Feb 11, 2011
Spiritual baths and bathing
As a dedicated Hoodoo student, one of the first thing’s I had to learn about were spiritual baths. They are a staple, in great majority of treatments a Hoodoo doctor may prescribe. They are also quite popular in New Orleans Voodoo Hoodoo, If my observations are correct on it, as well as in work of so called “Spiritual church” , a specific system indigenous to Louisiana, which seems to be a mixture of Hoodoo and NO Voodoo.
It is rather hard to pinpoint the beginnings and origins of practice of spiritual bathing. We can assume that, as fare as concerns Hoodoo, ritual baths come from two main sources. Christian or Judaic ritual bathing, often in body of water, and from African witch doctors cures to foot tracking ( casting a spell, often harmful one, using foot imprints ) which often implied cleansing clients as well as dwellings with water that may have contained herbal material as well, or animal curios.
In my humble opinion, I believe mikveh ( also spelt Mikvah, or Mikve, or Mikva ) or Judaic ritual bath was very influential to Hoodoo bathing practice. Although Hoodoo baths are ( thankfully ) much simpler in terms of creation and use. Mikveh , as ritual bath in Jews, is very simple from point of ingredients. It contains simple water. But the water must of a natural source ( best choice is body of moving water such as river ) like river, lakes or even rain water, hail water or melted snow.
The very intricate practice of mikveh baths, reflects in the complexity of their preparation and applications. Rules referring to collecting and preparing the water for mikveh are extremely precise and leave no place for disobedience or ultimatums of any kind. For example the basin must be of specific dimensions, specific amount of water is used, water is poured in specific way, if got by melting snow, the snow must be melt in a very specific way etc. Everything about making and using these types of baths is ritual, if not ceremonial. The rules describing how to make mikveh, and how, and when to use it, can be found in the Hebrew Bible and in other Hebrew religious text, or literature. There are specific situations after which mikveh should be used, such as menstruation or childbirth in female, or in Orthodox Jews, special mikveh is taken prior entrance to synagogue. It is also suggested that mikveh should be taken after any abnormal emission ( discharge ) of bodily fluids. There is one rule,regarding Mikveh, that is invariable, regardless of the specific Judaic tradition, and it says, that body must be completely immersed, at least once.
Baths can also have initiatory purpose, like baptism in Christians. Spiritual bathing is suggested in many places in Bible, and a well known and fine example is the quote form David’s repent Psalm :”Cleanse me with Hyssop and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow” ( Psalm 57:7 International version ) . This is in the same time a very popular bath taken in Hoodoo for personal cleansing and Uncrossing, or after “doing a job” on someone else.
Except from a tradition/religious perspective, baths also differ in terms of purpose ( banishing or attracting ) and in terms of applications. While most of the baths are taken, by means of filling the tub and emerging the whole body, or pouring baths over our body, some may target specific areas. Here are most common examples
Head washes – baths designed to be applied to head, mostly used when healing the mind, or in uncrossing work, when the crossing targeted one’s thoughts and peace of mind. Also in some traditions ( like Voodoun or Palo ) taking a head wash may be reffered as “feeding the head” and usually has initiatory purpose.
Hand washed – Are baths used mostly by gamblers to wash their hands prior to taking part in games of chance. They are very popular among Hoodoo people. Another reason to take this kind of bath is after dealing ( including handshaking ) with unpleasant or dangerous people, or ( once again ) after doing a job on someone else.
Spiritual workers are known to tale this type of bath after work with “heavy” or disturbed patients.
Feet wash – These type of bathes are not that common in Hoodoo, but among Christian folk these are used in cleansing and soothing, sometimes also prior to entrance to temples. Cunning folk used these baths to “drive out” evil energy through feet of the patient.
Anatomy of a Hoodoo bath
While there are ready, easily obtained Hoodoo baths offered by occult suppliers, many like to make the bathes themselves. It is not that hard at all, but lets first discuss the main types of Hoodoo bathes
• Mineral baths – very popular among Hoodoo practitioners, often very simple made from an odd number of mineral ingredients, sometimes a single one, like household ammonia or laundry bluing. They also often contain salt, or sugar ( for business success, drawing customers or attracting love ) saltpeter and Epsom salts. They may contain and addition of essential oil, but then we would speak of another type, as explained bellow in the text
• Herbal baths – Infusions of herbs and roots. Made by pouring boiling water over herbs and roots and washing Your body with it or adding it to tub water.
• Herbal – mineral, or mineral – herbal baths – are baths containing both herbal and mineral material, like for example some Epsom salts with the addition of Essential oil or specific condition oil, depending on bath’s goal . Spiritual workers I’ve been fortunate to become friends with, always advise that this types of baths should not be merely “scented” Epsom salts, or baking soda, but that they also contain some dried or fresh, chopped up ( not powdered ) herbal material.
The Hoodoo herbal baths most often ( or always according to some schools of thought ) contain odd number of ingredients, and this is how I make them myself.
I will most often use 3, 5, 7, 9 or 13 ingredients, depending on the bath’s goal.
Disolving Bath crystals, or bath salts
There is also a specific type of very popular Hoodoo bath supply called : Bath crystals.
Bath crystals are dissolved directly in tub or in water, or herbal infusion and poured over body, or added to florwashes.
They are made by slowly adding ( drop by drop ) condition oil to sea salt or table salt, while steadily mixing salt and oil. When the oil becomes scented and absorbs just enough of the oil, bath crystals are ready. You can use food dye to color them according to Your need. Here is an example, that might come handy for upcoming St. Valentine’s day
- Half a cup of Salt
- “Attraction” or “Love me” Condition oil
- Red dye ( You can use small amount of Dragon’s blood, powder, as it makes a good addition to love mixtures, and will color the salts red )
( If You happen to be “out of” love related condition oil, add some Rose otto , Lavender and Jasmine absolute to salt )
These salts are then left to dry in a tinfoil for a few days or so, and then can be used. Technically speaking as soon as You make them ( If You have not exaggerated in adding the oil ) the bath crystals or bath salts are ready.
How to properly take a spiritual bath ( according to Hoodoo tradition )
Here are some most basic rules, applying to most of the baths taken to cure some condition or attract something positive in our life
1. Make sure You wash Your body with shower gel or soap ( or even body scrub ) prior to taking spiritual bath.ritual baths are taken to cleanse spiritual “filth” , not physical. Therefore body is properly physically cleansed prior to spiritual bath.
2. Follow the instructions of taking the particular bath. If it’s poured over body ( or alternatively body is immersed ) certain amount of times, usually being an odd number, do as suggested.
3. Some conditions may require that the bath taken as treatment is repeated daily for certain period of time ( for example in Uncrossing work , baths can be taken once or for 3, 9 or 13 consequtive days, luck drawing baths may require 7 days of bathing with them etc. )
4. After taking a spiritual bath, You should not wipe Yourself ( with towel ), instead let the bath simply air dry on Your skin. If it is too cold You may dress a bathrobe.
5. You can use remaining water as a floor wash, or pour it over crossroads, facing east, especially for uncrossing work
While bathing, it is good to recite Psalm or Prayer that support Your need ( or other words of power, such as chants when speaking of baths in European witchcraft ) and sometimes appropriate candles are lit. So here is an example
Spiritual cleansing bath
- Make a strong infusion form Hyssop, and Pine needles
- To strained bath, add some blessed salt and some lemon juice
- Add few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to bath
Pour bath 9 or 13 times over Yourself, or immerse the same number of times.
During the bath, recite or read the psalm 57th . Read also Psalm 37th If You suspect You may have been crossed, and Psalms 3rd , 10th and 91st If You are spiritually oppressed.
While taking a bath You may light odd number of white candles, If You are to dress them, use some cleansing oil, like Van Van for example.
When finished bathing, let Your skin air dry, then wear some new ( if possible ), or clean white clothes, and sleep in new sheets, preferably white, or at least clean bathrobe ( best option of color, once again, white ) and go to sleep.
This type of bath can be undertaken when feeling spiritually filthy, to get relieve from our sins, remove spiritual oppressions and blockages, or as a part of uncrossing work.
This very type of cleansing bath should be taken, if possible, during the wanning period of the Moon phase and best if 13 or 9 days before the new Moon.
Now here are a few more recipes
Money attraction bath
- Patchouli leaves
- Brown sugar in small amount
Gamblers lucky hand wash
- Chamomile flowers
- Calendula flowers
- Five Finger’s grass leaves
- High John TC root chips
- Irish moss
Cleansing, Healing, Uncrossing and Blessing bath
- Florida water half a cup
- House hold Ammonia, tablespoon
- Conjure water half a cup
Add to half filled bath of warm water, or dilute in few liters of spring water and pour over Yourself.
- Laundry bluing
- Five finger’s grass or/and Hyssop infusion
- Blessed salt
- Chinese wash
- Laundry bluing
- Household ammonia ( up to tablespoon, no more )
- Household ammonia
- Sea salt
- Epsom salts
These can be used for removal of strong evil that has suddenly befallen upon one.
Simple, one ingredient bath made with Laundry bluing is a brilliant and highly potent uncrossing agent, as well as bath made from spring or rain water with addition of Holy water from the church.
- Peace water
- Florida water
- Few drops of Sandalwood or/and Lavender essential oil
NOTE: The article, as well as bath recipes are written by myself, therfore If You need to use them elswhere Yiu must provide credits : Shadow of Shadows magick place or Shadowfirstname.lastname@example.org , Image is a digital reproduction of painting called " The Baptism of Christ" by Francesco Albani, and is used merely for illustrative purposes Second picture of the sprig is a photography taken by myself
Thank's for reading and many Blessings :)