Spiritual Baths are one of the many types of works that a Houngan/Mambo may do for a client. Spiritual baths are usually personally composed for a client so that he/she may be able to achieve a particular goal. Spiritual baths may also be administered to remove negativity, bring up luck, and to open doors of opportunity. Baths are also administered to heal illnesses. As a child, I was administered a bath whenever I would fall ill with a fever or other type of illness.
Baths should be, ideally, administered by a Houngan or Mambo for the most effectiveness. More often than not, the Houngan/Mambo will become possessed by a Lwa and then he/she will administer the bath to the person. A Houngan/Mambo has the know how of the right way to administer the bath, and also does other things in conjunction with the bath that a client bathing himself will just not be able to do. However, certain baths or types of baths can be taken by a client alone with proper directions.
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Baths are composed of a variety of materials: magickal oils, herbs, spiritual waters, perfumes, liquors, and many other materials will all be used in the composition of a bath depending on its purpose. Baths also vary greatly in composition from one Houngan or Mambo to another. Each Houngan or Mambo has his/her own personal secrets, baths being just one of the many, thus baths will vary from Houngan to Houngan and even from client to client, all depending on what is needed.
Herbs for baths are best harvested by the person administering it. In Haiti, this is the way it is done. The person gathering the leaves will use proper invocations, make the appropriate offerings, and do this in the right manner in order to “wake up” the leaves – raise their power and induce them into working for the client. Unfortunately, many of the herbs that we use do not grow here in all parts of the US (well at least not here in the Northern States, they can often be found growing in the South quite easily). Thus, a Houngan or Mambo will usually go buy them at a Botanica (a botanica is a store that caters to Santeria and Vodou practitioners. It offers a variety of items from herbs to oils to zen). The Houngan or Mambo will still need to make the leaves become able to work by “waking them” so to speak.
Baths also vary in composition. Some are more “dry” and some are “watery”, meaning some baths consist of the herbs being rubbed on the individual. This may sometimes be known as a “leaf bath”. Others are actually in a bucket of water and are poured over the individual. Baths get really technical too. The manner in which they are applied to the body also has to do with the purpose of the bath.
When someone comes here for a bath I make sure that the finest quality perfumes, waters and spiritual liquids available are used. The herbs are empowered so that they may be most advantageous to you. Always prepared correctly, the baths I administer have resulted in sudden and often amazing gains for the receiver. People with bad luck have seen amazing improvements in their lives, persons with specific desires have seen quick and easy resolutions to their situations, and achieved their goals.
The truth about it is that most times it will be a Lwa him/herself administering the bath, thus the revolutionary outcomes. We also always make sure that we serve the appropriate offerings to the Lwa for the success of these baths. Surprisingly, many problems can be resolved for someone with a bath or a certain number of baths.
Usually, I have the person stand in a large metal basin, which has already been placed on appropriate ceremonies. For some baths, I will call the Lwa into my head, and the Lwa have been known to come into my head to administer the bath in the middle of me administering it myself. The resulting debris and water that may be left over after a bath isn’t just tossed anywhere either! I make sure that everything goes to its place when we are finished.