Cleansing yourself (or other people or your home) is the spiritual equivalent of “did you try turning it off?” (Meditation, of course, being the equivalent of “is it plugged in?”)
Even though it is such a common remedy for so many things, it is often one of the things people just don’t know how to do or only know one method of. This intent of this particular post is to list and describe a few common cleansing practices. For some folks, this will be basic 101 stuff and others may find revelation in this. Wherever you fall in that spectrum, hopefully this is an interesting read and it helps you some.
First, safety tips: Don’t use anything you’re allergic to. It’s very likely a quick 40 seconds google search will give you an idea whether the mixtures suggested elsewhere or even here will be harmful for you. Use common sense and be safe.
Secondly, before you do anything. Stop. Just stop. Stop checking your phone, reading this sentence, or listening to music. Just stop everything. Now breathe. Drawn in a deep breath. Yes, good. Now hold it for a few seconds. Great. And release. Feels better, doesn’t it? Do this a couple of times. These few moments will mentally break you from whatever chaos is around you and help you re-evaluate what needs to be done.
Now, onto the cleansing methods.
The Water Method
The easiest method by far is taking a shower. Take a few minutes to soak in the hot water and get a steam going before dialing the water temperature down to as cool as you can stand, close your eyes (feel free to lean on the wall if you’re worried about falling), and clear your mind as best you can. Take a few deep breaths and start to envision all the black muck and problems you’re facing falling away like the water. Start this at the top of your head and envision it slipping down your body, gaining more muck as it goes. Envisioning the water going black as you do this and that black water going down the drain. Keep doing this until you feel light and can breath easier.
This method historically is used in many cultures. In Japan, there are specific rites of cleansing and purification that require the person to stand under a waterfall. Most of us don’t have a waterfall handy, so the shower works. I personally use the shower method most often but the best way for me to be cleansed is to go to the ocean and just stand in the water. I don’t have to swim, precisely, but just soak my feet (and maybe splash about in the incoming waves) and I am instantly and enormously better. A cousin of mine uses a specific lake. Many users like to do this with a bath but I don’t often recommend because you’re sitting in the sullied water without something to counter the taint. Essentially, bathing and allowing the water to take the problems from you is a strong spiritual cleanse.
If you’re using a shower or bath, the water method is very easily combined with herbs and bathing salts for cleansing. Even bathing in salt water (which you can make by dissolving sea salt into water) will be extremely helpful. Adding essential oils or herbs to the bathing salts, or just alone will help enormously. (Don’t put essential oils directly on your skin without diluting them first.)
My favorite combination is using citrus essential oils, juices, or dried zest to this effect. A drop of two of lemon juice or bergamot essential oil in a bath or among bath salts will do wonders. A quick warning though is that most citrus is photosensitive. So bathing in lemony water will cause the skin to burn more easily. In short: Don’t bath in citrus anything and then go spend a day in the sun. You’ll burn and dehydrate your skin which will cause even more problems.
Mints, like spearmint, peppermint, or common mint, or even eucalyptus can be used in a similar fashion for a cooling bath. This bath is actually really great if you have an upset stomach or headache so I use it when getting over being sick.
Some people go so far as to bath in sage or other cleansing associated salts or herbs. I find these tend to be very startling spiritually when used in this manner so I recommend them only when there’s a serious problem at hand.
There’s about a hundred thousand different recipes out there. For herbal books based on beauty care Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or Stephanie Torres’ Organic Body Care Recipes are recommended. For those interested in cleansing salts or scrubs and don’t want to make them, I offer them in my shop on and off again.
If you want to use herbs in the shower, take a mesh bag or cheese cloth 1/4-1/2 stuffed with herbs and tie it on the shower head. Wash as usual. Just be careful as some herbs have dyeing, drying, or irritating properties on the skin and eyes. Talk to your licensed herbalist. Keep a bowl of clean water beside the shower in case you get irritants in your eye so you can do an eyewash. Alternatively, you can steep the herbs in warm water and cool it, leaving it aside in a bowl. Take that bowl into the shower with you and use it with a shower sponge (bath scrubbie or bath puff) or wash cloth.
This can also be used to clean the house. I tend to use these herbal salt water recipes for my cleaning buckets, floor washes, window cleaning, and so on. Works beautifully. I even toss salt and a drop or two of essential oil in my washing machine to encourage various things.
The Egg Method
Eggs are spiritually powerful. Not only are they unbirthed young, they contain a lot of healthy materials for us. Since they are unbirthed animals, they can be used to absorb hexes, curses, or just general negative energy. Roll the egg over every part of your body that you can reach. Once done, take the egg to a crossroads far away from where you live (an intersection will work, just don’t get hit by a car) and break the egg. Really throw the egg with some force away from you. Leave a different way you came and go home. I generally recommend following this method up with a luxurious bath or shower.
This can also be done with a stone. Alternatively, you can toss the egg or rock into live water (ocean, river, etc.)
The Smoke Method
This is your smudging or herbal stick burning. Burning incense also falls into this category. In general, you pick up cleansing herbs or incense and burn it, carrying the burning whatever throughout the house and over your body. Leave a door open so if there’s a spirit that’s being chased out, it can leave.
Similarly, candles can be made with cleansing properties and burned for the same results.
This obviously isn’t recommended if you can’t burn candles in the house, have sensitive smoke alarms, or are allergic to or sensitive to smoke.
There’s a lot of bad information out there for detoxification. Talk to your doctor or licensed herbalist for information on how to detoxify yourself. This is less cleansing of the spirit and more of the body. Still, you would be amazed at how detoxifying your body helps the spirit. Be careful and vet each and every recipe you try since there’s so much bad information out there.
One recipe I use fairly often. I tend to drink this between breakfast and lunch every couple of days. Generally people make this recipe in warm water as a tea. I don’t bother. I just pour a cup of room temperature filtered water and call it a day. And yes, the pepper and cinnamon is really necessary. Capsaicin and cinnamon have a lot of great properties when used in small doses so I highly recommend them both.
- 3 tbsp lemon juice or 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp honey (raw is better but whatever works best for you)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup water
Drinking a tea of nettle and green tea is another method.
All of the above being said, you’ll find when googling that a lot of detoxing recipes can also be used as weight loss treatments. Please don’t do it. The above has some evidence of assisting in weight loss but when combined with a balanced diet and exercise. You’ll lose weight by only consuming the above for how ever many days but you’ll gain it all back afterwards. It’s really hard on your system. Additionally, if you begin to experience or are prone to acid reflux, stop taking it and switch to milk or cream to calm the reflux. Vinegar, in large quantities, will be acidic on your system without something to counter it (hence why I use so little apple cider vinegar.)
You could also bathe in the above, but as previously mentioned, lemon juice can make someone photosensitive. The recipe, if used on the hair and skin topically often, can even be used as a dyeing method. Yes, really. I use lemon juice in my hair oil recipe and it has lightened my hair over time (which I’m fine with). Something to note.
So these are just some of the methods you can use to cleanse yourself.
For more reading, you can go to the following links over on tumblr:
- What’s Binding, Wards, and Cleansing?
- Cleansing With Smoke
- My Seasonal Bathing Ritual
- Crown’s Fuck-All-The-Things Cleansing
- Crown’s “Get the Fuck Out!” – Dead People Version