Katy’s standby for cleansing is sage incense or smudge; you can also make a sage spray with a little essential oil in water.

Michaele favors Crucible of Courage combined with Henry’s Grass Oil (aka Hindu Grass Oil).

Jordan prefers baths which include van Van, salt, Florida water and holy water.

Kerry just began using hyssop; she recommends praying Psalm 51 while bathing.

One of the most frequent indications for a spiritual bath is an attack of inferiority or obsessiveness.

Kerry grew up with traditional British methods which include:

Onions in each corner of the room; cut in corners on a saucer of water. DON’T touch; throw in trash when they have absorbed the negativity in the room. Katy was taught similar methods.

Once when Kerry’s father was hospitalized, he was so badly off that he was given last rites. She used the onion trick, along with a garlic necklace; the onions went BLACK in three days and nights. She’s sure the nurses thought she was crazy, but Jordan – who has a number of health workers in his family – says “Nurses have seen it all before;” in fact, they will often open windows to let out the souls of the departing, or tie a knot in a dying patient’s bedsheet so Death knows which one to fetch. Katy thinks this serves a valuable social function: a sort of mute public announcement.

Jordan’s mother takes a bath of holy water and salt water after a patient dies. Miss Michaele recalled a story of Miss Cat’s, about Mohawk construction workers in New York State cleansing themselves with tobacco during the cleanup of the World Trade Center after 9/11/01.

Emily learned from a Navajo teacher, that after cleansing you must fill up the spiritual vacuum with actively positive spiritual things. — Compare Matthew 12:43-45, or the scientific dictum, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

Emily works with spirits of dead folk who are not her ancestors; started at puberty. Jordan remarked, “Some people, the dead just find.”

All right, now that we’ve listed our favorite methods and had a really profitable tangent, what are the reasons for spiritual cleansing? How do you know you need one? The list we brainstormed is as follows:

  • When “something’s a little off”
  • Physical or psychological symptoms, the earliest signs of not feeling well or not feeling “normal,” but without obvious physical cause.
  • Exhaustion
  • Hopelessness
  • “Foreign” emotions, when you have no reason to feel as you do; could be coming from a troubled spirit. (Jordan recommends book People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead, which reminded me of the work of Hans Holzer). Kerry reminds us that mean people, alive or dead, can infect you.

Other methods, all literally vibrational, and not traditionally hoodoo:

  • Kerry: Tibetan singing bowls
  • Katy: Vocal tones and rattles
  • Emily: chakra quartz singing bowls

Kerry and Jordan recently listened to the Hoodoo Rootwork Hour broadcast in which I appear, “Getting Rid of Long Standing Bad Luck.” I have to say the methods prescribed for me in that episode are working for me – subtly and slowly. Maybe my success would be more spectacular if I could dream bigger – or not. My Affirmation for Pessimists is: “Wonderful things are happening to me, even though I don’t believe it.” How important are faith and optimism anyway? There is a lot of tripe being talked about “positive thinking.”

So, next week’s topic: The Dubious Power of Positive Thinking. I’ve invited Duff McDuffee, who blogs on this subject at Beyond Growth.

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