What is Khernips?
There are certain things in life that create miasma, a sort of spiritual dirt that is a normal part of being alive. Everyone attracts miasma in much the same way that we get physically dirty just from existing in day to day life, and like physical dirtiness, certain actions will attract more dirt, or in the spiritual sense, miasma.
When attempting to commune with the Gods you’re meant to purify yourself of miasma. We don’t want to approach the pure Gods when we are ourselves unpure. Again we can liken this to physical dirtiness; when meeting with someone important or someone we want to impress, then we need to be sure we do everything we can to not offend them. As such, we have a shower or bath, put on some deodorant and perfumes, make sure we wash our hands and brush our teeth; all with the aim of presenting ourselves good. This is likewise for when we approach the Gods.
Thus, we must cleanse ourselves before doing rituals, approaching temples or anything that involves going before the Gods. This is where khernips, also called lustral water, comes in. It is a specific type of water that is used for cleansing and purification. It can be used on people, animals, plants, and inanimate objects. They are a traditional form of purifying ourselves from miasma
What you’ll need
- A bowl
- Sea water
- Spring water
- A tiny fragrant twig or leaf, herbs, a stick of incense or a torch
- A lighter or some other flame.
- A cloth
What to do
- Pour an amount of water into the bowl; mixing spring water with seawater. If none are available home-made salt water or tap water may suffice.
- Light the dried herbs (such as verbena or laurel), a stick of incense, a torch or even a dried leaf or twig on fire above the water and quench it in the water. You can leave them there if you’d like. When dropping it in the water you may say a single word, “Xerniptosai” pronounced, “zer-nip-tos-aye-ee” – which means “be purified”.
- Wash your hands with the water, then the face. You may say “Χερνιπτομαι” (“Kherniptomai”), meaning “I wash with lustral water”.
- Sprinkle the area and all participants in the ritual with the khernips, saying “Εκας εκας εστε βεβηλοι” (“Hekas hekas este bebēloi”), or “begone, begone ye profane!”. Alternatively, you could say “Απο απο κακοδαιμονες” (“Apo apo kakodaimones”), or “begone, begone evil spirits!”
- Dry your hands and face with the cloth
- You may now approach the Gods!
When to Use Khernips
Khernips is recommended to be used prior to every ritual and formal prayer; especially when we try to gain communion with the Gods.
If one wishes to use khernips to cleanse an item, it is recommended one sprinkle khernips over what is wished to be cleansed; as opposed to placing things in the khernips
“Posts about khernips on The Digital Ambler.” The Digital Ambler. Accessed August 14, 2017. https://digitalambler.wordpress.com/tag/khernips/.
Temperance, Elani. “[VIDEO TUTORIAL] How to prepare khernips.” Baring the Aegis. October 8, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2017. http://baringtheaegis.blogspot.pt/2012/10/video-tutorial-how-to-prepare-khernips.html.
Temperance, Elani. “Khernips masterpost.” Baring the Aegis. May 16, 2016. Accessed May, 2017. http://baringtheaegis.blogspot.pt/2016/05/khernips-masterpost.html.
Under, Hearth Witch Down. “All About Khernips.” Hearth Witch Down Under. March 07, 2017. Accessed August 14, 2017. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hearthwitchdownunder/2017/03/all-about-khernips.html#5OFRT5gVDsuEGY8s.99.
“With Clean Hands: The Nuts and Bolts of Khernips.” Magick From Scratch. January 02, 2017. Accessed August 14, 2017. https://magickfromscratch.com/2015/07/12/with-clean-hands-the-nuts-and-bolts-of-khernips/.