Last summer, I did not feel well. A recurring complaint (will not bore you with details) was bothering me and I spoke about it with my sister who lives in Suriname on Skype. She has been urging me for some months now to perform a water healing ceremony and since I am a lazy Taurean woman I just could not get myself to gathering the materials needed.

My sister moved to the former Dutch colony on the northern coast of South America some years ago to study Winti, the indigenous spiritual belief system she came in contact with through her Surinamese friends in Amsterdam. When I visited her in her newly adopted country I also met her spiritual teacher: Aun’Marie – Tan’Marie for Dutch readers – a formidable woman who directed ceremonies, taught and kept an eye on the pervading energies all in one go.

So when my sister and I were talking with each other through Skype and I complained about my circumstances, she said it would be necessary for me to get into this ceremonial bathing stuff now. She gave me the extensive recipe for a herbal bath (we tailored it to Western-European flora) and the just as extensive list of do’s and dont’s before, during and after the healing.

In haste I wrote down her instructions and then catapulted myself from my house – once a Taurean woman get’s going, there is no stopping to her – and ran down the High Street into Benedict Street to go to an old-fashioned shop to buy some old-fashioned household materials I had to add in small amounts to the bathing water. Those particular items were not sold anymore as they could be hazardous to the health of people and pets, so I ran the High Street up again to the health food store and bought everything in politically correct form: organic, non-chemical, recyclable packaging plus the herbs, dried and fresh. With arms full of materials, greenery and a second-hand baby bath I went home.

I locked myself in my bathroom and wrote with chalk on the sides of the small tub the concerns I had about my body. While adding the herbs, spices and the Ecover cleaning materials I talked to the ailment itself and how I really, really, really thought it was time for it to go away.  I kept a cloth ready for standing on while I poured the herbal concoction over my body, all the time talking to the ailment, the herbs and the water.

When that part of the healing ceremony was over I wrapped myself in towels, stepped out of the bathroom, never to look back at what was left there. My husband Sig had to remove the cloth, not allowing it to touch his body in any way, and throw it away and also disperse the water. I had to go to bed for an hour and be calm and meditate. Which I did. In fact I hadn’t felt that at ease in a long time. When my quiet hour was gone I brushed my body because the dried up herbs were still there. A shower was not due before the next morning.

The result of this ceremonial bathing was that I felt whole and healthy and full of flowing energy. Through the blessing of the Internet, water and plants, prayer and intent, fabric whitener and some essential oils, my energy had shifted and I felt different, better. And when my system felt positivity returning through this holistic , spiritual healing ceremony, the healing journey had begun.

– Karin Schluter Lonegren