How to Prepare a Baño Santero For the New Year

Unsplash/Hannah Xu

In the last days of 2021, a spiritual baño for the new year is a great way to show gratitude for the year we’re leaving behind, breathe in the present moment, and open our souls to the year ahead. Spiritual baños are a great way to shift the energy around and within us to release what needs to go and call in the newness we need to receive. When we are balanced in mind, body, and spirit our energy is ripe for peace, prosperity, abundance, and love in the new year. Negative energy can weigh us down from the inside out, but by using simple ingredients with focused intention and heart, we can magically uplift our spirit by physically cleansing our body.

What Is a Baño Santero?

In the religious tradition Santería, which was developed in Cuba and is based in African origin, spiritual baños are a backbone of rituals for protection. These sacred baños are intended to calm emotions, clear away chaotic energy, and help develop psychic abilities.

Like many traditions, a baño santero includes herbs, flowers, and water. But the ritualistic approach to this baño is beautifully based in Santería. Creating space for yourself to indulge in this spiritual ritual ahead of the new year would be a great expression of self-love. Don’t live alone? You can include your loved ones in this energy reset before the new year so you all welcome 2022 refreshed and renewed.

How to Prepare a Spiritual Baño For the New Year

The baño santero is traditionally done over the course of three days, typically beginning on Tuesday. It’s recommended to do the baños when you’re staying in for the night so you’re not carrying in new energy from outside. Resting after your baño is also a delicious way to end this spiritual rejuvenation ritual. Make extra batches for those you live with for an end-of-year spiritual tradition they can also enjoy!

What You’ll Need:

– Water (If you can get it from a fresh, natural body of water, that’s preferred, but distilled water works, too.)

– Agua de florida

– Ruda (rue), or agua de ruda if you don’t have the fresh herbs on hand

– Romero (rosemary)

– Perejil (parsley)

– Cinnamon sticks

– White flowers


1. Add herb bundles and three cinnamon sticks to a pot of boiling water. Lower to a simmer for three hours. With each step of this process, you can speak out affirmations, wishes, desires, and prayers. Have a conversation with the universe about the lessons you learned in 2021. Say what you’d like to leave behind. Ask for what you’d like to call in, and enjoy the present moment. Stir the herbs and cinnamon occasionally over the course of three hours. Play music, sing, dance, or sit in meditation and prayer as your baño is being prepared.

2. Let the water cool completely and separate it into three mason jars (one for each day of your baño ritual). Use one jar for your baño that evening and store the other two in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for the next two consecutive evenings, and even longer. But it’s recommended to do this baño three days in a row.

3. Using the jar you kept for night, pour the baño into a large bowl, add six white flowers, and six splashes of agua de florida. Set it aside in the bathroom near the shower.

4. Take a regular shower. After you’re done, take the bowl and add a little warm shower water to it before gently pouring it over your body as you stand in the shower. Continue repeating your affirmations and prayers as you feel the water flowing over your shoulders and down your body. Envision negative energy being washed away.

5. Air-dry if you can. If not, gently pat yourself dry but do not rub. You will likely have residual herbs and flowers on your skin. Allow them to fall away as your skin begins to dry. It’s symbolic of negative energy falling off of you.

Repeat steps three to five on nights two and three to complete your baño santero ritual, and welcome in a new you for the new year.

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