"Spiritual bathing," according to Rosita Arvigo (Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer) and Nadine Epstein, a writer and magazine editor, "strengthens our tenuous connection with the natural world and its reflection of the divine. It separates us from the mundane, transporting us to a holier place; it eases our passage through the stresses of daily life, opening the door to our soul's inner guidance; it marks rites of passage; and it uplifts the soul, fostering a reverent, peaceful state of mind."

In this comprehensive and compelling guide to the spiritual uses of water, the authors take us on a tour through 15 world cultures, covering Jewish immersion rituals from the Torah, an Eastern Orthodox blessing for water on Epiphany, Roman bathhouses, Celtic wells, Native American sweat lodges, and much more. After providing a history of each practice, they outline rituals from each tradition, including recipes or lists of needed elements and ideas for how to replicate them in your home. We were especially taken with the ideas for soothing flower baths and a home hammam (Turkish bath) for couples. More than 100 photographs lend atmosphere to the proceedings, vividly conveying the soothing and restorative powers of water.