A bath is more than just a relaxing way to spend a lazy winter evening: the tradition of cleansing in a bath is a common shared by different cultures around the world: from the communal onsen of Japan to the public baths of ancient Rome. Drawing a bath is one of the easiest ways to cleanse your body and spirit and a smoke-free cleansing alternative for asthmatics or those with pets or allergies.
This bath ritual was inspired by the Imbolc altar described by author Anjou Kiernan in their book The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces but it can be performed at any time of year. Ideally, you will perform this ritual before bed to encourage restful sleep or before rituals to prepare your body.
- A bathtub. If your home doesn’t have a bath, you can also use a foot soak tub.
- A small white altar cloth.
- A wooden bath tray.
- White chime candles
- Imbolc herbs such as lavender, lemon verbena and dong quai root in a small muslin or organza bag.
- Anointing oil (jojoba or olive oil plus a few drops of lemongrass or lavender oil)
- A small bowl
- A soft, white face cloth
- Cleansing and healing crystals such as rose quartz, clear quartz, and amethyst.
- Lavender essential oil
- Optional: a small jug of warm, sweet milk mixed with honey.
This ritual should be performed in private: alone in your bathroom or other closed off area if using a foot tub.
Place your altar cloth on your wooden tray and arrange your white candles on top.
Add your bag of herbs to the warm bathwater to steep along with a few drops of anointing oil to nurture your skin and spirit. You can also add the milk and honey to the water if your tradition allows: this can call forth the blessings of Brigid.
In your bowl, add your crystals or place in the water or on the rim of the tub.
Once you’re in the bath, add a couple of drops of lavender oil to the face cloth and lay it over your eyes to soothe your mind, body and spirit.
Stay in the bath for 20 to 40 minutes, or for as long as you feel you need to remain. You may also accompany your bath with calming music if you wish.