"Merry Meet and Blessed Be!"

"Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust..."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A question of skyclad

It is true that some traditions require ritual nudity, but however the concept of nudity can make many cringe in fear and avoid rituals. There are several things to take to mind about ritual nudity. Legality being the first and foremost consideration to bear in mind. Comfort being the second.

If you live in the country and have no neighbors for miles ritual nudity is nothing. But if you live in the middle of a city like I do then sitting in you yard nude might be noticed and stir some opinions. Indecent Exposure is very illegal and could land one in jail. If your group includes children then the issue of children seeing adults unclothed becomes questionable. However if you are solitary and you wish to hold ritual inside your own home with the doors and windows closed and takeoff your clothes that's perfectly fine. If you wish to keep it semi-skyclad outside you can wear robes over the nude body, and I don't mean the ones that are open in the front. Let's face it with witchcraft nudity is optional, but one must bare in mind the risk of arrest and punishment if others see you.  I have heard of groups requiring that children not be allowed to attend to avoid exposure but as a pagan parent I don't want to hide my religion from my children and wish for them to take part so nudity is something I only do when I am alone behind closed doors! I also encourage solitaries invited to my group gatherings to bring children so nudity is not allowed!

My own personal experience with skyclad in group rituals was not favorable. I worked with a person, I now feel was lying to me. Skyclad was never something that came up. Clothing was worn and nothing was ever said. When my husband began taking part in rituals with us it suddenly became a demand that we be nude. The atmosphere changed and it was no longer comfortable working with this individual. I feel that the person just wanted to have my husband nude. I know that many traditions require nudity and that if it's not something you are comfortable with then perhaps it's not the right tradition for you. When seeking a coven that is something to consider before hand, are you comfortable working in a group nude?

I understand the reasoning for the skyclad worship, which is why when I work alone it is usually in the nude. When we are born into this world and presented into life by the Goddess and God we are nude. We should be able to present ourselves to them in the same fashion. It is also believed that when one is channeling their energies the more skin surface exposed the easier it is to focus. The nudity during ritual is in no way a sexual thing. It is not intended to encourage sexual behaviors anymore than christian women wearing dresses is. Some fabrics (especially synthetics) can inhibit the flow of energies. This is why I suggest wearing robes of cotton during rituals. You can wear them over the nude form as a cover and still be able to channel energies. One up side to this is that during the winter months when it is cold outside the robe will help keep you warm! While wearing the robes please take extra caution around bonfires and camp fires! Don't allow the extra flow of fabric too close to the flames!

With all this being said I suggest you figure out what feels right to you. What are you most comfortable with? If you are uncomfortable during rituals your focus will be on that and not the ritual at hand. With all this being said I must state this is only my feelings towards skyclad and you must do what feels right to you!

Blessed be,
Lady Alice