Ritual bathing may sound ancient, romantic, and fanciful but it’s actually a wonderful 21st century practice for self-care and getting grounded in your own skin. Ritual baths can be used for a variety of purposes: there are cleansing bath rituals, self-love bath rituals, baths for healing, and you can even use them to help you align with or celebrate the seasons and moon phases.
Bathing is one of the most intimate and grounding experiences and it’s one we have on a very regular basis – yet we often treat it like a chore or a habit. Something we have to do or need to do but not something that has any spiritual resonance.
Ritualizing your baths or showers can be a wonderful way to create a simple, spiritual experience in the midst of your everyday life.
What Are Ritual Baths?
A ritual bath is just like any other bath or shower, except that we bring an element of spirituality or ceremony into it. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate production and shouldn’t include any elements that don’t actually feel nourishing, grounding, and supportive for you.
Your ritual bath might be an hour-long soak with bath salts, candles, crystals, chanting, and meditation. Your ritual bath might simply be you standing in the shower, visualizing negative energy washing off of you and down the drain. Or it could be anywhere in between!
In this article, we’re going to look at all different types of ritual baths and the elements you can include to truly make this spiritual experience your own.
How To Create Your Own Ritual Bath For Self Love
There are many different ways to create a ritual bath, depending on your own interests, sensitivities, and environment. These rituals are totally customizable, even if you don’t have a bathtub!
Ritual baths can serve many different purposes so it’s a good idea to set an intention for creating your bath. You might want a ritual bath to cleanse you of negativity after a bad day, to help you heal from a difficult experience or source of trauma, to cultivate self-love, or simply to relax.
One common element to include in a ritual bath is anything that engages the senses. We’re already submerging our nude bodies in water, so we might be feeling very sensual and connected to our skin, or we might be trying to cultivate those feelings. Engaging the senses in additional ways can support that goal.
Engaging the Senses: Scent
Aromatherapy is an incredibly powerful tool for self-care and fits perfectly with ritual baths. You can add essential oils such as lavender, rose, neroli, or jasmine directly to the bathwater or dilute them in Epsom salts. You can also hang organic, fresh herbs such as rosemary or eucalyptus directly from the faucet of the tub so that the warm water runs through them and activates their scent.
Natural plants and oils can have healing properties, as well as being metaphysical and spiritual sources of support. Choose a scent based on your intention for your ritual bath, such as:
- Cleansing: Eucalyptus
- Relaxing: Lavender (try putting buds right into your bath water!)
- Healing: Neroli (Orange Blossom)
- Self-Love: Rose or Geranium
Engaging the Senses: Sound
It’s no secret that acoustics are great in the bath or shower! Whether you like to sing in the shower yourself or not, sound can be a powerful tool for cleansing and relaxation. You might place a waterproof speaker in the bath with you or play music from your phone, (across the room where it can’t get wet).
Choose music that relaxes or inspires you, listen to soothing sounds of rain or the ocean, or opt for drumming or chanting. You could even listen to a guided meditation or affirmations.
It’s also a totally valid choice to opt for silence in your ritual bath, which is often my personal favorite. Our lives are so noisy and busy that 15-30 minutes of total quiet can be a wonderful reset.
Engaging the Senses: Touch
The sense of touch is perhaps the most sensual of all the senses. We often lend our touch to comfort and heal others but it’s so important to allow yourself to feel your own touch as well. A ritual bath is the perfect opportunity to get more acquainted with your body and to offer yourself comfort, pleasure, or reassurance.
Touching the body, whether it’s simply moving your hands over your arms or something more intimate, is deeply grounding and can help you get out of your head and into your real, physical self.
Other Elements to Include For Your Self Love Bath Rituals
In addition to engaging the senses in the above ways, here are a few other elements you might want to consider incorporating into your self love rituals in your bath:
Crystals are great accompaniments to help ground you and support your intentions. Place water-safe crystals around the tub or hold them in your hands while you soak. Quartz crystals are ideal for this as they don’t break down in water.
Candles are one of my go-to elements of a ritual bath or any ritual, really, (or any Tuesday – I love me a good candle.) I like to place a few candles around the edge of the bathtub and then turn all the lights off so I can soak in the quiet, peaceful candlelight. Always practice fire safety and blow the candles out before leaving the room.
You can also incorporate any of your favorite bath products into a ritual bath, such as body oil, bath salts, or even bubble bath soak for the ultimate self care. Anything that makes you feel pampered, nourished, and soothed is going to be appropriate here.
Ritual Baths For Your Intentions
Ritual Bath For Cleansing
If you’ve had a tough day, find yourself in a negative headspace, or want to wash away a difficult interaction, then a cleansing bath ritual is just what you need. It’s a good practice to cleanse yourself and your energy on a regular basis, whether through a ritual bath or one of the other cleansing methods we’ve shared here.
Here are some suggestions for elements to include in your cleansing bath ritual:
- White candles
- Listen to recordings of singing bowls or chimes
- Crystals: clear quartz, citrine
- Herbs or Essential Oils: common sage, eucalyptus, especially in Epsom salts
Ritual Bath for Relaxing
If you’re finding yourself feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burnt out, then a relaxing bath ritual will help you refill your cup and get grounded again. This is a great type of ritual bath to take when you just feel in need of some nourishment and self-care, without a more specific intention.
Here are some suggestions for elements to include in your relaxing bath ritual:
- White or blue candles
- Listen to recordings of rain or the ocean
- Read a book while you soak
- Crystals: amethyst, labradorite
- Herbs or Essential Oils: lavender, jasmine
Ritual Bath For Healing
If you’ve been feeling more than simply tired – truly exhausted – then a healing ritual bath might be in order. This is for when you feel depleted or emotionally drained. Perhaps you’ve been doing some shadow work or had some difficult triggers come up in need of deeper healing and attention.
Here are some suggestions for elements to include in your healing bath ritual:
- White, black, or green candles
- Listen to chanting, drumming, or music connected to your ancestors
- Do some journaling while you soak – pour your feelings out onto the page
- Crystals: smoky quartz, obsidian
- Herbs or Essential Oils: neroli, rosemary
Ritual Baths For Self-Love
Ritual bathing is wonderful for cultivating self-love – love for our own personalities, hearts, passions, and bodies. A self-love ritual bath is in order when you’ve been feeling down on yourself and are in need of a pick-me-up from within. Treat yourself like a goddess!
Here are some suggestions for elements to include in your self-love bath ritual:
- White or pink candles
- Listen to music that inspires you
- Crystals: rose quartz, ametrine
- Herbs or Essential Oils: rose, geranium
Ritual Baths For The Seasons And Moon Phases
You can also incorporate spiritual baths / ritual bathing into other elements of your spiritual practice. Baths are an excellent addition to the seasonal sabbats and the moon phases, whether as a standalone ritual or part of a larger celebration. I especially like to do ritual baths during the fall and winter seasons and at the full moon.
Here are some ideal times throughout the year for a ritual bath at home:
- Imbolc (February 1) – the winter festival of self-care and nourishment
- Full Moon in Scorpio (April/May) – a celebration of sensuality and taboos of sex, death, and magick
- Full Moon in Pisces (August/September) – a celebration of intuition and the mystical
- Autumn Equinox (around September 20) – the beginning of fall and the witches’ season
- Samhain (October 31) – the most magickal and intuitive day of the year
- Full Moon in Cancer (December/January) – a celebration of self-care and rest
- Winter Solstice (around December 20) – the beginning of winter and longest night of the year
Our Favorite Ritual Bath Products
Bathing rituals vary by person and even the festival they are celebrating. But, these are my suggested bath products to shop for if you are looking to up your bath game.
- Bath tray: to prop up books, water, candles and other things you may want to bring into the bath.
- Body oil: for after your bath. evanhealy is a fantastic organic skincare brand.
- Crystals: rose quartz, ametrine, smoky quartz, obsidian, amethyst, labradorite, clear quartz, and citrine should all be in your crystal collection.
- CBD bath bombs to help you relax even more.
- Bath salts to bring more smells into the water.
- White, green and black candles with essential oils: you can invoke light and smell at the same time with the help of a scented candle. Opt for non-glass candles so they don’t break in your bath.
- Bath drops like these leave your skin silky smooth.
- Waterproof Bluetooth speaker to play meditation or bowl sounds.
- Are you a reader? Try reaching for this ritual baths book Deborah Hanekamp (aka Mama Medicine) which dives deeper into ceremonial baths and self-healing.
There’s something very empowering about becoming your own healer and taking it upon yourself to prioritize self care, self love, spiritual cleansing and healing the soul. A bathtub ritual is just one of many ways to dip your toes into the witchy side of life.
You can totally take a bath in the morning, but I love to take them at night. So, If you want to rework how to start your mornings, I have a whole guide on how to craft the perfect magickal morning ritual for self-care.