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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blessing An Altar Image

As spiritual practitioners we often maintain at least one altar in our home on which our tools, candles, and other symbols of our faith can be found. Images of our spiritual allies and/or deities are often a focal point for our sacred spaces as well.

Making a habit of cleansing one’s tools and materials is a very important practice to maintain. You may think that you are safe with a new deity image, however the materials use to make it probably has been handled, the machines used to manufacture them are maintained by people whose energy can be transferred to the image through the manufacturing process, and the final product is probably handled by at least one person for quality control.

If you purchased your deity image from an online store, you don’t know the environment they it has been stored it, how it has been handled, or how many people have handled the statue. If you purchased deity image from a brick-and-mortar store you then have to take into account all the employees who may have handled it but also the number of customers who picked up the item and considered buying it before you came along and purchased your deity image.

In these cases I often bless my altar images with a spiritual bath by bathing the doll in the same manner that you would an in-the-flesh client. To begin, I will prepare a bath using cleanings herbs and curios such as Hyssop, Lemon Balm, Rue, Rosemary, etc…In the case of this Jesus statue, I will be using Rosemary, Rue, and Kosher Salt.

Typically I arrange my bathing area in my kitchen sink. The area is cleaned thoroughly before hand and, in order to transform the area into a ritual space, I remove the mundane items which can usually be found on or around the typical kitchen sink such as the dish drain, hand-soap, dish-rag, etc… In addition, I will place two candles off to the side of the sink for the image to pass through after the completion of the bath and a clean white-cloth for it to rest upon while it dries.
When you are ready to begin, the candles are lit and then the image is placed inside the bath-basin. The herbal-bath is poured over its head and allowed to run down its body washing away any and all negativity and previous psychic vibrations. As the water runs down pray that the image be cleansed so that it is just as pure as the deity or spirit that it represents.

Your prayer may be extemporaneous as the spirit moves you, it can be based on a bible verse, or even a prayer that is associated with your spiritual tradition. Whatever avenue you choose, I suggest that you direct your petition to the deity that the image is supposed to represent. Let me pause here to point out that unlike working with a Spirit Doll, you are not asking the deity or spirit to take up residence inside the deity image but rather petitioning deity to cleanse the image that has been cast it is own likeness.

In the case of blessing my Jesus statue I couldn’t help but be reminded of the story found in Luke 7:36-50. Within the context of the story a woman who is described as having led a sinful life hears that Jesus is in a nearby house having dinner. She travels to the house with a jar of perfume and there she washes his feet with her tears and dries them with her own hair. When she is done she pours perfume upon his feet and kisses them. In return for this simple, but powerful, act of love Jesus forgives the woman’s sins.

When you are done washing the deity-image, pass it between the candles and let it rest on the white cloth where it will drip dry. If there is any danger of the image “spotting” you may wish to wipe it down with the dry cloth rather than allowing it to drip dry.

Now that you have cleansed the image, it is time to bless it with a ritual smudging of incense. To smudge the image, light some incense and pass the image through the smoke several time praying for it to be blessed in the name of the deity that it represents. Again, your prayer may be extemporaneous or a traditional one such as Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepard…) To seal the blessing, anoint the image with Holy Oil.  I typically anoint the forehead, heart, hands, and feet. Finally, place the deity image on your altar.

In Conclusion 

As you can see it is important to remember that the objects we place on our altar are often man-made and, as such, are susceptible to absorbing the psychic energy from its environment as well as the people in that environment. Ritually cleansing our deity images ensures that they are not only physically clean but also spiritually clean. In addition, the act of cleansing one’s deity image can be a exercise in devotion and thanksgiving for your many blessings. 

 Happy Hoodooing!

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