In class one day, my professor was talking about how to decompress after particularly difficult sessions with clients. She made the suggestion that every counselor ought to have a way to clear his or her space following such a session – her suggestion was using a scented candle to clear the space, and to take a few moments to center and ground.
I thought this was a brilliant suggestion, and considered using the Kemetic Orthodox natron/water blessing to help purify the room following a very heavy session. It occurs to me, however, that any of her suggestions could be a form of purification in and of themselves as well, depending on your definition of purity.
Ritual purity, in a Kemetic Orthodox context, is fairly specific. We have our water and natron blessing followed by bathing and for State rituals, a room purification performed by W’abu. But purification, in the sense of spiritual cleansing, can be done effectively in different ways. Lighting a particular candle could very well be one of them. Grounding and centering meditations could be another. Playing a song that adjusts our frame of mind could be yet another.
If we define “purity” as “a state of spiritual and physical cleanliness”, any of these things can contribute. I know that unless I am grounded and centered, I don’t feel pure. After needing some purification recently to shake off some dream ick, but not having the ability to bathe ritually, I decided I’d try a quick candle lighting and grounding exercise. It helped clear the dream ick almost completely. In other words – there’s more than one way to wash up, and sometimes using a combination of approaches can be more effective than just one.
Lesson learned: I commit myself to re-learning effective grounding and centering techniques, and to purifying every day, regardless of whether I am in shrine.