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  • Writer's pictureBryan Stafford

Ritual baths

Updated: May 1, 2023

Submitted question covered in this blog:

"How are ritual baths different from regular baths?"

Thank you for this question! Bathing can be one of the most intimate and grounding experiences and it’s one we have on a very regular basis. And yet, we often treat it like a chore or a habit - something we have to do or need to do. As if it's not something that has any spiritual resonance.

It is just like any bath or shower, except bringing an element of spirituality or ceremony into it. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate, or difficult and it shouldn’t include any elements that don’t actually feel nourishing, grounding, and supportive for yourself personally. I like to think of the bathtub as a massive cauldron in which you are the main ingredient in the spell.

Ritual baths can serve many different purposes more so than just a regular bath as long as you set an intention for creating the ritual. You might want a ritual bath to cleanse you of negativity after a bad day, to help you heal from a difficult experience or source of trauma, to cultivate self-love, or simply to relax. It can also be a convinient way to cleanse yourself and your energy on a regular basis.

There are many different ways to create a ritual bath, depending on your own interests, sensitivities, and environment. If you’ve had a tough day, or find yourself in a negative headspace, or want to wash away a difficult interaction, or perhaps you’ve been doing some heavy shadow work or had some difficult triggers come up and now in need of deeper healing and attention. A cleansing bath ritual may be just what may help.

It's important to cultivate self-love, for our own personalities, hearts, passions, and bodies. A self-love ritual bath can make a huge difference when you’ve been feeling down on yourself and are in need of a pick-me-up from within.

Treat yourself like a goddess or god!!!

Ritual bathing may sound exotic, ancient, or romantic. However, it actually can be enhancing for self-care and getting grounded in one's own practice. These kinds of rituals can be used for a variety of purposes from cleansing bath rituals, self-love bath rituals, baths for healing, and you can even use them to help you align with or celebrate the seasons, or moon phases, etc.

Your ritual bath might be an hour-long soak with bath salts, candles, crystals, chanting, and meditation. Or, your ritual bath might simply be you standing in the shower, visualizing negative energy washing off of you and going down the drain. Or it could be anything that feels right for you.

Aromatherapy is a powerful tool for ritual bathing and fits perfectly with self care. You can add essential oils such as lavender, rose, neroli, or jasmine directly to the bathwater or dilute them in Epsom salts. You can also hang organic, fresh herbs such as rosemary or eucalyptus directly from the faucet of the tub so that the warm water runs through them and activates their scent through out the water.

Natural plants and oils can have healing properties, as well as being metaphysical and spiritual sources of support. Choose a scent based on your intention. I like to surround myself with potted plants sitting around the bathtub.

Whether you like to sing in the shower yourself or not, sound can be a powerful tool for cleansing and relaxation. You might place a waterproof speaker in the bath not far from you or play music from your phone, (across the room where it can’t get wet, for example). Choose music that relaxes or inspires you, listen to soothing sounds of rain or the ocean, or opt for drumming or chanting. You could even listen to a guided meditation or affirmations.

It’s also a totally valid choice to opt for silence in your ritual bath, which is often my personal preference. My day to day life can be so noisy and busy that 15-30 minutes of a totally quiet ritual bath can feel like a reset.

Crystals are great accompaniments to help ground you and support your intentions. I would never recommend placing crystals in the water directly, since there are some types of crystals that can become damaged (like selenite) or even poisonous (like pyrite), if exposed to liquid water, and others that can make the bathwater unsafe! Place water-safe crystals around the tub or hold them in your hands while you soak. Quartz crystals are ideal for this as they don’t break down if/when wet.

Candles are one of my go-to elements of a ritual bath. I like to place a few candles around the edge of the bathtub and keep the lights off so I can sit in the quiet, peaceful candlelight. Always practice fire safety and blow the candles out before leaving the room. If wanting to preserve the charged energies if a candle, simply snuff out the flame instead of blowing it out, and it can be re-lit with the same energies another time. Perhaps, for the next ritual bath, and so on.

You can also incorporate any of your favourite bath products into a ritual bath, such as body oil, bath salts, bath bomb, or even bubble bath. Anything that makes you feel empowered, pampered, nourished, and soothed is going to be appropriate.

You can also incorporate spiritual baths / ritual bathing into other elements of your spiritual practice. Such as, baths are an excellent addition to the seasonal sabbats and the moon phases, whether as a standalone ritual, or part of a larger celebration, such as a dedication or initiation, etc.

There’s something very empowering about becoming your own healer, taking it upon yourself to prioritize self care, self love, or spiritual cleansing and healing the soul. Etc. A bathtub ritual is just one of many simple ways to implement witchcraft into daily life routines and practices.

Blessed be

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