DI(for)Y: How to Make Your Own Ritual Bath
I love, love, love taking a bath and I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s my one major indulgence — I keep my daily showers under five minutes so as not to waste water, but I take a long, luxurious bath about once a week. On the last new moon, I decided to take this body-cleansing experience and turn it into a spirit-cleansing one by creating my own ritual bath.
Part of the reason I wanted to do this is because up until now, white sage has been my go-to cleansing tool. Lately, I feel weird about using it — there are reports that it’s endangered and many people feel that the commodification of white sage (which is now sold at places like Urban Outfitters and Sephora) is cultural appropriation. I’ve used white sage for years, and grow it in my home, but now something about burning it feels…off. I don’t want to contribute to the appropriation of Native American sacred practices, and when the new moon came around, I realized I didn’t have many other cleansing practices in my personal “spiritual toolbox.” So I got creative.
I wanted to create a ritual that was like a bath for my mind, body, and soul — cleansing, relaxing, and nourishing. Here’s what I did.
Ritual Bath Recipe
Coconut milk: Adding a cup of coconut milk will keep your skin hydrated (thanks to the fatty acids inside) and bright (courtesy of its Vitamin C and protein content). It also just feels luxurious to know you’re bathing in milk, right?
Rosebuds: Rosebuds are great for the skin — they have anti-inflammatory properties that can calm down almost any skin condition on contact. But on a more “woo-woo” level, they represent love and innocence. The scent of rose has aromatherapy benefits, too, so throwing a handful of rosebuds in your bath can help ease anxiety.
Dried chamomile: Chamomile tea ice cubes saved my face from an allergic reaction the week of my wedding, and I’ve had a soft spot for these flowers ever since. Besides being calming for the skin, chamomile is associated with healing the solar plexus, AKA the gut chakra, which is the center of our personal power.
Dead sea salt: Dead Sea salt is famously healing for all types of skin issues, including chronic conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Bathing with a handful of Dead Sea salt also gently exfoliates the skin, keeps your body hydrated, delivers a potent dose of magnesium to help you sleep and improve cellular renewal, and contains trace amounts of sulfur to balance the skin’s oil production. TIP: If you do bathe in Dead Sea salt, don’t dry off with a towel — instead, let the bathtub drain while you sit there and air-dry, giving the minerals in the salt the chance to absorb into your skin.
Lavender essential oil: Dropping a little bit of lavender oil into the bath is said to calm the mind, reduce inflammation in the body, and make for a good night’s sleep.
Labradorite crystal: I recently read that Cleopatra used to bathe with rose quartz crystals to soak up their good energy. I’ve been known to bring crystals into the tub, too, but they also work their magic sitting on the ledge. I chose an enormous hunk of labradorite for this bath because it’s “a stone of transformation” that strengthens intuition and balances the throat chakra, helping you speak your truth.
Candle: I’m obsessed with the candles from House of Intuition and always have one burning. Right now, I’m working with this SUCCESS candle as I figure out the next steps in my freelance career. (P.S. Do your candles ever burn black? Here’s what it means!)
Fresh flowers: The more living (or once-living) things incorporated into the ritual, the better. It’s just good energy!
A book: I think one of the reasons I love baths so much is because they give me an excuse to leave my phone in the other room (when I’m not taking pictures of the bathtub, of course). Without my phone in hand, I can focus on meditation or reading a book. Right now, I’m rereading Pussy: A Reclamation, which should be required reading for anyone who identifies as female.
This practice isn’t just for new moons or full moons or special occasions — it’s easy to incorporate these special, cleansing touches on any day of the week (it looks way more indulgent than it is). It was such a beautiful experience that I’m never going back to bubbles again. It’s ritual baths from here on out.
Experiment with what feels good for you. Maybe you prefer dandelion and eucalyptus to roses and lavender, or magnesium flakes to Dead Sea salt. For those lucky enough to have a bath tub, I’d love to know what you’d put in your own ritual bath to cleanse on every level.