|(Alex Sanders initiating Janet Farrar)|
|Zues/Poseidon, ancient Greek sculpture, c. 460 BCE|
|Crouching Aphrodite, c. 200 CE, |
ancient Roman copy of a Hellenistic
sculpture (from c. 300 BCE)
Francisco de Goya - Witches in the Air, 1797
Hans Baldung Grun -
Witches' Sabbath, 1510
Luis Ricardo Falero - The
Witches' Sabbath, 1880
Albrecht Durer - The Four
Sorcerers, c. 1500
William-Adolphe Bouguereau -
The Birth of Venus, c. 1879
The Truthfulness of the Naked BodyAs I have clarified, the human body is completely natural, beautiful and sacred to Pagans. It forms us equally as much as our soul, astral body, minds (and emotions) and so on and should therefore be equally honored. Also, nudity is the most natural physical state; we were born naked after all. This symbolism is very important because by taking one's clothes off, one returns to a sort of youth, innocence and, most importantly, a state of truthfulness. Our clothes hide us from everyone else, but when we are naked, we are vulnerable, honest and have nothing to hide because everything is clearly visible. This vulnerability is another important factor. Of course, ritual nudity is an individual choice. But even those Pagans who choose to work nude will do so only in a comfortable surrounding, with people they love and trust. This is why they don't mind being vulnerable.
Nudity and the Concept of Sin
Nudity and Sexuality
Nudity and the Freedom of Choice
"A coven becomes a safe space in which members feel free to release their inhibitions: laugh, dance, act silly, burst into song, chant spontaneous poetry, make bad puns, and let Younger Self come out and play. Only then can the higher states of awareness be reached. Many techniques have been developed to drop the "censor" of Talking Self and to let the inner voice speak freely.
Nudity is one such technique. When we take off our clothes, we drop our social masks, our carefully groomed self-images. We become open. The mystical meaning of the naked human body is "truth." Different people need different levels of private space; while some romp happily on nude beaches, others cannot feel comfortable naked until trust has been built over a long period of time. In our covens, public rituals are always clothed. If guests invited to private "sky-clad" ceremonies feel uncomfortable disrobing, they are welcome to wear whatever they like. Vulnerability cannot be forced on anyone, except destructively."
Reasons for Working Skyclad
1. Energy Transference
"A witch at work brings all his or her levels into operation - spiritual, mental, astral, etheric and physical. (...) ...they must all be fully functional; so it may be that trying to work with one of them partly screened is like trying to play the piano in gloves, or to paint a picture in dark glasses. It can be done if circumstances demand it - but if they do not, why add to your difficulties?" (The Witches' Way, p. 196)
2. Physical and Energetic Arousal
3. Being Honest
5. Security in Oneself
6. Tradition and Freedom
"And ye shall all be freed from slavery,And so ye shall be free in everythin;
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;"
"And ye shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and women, and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music, and love, all in my praise."
"No more shall ye know slaverywho tread my round the Sabbat night.
Come ye all naked to the rite
In sign that ye are truly free."