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Thread: Ritual Purification

  1. #1
    Kick Ass Little Crow Corvus's Avatar
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    Ritual Purification

    Historically the concept of spiritual purification and contamination is seen in numerous cultures worldwide, however outside of reconstruction circles there's much less discussion of it. Even so many generic neopagan practices do still have echoes of this, cleansing rituals primarily and especially of the wafting of smoke over the body, even without the theological framework to justify why.

    I find myself considering this lately as my practice is vaguely based on, and admittedly quite departed from, Hellenic practice, and academically I beleive the need for ritual purification to remove miasma, but I don't actually do it much. Strictly speaking it should be done before all spell work and offerings, which I absolutely do not do in the accepted manner of a ritual washing. I find that I do use burning herbs and smoke cleansing though. For the Hellenic gods the notion was they are deathless and inherently pure, so miasma and corruption which carries with it the traits of death should be kept away from them as a sign of respect and to make ready the self to receive them.

    What are other thoughts on this? Do you incorporate ritual cleansings or beliefs about miasma/the need to attain a certain level of ritual purity?
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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Ritual Purification

    I have a lot of influences from the Hellene culture as well.

    While I occasionally use smoke / incense for purification most often I use baths / showers. Before I do any spell work or ritual / ceremonies I always take a hot cleansing shower and put on clean clothes. Since I do have shamanic type influences I will also do smudging's with cedar and use cedar fronds to sweep the area of negativity many times.

    I do admit I am not committed to the whole purification deal with routine spell work. Many times in those instances I use the smoke from a fire to cleanse / purify. However, when I do rituals / ceremonies I have always done water purifications along with smoke / smudge.

    I find I often change my diet as well a few days prior to my ritual / ceremony. Often dropping meat all together and eating lots of fruits and nuts.
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  3. #3

    Re: Ritual Purification

    I believe in ritual purification as well..and..as it so happens, nothing is ever left alive inside my agrarian circle.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ritual Purification

    If I want to connect with the natural world and entities, especially nature spirits I have found it helps to eat vegan and only nuts or fruits which have fallen from plants and so no harm is caused by cutting or pulling out roots if only for a day. Fairies are real to me and I enlist the help of the benign ones I connect to my gardens and the plants. So agree that a change of diet helps with any cleansing ritual to raise vibrations.
    I once did a workshop for people who wanted to conect more with fairies and nature spirits. We did a guided walking meditation and then went through ancient woodland. Everyone had their own experiences; some heard singing or felt a breeze or touch. The connections of some were much deeper than any I had felt. I always stop a moment before entering a woodland to ask if its ok. Its a realm that belongs to more ancient beings than humans I believe.
    I dont do this very often but if I really want to clear or cleanse something or someone out of my life I have a fire ceremony. I go to the beach just before high tide and make a small fire on the sand. I bring any paperwork connected to what I need to clear, incense sticks and enough twigs to start the process. It takes a while for the fire to start but always seems to catch and burn well as I invoke the help or banishing of anything undesired. I feel a definite presence as I meditate and know when its time to finish, usually as the tide comes in and washes the fire ashes away. I live by the Severn, so its a very cleansing tide! The last time I did this was to say goodbye to a much loved friend and felt the spirits of a native american tribe who had adopted him arrive to take part in my ceremony. Thanks for reminder of this practice, Corvus. It may be what I need to do as a letting go of my closest friend who I recently lost through dementia.
    I like to be clean as a matter of everyday life and always want clean clothes each day. I would consider it important to shower and change after a fire ceremony. This time of year, just after solstice may be a good time to have one.
    Last edited by Wildernesswalker; 23 Dec 2023 at 03:55. Reason: poor choice of colour

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