For thousands of years, humans have valued citrus fruits for their healing and restorative properties. In ancient Rome, for example, lemons were a status symbol often only consumed by the wealthy. Oranges were called for in 17th- and 18th-century cookbooks from the United Kingdom, Northern Europe, and the American colonies, and sailors kept a healthy stock of lemons and limes on their ships to quench their thirst and steward their health.
Our ancestors didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the bounty of vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and hydrating qualities of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, kumquats, lemons, tangerines, and limes. Even if they didn’t know why
these fruits were beneficial, they observed that consuming them improved health. Plus, they found them pretty delicious, so it was a win all around. What about bathing in citrus? More on that later...
The Varied Magick of Citrus Fruits
Ancient practitioners of magick also sensed and assigned specific associations to the different species of citrus. Lemon, for instance, was prized for its purifying energy, and so its juice was added to washes for walls and doors to help keep the body and home free of negative influences. To this day lemon is a popular scent for cleaning products and is added to tea and water for drinking.
[Read: “Is Lemon Water Really Good for You?”]
Oranges have long been used in Chinese Medicine to treat digestive issues and are associated with money and the sun for their rich orange hue. Limes share many of the lemon’s metaphysical properties but are also often used to invoke joy. Grapefruit, too, has uplifting properties in addition to protective and purifying characteristics.
Citrus Magick for Every Season
Though citrus fruits ripen in winter, they’re an amazing culinary and magickal ingredient for any time of the year.
- In winter, they protect the immune system and invoke warming energy to keep the spirit active throughout the cold months.
- In spring we can harness their tart, sunny flavors, and solar-magick associations to welcome the strengthening sun.
- Summer heralds a need for their refreshing flavors and their ability to stimulate mental acuity and cut through the season’s lazy haze.
- In autumn, their colors reflect the flaming beauty of the trees, and they offer the protective energy we need as the days shorten and grow frosty.
How to Do a Citrus Bath Ritual
One beautiful way to invoke citrus’ health benefits and magickal properties is with a ritual citrus bath. Perfect for any time of year, bathing in citrus can relax, restore, strengthen, or purify, depending on what you need most. Try the ritual below when you need a boost to your immune system, your spiritual energy, or both!
The combined holistic and magickal properties of citrus fruits make them a powerful ingredient to add to a ritual bath that’s both soothing and energizing. This ritual combines the solar energy association of citrus with the soothing power of oats and the detoxifying properties of Epsom salts.
All three ingredients soothe, firm, and tone the skin while simultaneously recharging your spiritual energy.
[Read: “If You Wouldn’t Eat It, Why Would You Slather It On?”]
To perform the citrus bath ritual, you’ll need:
- Citrus fruits (any combination will work)
- 1 ½ cups Epsom salts
- 2 cups oat milk
- A tub filled with warm water
- Journal and pen
Follow these steps:
- Slice the citrus fruits into ¼ inch-thick slices and put them in a bowl. Measure out Epsom salts into a second bowl and oat milk into a third.
- Prep your ritual space by filling the tub with warm water and setting and lighting your candles. Visualize a protective, cleansing light encircling the space.
- Add the oat milk and Epsom salts into the bath and stir the water clockwise with your hand. Feel free to chant, sing, or simply speak your intention into the water.
- Hold the bowl of citrus slices in your hands and picture your intention for the ritual flowing into the fruits, imbuing them with purpose.
- Gently add the fruits a few slices at a time into the water. Most of them should float, but it’s okay if a few sink to the bottom. Just avoid stepping on any sunken slices, as you could slip.
- Sink into the bath, get comfortable, and begin a body-scan meditation. Starting with your toes, connect with how each part of your body is connecting to the water. Feel your body enrobed in nourishing warmth, envisioning the magickal energy of each bath ingredient flowing into you.
- Breathe deeply to pull the soothing, citrusy scent into your lungs, picturing it as golden light. Meditate and breathe until you feel your body and spirit filling with calm invigoration. Allow any revelations or realizations to flow easily through your mind.
- Get out of the bath, dry yourself, and put on comfortable clothing. Clean up your ritual space (a pasta strainer is fantastic
for cleaning up the citrus slices) and reflect on your experience.
- Journal about the thoughts or realizations that came to you during the citrus bath ritual, and ideas for blending them into your daily life. It’s also a good idea to record the ritual in your journal for future use.
Consider other ways immersion heal with “13 Tips for Taking a Bath to Soothe Your Chronic Pain.”