath to it. Take this bowl to your tub and place it in there.
3. Pouring the Water. You’ll be pouring the bath-water over yourself, and saving some of the water for afterwards.
  • This is usually done in one of two ways. If the bowl isn’t too heavy to lift multiple times, stopper up the tub so the water doesn’t go down the drain.
  • Alternately, the method I prefer is to just use a mug or cup while you stand over the bowl in the tub, allowing water that splashes off of you to fall back into the bowl.
4. Candles. Before you’re ready to get in, set up two white candles (these can be anointed with an anointing oil appropriate to the bath you’re doing, anointed with olive oil, or simply left as-is, if neither of those options are open to you) so that as you step out of the tub, you step between them.
Either set them on opposite ends of the tub-side, or just on the floor to either side of where you step out of the tub.
  • These candles act as a “gateway,” with you leaving the stuff you washed away behind, and stepping into the new you that has what you’re working for from the bathing.
5. Bathing. Once you’re all set up, step into the tub with the basin, and light the candles behind you. How you pour the water will depend on the kind of Work you’re doing. Do this three, five or nine times, and say a prayer or Psalm with each pour. (Some people will write or print up their prayer or Psalm and just tape it to the inside of the bath stall.)
  • To Draw Things In: If you’re drawing things to you, like money, health, luck or blessings, then pour the water from your feet to your head. This is called “bringing in” or “bringing up.”
  • To Cast Things Out: If you’re banishing or getting rid of something, like a jinx, curse, crossed condition or just impurity, pour the water from your head to your feet. This is “casting out,” or “casting down.”
6. Uncrossing. Once you’ve poured the water, you will run your hands over the front of your body, “squee-gee’ing” it off. As you do so, speak an affirmation or declaration, such as “I am wealthy and prosperous!” or “My mind is calm and clear.” Do this one time for each time you poured the water.
  • To Draw Things In: If you are bathing to draw things in, start with your hands on your knees (right hand to right knee, left to left), and then run your hand up your body. As you reach your belly, cross your hands, so that when they reach your shoulders, they are crossed (think of the “mummy with arms crossed” pose here).
  • To Cast Things Out: If you are bathing to cast things out, start with your arms crossed (right hand to left shoulder, left hand to right shoulder), and then run your hands down your body. At your belly, uncross them, as though you were flicking something away, and then finish running them down your body, to your knees.
7. Finishing Up. With that completed, step out of the tub, stepping between the two lit candles as you do so.
  • Don’t dump the water down the drain, though!
  • Allow yourself to air dry - don’t towel off the good Work you just did!
8. Disposing of the Bath Water. Take up the bowl of water, and take it outside. Throw it either against a tree or into a crossroads, facing a direction based on the Work you did.
  • To Draw Things In: If you drew things in, then cast it to the East, so that the magic brings about a “rise” of those things in your life as the sun rises.
  • To Cast Things Out: If you cast things out, throw the water to the West, so that the magic works to “set” on those things in your life, as the sun sets.

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