I love our tradition. Even the act of preparing a bath is a ceremony in, and of, itself. I have flowers that lived in my egun room for the past week.
When they begin to fade is when the real work starts and it is time to get some ewe (herbs), cascarilla, sometimes Florida Water, and a few other ingredients.
I state my intentions and along with my prayers, I recognize that this action is a sacrifice. The flower has sacrificed its life-force to be used for my benefit so I thank the flower as well (and say some other prayers that are of a personal-type preference). This is a belief I hold in accordance with my traditional African and my Native American heritages.
I specify what I expect my outcome to be upon completion. I do this to further clarify in myself what I am truly wanting. “I want a new car!” That’s great. Now you have a new car with $500 monthly payments. No, specify. Stating an expected outcome also allows me to measure progress and establish which portion of that prayer requires my input of hard work and which part is grace. If a person says, “I don’t want to get an STD,” then the internal work is to stop sleeping around (as an example). The fact that you haven’t gotten it is the portion that is grace.
Which leaves me with the best part. The male parts of the flower: stamen, anther, filament. The female parts of the flower: pistil, stigma, style. Most times you will find this to be the most fragrant part of the flower and a delicious additive for spiritual baths.
A spiritual bath for me is more than adding some bark and plants and dipping. A spiritual bath should stimulate every single last sense a human has available, with scent being a direct link to the deepest part of a human’s soul and triggering what is desired: increased concentration, love, sense of urgency, hunger, peace, calm, etc..
Again, a celebration of the senses in that I love the visual beauty involved in prepping my own spiritual baths. There is no such thing as walking into a store and purchasing ready-made baths off a shelf. Where is the ase in that?