What is a Baño Blanco (White Bath)?
In African Diasporic traditions, baños blancos (white baths) are commonly used for bringing balance back into your life and Ori. The Ori is your spiritual head. Located at the top of your head at your crown, it’s how you communicate with spirit. It’s part of your destiny and intuition as well your consciousness. When your Ori is imbalanced, it makes it hard for you to hear your higher self and spiritual guides.
White baths offer something like a hard reset. They help clear away negativity from your body while bringing peace and refreshing your spirit. When we’re struggling with anxiety and malaise, this bath tends to help bring the nervous system back into a state of relaxation.* It’s like a warm hug for your spirit. This isn’t a cure-all, but it can be a step in your self-care journey.
White baths can be used by people of all ages. If you’re having trouble sleeping, this ritual can help restore a sense of peace into your environment. Sometimes people even use this bath to clean their spiritual figurines, if they feel called to do so.
How do you prepare a Baño Blanco?
Everyone prepares their white baths a bit differently. The traditional recipe includes goat’s milk, cow’s milk, and coconut milk. However, some people use only goat’s and coconut milk, and some choose not to use any animal products. I recommend that you choose the ingredients that resonate with your intuition.
- 4 cups of coconut milk
- 4 cups of goat’s milk
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 4 cups of coconut water (optional; you may substitute the other milks listed)
- White flowers
- Hyssop (optional)
- Agua de florida (florida water) or your preferred floral perfume or cologne. Use one that is meant for cleansing and purification.
- Holy water (water that has been blessed)
- Splash of white rum (optional)
- A portion (cup or cube) of cascarilla, an egg shell powder that is commonly used in ATR/DTR practices (African and Diasporic Traditions) for protection, purification, and cleansing. It is typically sold in small paper cups. Save a little for aftercare.
Step 1. Grab a large basin or bowl, and add the milks and spring water.
Step 2. While praying over your water, start to break down your flowers and herbs by hand in the water to incorporate them into the mixture.
Step 3. Add your holy water, cologne, and rum—a few drops are all you need.
Step 4. Break down your cascarilla cube into the water until it has mostly dissolved.
Step 5. Divide your bath mixture in two; store half in the refrigerator, and mix the other half with 1 gallon of water.
Step 6. Prepare for the bath by taking a regular shower, making sure to clean your body from head to toe. Peppermint, basil, lemon, and black African soaps can help in the process of cleansing your body before a spiritual bath.
Step 7. After your shower, pour the white bath mixture over your body. While pouring the contents over your body, pray or think about how you would like to feel after your bath. You may be called to pour this bath over your Ori (crown) or from your neck down. If you happen to pour it over your Ori, be aware that you may feel a bit lightheaded from the energy shift. At the end, you can either leave the white bath mixture on your body or rinse off with cool water. Everyone does this part differently.
Step 8. Air dry so as not to rub the contents of the bath off, and anoint yourself with agua de florida and holy water. Mark your head, feet, palms, and the back of your neck with cascarilla. Step into white clothing or light color clothing to help keep you at peace.
Step 9: Pray, give thanks, and sleep well.
- While preparing for your bath, take time to change your bedsheets to white or a light color, and prepare white clothes to change into. In addition, clean your bedroom, bathroom, and the rest of your home to help create a peaceful environment. Taking time to clean first helps you enter this practice with ease and light thoughts.
- As an option, you can fix two white candles and set them outside of your shower or tub, as this will represent the peace you are about to walk into. You can let the candles burn down all the way or use them again for your next bath.
- You can add seashells, incense, crystals, or tobacco into your ritual, as long as you follow what is in alignment to your intentions. You can also wear jewelry or amulets that invoke protection.
- Before using your bath mixture, you may leave it at your altar with a candle so that your ancestors can bless it.
- It's common to feel extremely tired or exhausted after a white bath, so resting or going to sleep is often the best thing to do. But if you happen to watch television or listen to music after your bath, make sure to engage in things that won’t make you angry or feel deeply blue. Naturally, these emotions may come to the surface; if they do, allow them to pass and wipe your head with cool water.
- Some practitioners will suggest that you take white baths 3, 7, or 9 days straight, but proper divination will help you with this answer. Listen to your intuition, and ask your spirits for what is needed.
- According to traditional practice, for the 24 hours following your bath, avoid engaging in sexual activities with yourself or others, smoking or drinking, or engaging in negative self-talk or cursing. These things can dampen your aura.
I pray that this bath brings you much peace, clarity, and serenity. That this bath brings you closer to yourself and helps you to feel home again in your body. May your angels, spirit guides, and ancestors continue to assist you on your journey and help you grow on your path. You are an embodiment of divine love. You are source. Asé o.
Sadé (The Kitchen Bruja)
This article is an excerpt from Balance, available via print on demand. Issue 07: Balance and Issue 08: Nourishment are printed together in one double-sided booklet.