The History of The Bath
Since the beginning of time, the art of bathing in water has been essential to one's good health and peace of mind. As early as the third century, bathing emporiums quickly became the fashion. The Greeks and Romans were the leaders in erecting many elaborate, expensive bathhouses in which they could conduct business, gossip with friends, eat, drink, or arrange sexual liaisons. Some public baths were so grand that they could easily contain lecture halls, art galleries, meditation rooms, and prayer stalls. As well there were always numerous separate enclosures for "private" business.
The larger bathhouses combined healing practices with entertainment, social festivities, and physical fitness. It was not uncommon for wounded or weary soldiers to find comfort after a battle before returning to society. Some of the finest healers worked in the baths and could tend their wounds.
Although the Greeks and Romans discovered the perks of bathing around the same time, each had their own unique approach. The Romans bathed to keep themselves healthy while the Greeks believed only women should immerse their whole body in water.
The Greeks viewed bathing as something one simply did to cleanse one's self before conducting business, after a day's work, or before taking part in philosophical discussions, or battle. Nevertheless, the Greeks built numerous beautifully designed bathhouses for both sexes but the baths were not as splendid as those of the Romans.
The Roman, Greek, and Turkish baths were known as temples of beauty and healing and many therapies were developed to either heal or beautify those who entered through their doors. Healers would take a client into a bath, with a different healer often taking responsibility for a specific area of the body. Their services were more sought after than local physicians were.
Bathhouses were so popular in Rome that before long the Romans were building a vast system of aqueducts to transport fresh water in and sewers to flush waste water out. The reward was that Rome was supplied with abundant clean water for their needs. To this day remnants of these aqueducts are still visible throughout Europe.
The success of the bathhouses of Europe was short lived as many epidemics and diseases were spread by contaminated water. Additionally, the early plumbing was made of lead and it was discovered that this was a source of toxicity. The baths soon became suspect and attendance dropped once the connection was made between the bathhouses and the spread of disease.
During the Middle Ages, bathing lost popularity as the Papacy became increasingly outspoken about the sins and self-indulgence of those who spent more of their time and money on the bathhouses rather than on the Church. The new Christian ideal was to become grubby because cleanliness was considered to be sensuous and sexual. Dirt was a symbol of one's spiritual purity and indicated that the focus was outside one's self, rather than on personal hygiene. Refusing to bathe was proof one was beyond such things and thus not egotistical or self absorbed.
Provisions for bathing were also scant because there was simply not enough plumbing to make household consumption easy and an entire neighborhood would often draw its water, a bucket at a time, from a single communal fountain. When an cholera epidemic hit London in 1833 an immediate investigation was made into discovering the cause. It was found that the problem came from a single neighborhood well pump contaminated by sewage. The water itself was not the cause of the illness, but when clean and fresh it could become part of the cure. Britain immediately began researching new plumbing technology and plans were soon implemented for directly connecting the average home with water.
Once clean water again became plentiful, new water healing modalities were created to prevent and cure many illnesses. Bathing became fashionable again, with epsom, mineral and sulphur baths being especially popular. Spas became the rage all over Europe and became so important that hydrotherapy and thermal healing were taught in medical schools. Sessions at spas are still prescribed in numerous European countries and clients are sent to spas that specialize in treatments for their particular ailments.
World wide, people have adopted the same general attitudes towards water, using it to clean, to socialise and to heal. Spas, saunas, Jacuzzis, birthing pools, hot springs baths, and mineral or sulphur baths are once again increasing in popularity.
.(Excerpts from: 'The History of the Bath' ©PureInsideOut ).
Ritual purification is a feature of many religions. Most of these rituals existed long before the germ theory of disease, and figure prominently from the earliest known religious systems of the Ancient Near East. The aim of these rituals is to remove specifically defined uncleanliness prior to a particular type of activity, and especially prior to the worship of a deity. This ritual uncleanliness is not however identical with ordinary physical impurity, such as dirt stains; nevertheless, all body fluids are generally considered ritually unclean, and some religions have special treatment of semen and menses, which are viewed as particularly unclean.
Ritual and Meditation Bathing Procedures
All information is excerpted and either paraphrased or edited from "The Magickal Household" by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington, released through The Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series on Llewellyn Publications. Also from "Spellcraft, Hexcraft, and Withcraft" by Anna Riva released through International Imports.
To Prepare The Bathroom
Clean the bathroom, at least once a month, (check moon phases for proper alignment,) during appropriate phase. Clean all physical dirt and grime for it is a form of negativity, in clockwise, all surfaces. Your bathroom vanity and sink area as well as your kitchen counters and sink areas, desks, etc..., are all Altars where physical and spiritual negativity is banished from. The clockwise circling motions whether for cleaning, cooking, or spiritual workings is promoting the Goddess' positive energies to infuse your projects. Certain products are natural banishers and purifiers, such as pine, lemon, cinnamon, and pot-pourri smells in your cleaning aides. They work even better when you descriminate by buying only products that contain the real essences rather than artificially scented ones, for maximum potency and effectiveness. This should be redone every month at the very least because no protection, purification, or energy amplification workings will hold past one complete moon cycle.
Ritual and Meditation Bathing Procedure
1) Disrobe to nakedness
2) Extinguish all electrical lighting and appliances in the bathroom, (even better if you can unplug them) where ever possible.
3) Light white candle (don't forget to prep annoint)
4) Light incense (also some soft relaxing music in low volumne is OK but oppotional)
5) Start shower water and set the water temperature
6) Get in shower and clean yourself thoroughly, hair, teeth, behind ears, bellybutton, between toes, under nails; be thorough to get all that physical negativity.
7) Step out of shower and let the shower water completely drain away. Do not towel off or put on a robe, remain wet and naked.
8) Stopper up the tub and start filling the bath water. While filling, start adding your meditation and/or ritual ingredients. When adding ingredients, concentrate on their meanings and intents for symbolization and purpose individually, ingredient by ingredient.
9) When tub is about 1/3rd full, stand before it and start visualizing what it is you want to change in your life. Keep in mind that stuff you want to come into your life is done while the moon is wax-ing; stuff you want to leave your life is done while the moon is waning. If you have an emergency and can't wait for the proper moon phase, go ahead anyway. The Goddess is alot more understanding and lienient about these things than our Lord Father. Just know that it won't be at full potency. While tub is filling, visualize what it is you want; for instance for love of a mate you might see the water boiling over with hearts and cupids, or even the mate you want could be visualized sitting in the tub with open arms waiting to embrace you. Please be creative, the more personal and sentimental to yourself the images are, the greater potency and effectiveness you will have because of the power of personal energy infusement.
10) Get into the tub and recline as comfortably as humanly possible, (bath pillows help here!) Start by doing some deep clearing breaths nice and slow, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Then breath normally with eyes closed and start releasing tension part by body part working from toes to cranium. By now your Aura is completely inside your skin instead of it's usuall 4 to 6 foot sphere around you. The Aura receeds within when the physical body is saturated with water, and comes back out when completely dry. This is how negativity that is not yours and is stuck to your protective aura shell is cleansed. Haven't you ever noticed when you step out of the bath tub, pool, lake, etc..., that your just a little off balance? This is why, also have you ever noticed how uncomfortable people get in an elevator even though no one is physically touching? Because your Auras are overlapping and you are in each others spiritual space. Now visualize all negativity within you draining out of you by seeping from pores and into the water while simultaneously visualizing what you charged the water with seeping into you through your orafices, (Orafice-oracle, are similar in purpose. Think about it)
11) Then proceed with your usuall method of consciousness raising.
12) Then use your unscented glycerin soap and your herbal sachet to seal off your mind and body from further contamination of negativity and to seal in thier properties for your workings later.
13) When finished, step out and before drying off, visualize the tub holding all the negativity you released. Pull the stopper out with your left hand, (the hand of the Goddess), and see it literally go down the drain and out of your life forever. When possible, put on an absorbant robe and drip dry instead of towel pat or rub drying so as not to rub off all those wonderful smells and treatments for your skin and aura.
14) Then finish your toilette routine as usuall otherwise. Don't forget to scoop out the solids from the tub with a large tea strainer so as not to clog your plumbing. If you uses oils in the tub and you live with others, you may want to take a towel or sponge with some soap and clean it out so as to prevent slips and falls. Oil and porcelin make a nasty slick combination. If you use bath oils frequently, you may want to include in your monthly cleaning routine to put some drain cleaner/opener or build up remover down the drain to protect your pipes.
(Note - wash hair every time you bathe to prevent illness)
Bathing Time Influences
Morning ~ increases beauty, as well as washing face with May Dew or cow's milk
Noon ~ lucky, fortunate
Night ~ enhances psychic awareness
Full Moon ~ lucky, fortunate
Bathing Day Influences
Mondays ~ prophetic dreams
Tuesdays ~ increases passion
Wednesdays ~ stregthens intellect
Thursdays ~ brings material prosperity
Fridays ~ increases the love you have
Saturdays ~ brings patience and past lives memories and/or feelings of nostalgia
Sundays ~ strength and health, rejuvenation