The Ritual Bath: Readiness for Magick and Ritual

Flowers and petals and herbs floating in the tub can be nice but can create a mess to clean up.

The ritual bath has several purposes and can be taken in a multitude of ways. Throughout the world and in history people have taken and continue to take spiritual baths which include everything from total immersion to a sprinkling of water from fingertips. Some are given, some are taken in groups and some are taken alone. Some are taken clothed and some are taken nude. Along with a Wiccan ritual bath anointing is often done. Some of the purposes of a ritual bath are purification, cleansing, being refreshed and being ready both psychically and physically to perform a ritual, do spell work and show up for deity. This is not a quick step into the shower. Life can get busy, but time needs to be made for a proper ritual bath.

A common way to take a ritual bath is in a tub or shower, although many find a tub bath to be more relaxing. Many are fans of warm water with salts, herbs and candles. To take a proper ritual bath make sure that you have plenty of time and will not be disturbed. Silence the phone and make sure the family or housemates will not disturb you. Many wait until the children have gone to bed to start. This is sacred time. Now set the mood. Set up and when ready light some candles. A suggested color for candles is white, but other colors for specific reasons may be used. As always practice safety with lit candles. Use some other candles in ritual due to negative energies these bath candles may have picked from up from high stress levels when lit. If desired play some natural sounds from a CD, MP3 player or a good sound machine. Do not let these devices get near the water, and do not touch when wet. Hint: Put salt and herbs like rosemary and purple sage or maybe lavender and peppermint into a muslin bag and tie to the faucet so water runs over and through it. This helps with clean up. Draw a warm bath and get in. If this is your first time or even if it is not, it is a good idea to start with some deep breathing. Next you may explore some areas in your life which could use some improvement. After these challenges are thoroughly explored, and with the Goddess’s and/or God’s help they need to be released as completely as possible. Whatever is blocking your energies or holding you back needs to be released. Someday this meditation may need to be repeated if some of the old stuff that was released seeped back. If this happens, do not be hard on yourself. Releasing challenges is not a perfect process. Now is the time to clear your head, rinse off and get out of the tub or shower. Release the water and imagine all those negative energies going down the drain. Do not forget to thank the water and remember how sacred the water is.

A great way to take a ritual bath is in a natural water feature.

Feel free to take a ritual bath in a natural water feature like a lake, ocean or river. Bathe nude or wear a swimsuit as modesty might suggest, especially if there are others nearby. A great investment in yourself is learning how to swim. If your parents took you to swimming lessons as a child, thank them.

During a ritual bath, Scott Cunningham suggests wearing a stone of aquamarine or calcite. A tincture for purification can be made by putting aquamarine in fresh drinking water and letting it sit in the moonlight for a couple of hours. The water can be drunk to purify as part of the ritual bath.


A bath for the mind is a good practice. I have given an example, but a meditation in the bath is powerful. Have a plan for a meditation: meditate silently, meditate with nature sounds or use a guided meditation. You may record your voice to create a guided meditation to use. You should feel calm, alert and refreshed after a meditation. A bath for the mind is an important part of the ritual bath and being ready for doing magick and/or ritual.

After a ritual bath a crucial thing to do is to anoint yourself. Rev. Donald Lewis-Highcorrell suggests how to anoint yourself and gives words for a self blessing to go along with the anointing. Dortothy Morrison gives some instructions for anointing and some words as well. You may use an oil or water for anointing. It involves putting small dabs of oil or water on important parts of the body such as feet, knees, pelvic area, hands, heart and third eye. Recite words as you are anointing. If using oil, the choice of oil is yours. I have essential oil mixed in a carrier oil. It is very important that essential oil is mixed with carrier oil before use. My oil is in a bottle which can travel in my purse, and the bottle has a roll on applicator which I love.

A ritual bath can help the processes of magick and ritual. It is not only a cleansing of the body but should also refresh the mind and make the spirit sing.

Enjoy the process of the ritual bath that works for you in one of its many forms!

Have a meaningful Imbolc!

Auburn Greene

Suggested Investigation:

Cunningham, Scott, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic, Llewellyn, 1988.

Cunningham, Scott, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Llewellyn, 1988.

Lewis-Highcorrell, Donald, Rev., Witch School First Degree: Lessons in the Correllian Tradition, Llewellyn, 2005.

Morrison, Dorothy, The Craft: A Witch’s Book of Shadows, Llewellyn, 2001.

Sabin, Thea, Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice, Llewellyn, 2020.

Sands, Ally, Ritual Baths for the Beginner Witch. New. Out May 23, 2023.

Wigington, Patti, “How to Take a Cleansing Ritual Bath.” Learn Religions, August 26, 2020,

Ready with oil to anoint.

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