After performing this exact New Moon bathing ritual in October (adapted from the far more rigorous version from Sphere & Sundry), I sat in my nightgown on the lawn under the cloudless night sky, eating a square of dark chocolate while my dog snuffled around in the shadows.

In that moment I realised that I couldn’t actually imagine or remember what it might be like to feel stressed, sad, anxious or angry. I felt like a brand new soul. Complete renewal.

Of course, it didn’t last very long, this beautiful existence is replete with opportunities for delicious ‘bad’ emotions. But the wonderful thing is that regardless of your level of interest in astrology, following the moon’s cycles will lend some regularity and consistency to your practices.

She promises each month that whatever muck we have been crawling through, we can be renewed. This Scorpio season the sheer gravity of grief has seen me lying on the floor, many times. I have not resisted. It’s always best to let the tears out. And after such a lot of processing, integration is critical.

To renew our bodies by soaking in warm water is a luxury to be expansively appreciated, but the simple act can be given a profoundly deeper levels of significance with the additions of moon phases, magic and ritual.

The new moon bathing ritual instructions below may be used to address lethargy and stress (hello, 2020), poor sleep, bad luck, assisting recovery from difficult experiences, illness or loss, extreme emotions and spiritual desperation. It will enhance your dreams and meditation and make all other magical rites easier and more effective.

You can get a pdf outline of this ritual using the form further down this page – print it out so you may leave your device in another room.

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Begin in a reverent way.

Throughout the day allow the sacred to seep in wherever it can. Gather your supplies. Naturally you will need candles.

You will also need:

  • Incense, something to hold it, and a way to light it.
  • Sea-, Dead-Sea, Himalayan or even Table Salt (science evolved from magic, after all) – not just Epsom salts*
  • Pure pressed virgin oil – coconut, olive, almond etc
  • Essential oil of your choosing (select according to your purposes, ie lavender for alleviating sadness, rosemary for clarity)
  • A bowl or jug
  • Fresh, clean towels
  • Beer OR blue water colour paint, food colouring or laundry blueing
  • Herbs or other magical ingredients to suit your objectives
  • Exfoliating glove, loofah or body brush, pumice stone, nail clippers, scissors, razor, shower gel, shampoo etc.
  • A bell or tingsha

If you are missing any of these items for new moon ritual bathing, skip or substitute to your liking. Magic is, among other things, the art of working with the materials to hand, to gain (or banish) what we desire…

Preparation
Tidy your bathroom, and clean it too – at the very least, scrub the bathtub. This is cleaning the operating theatre for your magical procedure. Also, your self from a few hours hence will adore you if you change your bedlinen.

It is important to clean yourself, too. We will not be bringing gels and bath bombs, hair treatments and face masks into our magical space.

So before your ritual in the evening, take a shower or bath in the usual way. Thorough cleansing of the body to ease the energetic cleansing of that which no longer serves us. Removing the detritus makes it possible to attune to subtler energies.

Scrape under the nails, exfoliate, pumice away callouses (which represent past experiences), shave any parts of you that you typically wear clean-shaven. Brush your teeth.

Begin your devotions
Light your candles.

Light your incense.

Unadorn thyself of all clothes and jewellery.

If you are using a bell, use it to dispel stagnant energies. Chime it over the crown of your head and work your way down, ringing over all areas of your body.

Pass the jug or bowl, and the bell, briefly through the incense smoke and ask the dark moon to purify them (suggested wording below, but ‘cleanse these implements, cleanse my body’ will suffice), and then as much as you can, move either your self or your incense around, to allow your body to be cleansed by the smoke too.

Spirit of Fire, I baptise these tools in your Holy Smoke. Empower them to cut my connections to energies that do not serve my health, wellbeing, and sovereignty. With this blessed fumigation, cleanse my body and my aura, so that my Self may be restored. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hallowing the Water
Draw your bath.

Stir in salt. Epsom salts are lovely but have no spiritual cleansing qualities, so add another salt as well. Stir it widdershins (I don’t know either).

Spirit of Salt, I pray you empower this bath to remove from my heart, mind, body and spirit, all that does not serve me. Strip everything that impedes my healthy and sovereign existence. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Beer is recommended as a reliable additive for energetic nourishment – it builds fortitude, speeds recovery, and bolsters the auric body. It adds a beautiful cozy quality to your after bath glow.

Add Mugwort (or other magical herbs) if you have it. Mugwort is the plant of the High Priestess, the Celt’s portal to the dream dimension.

If you did not add beer, add blue. The colour is the magical ingredient, not the paint or colouring substance itself. You only need a little bit, and it is particularly affective when there is conflict in the environment, as it has a moderating effect on temper.

Into the steaming cauldron, drops of sacred oils: Frankinscense, Lavender, Sage and Rose. Singly, or in combination.

Entering the Bath
The candles should be lit and the lights off. Place your hand over the water in a gesture of benediction and offer a blessing.

Spirit of Water, awaken this bath to cleanse my heart, mind, body and spirit. Make me renewed and purified. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now we offer our naked, vulnerable, animal bodies, to the hot water, thick as soup with magic and intention.

Take slow mindful breaths and allow your body to relax more deeply with each one. As your eyes close let your conscious mind step back and invite your unconscious to step forward.

Do not fear. Nothing can hurt you while you have a body to return to. Meditate for as long as you can.

As you reach the end of your bath, fill the jug with water, tilt your head back, and pour gently over your hairline and brow as if baptising, so the water runs down the scalp. Repeat this action multiple times, allowing water to course over your forehead, face, ears, chin, neck, sides, chest, shoulders, each section of each arm in turn, then stand and continue to pour and repour water over your whole body. Every inch of you to have purposefully rinsed by the hallowed water.

Lie back and integrate for a few moments. Thank the spirits and energies who joined you before draining the tub.

The Afterglow
Blow out the candles, wrap yourself in a clean towel, and go to your journal. Record your experiences, the messages that came to you in meditation, or just how relaxed you felt.

Anoint your clean body with a virgin pressed oil of your choosing, including a drop or two of essential oil rubbed between your palms and then touched to your third eye, your neck where it meets the skull, soles of feet, and heart centre.

Close your ceremony with some words of comfort and protection – Psalm 23 is perfect.

Once you are a-bed, if you have a question, ask for it to be answered in dreams tonight. If you have no question, ask for one to be revealed. Sip your water, and thank Mother Moon for all that she has given during this bathing ritual

Sweet dreams, precious ones. Until next time. And remember you can use the form just below to get a .pdf download: print it out to prompt you through the ritual without electronics.

Anna