Spiritual Baths for Spiritual Babes
There are baths and there are spiritual baths. On the HealMobile journey, the history of cultural healing matters. Bathing itself was looked down upon, because Moors of Iberia indulged in it. This is another arena in which Christianity and Islam clashed.
Baths were anointing baptisms for Christians. They weren’t the same as Muslim ideas of cleansing. Regular bathing as we know it today is barely a 500-year-old (post Crusades) phenomenon. Here’s some research:
“Next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
“Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
“There is no evidence that June was a popular month to get married until the last 100 years. Flowers have been associated with weddings since the earliest times, probably as symbol of fertility.
“Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children — last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it — hence the saying, ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.’
“…Additionally bathing was so rare that there were no bathing tubs.”
–Halvor Moorshead (“Facts” About the 1500s?)
Spiritual Baths once a year, month or week
At least once a year, why not submit yourself to a dousing with the cold waters (of reality)? For most people this means going to the ocean and letting the waves pound and pummel. The Dickens, the devil and negative feelings are beaten out by the forceful waters. You can have a similar spiritual healing experience standing under a waterfall.
Bathing in the tub and showering are cleansing, and they can become spiritual baths if you so choose. Add herbs, spices, roses, rosemary leaves (they soften skin). There are more ideas here. The only thing missing would be the crashing waves.
Or, you could,
- fill up a huge pot of water
- add a cup or two of sea salt
- incorporate your additional ingredients petals or herbs
- have a partner drench you in all that water all at once
- recite prayers and incantations if need be
However you accomplish your spiritual bath, do it as something to help you feel lighter and freer. You want to feel like a spiritual babe in the woods, as the saying goes. Renew yourself and release the gunk of yesterday, and become totally fresh.
As to pure oils, in the morning use pick-me-up single oils (peppermint, basil, rosemary, eucalyptus). In the evening, calming single oils in the bath, spiritual dousing bath, or as part of a rubdown will help to relax you (chamomile, carrot seed, lavender). Of course these lists could be much longer. Experiment!
Add even more spiritual cleansing power to the second step of the bath. (The first step is removing naturally accumulated waste.) Add 3-8 drops to the salt water itself, depending on how free flowing the oil is. You need less of the ones that flow fast like water.
Or, you can finish the rite by massaging aromatic waters and essential oils with almond or coconut oils (or shea butter) onto your torso, legs feet, arms, head and hair.
–Rev. Niamo Nancy Muid