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Rosemary Purification Bath
It's late August. The grass is bleached blond, the weeds at the roadsides are turning brown, and I'm starting to feel reminiscent about rainy weather. But there is a quality of light in late August that says summer is waning, and the bright half of the year is winding down. In a month we're going to turn the corner and the dark half is going to begin, and that's when we will find ourselves indoors more. Now is a good time to consider whether we're ready to be cooped up with ourselves. Are we ready for the inward turning that often happens in the winter? Are there things we'd like to let go of, so that we don't have to carry them into the shadows with us?
During the last days of this August, we can harness not only the energy of a waning moon, but also the energy of the waning year, to help us with this process.
A purifying bath is one of my favorite ways to release unwanted energies. This version takes advantage of rosemary's powerful cleansing abilities. In the garden, my rosemary bush is undaunted by the weather, telling me she has plenty of help to give even now, when many other plants are struggling to survive the heat.
You will need:
1/4 to 1/2 cup sea salt
A few handsful of dried Rosemary leaves, OR several sprigs of fresh Rosemary, OR 3 to 5 drops of Rosemary essential oil
Something to light the candle with
Optional--one or more of the following stones--clear quartz, tourmaline, jet, selenite, kyanite, or any stone that you find purifying/clearing
If you are using fresh or dried rosemary, you will need to begin about 1/2 hour before you are ready for your bath. Place the rosemary in a heat-proof jar (I tend to use a quart jar, but a pint is enough for magical purposes). Boil enough water to fill your jar, and pour over the rosemary. Cover tightly and allow to steep for at least twenty minutes. Strain.
If you are using essential oils, skip the boiling water and take your bottle of oil into the bathroom with the rest of your supplies.
Create sacred space in whatever way you are accustomed to. If you call in the directions, light the candle when you call on fire, and begin the water running when you call on water. When the tub is about half as full as you want it, add the sea salt and your rosemary infusion or essential oil. Since you are using this bath to purify/banish unwanted energies, mix the salt and rosemary into the bathwater with a counterclockwise motion.
When your bath is ready, place your candle and stones on the edge of the tub or on a stable surface close to the tub. Settle into the water and get comfortable. As you soak, visualize the rosemary, salt and water pulling the unwanted energies from your body gently but steadily. If the energy is coming from a particular source, imagine it as cords or strings attaching you to the source, and see the bathwater dissolving those attachments gently and painlessly. Feel the relief as the negativity and stress leave your body and release you.
If you struggle with visualization, feel free to speak your intention aloud, stating that the water, plants, salt and stones are helping you release what is hurting you. State that you are letting it go in peace. If you can, be grateful for the lessons you have learned from the difficult experiences, but be firm that you are ready to be free.
When you feel like you've been soaking long enough, stand up and pull the plug. Let the water drain out, and ask that the energies in the water be transformed and harm none.
Take a quick shower to rinse the salt off.
Any time you do an intense act of purification, it's a good idea to follow it with something soothing and healing; consider what you would like to welcome in instead of the negative emotions. Find a way to summon what you want after the bath--I suggest applying an herbal infused oil or a lotion with an appropriate essential oil. Lavender for peace and happiness, or rose for love, or comfrey for healing are some examples. The act of applying lotion or oil will also help you re-ground yourself and be more fully in your body after your visualization.
When this is done, thank the directions and the materials you used in your bath. Release the circle in whatever way you see fit.
Final note. If you have a problem with fragrances--even natural ones--you might consider plantain leaf as a substitute for rosemary. It's a powerful drawing/purifying herb, without being aromatic. At the end of your bath, you could apply an oil or salve with comfrey or calendula--both healing herbs without strong fragrances.
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