Image Source: Pexels / Dazzle Jam
It's 2021, and prioritizing self-care has become more normalized than ever. We exercise, do yoga, meditate, and take vitamins, but still, most of us don't practice limpias (aka spiritual hygiene), which are vital to our physical bodies and spirit. The term "limpia" in this context describes the various methods and modalities that countless societies and cultures use to rebalance energy and remove unwanted vibes. "Sometimes we can't even step into our power fully because we have energetic blockages," Dr. Griselda Rodriguez-Solomon of Brujas of Brooklyn told POPSUGAR Latina. "Limpias, whether through smoke, liquid, chanting, or sitting under the tree, are the best ways to clear your electromagnetic field of blockages so that you can hear what your calling is a little better."
Oftentimes, outside energy prevents us from connecting with ourselves, our guides, and thinking clearly. Vibes are very real and impactful. If we can agree that we are energetic bodies constantly coming into contact with other energetic bodies — how do we account for that energetic transfer? Where does that energy go? The answer is that we absorb it — some of us more than others. If you've ever gotten a headache after someone told you about all their problems passionately or if you've felt super tired or suddenly depressed/anxious for days after being in a crowd — congratulations, you've experienced energy transfer.
What Are Limpiezas, and Why Do We Need Them?
Well, there are lots of ways brujas and curanderas alike use fire limpias, herbal limpias, smoke limpias, and more. There are also probably things you already do intuitively without realizing it. Examples of limpias in the modern world include Korean spas, camping, smudging (when done correctly), swimming in natural bodies of water, bathhouses, or what modern psychology now refers to as "earthing," which is literally going outside barefoot. When you spend time in nature or with the elements and you leave feeling clearer, calmer, and more centered, you've experienced a limpia.
Signs You Need a Limpia
There is a chance that you are experiencing the signs and symptoms that you need a limpia. Some of the most noticeable ones are connected to what I call our intuition zones. The first ones are your head, neck, and shoulders. Low-vibe energy transfers feel like high, tight shoulders; a stiff neck; headaches; jumping awake when you're falling asleep; sudden fluttering anxiety in your chest; teeth grinding; and/or jaw clenching. Over time, however, it can become more severe, depending on how sensitive you are and how often you cleanse or release those energies.
How Limpiezas Have Been Used Intergenerationally
For many of us, the first experience we have with limpias is with an egg, which is perhaps the most ubiquitous form, along with sage and palo santo. It seems simple enough, but a room-temperature egg becomes a magical vehicle for trapping and disrupting energetic afflictions when given the right intention. In fact, many household items and kitchen herbs are exactly what the bruja ordered. But, for many, the very idea of a limpia can inspire fear of the unknown. But let's be real, more often than not, our families practice these traditions in secret. There is such a myriad of ailments that, when all else fails, folks turn to traditional healing methods.
Fellow POPSUGAR contributor Esoteric Esa recalled how limpias weren't something discussed openly in her family, but she eventually discovered that they were something her family not only believed in but practiced secretly. "I was in university and somehow a conversation came up about my grandmother needing to take my dad and her to a curandera to get a limpia because they believed a woman in their pueblo did brujeria on them," she said. "Limpias and brujeria were something my dad's mother was aware of and believed in. That's when it hit me, this is something that's been kept under the radar out of not wanting to be judged by others. I felt deeply motivated to begin digging deeper into limpias and brujeria from that moment on."
There are definitely times when you should go to a professional bruja or curandera, especially if you think outside brujeria was involved, but for the most part, our energetic health is on us to decipher and deal with. Unfortunately, we aren't taught how to identify the signs and symptoms, nor are we empowered to go forth and figure it out. Most brujas will agree that anyone can make themselves a baño or a limpia, it's just a matter of stepping into your power and not asking for permission to be great.
Image Source: Pexels / ROMAN ODINTSOV
How to Create Your Own Limpiezas
Well, first things first, we're going to have to listen to our intuition. Yes, you read that correctly — you're going to have to trust yourself. The first step in brujeria is believing and understanding that your energy and words are sacred and powerful. In many ways, liquid limpia making is like cooking. You start with a water base and then add and experiment until you find the "sazón" that suits your needs and taste. I always recommend my clients start with liquid limpias using kitchen herbs like basil, mint, chamomile, and rosemary, and adding holy water, tobacco (from a cigar, not a cigarette), and/or Kolonia 1800, mainly because it's unlikely that those will cause skin irritation or interactions. If it's edible, chances are it serves a dual magical purpose. Use DuckDuckGo (you'll get better results than with Google) to search "X magical uses/properties," and you can take it from there.
Bruja and healer Emilia Ortiz has great advice for those who want to start dabbling and finding out which elements they vibe with. "I say let intuition guide you, but fact-check to make sure you're not mixing something that will have adverse effects," she told POPSUGAR. "Always look into what the uses are for, what you are incorporating, and if it should or shouldn't be mixed with certain things — just for safety." She also suggested centering yourself and calling in your backup — aka your guides, ancestors, and angels. "A candle, a prayer, calling in your spirits, and putting light into your limpias makes a big difference," she added. "Prayer is so powerful no matter how you do it, but speaking that life into your limpia is essential."
At the end of the day, most, if not all, brujas, curanderas, etc. would agree that it is essential that we incorporate energetic cleanses into our everyday life. "I can't imagine my practice, my path, my life without limpias," Dr. Rodriguez-Solomon said. "I appreciate this science that has been passed down to us. I can't imagine doing this world that we're in without cleansing. It is our time, if not now, when?"
Get on it, baby brujas — now is your time to cleanse!
White Limpia Recipe
Many times we will see limpias and baños used interchangeably, but here is the difference: a limpia is something that is poured over yourself with the purpose of removing and banishing nonuseful energy. A baño is something you soak in to absorb the properties of the ingredients. They can be used to draw positive energy, love, abundance, etc.
This limpia is great for weekly use. These ingredients are combined for disrupting stagnant and low-vibe energy.
- 5 white flowers (just the petals; hydrangeas or chrysanthemums are best)
- Cascarilla (a few crumbles)
- White rum (a medium-size pour)
- Holy water (a squirt)
- Agua Florida or Kolonia 1800 (as much as you like)
- Tealight candle
- Ice (yes, ice)
"With this limpia, I remove all bad energy, brujeria, mal de ojo, negative wishes, jealousy, gossip, evil spirits, dark entities, anyone who wishes me harm, and [insert anything else you want to get rid of here; be specific] from my life, and I replace it with light, with love, with joy, with abundance, with strength, with protection, with wisdom, with clarity, and with the positivity I need to live a peaceful life and achieve my dreams [ask for what you need and for what you want to achieve with a cleansed mind]."
Combine ingredients with 16 oz. water in counterclockwise motion, taking special care to warm up the flower petals in your hands before you add them. Speak your affirmation with command as you add them. Add ice. Light the tealight candle and float it in the liquid. When the candle goes out, pour the mixture over your head in the shower and say again out loud what the limpia is removing. Pat yourself dry. You're done!
It's also a great base to add to and start experimenting with.
If you want to give limpia cleansing a try, go for it, but be sure to do your best research, and keep in mind that if you're dealing with an issue, it's never a bad idea to ask for guidance from a licensed professional or a medical professional.