What to Expect During a Mikvah Immersion
On the day of your scheduled immersion, you will meet your Mikvah Guide in the reception room of the mikvah via The Soul Center entrance. You may wish to offer a mikvah donation to your Mikvah Guide before your immersion; no tips are accepted by the guides.
Your Mikvah Guide is there to support you and facilitate your immersion as you wish. You can share as much or as little of your story as you’d like, and together you can create an immersion ritual. A suggested practice is to say one kavannah, or intention, before immersing. You can say something from your heart or choose something from one of the pre-written rituals. Some people just say something they want to experience in the mikvah. Your guide can also read something for you, if you’d like.
You might also frame your immersion as follows:
- Before the first dunk: Think about where are you coming from/what do you hope to leave behind in the mikvah waters.
- Before the second dunk: Think about where you are now.
- Before the third dunk: Think about where you hope to move forward to/what you hope to take out of the mikvah with you.
Once you’ve decided what the immersion will consist of, you will go into your private preparation room to undress, bathe, and spiritually prepare yourself for immersion. The preparation rooms are very comfortable and have everything you would need—robe, towels, combs, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, contact lens solution, bathtub, shower, hair dryers, etc. If you have specific toiletries you would like to use, you are welcome to also bring those along.
When you’re ready, you can put on the robe or towel in the preparation room and meet your Mikvah Guide at the door. You will then walk down a short hallway together to the mikvah. You may choose to go in the mikvah room with your guide, friends, family, or alone. If you go in alone, the Mikvah Guide will stand in the hallway behind a curtain but in audible distance from you. If your Mikvah Guide is with you, they will hold your robe or towel as you go down the steps into the water. They will hold the towel in front of their eyes, so they are not seeing you undressed.
When you are ready, immerse. It is an option to have your guide say “kosher” when you emerge to indicate that you were fully under water after each immersion. It is customary to immerse three times, but you can do it however many times you’d like. You or your guide can say something each time or you can immerse in silence or song. Before your last time, it is suggested to say an intention for what you want to either leave behind or take with you or any other kind of blessing you desire (consider these traditional mikvah blessings).
Once you are finished immersing, you may stay in the mikvah for as long as you like. Your guide can leave you alone or stay in the room—let them know which you prefer. When you are ready to get out, your guide can help you back into your towel or robe and walk you back to the preparation room. Take the time you need, as transition is a precious opportunity for holiness.