Simply put, miasma is a sort of spiritual pollution that can get in the way of ones connecting with the Theoi. A common misconception is that when one has miasma, that they are somehow “bad,” or “unworthy,” but these are just that: misconception. Such misinformation probably stems from Miasma Theory, which states that many diseases were caused by miasma. However, medicine and science have evolved to where we know that isn’t at all true. Everyone contacts miasma during there everyday lives, it is unavoidable. The only situation in which having miasma is inappropriate is when entering a temple or approaching a shrine. That is considered disrespectful to the God/Goddesses(s) to whom the temple/shrine is devoted to. Here are some actions/events that cause miasma:
- Coming into contact with blood (human mainly, animal blood seems fine)
- Being sick or around someone who is
- Coming into contact with bodily fluids
- Some people will say that menstruating also is a primary cause, but I have yet to find any historical evidence of that.
So, how does one rid of miasma so that they are able to participate in worship? Simple! Khernips!
Khernips is a spiritually cleansing type of water than is used to wash the hands and face before enter a temple or approaching a shrine. There are many ways to make it, here are just a few:
- Hearth flame extinguished in spring water
- Herbs mixed with water
- Sea salt dissolved in water
- A blessing/purifying ritual applied to water
- Or, the one I use personally, water mixed with some purifying oils.
After using khernips, one is free from miasma, and can proceed with worship.