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Thread: Being Naked or Skyclad

  1. #1
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    Being Naked or Skyclad

    This relates to an old thread which popped up recently about aparantly disturbing (naked) pictures in an edition of the Wicca bible. As far as I could tell the original poster was disturbed simply by the fact that there was nudity in the pictures.
    For those who do practice Skyclad (or who are not against doing so in some situations) what do you think are the spiritual/personal/philosophical/practical reasons for being naked in some rituals and workings?
    For those who are against or uncomfortable with nudity in ritual, why?
    Is there also a middle ground?
    😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

  2. #2
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    I prefer to worked robed personally however being skyclad is an experience in and of itself which i highly recommend one try for the sake thereof, it doesn't matter if it is during a solitary rite.
    In fact, there's even something to be said for it as an initiatory process towards having your robe.
    Clothes play a big part into our ego-identity. This a robe we remove ourselves from the mundane associations of normal clothing.
    When one is skyclad, they lose that layer of putting on a role all-together.
    when you are skyclad you have to be comfortable with who you are, your body and its nature.
    You can't as easily ignore the primal animal self that from birth we've been told to repress yet which is the drive for most of our behavior.
    You have to learn how to be in a spiritual mindset while being aware of and embracing the bestial.

    The following is a brief note in my 'BoS' on the matter:

    Robes, proper can be very intricate, with certain characters/sigils embroidered. A robe goes a long way in raising power, making a significant difference in practice. As does being skyclad (naked). There are a couple of reasons for having specific ritual wear set aside:

    a) to remove yourself from the affairs this world, or to prevent taking the day to day imbalances and programming of our waking lives from entering our ritual space. We leave the clothing of this world behind.

    Being skyclad (naked) is wonderful to this purpose, as it strips us of the superficial, outward appearances we project. A robe dedicated to the art also works here but it has a further purpose:

    b) A robe, made of natural material and dedicated to the purpose will become connected to your rites and will help you enter the ritual mindset when worn. It also helps maintain power raised, both from self and that which is ambient. The color one selects for a robe is very important, as it denotes the currents to be retained and therefore how the aura of the practitioner is to be aligned.

    It is here recommended that before and while you are in the process of making your robe that you work skyclad, at least in your personal praxis, that you come to the gods of your craft just as you are, no more, no less. Learn first who you are, as nature made you, and ordained you. Once the mysteries of your natural body image are made known to you, only then will you be ready to work the power of your body as a magic(k)al tool of the finest quality. Then will you gain the most from your robe, as it absorbs and concentrates the power of this mystery. After one has taken the time to adjust to the robe, they may embroider it with thee characters of arte, which are to be in red the color of personal power, or in the appropriate flashing color of the robe.
    That then goes into color correspondences, characters of art and other bits about the robe.
    Tsalagi Nvwoti Didahnvwesgi Ale Didahnesesgi
    (Cherokee medicine practitioner of left and right hand paths)
    anikutani.stfu-kthx.net - The Anikutani Tradition

  3. #3
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    Being prone to sunburn and very sensitive to bug bites and to the cold, I prefer to wear something for outdoor rituals. I also have a few cloaks, black, green, and pink to wear for warmth.

    I don't care if others prefer to work skyclad, good on 'em. I prefer to wear clothing that has been set aside for ritual wear. It doesn't have to be a robe, it's doesn't have to be all natural fiber, it just has to be something that helps my mind set aside the mundane concerns and focus on the spiritual ones. As a member of one group, we all wore jeans and black t-shirts that had been printed with the picture of our individual totem animals. That felt very spiritual to me.

    Some groups insist that everyone wears identical robes, I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind that. I like wearing a color that means something to me personally, or just wearing black.
    Home is not a place, it's a feeling.

  4. #4
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    For me the whole what to wear or not wear gets down to a needed transition from mundane life to sacred readiness.

    The whole robe thing is rather strange if you think about it. Religious orders and others wear them as uniforms. Even Catholics consider pants appropriate for their office -- daily mass is said in black pants and shirt with a simple seasonal stole. Some Christian denominations consider vestments to be antithetical to a simple purpose, etc. I certainly hope there are covens out there who have t-shirts as garb instead of expensive and awkward robes (I worked briefly with a coven on the desert where robes would have been silly). Uniform, identity, belonging, can all be expressed in other ways besides robes.

    As for sky clad… it really depends on the group. Being naked is still costume, it's still uniform. I certainly respect the reasons for early Wicca to establish the practice. I just suspect that most covens and other traditions do not work sky clad.

    Personally I find that working sky clad does push the energy one way rather then another -- more earthy, more elemental. Having discovered this I make conscious choices about what I'm wearing or not wearing based on the work I want to do. For me Samhain requires black and dark grey, preferably something that suggests the dark veil between realms.

    Although jewelry and other paraphernalia can be a big deal for some, I've taken to stoles. These simple around the neck lengths of cloth lay flat against the body. They can be a single color or done up with patterns or designs. However I'm dressed (or not) the stole still acts as uniform but one with specific meaning -- I have ones for the quarters and cross quarters, as well as some for magic work. My collection of robes were so limiting and took up room in my closet. Stoles work for me. It's mini uniform, mini costume. Making it a formal activity when I put one on is part of my process for claiming sacred space.
    The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
    --Bill Watterson

  5. #5
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    This gets to a big reason why I don't practice with others. I like being naked... generally prefer it, and though I don't have a classically beautiful body--- I have a healthy serviceable one with which I'm more or less content. So It doesn't bother me to be nude around others particularly. What I do have a problem with is other people. From when I started into the pagan community until when I largely left, I've been asked repeatedly if I want to get naked and worship under the moon.... wink wink nudge nudge... and I find that so utterly offensive, I want to bite. Now I have no problem with intimacy with my partners, and I certainly do believe sexual relations are a sacred act. However, I also think participation in a spiritual activity is NOT the time for flirting or 'putting on the moves." In a spiritual activity I want to relax and just be part of the moment-- not parrying figurative or literal dating thrusts. It is imho, just bad GD manners. So maybe I just have been unfortunate to be around jerks, but NOTHING turns me off more from the pagan community then this attitude that because I'm 'a witch' I'm also into random kinky shit with emotional children. (and I've got to say.. while in men this is annoying, in Dianic groups I've met it the behavior has been aggressive to the point of making me feel unsafe-- completely the opposite of the experience I would be looking for.

    Which, in truth is deeply disappointing, and largely why I eschew covens altogether.
    Last edited by Tanya; July 27th, 2016 at 01:13 PM.
    Mitakuye Oyasin

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