I was sitting there in the dark, all alone, and full of emotion.  I wondered how I could get some of the emotion and the energetic crap out of my mind, out of my heart, and out of me.  In our religion, we don't have confession.  There isn't anyone to absolve us of our sins or those things we perceive as sins and wrongdoings.  We believe that we are responsible for our own actions.  The things that we do will return to us threefold.  Karmic retribution.  Occasionally, we inflict those punishments on ourselves.  

Not only do we do things to ourselves that we need to be cleansed of, but others do things to us that we need to be cleansed of and have removed from our psyche.  We hang on to pain and to hurt.  The darkness settles over us and we start to drown in it.

So what do we do?  We're witches!  We take care of it ourselves.  This is where self-purification comes in.  There are several methods of self-purification.  Some are nasty ways to do it.  Remember the reverend in the Scarlett Letter?  Self-flagellation.  I wouldn't recommend it.  However, I would recommend a bath though.  It's much more pleasant.  I highly recommend a warm bath with some Epsom salts.  A good soak, a deep scrubbing and some meditation will work wonders.  Once you add intent and a little energy work, you have a fabulous self-purification.  

Another method that I believe I picked up from Spiral Dance by Starhawk is to cast your circle, call in the elements, invite in your gods and then cense yourself with the smoke of the incense, the elements of Air and Fire.  Then take a nice swig of salt water, swish it around, even gargle with it and then spit it back out.  Visualize that salt water pulling out all of those impurities from your heart and your soul.  As you spit it out, it is removed from you and you are rid of it.  Then ask for the blessings of your gods and the elements.  Stay in a meditative state for a while and fill yourself with love.

Every now and then, we use a longer term method of purification.  Fasting.  This is typically in preparation for a major ritual, transformative rituals.  These are times when mysteries are revealed.  The cleansing process not only helps to eliminate impurities from our bodies but also helps to put us in a state to receive messages from the gods.  Now, when I say fasting, I mean that we start essentially with an elimination diet sort of thing.  First we eliminate processed foods and meat.  Then little by little work our way down to a raw food or juice diet.  Then nothing but clear liquids for the last few hours.  All of these things are adjusted as needed based on your own physical needs.  For instance, I can't do a raw food diet.  I'm allergic.  I was able to alter it so I went down to a pasteurized juice fast.  I also am hypoglycemic so some of those juices had protein powder added to them.  There was no 12 hour or 24 hour liquid diet for me.  It would be bad and unhealthy in serious ways.  

These things are meant to cleanse your soul.  Not harm you.  Make sure that any time you do any sort of magic or cleansing or fasting that you do not harm yourself.  Take care of yourselves.

All the best,