I'm a big fan of baths in general. I use them medicinally to help relieve pain and anxiety, and I use them in a ritual context as either preparation for spiritual work or as a ritual unto themselves. So, you can probably guess that I was pretty stoked to be asked to review The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit!
The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit is a sort of practical guide blended with a recipe book-- it tells you the reasoning behind the practice of spiritual bathing, followed by some easy-to-follow instructions for beginners. Generally, books on witchcraft and new age practices tend to fall into one of two camps: they either offer a base of esoteric knowledge intended for experienced practitioners, or function more as lists of simple recipes for those without enough experience to craft their own. As a resource, this book straddled the line pretty well. Experienced practitioners who haven't deeply explored magickal bathing will come away with a better understanding (and hopefully enthusiasm) for it, while new ones will have a list of magick bath ideas they can put into practice immediately.
[caption id="attachment_2426" align="alignleft" width="176"] Author Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman.[/caption]
I found the author's background particularly reassuring. Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist as well as an experienced new age author, so she knows her stuff in the realm of the mind as well as the metaphysical. Considering the number of witchcraft and Pagan resources I've seen offer dubious advice, it was nice to have something from someone whose experience with health and the human condition bridges the line between the clinical and the spiritual.
I would have enjoyed more discussion of the herbs and stones chosen to accompany each bath, and I felt a little underwhelmed by the section on baths for health (possibly because it was the one I was looking forward to the most). I would have liked to have seen a variation or two on Archangel Raphael's Healing Waters Bath versus bath rituals for self-love (which I thought felt more at home in the Baths for Your Love Life section) and drinking more water. Fortunately for anyone who may feel the same way, there's enough of a knowledge base here to make it pretty easy to develop your own rituals and recipes following the same overall format.
Ultimately, I'd recommend The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit to anyone interested in exploring sacred or magickal baths. I think it's a particularly neat find for people who have trouble fitting their practice into their schedule, feel like they've hit a slump, or need to keep their practice hidden. Had I not been offered a copy of this book in exchange for my review, I can say with confidence that I would have purchased it myself.