Monday, July 29, 2013

The White Bath (a traditional ritual to cleanse the spirit)

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A white bath1 is a way to cleanse oneself spiritually, where one has gotten 'dirty' either from other people projecting their problems, asking for help, or blaming one, or from being spread too thin, caring about others without taking care to protect oneself, or stress, anger, grief, &c.. The boundary between the self and the corrupt world becomes blurred.  It is useful, from time to time, to get back to remembering who one is -- one's Divine birthright.

You will need:

  • a small bell (a crystal glass and a piece of silverware for a striker will do of the sound is lovely)
  • a white candle (not large -- the 'emergency' kind is OK
  • a piece of good white paper, not too big (you are going to burn it)
  • a white pencil3
  • A bunch of white flowers, preferably sweet smelling.  Any white flower will do, but if you are able, want to be more specific, and  are so inclined, there are different attributions to different flowers2. 
  • A cup of milk or cream (coconut is OK, cow or goat is traditional)
  • A half cup of honey
  • A cup of salt (table is OK, sea is better)
  • A capful of a scented oil -- olive, almond or coconut mixed with hyssop or sage, peppermint or lavendar or bay, & one more, appropriate to your situation
  • a bar of "black" or roasted soap, preferably homemade by someone spiritual
  • a drain filter so you won't clog your plumbing with plant material
  • as many white towels as you would need to dry off
  • 1 or two plastic trash bag(s), preferably white
  • white bed clothes to sleep in
  • white clothes to wear for at least one whole day

Make sure you will not be disturbed.  This is very important  (the only thing more important is that you wear white afterwards).  

Ask yourself to visualize your desire -- the analogue of  the "clean" that could be extrapolated from your present, dirty, mental or spiritual situation.  Put it in a sentence, just one.  Make sure its phrased in positive terms: thus, "nobody complaining to me about their problems or bringing up old conflicts, no problems of my own, and no bad luck"  becomes something like "I am surrounded by optimism and easygoing cheerfulness, & circumstances are perfectly conducive to my needs, helping me make good progress toward my goals."

Draw a bath, as hot as you like.  Add the milk, honey, oils, & salt as it is filling.  Add the flowers (making sure to add only soft petals -- nothing sharp or thorny).

Leave your dirty clothes outside the bathroom.

Taking visual note of where the candle and matches are, turn off the light.

Light the candle.  

Ring the bell.

With the pencil, write the statement you composed on the paper.  Make sure it is worded positively (that is, say "using positive words" instead of "not refraining from avoiding negative alternatives to hand gestures").

Get in the bath.

Using handfuls of petals to scrub with, and lathering with soap, wash yourself methodically from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, repeating your sentence to yourself.  Check the wording if you forget; revise it on the paper if a better version comes to you.  

Love yourself.

Try to keep your mind from wandering past the immediate sensual beauty you are confronted with.  Isn't it good to be alive? 

Love yourself some more.  Relax.  Enjoy your bath.

When you are done -- and make sure to dunk your head at least once -- get out.  Replace your tub's stopper with the filter, and allow the water to drain.

Dry off.

Burn the paper.  

Ring the bell.

Pinch out the candle.

Turn on the light.

Leave the bathroom -- get some air.  Feel better?  

Put on  white clothes.  It is best if you wear nothing but white, and sleep in white sheets, blankets, pillowcases, &c.; it is optimal if you can do this for a week, but even a day will help, and the improvement should be permanent.

Before going to sleep, take care to clean up after yourself .  All the evil is in the petals., and you don't want yourself or anyone else to come into direct physical contact.  You may find it useful to take two plastic bags and use them as makeshift gloves.  Collect all the petals and the ashes from the paper and the candle stub and wrap them securely.  Wash down the tub.  Don't delay in taking the trash down:  get it out of your immediate environment.

Last but not least, try not to make the same mistake twice..... or rather... remember to live, love, and learn.

....You can't go back 

and you can't stand still

If the thunder don't get you 

then the lightning will...

...Small wheel turn by the fire and rod

Big wheel turn by the grace of God 

Everytime that wheel turn round

bound to cover just a little more ground......

from "The Wheel,"  

lyrics here, 

listen to it here


1) a white bath takes its authority from the fifty first psalm. From wikipedia:

Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor,
Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Thou wilt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
Thou wilt wash me, and I shall be washed whiter than snow.
Pity me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.

Versions have been used to cleanse the body -- the original Temple, as it houses the Spirit -- in Christian magick since -- perhaps since the Psalm was written, certainly since the Psalter was first printed.  (1457 to be exact, the first Western printed book in color, put out by J. Faust, yes, that Faust, you may have heard of him.  What you may not know is that he bankrolled Gutemberg to could get the printing thing going -- and later, the debt still outstanding, repoed the very contraption that was destined to change the woirld, and, in addition to attempting to sell the printed Bibles, tried to sell papal indulgences and copies of his supposed pact with the Devil, all  as if they were hand copied, and thus worth more.  But i digress.

2) Some of these are: coneflowers are appropriate if the issue is one of disease, that is, physical illness or strength of immunity; poppies if you are troubled by memories, where you need to forget (as in, that is healthy and not irresponsible); carnations if it has to do with self esteem or confidence; hydrangea if you are not the one -- if it really shouldn't be your problem and you need distance; gladiolas to be prepared for a fight or to remain steadfast; tulips for foriveness, including forgiving oneself; daisies for issues hearkening back to childhood or concerning innocence; Camellia for liking who you are better or acheiving greater self-reliance of independence; lily of the valley if the world is too much with you -- if what you really crave is a cave somewhere for a year; dahlias for self-respect or reputation; impatiens if it has to do with mother; lilies to break an unrequited bond if you are the lover; roses for self image or issues related to one's virtue, calling, or True Will.

3) It is up to you if, after having read this through, ou opt for a pencil that writes in white or the more traditional lead pencil painted whitle on the outside.