Magic 1 for Priests, #9, Purification Work

Purification Work – Provide and explain one example of purification magic from an Indo-European culture, and write an ADF-style purification working based on that example. (min. 150 words for example explanation)

In Greek culture, purification is considered a very important act.  “in no way can a man pray to Zeus spattered with blood and filth”. The washing of hands, or chernips, was an active purification before libation and sacrifice.  Clothes were also clean and most times they were white in color.  Hands are dipped in a vessel of water at the entrance to temples or holy places and then the water is sprinkled over their bodies.  The water itself is not necessarily cleansed, but the location from which it is drawn is considered before use, such as water from a powerful sea (Burkert, 78).

During our healing rite at the Clergy retreat this weekend, we used this very method for purification before ritual. We have also used it at the Grove during our greek rites as a preferred method for purification. At Grove rituals, we place a bowl of water before the entrance-way of the sacred space, and as we process into ritual, participants would dip their hands into these waters before entering sacred space. Sometimes this is just plain water, but we have also scented it with sweet oils such as rose or lavender as well. At the clergy retreat, we had one of the clergy carry a bowl of water and walk around the sacred space to allow participants to dip their hands in the water and sprinkled ourselves before we began the rite. So these methods are still very similar and have the same purpose of purification.

No words were spoken during this portion of our work over the weekend, but a sample working could be:

Lady Astraea, Goddess of purity and justice. Bless these waters so that they might cleanse those energies that work against us and allow them to purify our intent for this working. May all negativity and outside influences be washed away so we that we may continue forth in truth and pure intent.

We would then place our hands in the water to cleanse, and also sprinkle some over our bodies and say:

As I wash with the waters, I cleanse my mind, body, and spirit from impurities so I may enter sacred space pure of thought, and with love and good intent in my heart.

(Word Count: 249)

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