A friend in London emailed me this week to tell me about her second ‘rhassoul’ spa treatment. She’d previously had a rhassoul (or rasul or sometimes even ghassoul) experience in London, but this time it was at a Wellness centre in Germany.
Let me explain what the Rasul/Rhassoul is first.
It’s a soap made from clay, so that if you lather it up you can effectively create a mud covering to your skin. Moroccan -Rhassoul comes from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco- people have used rhassoul for centuries as soap and shampoo. The ritual of using Rasul appears to be akin to the Hamman -although please don’t write and tell me if I’ve got that wrong! 🙂 although the ‘mud’ element does make it seem like another ‘wellbeing’ experience with which some of you may be familiar.
The healing properties of mud have been known for a very long time.
Which is why many people do it. But if you haven’t got mud baths in proximity to where you live, then the rhassoul ritual might be an alternative. I’d be pleased to learn of people’s experiences of mud baths.
For once, I was rather stuck for ‘mud baths’ of any description in SL. No thermal baths, no rasul type mud.
I had to improvise with a ‘muddy body’ applier from the Marketplace, priced at L$99
Covering your self with mud is also characteristic of rainbow gatherings, though in this case aside from the fun aspect of it there would be spiritual question to it. At the last gathering I was at, just concluded, some of the family got naked in the warm rain standing around the ceremonial fire most of the day, then covered themselves in mud generated by the continued downpour. The picture of a group of young people by a river is from the Intergalactic rainbow gathering in Mexico 2008 where there was also naked mud wrestling. Another event where there is a mud tribe is at Kiwiburn, where there is an enormous mud pit where you crawl around and then head for the river. It is quite a liberating experience being naked with 100 or so other ravers, all covered in mud and talking politics of all things to strangers who quickly become friends. The first time I heard of ‘mudmen’ was through reading an account of an obscure New Zealand hippie festival held in January 1978. This was the oddly named Festival of Plenitude held near Punakaiki on the West Coast (of the South Island), which attracted a crowd of 1200. This was a conference/festival which concluded on January the 24th with a bizarre water and flour fight between a contingent of naked hippies covered in mud and the self styled group of British loyalists known as Alf’s Imperial Army, dressed as Redcoats, led by the Wizard of Christchurch, one Ian Brackenbury-Channell. The mud and the nudity had a significance in that the hippie group were representing a ‘native’ rebellion according to one of the organisers I contacted some years later. I understand he was the ‘hippie commander ( a contradiction if there ever was one) who led his soldiers into battle and pictured in one of the counterculture magazines of the time. Alf’s Imperial Army prevailed.
Thank you Gerald. Seems like I need to investigate this even more and come up with a follow up post! 🙂
Would SL like a further account of the Festivals of Plenitude (there were at least four) and the pictures I have of the mock battle.
We would, Gerald 🙂
Is there a email address for the pictures. Some are large files over 1mb. I should be able to copy my copies when I get back from Kiwiburn. Gerald.