Full Moon Herbal Bath Limpia
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
This spiritual cleansing herbal bath will help rid your body, mind, emotions, and auric field of negative mental self-talk and external "messages" that may be causing you difficulties at the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Read these instructions well in advance so that you have all the materials and ingredients you will need. Do not omit any step. It is important that you set aside ample time alone to pray, reflect, and prepare. This is a healing ceremony. Therefore, we do not drink alcohol nor take any non-prescription drugs three days before, the day of, and three days after the bath.
Ideally, this bath should be taken during the full moon. But, it may also be taken on either:
Three consecutive nights (the day before, the day of, and the day after the full moon); or
on the day or night before the full moon;
the day or night of the full moon;
the day or night after the full moon.
at any time during the waning phase of Grandmother Moon.
Shower ahead of time so that your body is clean and ready for this beautiful ritual.
Purification. Use the smoke of copal resin or white sage if it is part of your Indigenous culture and customs. If you identify as Euro-American, you can do a smoke cleansing by using dried mugwort, rosemary, rowan, or cedar. If you're in the Pacific Northwest or Canada cedar may be substituted for white sage, which is Indigenous to Southern California and Northwestern Mexico and is being dangerously overharvested / incorrectly gathered.
Reflection. Taking as much time as you need, reflect on your situation and what it is that you wish to release. It is recommended that you do this reflection practice at least a couple of days before your spiritual bath so that you have more clarity about what it is you wish to experience as a result of this limpia espiritual. For example, your intention could be clearing the root cause of illness, anxiety, fear, chronic negative self-talk, anger, or envidia (envy) directed towards you, or that you feel towards another person; obstacles to having harmonious relationships in your personal and professional life, or letting go of un-forgiveness and grudges towards another person, and towards yourself. Be willing (or at least be willing to be willing) to let go of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual effects of hurtful words, thoughts, and actions directed towards you, and from you to others, and just as importantly, if not more so, from you to yourself. Depending on one's circumstances, this practice must be supported with working with a traditional healer or therapist.
Light a white glass encased 7-day candle (known as a deity or sanctuary candle) and offer prayers to Creator or God, Goddess, or Higher Power, in gratitude for the good medicine of the herbs and plants that have been given to us to use for our good health and well-being. Ask for protection and blessings from Creator, the Spirit of Water, Mother Earth, Good Healing Spirits, Grandmother Moon, and your Guides.
Cook the herbs. Bring to a gentle boil in a large pot, a very generous handful of: rue or rosemary, mugwort, white sage (if it grows near you), and basil. Fresh is best, but dried can be used. These plants are chosen for their purifying qualities so it is best not to substitute with other plants or flowers. Do so only if you absolutely are not able to gather or purchase the plants listed. It's a good idea to place the plants inside a large cheesecloth or old clean pillowcase so that the leaves and stems do not clog your drain. You may also bundle them together tied with a red string so that you can use them to brush your body as you bathe or shower. While you are doing this part begin to fill your bath tub with very warm water (part way only as you'll be adding the herbal water to it).
Bathe. Once the water and plants have come almost to a boil, let it sit for a few minutes (steep) then carefully remove the pot from the stove and add the herbal water to your already warm bath water and soak in it for at least 15-20 minutes. It is very important that you make sure that the herbal water touches every part of your body: from the top of your head to the soles of your feet and everywhere in between. Pay special attention to areas that have experience physical trauma. As the sacred water washes over you mentally see it entering your body healing all your vital organs, brain, bones, and skin, so that all that needs to be released leaves your body/mind/spirit, flowing down and out through the drain. The bath takes about 20 minutes in order to do it with mindfulness and surrender. You can repeat the prayers you offered earlier as you pour the water over yourself. Allow the prayed-over water, your deeply held desire and intention, and the healing power of the plants to wash away fatigue, confusion, anger, and grief.
While you're in the bath, say the following phrases out loud, mindfully and with feeling:
"I now return any energy that I may have taken from someone, knowingly or unknowingly, to its source, with blessings of love and peace." (3x);
pause for a moment and then state firmly and with deep intent:
"I call back all of my own personal power or energy that I have given away, knowingly or unknowingly, in all directions of time and space, so that I am fully present and restored to wholeness and balance. (3x)
Afterward, simply sit in stillness, remembering to breathe normally. Focus on your heart, feeling the light of compassion flow throughout your body mind.
If you do not have a tub, you may pour the herbal water over your head and body in your shower stall. Make sure that the water touches every crevice and fold of your body. Perform #3, above. As the sacred water cascades over you mentally see it entering your body healing all your vital organs, brain, bones, and skin, so that all that needs to be released leaves your body/mind/spirit, flowing down and out through the drain. The bath takes about 20 minutes in order to do it with mindfulness and surrender.
Once you feel that you're done, do not rinse off. Allow the blessing of the herbal tea medicine that you bathed in to remain on your skin. Step out carefully and air dry as much as possible.
For the following three (3) days:
Listen to uplifting music, read spiritual books, watch funny or inspirational movies, and do gentle exercises such as qigong, tai chi, or yoga or go for walks in nature.
Avoid being around persons who indulge in negative talk or who have a history of causing harm through their words and actions.
Drink plenty of water and eat good healthy food. Honor the needs of your body and your spirit.
Respectful disposal of water: offer all or some of the herbal bath water back to Mother Earth.
Important: Refrain from this bath if you are pregnant (some herbs are abortificient), or have health issues such as high blood pressure or if you are menstruating --in our traditional healing ways if you are menstruating your body is already purifying itself.
Grace Alvarez Sesma is not a physician, therapist, nurse, or psychiatrist. The information provided is for cultural educational purposes and is not meant to replace medical or psychological, diagnosis and treatment. It is recommended that you see a licensed physician or licensed health care professional for any physical or psychological ailment you may have.