Why Spiritual Cleansing & Uncrossing?
Regular cleansing, or uncrossing as it is called in the hoodoo tradition, is considered the foundation for spiritual hygiene and well-being. Undertaken to rid oneself of bad luck, jinxes, curses, illness, and other forms of "crossed conditions," uncrossing work is either performed by the afflicted person themselves or by a knowledgeable and professional rootdoctor on their behalf.
Crossed conditions may arise out a myriad of circumstances - from overt enemy work done against a person to limit or severely harm their life, to a person's being in the presence of harmful energies, negative people, and even malicious low-vibration entities. Even being caught in a cycle of negative thought patterns that effectively keep you from reaching your full potential can cause crossed conditions. As most people might not be sensitive enough to know the origins of a subtle energetic attack or hindrance to their well-being, it is advised that regular uncrossing work be undertaken to keep oneself psychically clean and one's lifepath open to the most favorable outcomes.
Symptoms of crossed conditions may include:
- Unexplained pain or illness
- A streak of accidents or life-threatening circumstances
- Bad luck, or an inability to manifest one's desires
- Sudden financial or job loss
- Loss of friendships, relationships, or social status
- An onset of confusion, inability to communicate, or mental disturbances
- Ongoing disturbing dreams and nightmares
- The presence of uncomfortable or fear-inducing spiritual entities
Effective techniques and rites of uncrossing are many and varied - indeed, every culture on Earth has traditions and "tricks" for turning bad luck into good and removing blockages standing in one's way. Whichever route is taken, uncrossing work aims to be a thorough removal of negative and/or low vibrations from a person and a process of personal renewal that results in a clean slate. On the surface, uncrossing often results in a happier, calmer mood, clearer thinking, more productive sleep and rest periods, and general optimism. Behind the scenes, uncrossing work invites the highest good of the Universe to find you, and enables you to more easily attain your goals without the hindrance of malevolent forces or entities holding you back. Even without the experience of crossed conditions, a rootdoctor may prescribe uncrossing rites before performing work to attract or manifest your intentions in order to ensure that the roads remain open between you and the outcome you seek.
Uncrossing Baths & Headwashes
One of the primary forms of uncrossing work prescribed in the hoodoo tradition is the act of spiritual bathing. A tea-like water infusion of botanicals, minerals, oils, perfumes, or household compounds (in very small amounts) known for their ability to remove or neutralize harmful energies is prepared and poured over the head of the afflicted, often by themselves except in the case of specialized hands-on rites of cleansing performed under the care of a rootdoctor. Traditional prayers may be recited as part of the rite of renewal, or improvised affirmations of spiritual freedom and self-reclamation may be declared while the (now, formerly) afflicted individual rubs their body in a downward fashion as if removing a veil or other obscuration.
When undertaken as part of a regular spiritual health regimen, uncrossing baths may be performed at regular intervals, such as once per week or once per month. In the case of the presence of crossed conditions, baths may be be performed for 3, 7, 9, or 13 days in a row, depending upon the need or the recommendations of your rootdoctor. In all cases, it is traditional to capture a bit of a the bath run-off in a bowl or other container for it to be disposed of at a crossroads.
Botanicals and/or minerals known for their uncrossing abilities may be combined with other natural elements to create bathing infusions that are not only cleansing but calming, helping to settle the mind and reduce reactiveness or impulsivity (which can be both root causes and symptoms of crossed conditions). A cup of milk may be added to a sitting or standing bath such as the one described above to help soothe the nerves and "keep one's head cool," a trait prized in West African traditions to promote composure, positive thinking, and wise actions. Salt may be added to an uncrossing bath or be used alone in a headwash applied directly to the scalp to clear away unwanted mental debris and invite clarity. Similarly, the addition of Rosemary to a headwash or bathing rite can be useful for jogging the memory and strengthening mental processing.
In such cases where spiritual bathing is not possible due to location or physical limitation, comestible infusions of ingestible herbs or roots with uncrossing properties may be recommended by your rootdoctor.
Incense & Smudging
Though bathing may be the most popular and well-known form of uncrossing in the hoodoo tradition, it is far from the only technique used for renewing one's spiritual energies and preparing the way for one's highest intentions to manifest.
Most herbs suitable for water infusion for use in a spiritual bath can be burned upon a charcoal or, when macerated and combined with a small amount of a combustible mineral such as saltpeter, lit directly in a fireproof container to release their cleansing energies in the form of an incense for smudging, or purification by smoke. The person afflicted with crossed conditions (or the self-care maintaining practitioner) may waft the smoke of the incense onto their personage, or simply stand above the burning embers and allow themselves to bask in its purification. Similar prayers or affirmations as those used in traditional bathing rites can be utilized in this instance as well.
Sage is a very popular herb used in smudging ceremonies for the removal of low vibrations and harmful energies. Called a "smudge stick" when many leaves of the plant are dried and bound together with twine, this method of purification may be utilized by a rootdoctor influenced by American Indian traditions that have popularized this technique in the Western Hemisphere. The smudge stick is often placed in a ceremonial abalone shell before the tip of it is lit to set the Sage burning. Traditionally, a feather is used to waft the pungent smoke onto the person seeking to be smudged, covering as much surface area as possible. Cedarwood and Sweetgrass are other popular botanicals utilized in smudging ceremonies for cleansing and blessing.
Uncrossing Spells & Setting of Lights
Depending upon the severity and type of crossed conditions one may be experiencing, a rootdoctor may opt to perform spellwork as part of an Uncrossing regimen to renew a client's well-being. Candles may be "fixed" or dressed with oils, herbs, roots, and/or minerals lauded for their ability to cleanse and uncross, remove jinxes and curses, and/or heal and bless the mind of the afflicted if depression or negative thought patterns have contributed to their condition. Lights may be set for the client or more complicated workings employing candles, dolls, and/or places of power may be carried out to rid the afflicted of spiritual maladies.
If enemy work (intentional crossing or cursing by another person) is the cause of a client's crossed conditions, additional rootwork may be performed to reverse these attacks, bind the perpetrator from causing further harm, and protect the client. These may be performed in tandem with prescribed spiritual baths undertaken by the client or uncrossing spells and performed long-distance.
Based on the type and severity of crossed conditions a client is experiencing, it may be imperative that hands-on cleansing be performed by a knowledgeable and professional hoodoo rootdoctor. A standing bath rite might be employed requiring specialized tools and materials, or a massage-like "rub-down" using ritually prepared ointments and salves might be needed, followed by after-care in the form of comestible teas in the days to follow.
In-person smudging, feather sweeping, and the direct application of oils and prepared waters are additional tools and techniques utilized by Rootworkers to uncross and renew their client's lives.
Especially in the case of longstanding curses or of "crossing through the feet," (whereby one has contracted crossed conditions by stepping on or over harmful spiritual work laid for them by an enemy) a spiritual footwashing might be employed to cleanse away the past and ensure a blessed and prosperous lifepath.
Additional hands-on methods and techniques have made their way into hoodoo via folk healing methods found elsewhere in the Americas and may be deemed proper by a rootdoctor familiar with the traditions from which they arise and the circumstances that warrant their use.
As found within many practices around the world, including the Mexican traditions of Curanderismo and Brujeria, a type of limpia, or cleansing, may be performed through the use of an egg dragged down a client's aura. The egg is used to pull out and contain the crossed conditions the client is contending with and, when the rite is finished, the egg may disposed of at a crossroads or cracked into a glass of water into which the rootdoctor can gaze as a form of divination. The shape of the yolk along with other peculiarities within the egg matter can offer signs regarding the client's condition as well as present and future circumstances.
A more involved hands-on rite of cleansing that can be may be deemed applicable by a knowledgeable and professional rootdoctor familiar with the initiatory tradition of Santería is the rompimiento, meaning "break" or "rupture." Incorporating bathing, plant spirit shamanism, and the literal tearing and shredding of old clothes representing one's former "crossed" state to be replaced with fresh, new clean adornments, this technique is only used in the most extreme cases of crossed conditions or hauntings.