under construction; last update 8/27/20
Different workers in different regions may have some different traditions, and specifics can vary depending on the type of work sometimes. But this is a sampling of various sets of instructions for spiritual baths in the hoodoo tradition, all legitimate though differing sometimes in minor ways, and this can help give you a broader understanding of the principles and symbolism in play here.
- Spiritual Bath Instructions at Hoodoo Foundry
- How to Use Bath Crystals, Floor Washes, and Spiritual Soaps in the Hoodoo Rootwork Tradition, by catherine yronwode (lots of very common questions answered here – highly recommended)
- Attraction Bath Example at Lucky Mojo, with variations throwing water over shoulder, pouring water over body a specific number of times
- Boss Fix Bath Example at Lucky Mojo, with variations throwing water at workplace, reciting psalm
And here are the general bath instructions I’ve written up for folks who need a broad overview. It briefly covers lots of things, which makes it two pages long and thus perhaps not ideal as a set of printed “instructions” per se, but if you want general hardcopy instructions for my spiritual baths, here they are in downloadable PDF form.
And here they are in plain old blog post form:
Seraphin Station Bath & Floorwash Instructions
These are the basics. There are variations but I can’t possibly cover them all on a sheet of paper. There’s more info at the blog if you’re looking for something more specific.
Spiritual baths are typically prepared and taken before dawn and some of the water discarded outdoors, so leave enough time in your morning schedule to do all of that if you want to do it the traditional way. Do not expect traditional results if you opt out of traditional methods.
These are ritual baths, not soap and water baths, so do not rinse or wash the bath off. Good old hot water will get you plenty clean in most cases, but if you need a soap bath too, take it first and then clean the tub out thoroughly before taking your spiritual bath.
Lots of folks like to use fixed hoodoo soaps and washes as part of their regular bathing or showering, and that’s excellent as touchup work or maintenance in between regular spiritual baths, or when you have something going on and can’t take a real spiritual bath right away. Definitely give a gift of spiritual soap to someone you know will not take a full spiritual bath. It’s better than nothing. By all means, do wash your hands with Van Van or protection soap when you feel the need. But don’t expect that your using a bar of soap as part of a regular shower is going to have the same effect as an actual spiritual bathing rite, because it won’t.
Bath crystals can be added directly to the tub as the water is running, and your bath is ready when they have dissolved. Use a small cloth bag if you want to keep herbs from sticking to the side of your tub. Use one packet for a full bathtub bath or half a packet for a basin bath, saving the other half for floor wash water or your laundry rinse cycle. If you have a large bag or tube of bath crystals, measure out two scant tablespoons (not heaping) for a full bath or one scant tablespoon for a basin bath.
For herb baths, steep them like you would strong tea, at least 7 minutes. You can either add the brew to a warm bath or else you can brew about a gallon of bath water and bathe standing up, from a large basin or pail.
Candles are recommended. You could set a simple single dressed light or you could set one light on each side of the tub or bath area so you step between them when you’re entering and exiting. Let the candles burn out. If you extinguish them to go to the crossroads, relight them when you can and let them burn out that day.
Baths don’t have to last a long time to have an effect, usually. You’ll see recommendations to stay in for 3 minutes, 7 minutes, 9 or 13 minutes, depending. Sometimes certain baths have certain time recommendations, like 13 Herb Bath for 13 minutes. Others do not. Sometimes specific prayers are suggested, sometimes not. You should pray or say some kind of mantra to keep yourself clear and focused during the rite. Psalms are a popular choice.
I strongly recommend immersing your entire body during a tub bath if you can. You can submerge your whole head right at the end, or you can just use a cup or bowl to pour the water over your head while you’re sitting. This is especially important for uncrossing, spiritual cleansing, blessing, and any type of cooling or clarity work. It really makes a difference, including the head.
The general principle for stand-up basin baths is to wash from the head down to the feet for uncrossing, banishing and reversing, and from the feet up to the head for attracting, blessing, healing, and drawing.
Save at least a cup of water from your bath or wash water. When you get out of your bath, air dry (do not towel off, but you can wrap a towel around your hair if it’s long and dripping). Once dry, dress in clean clothes, then go to a crossroads and throw the water toward the east if you’re calling something to you, or to the west if you’re trying to get rid of something, while naming your desire (silently is fine). Go home without looking back and without speaking to anyone.
If you’re trying to draw something good into your life, you alternately might discard the water in your front yard. If you’re trying to keep hold of something you already have, you might discard the water in the back yard. Or you might use the “fixed” bath water remnants in additional work, like sprinkling your bath water for love around your target’s house. Advice can and will vary with the worker and the bath and sometimes the region. (City folks living downtown tend to not have backyards and might not be accustomed to thinking that way.) But disposal of some sort is definitely part of the work, so don’t just ignore this part and pull the plug at the end. And when in doubt, going to the crossroads is pretty much never wrong.
Don’t act like you don’t know where a crossroads is. Don’t get hung up thinking about busy four-lane intersections. A crossroads is anywhere where paths cross. They don’t even have to be paved. And don’t protest that you’re drawing too much attention in a busy neighborhood throwing your washwater there with all the joggers. Carry your bath water in a travel coffee mug if you want, not a big enamel basin with huge letters on it saying “I just took a hoodoo spiritual bath and this is the water. Please stare at me!” Is a quiet crossroads more conducive to your staying focused? Probably. But if all you have is a busy crossroads, it’s better to use them than to not complete the rite by skipping the disposal part.
For floorwash, clean from top to bottom and back to front when trying to get rid of something, and it’s traditional to scrub all the way out the door to include the front stoop, steps, patio, whatever you have. To draw good things, start with the front steps and move towards the back. If you have carpets, you might only need half the packet: you’ll wash the baseboards and sills thoroughly and just run a very slightly dampened sponge mop over the carpets, or mist them lightly using a spray bottle. Disposal is the same as for a personal bath.
For laundry, dissolve half a packet into a cup or so of water and add the liquid to your laundry at the rinse cycle to “dress” your clothing (or somebody else’s).
You can also use bath crystals in situations where liquid deployment of the formula is desired but oils are impractical, too messy, or too expensive. Don’t coat all of your doorknobs or windowsills with oil – dissolve bath crystals and use the water for that kind of thing. Moistening an envelope flap with oil could leave suspicious and unattractive oily marks; using water with crystals dissolved in it is better. Using your used bathwater to moisten it might be even better, depending on the work and who’s receiving the envelope.
More info and resources available at seraphinstation.com – click the Education tab to go to the blog’s topic index.