Purification with Baths
The problem with smudging is that it always involves smoke. People with asthma or sensitive fire alarms may want to use a different method. The nest most common purification method is baths. You will need a bathtub for most of them, although we will include shower formulas for those of you with only shower stalls.
Soothing, calming, and brightening for depressed days. Also good for getting one in a romantic mood, not just before the a date but when the magic is going out of a long-term relationship due to stress and exhaustion. You can either use floral oils such as jasmine, rose, lavender, or apple blossom, or use live flower petals. For the destitute, check dumpsters behind florist shops and pull the petals off the discarded or bruised flowers. You will need at least two cups of flower petals. If you’re worried about clogging the drain, put them in a bag (even an old t-shirt with the holes knotted shut will do) and float them in the water. If you like them floating around on the water, put a piece of fabric over the drain when you let the water out.
Cook the herbs into a strong tea on the stove and pour them into the water. Simmer, do not boil. Suggested herbs include sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon for courage, ground sandalwood for sensuality, bay leaf for warrior energy, or mint and eucalyptus to promote physical health. Resins will not break down when boiled. If you want to use a resin, you must add the essential oil or absolute (resin tincture).
For this, you need to brew up one to three gallons of a strong tea. Take your shower first, like you normally do, and then at whatever temperature you can tolerate, dump the pots of water over your body. These teas can be boiled and set aside in gallon plastic jugs for when you want them – in the hot summer, you may want to dump them over you cold. Don’t keep them for more than a week and check them frequently for nasty, green floating things or bad smells.
Yes, baths can be done in an apartment, if you have big pots and a stove. Fill all your large pots with boiling water and add herbs or oils. Fill the tub half full with the hottest water you can get from the tap and place a chair in the tub. (If you use a metal chair, rest your hand on it before sitting down to test the temperature. If it I wooden, make sure you have a place for it to dry out afterwards. Avoid padded chairs as they will absorb moisture and get mildew.) Then, pour the boiling water and sit on the chair, being careful not to touch the water. Relax in steam until water cools.
The White Bath
Famous in Afro-Caribbean traditions. It is associated with this Orisha (deity) Obatala, who represents justice, compassion and healing. The most common ingredient in a white bath is coconut milk, usually canned, since if you use real coconuts, you’ll have to split a lot of them. Other suggestions are baking soda, or sugar, or a few drops of vanilla extract, or powdered milk. Powdered moo-juice will last forever and may be carried with you anywhere. You can combine any or all of these, but no more than two cups of material per tubful. For dissolving purposes, make sure the water is pretty hot. Soak for as long as you need and then rinse off with the shower. Lighting white candles around the tub is also good, as is coconut incense.
Although you will want to rinse off at some point, we recommend that you wait at least twenty minutes before rinsing, in order to let the energy of each bath soak into your skin as you get up and move about. It’s traditional, though not necessary, to wear only white for the first few hours afterwards. (A really big t-shirt works well.) If you hate white, you don’t have to wear it, but please, whatever you put on should be clean and freshly laundered, and also have clean towels ready to dry off with.