Even though the ultimate purpose of all authentic religion is the freeing of the individual from rebirth in the material plane, to facilitate that purpose all viable religions have and use the power to purify and elevate the vibrations of matter. True religion is capable of invoking high spiritual energies and merging them into matter so that it becomes an instrument of transformation and liberation. Every effective spiritual tradition has some form of holy water. This is because all things are really consciousness, and those who know how can alter or influence that consciousness, either adding new characteristics to it, or even changing it from one thing to another. The earliest liturgical texts of Christianity give forms of blessing water for use in church and the homes of the laity.
The use of holy water is one of the most beneficial elements of esoteric Christian practice, for it is virtually invincible in its might. Saint Teresa of Avila wrote at length on its superiority to words and gestures of power for the banishment of negativity. For this reason bishops Wedgwood and Leadbeater used it–blessed by an additional prayer–in the rite of Baptism as a true washing of renewal and regeneration. (The baptismal water ritual will be analyzed in a later chapter.)
The common Western form of blessing holy water is extremely old and was uniform throughout Europe for many centuries. Bishop Wedgwood saw the possibility for improvement and revised it to better reflect the esoteric understanding of its purpose and effect. Salt and water are blessed separately and then combined and blessed together. The various prayers invoke the divine blessing for the purpose of healing, exorcism, empowerment, and sanctification.
Water is itself magnetic to a high degree and therefore highly sensitive to vibrations. Recently a great amount of scientific research has been done on the responsiveness of water to thought, speech, and even the written word. Salt adds greatly to water’s magnetic properties, so in the Western tradition it was always part of the holy water blessing.
Also, in Western practice it was often common to exorcize ritual items or things that were to be blessed. This was because, as usual, science was lagging behind religion in knowledge of the simple facts of material existence and life. Religion understood that objects could be magnetized by thoughts, words, and even emotions. An object handled or near a person filled with intense passions–especially anger or hatred–could be deeply stamped with negative vibrations that could effect its behavior on all levels.
I once read the account of a psychic who had been in a traffic jam in which a man began shouting and cursing at her and her car. From then on she was continually having trouble of some kind with the car. Since it had never developed any problems before, she was puzzled. But then she remembered the angry man and realized he had literally psychically attacked her car, though unaware he could even do such a thing. She did a simple cleansing of the car and everything went back to normal tranquillity. So when we think of a psychic attack, we must not think only of malevolent magicians and curse spells, etc. A simple fit of anger or even indulgence in grief or depression can negatively affect the things in our environment at the time.
Yogic Blessing of Holy Water
In this ritual we encounter a similar situation as in the blessing of incense during the Mass: the priest speaks directly to the salt and water when he exorcizes them. Usually he says something like “I exorcise this … in the name of…,” but not here. Why? For two very good metaphysical reasons.
The first I already gave in the commentary on the Mass where I wrote: “It may seem strange to speak to ‘inanimate objects,’ but since everything is a manifestation of the Divine Energy, the Holy Spirit, everything is inherently conscious, and an empowered will can bring about changes even in ‘mere’ matter.”
The second is the fact that various kinds of intelligences can lodge themselves in physical objects and thereby have an effect on those that use them or even ingest them. For example, there is a very well documented case of a man that stole a cabbage from a neighbor’s garden. After cooking and eating it he became possessed. During the exorcism the possessing entity said: “I was sitting on the cabbage minding my own business, but he came along and picked me up with the cabbage, took me home and ate me along with it so I have a right to be in here.” The exorcism was successful and a lot of local thieves learned a valuable lesson. So the priest is also speaking to any wandering or “tramp” spirits that may be in the water. Water and salt are very susceptible to psychic influence and invasion. By its nature water is extremely sensitive and receptive, and salt, being a crystalline formation is also a kind of psychic magnet.
In short: the world is alive and sometimes needs talking to.
Salt is a crystalline formation and possesses fiery cleansing properties. It is ideal for the neutralization or banishment of negative vibrations, and very effectively breaks negative psychic links. The simple ingestion of blessed salt can free people from psychic obsession and even outright possession. (I am speaking from personal experience and observation.)
Since everything is potentially conscious, being a manifestation of Consciousness Itself, the priest takes a container of salt and speaks directly to it, saying:
I exorcize thee, creature of salt, by the living ✠ God, by the holy ✠ God, by the omnipotent ✠ God, that thou mayest be purified from all evil influence, in the name of him who is Lord of angels and of men, who filleth the whole earth with his majesty and glory. Amen.
We can understand those words, and so can the salt.
Having a direct link with Christ, the priest then infuses the water with divine blessing or exorcistic powers, praying:
We pray thee, O God, in thy boundless lovingkindness to stretch forth the right hand of thy power upon this creature of salt which we ✠ bless and ✠ hallow in thy holy name. Grant that this salt may make for health of mind and body to all who partake thereof, and that there may be banished from the place where it is used every power of adversity and every illusion or artifice of evil; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
This prayer tells us a lot.
- Holy salt is an extension-expression of the boundless lovingkindness of God, a blessing not a weapon. In fact, much of its exorcistic effects stem from the aversion of evil to good–to God and love–not from any aversion or enmity on God’s part, since such a thing is impossible.
- Holy salt is a tool for healing on all levels.
- Holy salt does banish evil, but through evil’s willful aversion to good.
- Even more, it can dispel illusions and frustrate the machinations of evil.
And all through Christ our Life.
For this reason it is good to always have blessed salt on hand, to use it in any way that seems appropriate to further our welfare. If we cook with blessed salt or put it on our food it will greatly shield us from negative influences–energies or entities.
Next the priest speaks to the water:
I exorcize thee, creature of water, by the living ✠ God, by the holy ✠ God, by the omnipotent ✠ God, that thou mayest be purified from all evil influence, in the name of him who is Lord of angels and of men, who filleth the whole earth with his majesty and glory. Amen.
All creation is filled with the power and glory of God, so it is hardly surprising that something can be consecrated to God and made to shine with his Light.
Now he blesses the water, praying:
O God, who for the helping and safeguarding of men dost hallow the water set apart for the service of thy holy church, send forth thy light and thy power upon this element of water which we ✠ bless and ✠ hallow in thy holy name. Grant that whosoever uses this water in faithfulness of spirit may be strengthened in all goodness, and that everything sprinkled with it may be made holy and pure and guarded from all assaults of evil; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
From this we learn that:
- Holy water empowers and protects us.
- Holy water is a vehicle for the Light and Power of God.
- It empowers us for good since when we are touched by it the divine light and power enter into us.
- It restores whatever it touches to its original holy purity.
- In all these ways it becomes a guardian for whoever uses it.
The joining of salt and water
Now the two are join in an invincible union as the priest casts the salt thrice into the water in the form of a cross as he says:
Let salt and water mingle together in the name of the ✠ Father, and of the ✠ Son and of the Holy ✠ Spirit. Amen.
The priest completes the blessing with the following prayer:
O God, the Giver of invincible strength and King of irresistible power, Whose splendor shineth throughout the whole of creation, we pray thee to look upon this thy creature of salt and water, to pour down upon it the radiance of thy ✠ blessing and to ✠ hallow it with the dew of thy lovingkindness, that wherever it shall be sprinkled and thy holy name shall be invoked in prayer, every noble aspiration may be strengthened, every good resolve made firm, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit vouchsafed to us who place our trust In thee; thou who with the Son livest and reignest in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God throughout all ages of ages. Amen.
This invokes the total benevolence of God, reminding us that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Good and evil are also seen by this ritual to be a matter of choice, of the fixing of the will. So the choice is ours; and those who make the wrong choice of evil can at any time turn around to the path of good.
Holy water is the basis for baptismal water. When there is to be a Baptism, taking holy water the priest blesses it with the following prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of thy boundless love didst take upon thyself the limitations of human form and in thy gracious compassion didst gather little children into thine arms; stretch forth, we pray thee, the right hand of thy power over this Holy Water and fill it with thy heavenly ✠ grace and ✠ blessing, that those to be baptized therewith may receive the fullness of thy love and ever remain in the number of thy faithful children. Amen.
Next in Yoga of the Sacraments: Blessing of Objects