Different beliefs have their own ideas of what it means to be clean. Some require special diets, some require periods of abstinence, some require that women be sequestered during menstruation, etc. What does it mean to you to be clean, especially before a ritual or working of some sort? How do you cleanse yourself?
Thank you for your reply, RavenHeart.
Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder ritual , while on meth...;)
Water and a mantra.
My path is reconstructionist and I daresay the ancestors who worshipped were not as clean as we can be in the 21st century, so I really doubt my gods are that picky about being VERY clean.
As pure as they can get it, you mean.
I've thought about that, too, and that's one of the reasons I asked what other people thought. My idea is similar to what you describe. I wash and get in a still focused state of mind.
While I follow the general habit of my ancestors and bath regularly, I don’t get physical dirt confused with psychic dirt. We often use physical cleaning as a metaphor or a symbol for a psychic cleaning, but no amount of water can clean the mind. Many of the filthiest people I’ve seen were very clean on the outside, while the most psychically spotless pooped themselves regularly. My general rule is the cleaner and better dressed a salesman is, the more likely he is a crook.
When they were growing up, I encouraged my kids to roll in the dirt, which is why their immune systems are so good. I have also learned to not shampoo my hair every day, lest it turn into the Webs of Ungoliant. Physical cleanliness is, on the whole, overrated. Spiritual or psychical cleanliness is dealing with your Shadow, so you don’t project it on everybody you meet. It’s also good to raise the vibration level of your magical workspace to keep out parasites, but if your mental eco-system is strong, you don’t really need to worry about parasites so much.
Also, if you do any gardening, you know that everything including our food, grows in poop so get over it.
I have to shampoo my hair every day or it starts breaking horribly, then I have a split end problem, but I have really fine hair. Maybe that's a factor?
There's a reason "greasy salesman" is a well-known phrase, and I don't think it's physical in origin for them. Reminds me of the car salesman who looked me square in the eye and said, "Remember: Body damage is a good thing." I promptly walked out. So yes, physically clean people can be filthy.
I think that I need to differentiate between being clean and cleansing. Cleansing is great. Using smudge sticks, burning incense, ordering your personal space, bathing, etc; these are all very common and helpful examples of cleansing things. I like to think of bathing as a cleansing ritual, rather than just taking a bath.
Being clean is a stickier subject. It requires a state of mind and body that are in line with your personal path's standards of what it means to be clean. I often feel clean when I am washed and well dressed and everything is in order for practice. I also often feel clean when I'm out in the muck and so dirty that I don't even think about being soiled anymore. A water bath can be cleansing and so can a dirt bath. In short, you have to ask what you're trying to be clean of, when clean is clean.
Salt is very common for energy cleansing, crafting a full moon ritual is helpful for releasing something. I think I'll have to think for awhile whether I can come up with a more concise answer, but I hope this helps in some capacity.
I like your answer , Noah...
In the old Faery Tradition , salt was placed in the center
of the elemental altar , representing spirit , never was it
substituted for earth , as it is today in some modern ways
If one studies Crystallography , and sees the molecular
structure of salt as a face centered lattice , then as the
diffraction pattern produced by directing X - rays through
the lattice , this is the shape one attains , which proves
out why salt was placed in the center...with bowl water ,
bowl earth , candlestick and incense placed around the
center , and chalice , pentacle , wand and sword between...
Now , as far as water , in my Faery Tradition's gematria ,
the number value for "Water" :
Water = 401
Light Body = 401
To Use Magic Or Witchcraft = 400
Internal Cleansing = 400
( This is why baptism and shamanic water rituals used water )
Now as far as Priesthoods , it depends which we are speaking of ,
as far as cleansing...there are religious priesthoods , and then Pagan
priesthoods...a Pagan High Priest would have , and do have , different
versions of what is necessary , than say a Hebraic High Priest , or a
Greek Orthodox , or a Godi / Gothi of the Norse...and there are old ways
and modern versions even within those...
Saging is fine , yet many do not realize sage is used with cedar , yet in
old tradition , different shells used to burn them , and specific techniques ,
such as smudging down front , first , and then up back...
Then a triple braid of sweetgrass is used...
Sage represented fire , cedar water...still does...;)
Then there is to be taken into account spontaneous ritual ,
or ritual planned out in advance...and how one may or may
not use a circle , sphere , or other geometric form to create
As far as menstruation , and what is clean...
It is true , some traditions require women to be sequestered ,
during that time , as during that time the woman's energy field
inverts , as is taught in deeper forms of Tantra , and it is said
she is more susceptible to negative vibratory entities...
The sequestering , though rarely done today , was as well a way
of protecting the women from harmful influences...
Yet , in various forms of Blood Magick , and Sex Ritual , the menstrual
blood is not only used , but often imbibed...it may be used to anoint ,
draw sigils , wash the body , ( bathed in blood ) , and it was , in very
old rituals I know of , drunk out of human skulls...
The only requirement for the cleanliness of use , was the third day ,
after the initial flush , when the blood was gathered and used in ritual...
So there are *many* ways , and versions of what is "clean"...
Even more taking into account pre - history , and what was done...;)
Much gratitude and appreciation for the elaborate response, though I'm not terribly versed in Crystallography. This was an enjoyable and edifying read.