The Fancy Version:
One of the other things I wanted to develop lately was a purification bath recipe. I was careful to source ingredients that I knew could be safely ingested, either whole or in teas– I don’t like putting anything on my body that I can’t put in my body. I also wanted to be able to control the number of ingredients that I put in, too. The number 3 is significant to many other branches of paganism, especially Wicca, but it doesn’t really have much significance for me. In my practice, I recognize more 4s than I do 3s. Because I have a form of synaesthesia that assigns anthropomorphic traits to numbers and letters, I also greatly prefer even numbers. So, after some deliberation, I cobbled together this eight-ingredient recipe:
- Salt. I am usually less concerned about color than I am about “raw”ness– iodized table salt will work if you absolutely need it to, but the closer to natural salt (be it pink, gray, or otherwise) the more I like it.
- Lemon verbena*
Use one part of each herb to four parts salt. If using oils, add four to eight drops of oil to two cups salt. Either grind herbs and salt together, mix salt and oil, or some combination of the two. If you’re using oil and you have sensitive skin, be careful how much you use, especially of eucalyptus and peppermint– they can burn!
While combining the ingredients, breathe deeply of the green, minty, lemony, cleansing scent. Visualize yourself or your aura being washed clean of any negative energies that may be clinging to you, leaving you pure and lightly imbued with the purifying properties of the herbs.
Be sure that you’re physically clean before attempting a purification bath; these are more for soaking and meditating than they are for soaping up and scrubbing down. Either add a quarter cup or so of the prepared salt to bath water, or add a few tablespoons to a bowl of clean water to pour over yourself in the shower. Continue visualizing your aura being cleansed while you do so.
The Quick-and-Easy Version:
This is a faster, less expensive version of the above recipe that uses only four purification ingredients to get the job done.
- Salt. Once again, if table salt is what you have to work with, rock on.
- Lemon juice or finely grated lemon peel*
- Peppermint herb, oil, or tea*
- Rosemary herb, oil, or tea*
For this, you can brew up some peppermint and rosemary tea, add lemon juice, and dump in a generous helping of salt. Stir until salt dissolves (don’t worry if not all of it does, though), then pour into bathwater. You can also add lemon peel and dried peppermint and rosemary, or a few drops of peppermint and rosemary oil, to the salt and use it that way. The most important thing is your intent.
Why Not Use White Sage?
Salvia apiana is a fantastically cleansing, purifying herb. Unfortunately, it’s so good at what it does that it is being threatened by overharvesting on top of suffering from the effects of climate change. This is especially detrimental to the indigenous American practices that use it, since so much of the stuff is being cut and picked because its use has been co-opted by other faiths. When I want to use sage, I either grow it myself (seriously! It likes a lot of sun, some heat, sandy soil, and a little water), or use varieties that are sustainably farmed or aren’t facing serious environmental challenges. Feel free to sub in other herbs for fumigating or reekening, too– there are plenty of other sages out there that aren’t in peril.
*Even though I was careful to include only herbs that have a history of culinary use, use in teas, or use as bath products, please do your own research about which herbs may be unsafe for you. This is especially true if you’re pregnant, attempting to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any health problems or medications that can complicate safe herb usage. The recipe here is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any diseases, and I do not assume any liability for its misuse.