The Perfect Lavender Bedtime Routine!

Oh lovely Lavender!  Lavender flowers and essential oils have so many benefits and are certainly among my favorite plant.  It is widely recognized as a relaxing and calming scent and recommended often as aromatherapy treatment for anxiety and insomnia.  (With scientific based studies backing up the claim that it helps slow the heart rate and promote better sleep)  For sleep, improved mood, and decreased anxiety or nervous tension, Lavender has been proven to significantly promote relaxation of the parasympathetic nervous system, reduce heart rate, reduce pain levels, and improve cognitive function.

There are other perhaps less well known benefits to lavender as well.  It has also shown to be beneficial to the skin as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which can help soothe, protect, and heal the skin and even help treat and prevent acne.  Lavender can help improve digestion, restore hormonal imbalances, improve urinary tract function, reduce muscle pain, and it is even a natural bug repellent! (Read this article for more details.)

I love nothing more than Lavender aromatherapy before bed time to help me wind down and prepare for sleep.  I thought I would share with you the “Ultimate” Lavender Bedtime experience that you can have at home!  (This would be my ideal Lavender Pampering Routine, though I may not do all the steps included here all the time, so pick and choose what you’d like to try!)

I would begin by putting some lavender essential oil in a diffuser in my bedroom (or light some lavender incense) so that my bedroom will smell nice and lavender-y when I am done with my bath or shower.  Jade Bloom has a fantastic Lavender essential oil.  A couple drops on your pillow case are a nice touch as well (or add a few drops of lavender oil to a spray bottle of water and lightly mist your sheets and pillow).

Grab your favorite clean pair of pajamas, you can even spray a light mist of water with lavender oil onto your pj’s to have them smelling nice too.  (Pro Tip – Put a couple drops of lavender essential oil on a clean sock and put it in the dryer with your load of laundry!  It will make your whole load of clothes smell like lavender!)

Get some hot water going and a tea cup for your favorite bedtime tea!  For the ultimate Lavender bedtime experience I would use Traditional Medicinals Chamomile Lavender tea (yum!)  I usually get my tea ready before my bath or shower so it can steep and be ready for me to drink afterwards.   I use a thermos style mug with a lid so it stays warm.

When you’re ready for your shower or bath, grab your Field Better Soon Chunk Bar from Perfectly Posh.  I love this chunk bar so much!  It’s a BIG, vegan bar of soap made with Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerin, Lavender essential oil, lavender flowers, and oatmeal.  I don’t leave mine in the shower or edge of the tub, it will last longer if you take it out and store it in a cool dry place between uses.  In the shower or bath, I use a Shower Pouf sponge with the chunk bar and it makes SO MUCH foamy lather!  Wash from head to toe including your face and let the lavender and oatmeal soothe and calm the skin while the relaxing aroma helps calm your senses.  Your skin wil be so soft and nourished from this amazing chunk bar.  If you shave, you can use the chunk bar for that too!  Just use the lather from the soap instead of shaving cream and you’ll get a nice smooth shave every time.

If you are taking a bath and not a shower, check out these Lavender Bath Bombs hand made by yours truly!  With nourishing mineral oil, and skin softening epsom salts this bath bomb makes your bath water silky soft.  Loaded with pure Lavender Essential Oil and some glitter just for fun, this takes your Lavender bath experience to the next level!

If you have a favorite lavender scented shampoo and conditioner, you could add that to this routine too.  I love layering on the lavender scent in every possible way, so that’s just an idea if you are going for the Ultimate Lavender experience!  If you don’t have that, just use your regular shampoo and conditioner.

The next step comes after your shower or bath, but before you dry off! Good Hydrations In Shower Body lotion is a really unique moisturizer!  It is a lotion that works best when applied to wet skin!  Did I mention it is Lavender scented?  This concentrated and thick body lotion has coconut oil, argan oil, shea butter, and lavender essential oil to nourish your skin and lock in all the moisture from your bath or shower.  The warm water has opened up your pores to let all the goodness in, so grab this lotion before you grab your towel!  Smooth generously all over for baby soft skin and another blast of lavender aromatherapy – you’ll feel pretty close to lavender bliss at this point!

Now you can grab your towel and dry off, dry your hair  (I blow dry my hair so I don’t get cold in bed with wet hair) and put on your favorite pajamas you had selected.  Mine are a lavender purple fleece pair of pajamas and yes, I am that person who wants to wear the color lavender to match the lavender scent of my pampering night!  Once you are dry, you’ll want to make sure you pamper your face with a nice face creme or moisturizing oil, since the Good Hydrations was a body lotion but not a face lotion. A face moisturizer is a great compliment to your daily face care rourtine as it helps improve elasticity, prevents premature aging, keeps the skin on your face from drying out, and actual helps balance the natural oils in your skin to prevent acne and correct overly oily skin.   Night & Day You Are The One is an amazing vegan facial moisturizer with Aloe Vera, Lavender essential oil, glycerin, and olive oil.  You can smooth just a tiny amount of this on your face before bed and let those healing ingredients do thier work while you sleep! Or you might like Call It A Night Nighttime Face oil.  This face oil is a blend of essential oils and botanical extracts perfectly blended to create the perfect gentle overnight moisturizer for the delicate skin on your face.  With ingredients like Evening Primrose oil, rosemary, lime, lavender, jojoba, ginger root, and sunflower seed oil, a small amount of this oil spread over your face before bed will soak into your pores overnight for extra smooth, healed skin in the morning.

Now you’re all Lavender blissed out and probably feeling cozy and relaxed, ready for bed!  Your tea is waiting for you, and your bedroom should be filled with nice lavender scent from the incense or oil diffuser you started before your shower.  Here is just one more thing you might like to use before you crawl into bed (I actually like to keep mine right next to my bed!)
It’s the Sleepy Sleep Skin stick!  This is a solid lotion bar of shea butter, beeswax, and Lavender Essential oil.  You can slide the stick over any dry patches of skin, on the bottoms of your feet, on your pulse points, over your forehead and temples, or on your chest.  The lavender scent will slowly release with the warmth of your body, and it will soak into your skin to soothe away muscle pain, dry skin, and help you relax even further down into a peaceful night’s sleep.  You can also apply the skin stick during the day any time you are feeling anxious and just need a little lavender to help calm you.  Great for kids and babies too, as a safe and natural lotion to hep them relax before bed or a nap.

Crawl into bed with your tea and your book, and enjoy the time that you are feeling so relaxed before you drift off to sleep!
* I do hope you will try out some of these products (or go “ultimate” and try them all)!  You deserve to have a night of pampered Lavender Bliss, and with these products you could have a great many nights like this one!  Orders from Perfectly Posh help support me directly too – as an independent consultant I get paid a commission for your orders!  This is used for regular life stuff like helping me pay the bills and feed the kids, so that’s another way reason you can feel good about this purchase!  Just make sure you use the links provided in this blog post, and it should show “Wendy McDowell” as your consultant on the Posh website!  You also support me directly with orders from my Etsy shop (such as the bath bomb listed above)

Bathroom Magick – Banishing

Bathroom Magick – BANISHING

You may not think of your bathroom as a very magickal place, or a place to do spells other than Ritual Bathing.  Check out my previous post about the Bathroom and see some ideas and tips for thinking of your bathroom as a sacred space (along with tips for cleaning it)

One type of magick that is perfect for the bathroom is Banishing.  As this is where we quite literally wash away dirt and grime, and ermmm… “release waste and toxins” from the body, we already have subconsciously related the bathroom to Banishing.  Let’s bring that correspondence to our conscious mind and utilize this space for some magick!

  • Pretty obviously, you can set the intention to banish or release stress and negativity every time you wash your hands and face or take a shower or bath.  You could even choose a soap that is infused with an oil or herb with banishing qualities and bless that soap with the intention of removing negativity every time you use it.  You can find soaps or face washes with Aloe, Blackberry, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Coconut, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Peppermint, Raspberry, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Tumeric, and Witchhazel – all of these have banishing properties as well as benefits for the skin!
  • For washing away a bad habit, get a bar of soap and carve the name of the bad habit deeply into the soap.  Use the soap every day during a waning moon cycle and as the words carved in the soap fade so will your bad habit.  (intention and willpower are also important here!)  When the words have faded completely, throw the remaining soap away.
  • Detox – find some bath salts, face mask, or body mud that have detoxifying properties.  As you use these products, visualize the product not only drawing toxins out of your skin – but drawing out negativity and stress too.  Light some candles and bring some gemstones in your bathroom that absorb negativity – like Obsidian, Onyx, or Black Agate. (check out these awesome detox bath and skin products!)
  • Flush it! For a quick banishing spell, write down what you want to banish on some toilet paper.  Examples; “stress”, “debt”, “illness”, “depression”.  Sprinkle some banishing herbs or spices on the toilet paper, wad it up and Flush it down the toilet!  This can be really empowering as you visualize your problem being flushed away.  Add some power by saying,
    “Problem of mine, you cannot stay
    Problem be gone, flushed away!”
Thanks for reading!  Do you have more ideas for banishing spells that can be done in the bathroom?  Leave a comment!
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Sun-Day Shower Spell for Protection

This is a simple shower spell that you can do every week to provide protection through the week.  I choose to do it on Sundays because they are ruled by the Sun – which has powerful energy of protection.

First you’ll want to find a bottle of body wash or shampoo to bless and charge for this purpose.  It can be any brand of shampoo or body wash you want, or even better – a kind you make yourself!  I chose this one because of it’s name and scent!

I drew symbols of the Sun, Leo, Aries, Mars, and Fire on the bottle.  Believe it or not, I designed this as a Fire Element spell!  You can think of it as both a Water element and a Fire element spell because of it’s focus in the shower.  Water for cleansing and blessing, and Fire for protection and energy.

I placed the bottle with symbols drawn on it outside in the sun for a full day.  I surrounded it with some fire element crystals and gemstones, and visualized the sun and the crystals infusing the shampoo with the energy of protection.  I did this on a Sunday and a Tuesday in April – the Sun was in Aries and Tuesday’s are ruled by Mars and Sundays ruled by the Sun.  You don’t have to wait until the sun is in Aries again, but it may be helpful to do this on either a Sunday or a Tuesday, or look for a day when the moon will be in either Leo or Aries.  Just remember, using the moon phase and days of the week can help boost your spell, but they aren’t 100% requirements.  All you really need is a good sunny day and clear intentions!

Once your bottle is blessed, use it every Sunday for a shower!  While you shower, visualize the soap leaving a bright golden light of protection around your body.  Visualize that this light will stay in place all week, protecting you.  I like to say this prayer;

“Mind and Body I do ward;
Protection from the mob and horde.
No spirit or person of baneful sway
May harm me now in any way.”
 
(I wrote it on the bottle so I can remember it while I’m in the shower!)

Bathroom Blessings and Spells

Last week I started a De-Cluttering project – to get rid of clutter in the home.  Both for practical purposes and spiritual purposes.  I started in the Bathroom.

I created a sacred space in my bathroom by making a small altar in this window ledge.  Candles, seashells, a clay Goddess figurine, and my Yemaya Mojo Bag.

I cleaned my countertops and went through the cabinets and drawers and managed to get rid of quite a bit of clutter that had been hiding there!  It is amazing how much stuff just gets put aside to use or deal with “later”.  And “later” never really comes!  It felt good to let go of and release some things, and re-organize other things.  My bathroom truly feels like a relaxing retreat now!

An example of Before & After under the sink:

Before

After
 

Before

After

With my cleansing and blessing of the space, now when I go in my bathroom I am reminded of the importance of self-care.  And I’m reminded that many acts of self-care can be so magickal!  You can turn the act of bathing, showering, or washing your face into a simple ritual of cleanising, releasing, and banishing.  You can turn the acts of brushing your hair or applying make-up into simple rituals of beauty and self love!

If you’re interested in spells or rituals for your bathroom, here are a few links:

A really great book; Enchantments: 200 spells for Bath and Beauty

Here I have a Detox bath and Meditation with Yemaya

Cleansing Bath

Another Book; Wicca Spiritual Bath Spells

Book; Crossroads Mama 105 Spiritual Baths for Every Occasion

Book: Magical Herbal Baths of Santeria

If I add other Bath/Beauty type spells or rituals here after this blog post, they will be tagged under “bathroom” so you’ll be able to find them!  I have a few I want to share, I’ll add them when I have time! 

Clear Your Space – The Bathroom

Ready to start clearing your space and turning your whole home into a spiritual haven?  I’m starting this week in the bathroom.  Feel free to join me!  Comment with a link to your own blog or just a simple text comment with your goals and progress!

Identify The Purpose of Your Bathroom
What kind of energy do you want in your bathroom?  I consider the bathroom the home of the Water element in my home, as it tends to have a lot of water energy with the shower or bath and sinks!  Bathrooms are a center of self-care and healing.  We release toxins on a daily basis (yes, everyone poops!) wash our faces, brush our teeth, bathe, and beautify ourselves in our bathrooms.  So if you start to think of your bathroom as your center of Healing and Self-Care you can focus on what things in that room serve that purpose. 
The bathroom can be an important area for the Household Witch.  Bathing is often recommended to clear your energy before ritual, and the bath or shower can be a powerful place to focus energy for healing.  For some, the act of Hair Brushing or braiding can be part of a ritual or spiritual practice, as can the other “mundane” tasks of daily self care like putting on makeup- brushing teeth, taking vitamins or medications, etc. Keep these in mind as you work on your bathroom.

Clearing The Space In Your Bathroom

  • Choose a time to focus on your bathroom.  It can be as simple as 15 minutes a day for a few days, to one hour . . . whatever works best for you.  Don’t overwhelm or overwork yourself!  Pick one area to focus on at a time.
  • Gather what you need.  Trash bags, a box for items to donate, cleaning products.  If you want- bring a candle or some incense and crystals to set up a temporary altar.  This will help you stay focused on your task as a spiritual process of releasing and cleansing.  Think about what Deity you may want to help you, or what Deity you will dedicate your work to.  For the bathroom I think a Goddess of Healing or a Goddess associated with Water would be perfect!  Don’t fixate just call upon who you feel comfortable working with. 
  • When you’re ready to begin, start by simply sitting in your bathroom.  Think about the type of space you want it to be.  Healing, Comforting, Blessing, Cleansing.  Visualize how you would like the room to look.  Visualize yourself and your family being healed, comforted, blessed and cleansed when they use the space.  Light your candle and say a prayer to the Deity you want to work with.  Ask for their blessing on your work and your bathroom
  • Go to the area you’ve chosen to work on.  This might be the countertop, the medicine cabinet, under the sink, or the shelves in the shower/bath.  Take everything out.  Wipe down the surface, visualizing that it is not only physically cleaned, but energetically cleaned.  Then pick up each item you took out.  Ask the following; *Do I need this?  *Do I actually use this?  *Does it promote the energy of healing and cleansing that I want in this space?  If your answer to any of these questions is NO – you can either throw it away, donate it, or put it aside to be put somewhere else.  (If it is something you need and use, but doesn’t belong in the bathroom you can keep it but it needs to be “rehomed” to a more appropriate area)
  • Put back neatly the things you are keeping.  Take the throw-away items to the trash.  Put items that need to be put away somewhere else in a small box and take them out of the bathroom.
  • Feel gratitude!  Thank yourself for releasing things you don’t need!  Thank yourself for taking the time to cleanse this space and dedicate it to becoming an area of Healing.  You may choose to smudge with sage or a blessing incense.  Thank whatever Deity you worked with for their blessing on the area.
  • Dedicate yourself to keeping that area clutter-free.  Maybe once a week you can take 15 minutes to quickly look through your bathroom and make sure that only the things that belong there are there.  Pick one day as a “bathroom rescue” day – say Wednesdays – and make a reminder to yourself to simply bless and maintain this area once a week.  OR you might choose to do a quick “sweep” every morning.  Since you probably use your bathroom every morning to get ready for your day – why not just take an extra minute or two while you’re in there to keep things clear and make sure clutter doesn’t build up.

Repeat as needed in other areas of your bathroom until it’s done!  Remember it can be just one area a day, or all in one day depending on your time and energy.  Just take breaks between areas if you need to!

For my Bathroom Cleansing & Blessing, I’ll probably work with Yemaya – Mother Goddess of the Ocean that I work with for Healing bath rituals.  Her healing and mothering energy seem the perfect compliment to my focus and purpose for my bathroom!  I’ll post at the end of the week with my progress / results of my bathroom blessing!  I’d love to hear about your process too!  Comment here or on my facebook page!

Here’s some simple tips from FlyLady about your bathroom: http://www.flylady.net/d/zones/zone-3/
And, if you’re ready to think about Feng-Shui in your bathroom, here’s some tips; http://fengshui.about.com/od/designbyroom/ss/Create-Good-Feng-Shui-in-Your-Bathroom.htm

Detox Bath and Meditation with Yemaya

A warm bath can be the perfect place to unwind, relax, and meditate.  Combining the physical benefits of a detox bath with the intention and focus of cleansing and healing can be quite a spiritual experience.  I love taking a bath every week for a time of pampering, self love, and purification.

This week I have been working with Yemaya, a Santerian Goddess of the Ocean.  I thought that my bath would be a great way to connect with her without actually going to the beach or creek.  It’s winter and cold outside!  With the Sea Salt in this detoxifying bath recipe, it’s as if you are enjoying the blessings of ocean water, from the comfort of your own home!

Basic Recipe For A Detox Bath:

1/2 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Sea Salt
1 cup Epsom Salt
optional; 2 – 3 drops of essential oil of your choice

Mix well in warm bath water and soak for about 30 minutes.  The combination of Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, and Baking Soda helps to relax your muscles and open the pores of your skin to draw out toxins.  Drink a full glass (8 – 10 oz) of cool water after your bath to help continue the detox and prevent muscle soreness and dehydration.

Setting the Mood

Here are some ways you can make your bathroom a scared space to call upon Yemaya for her healing and nurturing.  All of these are optional; do what feels right to you based on what you already have or can easily get.

* Sea Shells – arrange around the edge of the bathtub or near the tub
* Candles – White, Blue, Sea-Foam type colors would be best
* Figurines of Dolphins or Mermaids – arranged near the bath or around the edges.  Be careful not to knock them into the tub or onto the floor!
* Your Yemaya Mojo bag
* Prayer Beads / Mala Necklace
* A cd player or mp3 player with speakers (Kept away from the water, of course!)
* Sounds of the ocean or flowing water.  Many meditation CDs have tracks with sounds of ocean waves or rain.

Set your bathroom up however you like.  Make sure you have clean towels and fresh clothes for when you get out.  Run your bath and add the Bath Detox ingredients. 

Light the candles, turn on the music.  If there is enough candle light and/or a night light, you may want to turn off the lights in the bathroom.  Just be sure you can see well enough to get in and out of the tub safely!

Sit or kneel by the tub and swirl the water with your hand.  Call on Yemaya and ask her to enter your sacred space, to be with you.  When you feel ready, you may get in your bath.

Relax!  Enjoy!

While you are enjoying your bath, you may choose to meditate, pray, or chant.  Ask Yemaya to bless you and cleanse you, she will help boost the detoxifying energy of the bath.  If you wish, you may visualize yourself with Yemaya on a beach.  She holds you gently and lovingly, the way a mother holds a child, and she slowly lowers you into the ocean, where you feel safe and loved. 

While I was visualizing this and feeling her loving presence close to me, I found myself chanting;

“Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya
Mother, Mother, Mother, Yemaya
Bless me, bless me, bless me, Yemaya
Mother, Mother, Morther, Yemaya.”

and then I found myself singing;

“We all come from The Goddess,
and unto Her we shall return.
Like a drop of water,
flowing to the Ocean.”

As you pray and meditate, ask for the Great Mother’s guidance.  She may give you a message pertaining to your healing, or how to rebalance some aspect of your life.  This guidance may come in the form of a thought, idea, or an urge to do something differently or change some aspect of your life.  Notice that this guidance does not come with judgment, but with the love of a Mother who truly wants what is best for you.

Spend as long as you like in the bath, praying, singing, meditating.  30 minutes is the recommended time for the Detox bath to have full effect, but listen to your body and if you need longer or less time, honor yourself and do what is best for you. 

When you are done;

Carefully get out of the bath, dry yourself.  Thank Yemaya for her blessings, healing, and guidance.  Turn on the lights and blow out the candles, but let them cool before moving them.  You may wish to dress yourself in blues or sea-green colors for the rest of the day to continue feeling Yemaya’s ocean presence with you.  Take a small step to do something to improve your life or your health – even if it is just making a to-do list or writing down the things you were guided to work on.

May your days be blessed! 

For your enjoyment, here are some slightly different Detox Bath recipes I found online.  Enjoy and use whichever recipe you want!