In an ongoing effort to fill in the general outline of magical intents in a Celtic/Druidic form, I present this effort at a basic 'cleansing'. Modern Pagans sometimes balk at the idea of ritual impurity, being tied-up as it is with notions of sin and, therefor, guilt. At some point I might write a bit on all that, but in practice I think purification and cleansing rites are useful because a: we get dirty, just hanging around and doing stuff. (That's true in the material world, and I think the material world is an illustration of what the spiritual world is like) and b: spiritual dirtyness fouls up one's luck. Again, this need have nothing to do with morality; the casual ill-wishing of drivers, the small malices of stepped-on spooks, etc can add up. Rites like this are meant to both wash away that sort of infection, and actively promote luck and well-being.
The text is written as if to be used by an operator upon a client, but it could easily be adapted for solitary work.
• First gather water from three sources, including at least one that is dedicated to the gods or spirits. Have herbs – vervain, rue and mint, either fresh or dried. If possible an aspergillum should be made of them, in season, otherwise they will be sprinkled in the water and fire.
• Prepare a small fire in a pan or cauldron, arranged in such a way that it can be lifted and carried. The fire should be laid of twigs of rowan, oak and birch, or shavings of these woods should added to the charcoal of a censer-fire.
• If possible a branch or sprig or even a twig of fresh birch should be available. Otherwise a wand of birch may be used, or any properly consecrated wand.
• The person to be cleansed should provide an offering of a small bowl of honey and a glass of ale or wine, or beverage as they please.
• Before sunrise, let all be assembled. The client should bathe and dress in simple clean clothes, white being best.
• The Fire and Water are arranged between the client and the Druid. An offering bowl is provided if the work is done indoors. If the client has a favorite deity or ally, an image or shrine may be arranged facing the client, with the bowl before it.
• The Druid begins by balancing the Two Powers in herself. She lights the Fire, then blesses the Fire and Water, saying:
The Fire, the Well, The Sacred Tree
Flow and flame and grow in me
By Land, Sea and Sky
Below and on high,
Let the Water be Blessed and the Fire be Hallowed.
• Taking up the bowl of water the Druid brings the Underworld Power through him into the water. He sprinkles in the dry herbs, or dips the aspergillum into the water, and begins to sprinkle the client, starting at the crown of the head and working downward. Recite, perhaps:
May the Waters of the Deep descend to the Deep, and carry away all ill.
• In this the Druid is to wash the client with the Underworld Power, carried in and as the blessed water. See the Power dissolving all knots and barriers, cleaning corners, washing gently all tender places and flooding away large blockages.
• With the rod, twig or wand, dip it into the water and touch it to the client’s chest. Draw a spiral, outward, tuathal from the center and when you reach the edge fling the tip away from the client. Do this three times.
• In this, see a final cleaning and rinsing away of ill, accomplished by will and intent.
• Make sure that the fire is well-lit, adding material to bring a good open flame if possible. Add some of the three woods to the fire.
• Take up the Fire and lift it before the client’s body, bringing the Heaven Power lightly and carefully into contact with the client. The client can be encouraged to pass hands through the flame. Recite perhaps:
May the Sacred Fire rise from earth to heaven, and drive away all ill
• In this the Druid is to warm and brighten the client with the Heaven Power, seeing it shining down into the body, filling every shadow with light, drying up swampy places and restoring proper order and function to the whole system.
• Pass the wand through the flames, then lay it on the client’s head, then bring the wand down, in a straight line along the center-line of the client’s body, to touch the earth.
• In this, see the full kindling of sacred fire in the client’s body and spirit.
• The Druid takes up the honey and drink. Opening to the presence of the Gods, Dead and Spirits, she offers a small bit of each, saying:
Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, we give this gift to you, asking you to look kindly upon (client’s name). Share in this sweetness and joy with (him) and grant him freedom from ill and trouble and harm, by your holy power.
• The Druid then instructs the client to taste a small amount of the honey and drink, then gives the honey and drink to the client, then leads the client in offering them, the client saying:
Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, I give this gift to you, asking you to look kindly upon me. Share in this sweetness and joy with me and grant me freedom from ill and trouble and harm, by your holy power.
• The client may then add whatever additional she wishes, silently or aloud, so long as the whole intent is purification and cleansing and blessing.
• Finally, the Druid touches the wand to the head, heart and belly of the client, saying: