Egg Cleansing in Appalachian Folk Magic

Egg cleansing is an ancient practice, utilized in Mesoamerica, Europe and Africa, among other places. The symbol of the egg is a universal symbol of Life. The yolk inside cozy and protected by a seemingly fragile shell. The ancients found this symbolism and began using it as a tool for their spiritual practices.

The thought behind egg cleansing is that it acts like a spong, absorbing and neutralizing negative energy, diseases and the evil eye. Many today do not have the information readily available to instruct them on how the cleansing is done and the egg read effectively. Which is the reason behind this article.

For an Appalachian egg cleansing, you will need some form of “holy water”, either from a church, river water or simply water over which you have prayed. You will also need a clear glass, a candle for the spirits, and a religious symbol (cross, rosary, etc.) I would suggest getting eggs from an organic grocery store, as traditionally in the mountains these eggs were readily available from the chicken coop in the back yard. Today there’s no telling what kinds of things are in the egg which may affect the reading phase of this process.

Wash the egg in the “holy” water and let it air dry completely. Make sure the egg is room temperature. Light the candle while praying Psalms 23 (or a prayer of your choice).  Hold the dry egg in both hands, while saying a prayer to the Creator and blessing the egg to vacuum up any negative energy or illness from the client or yourself.

Begin by holding the egg in your dominant hand held about 6 inches away from the person’s body. If your doing a self-cleansing do this also. The only time the egg is rubbed on the body is when pain or illness is the issue and only in the respective area where the issue is arising or as near to it as is appropriate (don’t get a sexual harassment charge. Not good for business.)

Go in strokes from head to toe, going downward never back and forth. Go over the clients body as many times as you think necessary depending on the issue warranting the cleansing, although its traditionally done three times. Make sure to get every space of the body, front, back, and sides. If your doing this on yourself try to get as much covered as you physically can.

Once you’ve covered everywhere you can, fill the glass with water and mix some of the left over “holy” water into the glass. Crack open the egg and drop it into the glass (splash hazard). Make a cross over the glass in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with the candle. Let it sit there for the next thirty minutes to an hour as the yolk forms.

After time passes, come back to see the formation of the yolk. This process is the reading of the egg. This will basically tell you what was collected, the cause of the issue, how effective the cleansing was, and what steps should be taken next. Below I include a set of meanings for different formations with example photos found on Google.

Here the egg shows blood, and looks like an eye. Evil has been operated to place the Evil Eye on the client, either unconsciously or intentionally. Which means a few more rounds of cleansing are needed.

Reading the Egg interpretations

  • If the egg smells bad or has a strong odor, this is a sign of evil being done or severe illness. This is also given should the egg show blood.
  • Small spots of blood in the water show signs of bad luck and damage done by Conjure. Especially if the water is also cloudy or murky.
  • If the water becomes cloudy without scent or blood, there’s been a loss of vital energy via a hole in the aura which needs to be healed. In many folk traditions this is a sign of nightmares, ptsd, susto (the fright), etc.
  • If the egg yolk makes the shape of a face, this is a sign of a enemy. A slender face represents a man, a round face means a woman.
Webs and patterns made by the egg.
  • If the yolk looks like an eye of sorts, this shows that the evil eye is present and will most likely warrant additional sessions to be removed, paired with other cleansings.
  • Small bubbles in the water or egg show that negativity has been removed.
  • If the water is clear without any abnormal shapes, scents, etc. then nothing unnatural has occurred and no more cleansings are needed.
  • Patterns of web formations show that something is catching you up, stopping you, or there’s a blockage. Additional sessions are also warranted here to further remove any existing problems.
  • If the patterns make a pyramid, this indicates that the cleansing went well but there seems to be a little bit left. Do another cleansing.
  • With egg cleansings, it is expected for the whole egg to sink to the bottom. This shows that all negativity was removed. If a part or the whole thing floats then another session is needed. If only part of the egg floats in the glass this shows that there is a small problem or that it is still developing and can immediately be fixed.
Symbol of a woman in the egg by Alycia Smelser

Another style to remove negativity is to place the egg in the glass and place it under your bed. Leave it for three days and change it as often as you’d like or until it has a “clean read”.

Once done with the egg, discard it at the crossroads. If you must flush it down the toilet, do a smudging or washing to clear away any residual energy left by the egg.

So now you know how them old folk did more than cooking when they went out to gather the hens eggs.

Eggs are used in other forms of reading as well, which I offer for clients. Visit the link below to book a reading.


Author: Jake Richards

Jake (Dr. Henny) follows family practice as a Yarb Doctor and Conjure man in the Appalachian Folk Magic tradition. He follows the legacy of his mother (a seventh daughter), that left behind by his grandfather, a baptist preacher and blood charmer; his grandmother, who was a knowledgeable woman in these works before Alzheimer’s set in; his great, great grandfather who witches for water in Washington County and his great grandmother who taught and worked from her roost on Mitchell Mountain in NC. Jake is currently working on his first book, tentatively called Backwoods Witchcraft: the Hoodoos of Appalachia with Red Wheel/Weiser Books, set to be on the shelves Spring 2019. When he's not writing, blogging, reading the bones or trying for clients: he is either traveling, gardening, sewing, book binding, reading, or sculpting. For questions, readings, recommendations for future posts, interviews and the like, you are welcome to email him below:

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