Plant Spirit Bathing
Guest post by Subpreet Dhillon-Raju
I have always loved the element of water and I love to bathe. There is nothing quite like sinking into soothing warm fragrant water. Once a week, I take a Plant Spirit Bath, where I call upon the transformative power of plants; my simple bath time is now a profoundly healing spiritual ritual.
Depending upon my intention, I may also take a Plant Spirit Bath at the Dark, New or Full Moon. At these times I call upon the Feminine Luna energy to support my intentions. The Dark Moon is a potent time to release all that no longer serves me, and I call upon the Plant Spirits to assist me in deep energetic cleansing. The New Moon is a potent time to sow new seeds for the upcoming month and taking a Plant Spirit Bath at Full Moon is a splendorous time to tune into all that I am grateful for in my life.
Plant Spirit Bathing has been a part of many cultures for centuries. This ancient healing modality connects me deeply to the elemental kingdom, to Mother Earth and Father Sun. By partaking in a Plant Spirit Bath, I feel anything that troubles me wash away. The Plant Spirits help to restore balance to my body, mind, heart and psyche. They restore my soul force, and my spirit rises.
(Includes suggestions on how to do Plant Spirit Bathing even if you don’t have a bathtub.)
- On the day of your Plant Spirit Bath, take a few moments to be still and tune into your intention for your ritual bath and how you long for the Plant Spirits to support you and your intentions.
- If you have a garden or live close to nature, go out and gather the flowers and herbs, ideally in the morning, and be sure only to select those that haven’t been “treated” with insecticides. Be mindful of the living plant’s needs for survival and seed production to ensure the next generation. Do not stress the plant by taking more than they can give.
- Each moment is sacred, and before you gather your flowers and herbs, ask permission from each plant. Sit with the plant, deeply observe it and experience its environment. Ask the plant if you may harvest from it, and honor the answer you receive/feel. Give thanks for their healing gifts: say a prayer or sing a mantra that resonates with your heart. I love to sing the Lakshmi mantra as I gather my flowers and herbs.
- If you live in urban surroundings or during winter as Mama Gaia rests, a cupful of dried flowers or herbs can be used in your Plant Spirit Bath. Possible flowers and leaves: Lemon Balm, Thyme, Marigolds, Roses, Lavender, Oregano, Hollyhocks, Cleavers, Comfrey, Elderflowers, St. John’s wort, Yarrow. When gathering/choosing your flowers and herbs, trust your intuition, the Plant Spirits will call to you.
- Place the flowers and herbs into a bowl of water and use your hands to massage them, stay connected to your intention, prayer or mantra. If weather allows, leave the herb and flower bowl in the sunshine for the rest of the day; the solar energy will help release the essence of the plants into the water.
As the evening draws in, prepare your bathroom by lighting a candle, playing some relaxing music or choose to be in the velvety silence. Let your family know that you are taking this time to nourish yourself.
If you have a bathtub, pour the bowl of flower & herb water into your bath and gently submerge yourself into the healing holy water. If you don’t have a bathtub, wrap the herbs in a washcloth to wash it over your body, or put them into a bucket for a foot bath.
Reconnect to your intention and call in the healing powers of the plants, give thanks.
While cupping your hands, gently capture the water in your palms and sprinkle it around and above you. Allow the water droplets to rain down upon you and cascade all around you.
Soak in the bath, or pour from your bowl over your body, for 15 to 20 minutes; relax and breathe, meditate, chant, pray or reflect upon your intention for your Plant Spirit Bath. Listen carefully for the whispers of the plants; what messages do they have? Do any insights arise?
Once you have finished, step out of the bath and gather up the herbs with a sieve and drain the tub.
Wrapped in a cosy towel, give thanks once more to the healing vibrations of the water and Plant Spirits as the waters flow back to Mama Gaia. Plant Spirit Bathing can be profoundly transformative, but please allow time to integrate. Ideally, let yourself fall into a deep restorative sleep. During the next morning, offer the flowers and herbs back to the Earth with reverence and gratitude.
I hope you feel deeply nourished, renewed and connected to Gaia following this practice.