The Bath


BY THE FLICKER of candlelight, inhaling the fragrance of pungent incense, ease into a full tub of very warm herbal bath. You are about to give yourself over to an ancient ritual of cleanliness and purification. After scrubbing with a pure soap, close your eyes, relax your muscles section by section from head to toe. Focus your closed eyes at a point in the center of your forehead. Remain in the ritual bath from 15 to 20 minutes.


You will emerge with your physical senses extended in a disciplined way, calm yet energized, with increased awareness of the subtle forces.


The water may be prepared in a variety of ways. A sea salt bath is an ancient method for general tonic effect … add one pound iodized sea salt to the bath water. For a pine needle bath, boil one pound pine needles and cones for a half hour, leave for 13 hours to infuse, strain and use a gallon amount for each bath. Flowering herbs may be used, either prepared by infusion as for the pine needle bath or tied in a chessecloth bag and added to the bath water. Hyssop, chamomile, lavender, bergamot, rosemary, thyme, lemon verbena are traditional. While still wet, rub your body well from head to toe with pure oil. The ritual bath has prepared your body and spirit for the ceremony of an exquisite act of magic, holiday observance or love.

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