At 3 pm on Saturday, I'll be holding one of my sort-of-annual spiritual cleansing bath and headwashing events (one year I held two, but last year I was out of the country for a while and didn't hold any). If you are attending and aren't too familiar with them, or aren't attending and are wondering what they are, here's some info and some questions that have come up.
Event runs from 3 pm until everyone seeking a headwashing or spiritual cleansing or bath has been seen, unless I collapse first. (Those who have specific roles in setting up/prep should arrive as we have elsewhere discussed; the event proper begins at 3 pm, and some elements/events happening prior to 3 are not open to the public, so early arrival is not encouraged and will not get you in for a consult or spiritual cleansing / headwashing any earlier). Participants do not have to stay until the very end; the overall event proper is not a formal ritual or service with a group opening and closing, but a gathering in which participants consult with me and/or other facilitators performing the baths/cleansings individually, and are free to depart whenever they need to. I do ask that people arrive at 3 pm. if at all possible, though, for greetings, introductions, and orientation/instructions; if you cannot come at 3 but must come later, let me know when you can arrive and I will make sure 1. that someone can greet you and give you an orientation, and 2. that I do not close up shop before you get there! And keep in mind that because this is a pretty much open event with no fees or charges, there are also no “appointments” and no “schedule” or anything like that; but if you have to be somewhere else at a certain time that means you can't wait until just whenever, let me or another facilitator know when you arrive so that we can try to make sure you get seen. (If you cannot stay until the end, you really will want to arrive right at 3 to "meet and greet," because once I get started with the consultations and headwashings / baths, I won't really be mingling and so it will be more difficult for you to let me know if you have a scheduling issue.)
Bring a covered dish or drinks to share in fellowship. If you are attending and have not received an email with directions and a list of stuff/menu items/plastic forks etc, then email me at karmazain (the gmail address) as soon as possible - if you didn't get the email, it means I do not have your RSVP and do not know you are coming.
If you have an idea of what you would like to have addressed, feel free to email me and I can make a suggestion for what you might bring (for instance, a bottle of Florida water, or some eggs, or some thing or symbol particular to your situation, or a talisman or jewelry item to be empowered - nothing huge or fancy probably). General donations are also gratefully accepted; donations of funds for supplies (herbs, waters, colognes, various milks, cloth, incense, candles, etc) may be made through my livejournal at the paypal button at the end of this post, or onsite on the 4th, and/or donations of materials may be brought in person or dropped off with me ahead of time. Particularly welcome are goat's milk, Florida Water, dark and light rum, resin incenses like frankincense, copal, etc and charcoal to burn them on, sea salt and epsom salt, hydrosols or floral waters like rose and orange water. If you intend to have your head washed to a certain loa or spirit, you probably do want to email me before Saturday.
Headwashings and the type of baths I'll be set up for here are definitely suited to cleansing, purification, blessing, uncrossing, removal of ick, peace/cooling, and removal of obstacles within or without any particular religious framework or denomination. I will also be equipped to wash attendee's heads to most particular loa, so within that framework of petitioning or aligning yourself to work with a loa towards other personal goals, then attendees might seek other outcomes such as drawing work or money or success. But for anything besides your general cleansing/purification, uncrossing, spiritual "gunk" removing stuff, you might want to check in with me prior so I can bring what you need or have you bring it, AND to make sure I can and will work with the loa or spirit you have in mind.
So for purification/dedication type stuff, since that is the majority of the type of baths/headwashings I administer at these, the ingredients are probably going to be part of my "go bag" and already taken care of by me. That's pretty much what these events are for and so I keep LOTS of certain types of herbs in stock all the time (though like I was saying, I end up going through Florida Water like you would not believe). Where an attendee seeks a more unusual approach, or is seeking a headwashing to a less-commonly-called-upon loa, is where we might need to organize or obtain materials ahead of time (everybody has heard of Legba, and I carry Legba stuff with me in any event since I'm setting up service to him there. But a loa like Linto or Ti-jean-pied-sec, not so much (not that I would be inclined to wash somebody's head to Ti-jean-pied-sec anyway). So probably if you are seeking a non-denominational type of bath, we have got you covered already; if you have a loa in mind, we maybe want to nail the details down ahead of time.
The overall format and framework of this event is non-denominational, though there will probably be some folk-Catholic saint altars set up, some non-denominational space for petitions for blessing, prosperity, healing, etc, and some service to, or space for offerings to, Legba and Erzulie Dantor, among others, set up. How much of this gets done depends in part on participant interest and assistance, so let me know if there is something you would especially like to see or have the opportunity for and let's get it going – you are an active participant in shaping the day’s events, and there is plenty of “time and space” for other stuff to be going on while you’re present – for networking, note-comparing, meeting and greeting, etc. You are not required to participate in any of the religious elements that will be involved, but if you DO plan to make offerings to any loa at all, and you are not really familiar with doing that kind of thing in a context other than the privacy of your own home altar, it would be a good idea to 1. drop me a line ahead of time, and 2. hook up with the person I recommend when you arrive, so they can give you an orientation.
I would kindly request that you RSVP so I have an idea of how many and who to expect. Basically, you will have semi-private time with me and one or more of the co-facilitators and/or assistants - Tau Dositheos and Tau Lor, two fellow bishops and long-time magical co-Workers of mine (we go back sixteen and nineteen years respectively), have kindly offered to co-facilitate/assist,
and my dear Dani, who has been an assistant and trainee at Karma Zain Spiritual Supplies for some months now, may also facilitate/assist with some consultation and hands-on work if her time and other obligations permit. [ETA: Dani can't make it after all.] You'll have time to talk about your concern and your needs and get feedback; these sessions frequently resemble readings in that information and "prescriptions" will come up relative to your case, and a custom bath will be "prescribed" for you, made up fresh on the spot, and administered. These are not full-on immersion baths where you need to remove all of your clothing, but it is hands-on spiritual work, and you will be touched, and you will probably get damp if not wet, so plan accordingly. Your individual “session” is only 15-30 or so minutes out of an entire afternoon of spiritual work and fellowship, so we can make all kinds of other things happen so this is an active afternoon of spiritual activities and not just a big “waiting room” while people are sitting there waiting for spiritual baths.
You do not need to be any particular path or another to have a spiritual cleansing or even a headwashing. I can work within your religious and spiritual "zone," or I can work without any specific religious context as well. And I think that concurrent things would be lovely – if someone wanted to lead a series of songs to a loa, or a group rosary or mala prayer or meditation, or a session of creating sacred art, or a group discussion or performance of a rite, or a healing circle, or a series of divinations or energy work or empowerments – things like that would be wonderful. And since I’ll literally be on my feet administering cleansings and baths the whole time, such things would depend on interested attendees and participants to get them going, coordinate them so it’s not all happening at once, etc. So let me know if you have an idea and let’s get y’all talking to each other about what else you would like to see happen. This is NOT a strictly vodoun event and you do not need to be immersed in or initiated into Gnostic vodoun, traditional Haitian sevis, or anything else to attend and to benefit from these. I am already planning on doing several "non-denominational" straight-up cleansing/limpias.
In general, I will supply all the necessary materials and you do not HAVE to bring anything (except a positive attitude and some food – or plates and cups and the like -- to share). If you have your own herbal or bath preparation that you would like me to administer, that is fine too – let me know. If you have a specific lwa or spirit in mind, let me know that. If you don't, but have a specific need in mind, let me know that too. If you just want to see what happens/comes up and have nothing in particular in mind, that is fine as well. The ingredients / procedures will differ according to what you have going on, and so will the colors of cloth you will need to bring, and many of these sessions will involve my doing divination or some kind of energy reading in order to determine the best approach for us to take with your cleansing or bath. So we can talk about this ahead of time to some extent if necessary, but there is also “space” for us to talk about it there. I do ask that people prioritize, though – if you come in with a list of 50 (or really even 5) things to get done spiritually or magically that day, I’d ask that you be prepared to focus on a few that are most important to you, to assure that everyone who attends has a chance to be heard and helped.
What to bring:
- · a cloth or scarf to cover your head *after your headwashing* (don't arrive wearing the cloth or scarf, unless such an article is part of what you were planning to wear anyway. The head covering is for after, not during. The point is that you cover your head wtih something fresh and dedicated to that purpose after your head has been washed, if you are planning on having your head washed. You may not intend to do this particular type of spiritual bath, and that is ok too). If you know you will need red because you are having your head washed to Ogoun, for instance, that is fine, but otherwise white is a good default color suitable no matter what.
- · a dry shirt to change into, because yours will probably get wet. You may want an entire other change of clothing. These are not public, group spiritual baths, but neither are they completely private, and they do take place outdoors, and there will be children present.
- · food or drink to share - a covered dish, or crackers/grapes/finger food/ beverages etc. These generally run at least 4-6 hours and sometimes longer. Refreshments are good for sustenance so you don't have to leave and come back to have dinner, but also food is good for grounding after your spiritual cleansing or headwashing. Furthermore, the hosts of this event who are opening their home would probably be much obliged if they did not have to cook dinner amidst a bunch of people milling around and it would be really decent of us to take care of their dinner for them. (A nice beer/wine or flowers would be thoughtful gifts for our hosts as well. Without their generous sharing of their space, this event could not take place - finding a suitable and affordable location to have these events is generally one my major obstacles.)
- · bring drums, rattles, or other musical instruments if you are moved to make music for the loa, saints, spirits, or your deity. Bring tarot cards, pendulums, objects for show and tell, objects to experiment with energetically, books or poetry or scriptures to read from. And bring your journal or some way to take notes of anything that comes up during your session as well as during the day itself. I rarely remember what I put in the baths I make during these events (sometimes I don't remember AT ALL, for instance if Erzulie Dantor decides to administer a points chaud or a blessing or garde or the bath itself), and I rarely remember the details of what comes up in any readings or consultations I do. So I will not be a good source of specific info for you later - you will want to take notes rather than rely on my memory).
- · a friend or loved one if you please and/or are not comfortable being amongst new people or entering a place where you do not know anyone else; just please do let me have a general idea of what I’m expecting in terms of numbers. I realize I am not giving as much heads-up on this as I keep saying I will do every single time I do one of these! and I do understand that things come up and schedules shift at the last minute. So there is some room for flexibility here. But it would be fairly bad form to email me the night before to tell me you are bringing 15 of your closest friends. I generally go through several hundred dollars’ worth of herbs, colognes, waters, milks, liquor, perfumes, food for offerings, flowers, etc when I host one of these. But even so I can’t simply bring everything I have – I have to do some planning. So a lot of unexpected people showing up can mean that there is not enough of something to go around.
- · a positive attitude and tolerance + respect for expressions of and opinions about faith that may not be your own (and please note that this includes orthodox Christians of various sects; Western ceremonial occultists; serviteurs of the loa in vodoun, the orisha in Lukumi, and related traditions of the African diaspora; atheists; Buddhists; followers of several pre-Christian and/or pagan faiths; and this is just to name a few. While open-hearted and -minded discussion is encouraged, bashing or attempts at one-upmanship or proselytizing are not. Many, but not all, attendees are individuals who are "in free communion" with other people and groups around the area and the world who affirm and practice the principles of Scientific Illuminism and open dialogue. But not every attendee will know what this means, will come from a similar background, and/or will be interested in “coming around to your way of thinking.” Be generous and sensible; the opportunity for dialogue and for meeting new people here is wonderful. But it would be kind of bad form to assume that the person you just met shares the same spiritual or religious background as you. Ask rather than presuming.
I do not charge for these, and I do not turn anyone away based on their inability to make a contribution. (I will turn people away for being rude or demonstrating that they are not likely to "get" the point, or to play nice with other attendees.) The reason I ask for an RSVP is because I need to plan ahead and figure out how much stuff to bring and how much time to budget so everybody can be seen, and also because I have to purchase food, flowers, fresh herbs, and beverages for certain altars that will be set up for the occasion. The first one of these events I did ran for over twelve hours, so the time and energy and resource investments are significant. Just to give you an idea - if you were to contact me and book an appointment for a private, individual session like this, in which you and I had face time to discuss your case, doing divination on it if necessary, and then for me to administer a custom-mixed-on-the-spot-just-for-you spiritual bath (including censing and other forms of cleansing as appropriate, and followup/"aftercare" recommendations), you would not pay less than $100 for a half-hour private appointment like this, and that's for a simple case that did not require a huge arsenal of ingredients nor the presence of trained assistants - both of which will be present on Saturday.
My invitations were not very systematic, given how behind in communication and work I have been lately - just because someone wasn't directly invited by me does not mean they are not welcome (though neither should it be assumed that just anyone off the street is therefore welcome). Some of you cannot travel here, especially with no heads up, but you are welcome to request that I include you in spirit and/or prayers that day (and I do perform distance cleansing with personal concerns, so you can be part of a brief bit done on behalf of those who cannot be present physically if you have a pressing need and write me very soon about what I'd need from you [and if you have not previously abused my generosity - but if you have, you're probably not reading this!]). It's not a completely open-door policy, but if someone I have directly invited can vouch for you, you're welcome as far as I'm concerned.
But times are tough - for somebody somewhere they always are, but they are especially so in this economy, and in this region which has seen more than its share of natural disasters lately. Cleansing/uncrossing work, and work to help people in their personal spiritual/religious paths, are needed, and quite often needed the most by people who are least able to afford to hire someone for such work. So for quite a few complex reasons including that one, I do not charge for these, but because I do not, I cannot host them very often, and I'm really serious about needing the RSVPs so I know how many to expect.
If you'd like to donate, you may do so via this button. Donations of always-needed things are also quite welcome (like Florida Water, light and dark rum, whiskey, rose water and orange blossom water, self-lighting charcoal tablets to burn resin incense on, herbs and resins like frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, copal, rue, hyssop, etc).