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Thoughts On Ritual Nudity

Updated on May 1, 2008

Ritual Nudity.

Being "skyclad" or "starclad", in other words 'clad-in-the-sky', a term for ritual nudity within The Craft.

For some, the thought makes them cringe and run away, while for others, it is a sacred and liberating part of their worship of The Divine.

As a wytch who follows the ways of Nature, nudity in ritual settings and in daily life, allow me to feel more at ease and, for lack of a better word, 'natural'. Clothes can be so restricting and binding - playing hell with my body temperature. Yet when I am nude, there is none of that. Then there is the "liberating" side of nudity. For The Goddess hath said: "Thou Shalt Be Free In Thy Rites, And As A Sign That Thou Art Truly Free, Thou Shalt Be Naked In Thy Rites." There is nothing so class defining as clothing; The Rich - The Middle Class - The Poor.... all can be defined though how they dress. But when we are all nude, class defining barriers are gone and we are all as the Gods made us.... and we are one.

Ritual nudity is also a very practical part of my religious practice. With all the candles and open flames present in a ritual setting, clothes tend to make far more of a fire hazard than not. And have you ever tried to jump over the Beltane bonfire with your clothes on?! Very dangerous indeed!

Many people that I discuss this very touchy (no pun intended) topic with, tell me that they are afraid to go skyclad for several reasons. The first of all being that they are ashamed of their bodies. Well folks, if you are going to be in this particular Nature Religion, you need to work on changing that point of view really quick! For there is nothing on Earth, created by The Gods, that one should be ashamed of! Take a look around at the images of the Gods and Goddesses that we worship.... They come is all sizes and shapes! For you women out there, take a good look at The Venus of Willendorf - She is a perfect example of this! She is one Voluptuous, BBW (that's a "Big Beautiful Woman" for those of you that don't know), and She was, and still is, venerated and worshiped as The Ideal Woman!

And you men out there, take a long look at Bacchus of Aranjuez!

And also take into consideration the Greek God of The Forge and Blacksmithing: Hephaestus, Who was said to be "ugly and deformed" and look who he ended up with: The Beautiful Goddess of Love Herself: Aphrodite!

Now the next reason that I hear most often for not wanting to go skyclad to rituals, is one only given by men. And that is that most men are terrified that there are certain things that might come up during ritual that could prove difficult to cover up; and to that I say this: I have been practicing ritual nudity alongside male celebrants for about 28 years now and I have never witnessed this issue once in ritual. There is a reason for this, and that is, that when you are nude, and in a room with other nudes - the novelty of it is gone! It looses all sense of taboo! I have experienced this first hand in my very first skyclad circle that I ever attended. I was the only one full dressed while the rest of the entire group was skyclad. Let me tell you friend, I never felt so out of place in my whole life as at that precise moment! And it was wholly due to me being the only clothed person in the room! Once I realized this and removed my clothes, then I was one of the tribe. I was no longer singled out, and the feeling that 'everyone is looking at me' quickly vanished and I was able to carry on with worshipping The Gods and focusing on the ritual. But you know what... even if a man did get aroused in Circle, I really do not believe that any wytches worth their salt would honestly care. This is because the nude body in all its states of being is *sacred*. Our bodies are temples that house The Divine Spark that is given to all of us by our Heavenly Mother and Father, and they are perfection. No matter how they are shaped. No matter if one of them has a flagpole erected in the front garden! They are perfectly designed, just the way they are.

A small word of advice here:

Have you ever heard of that saying "If you don't believe in (or love) yourself, no one else will either"? Well to a degree, that is true folks. So go into the Circle filled with confidence and love of your body-temple, and others will respond in kind. Be comfortable in your own skin and you will find that others will be comfortable around you too!

So please, trust in yourself, your fellow celebrants or coveners, and give ritual nudity a try!

I just finished watching a wonderful episode of National Geographic's 'Taboo' (2nd season), about Pagans, Wiccans - even Christians! and ritual nudity. An Australian coven spoke on how witches view ritual nudity and they even allowed the cameras to view a skyclad Full Moon ceremony.

Then it moved on to talk about sects of Christians who also believe in nudity within the church! Catholics who get together for every worship service nude!

I was just so thrilled to see this! Finally! Christians are getting the idea!

They (the Christians), spoke of how the nude body is not a thing to be ashamed of - and that to be ashamed of the naked body is to be ashamed of GOD, for we are made in the image of our Maker. Honestly... how groovy is that?!

As a devout nudist myself, I find shows like this such a blessing... they really help to educate those who misunderstand the stance on ritual/religious nudity and the sacredness of the human body!

If you have the chance to watch this episode or to buy the Taboo series, I highly recommend it!

Well my friends, I hope this helps those of you out there who have, up till now, been uncertain of what to think about ritual nudity or even how to begin to handle the whole concept of it! Remember that for millennia, our ancestors worshipped in the nude with no fear or hang-ups. It is only in the past 2000+ years that all the stigma surrounding the nude body has come into being.

This is a call for you to fully reclaim your body - and to be able to worship The Divine Creators in the manner in which you first came into this world: Nude.

Here's Wishing You Fresh Breezes!

Rev. Raven E. Aurlineus

Copyright Raven E. Aurlineus 2008

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    • profile image

      Rohini 

      3 years ago

      Hello,

      I came across this website by chance. I am a Hindu and know that there are several communities which practice this in a different way. Some do it in the name of Shakthi pooja where a woman is Shakthi, the goddess and then there are other communities where certain rituals for worship are done in the nude or close to nude. I do not know what is the origin of this but I know that over the last three decades, there is a lot of hue and cry from civil society that this is a practice that should be banned. I must say I am a bit surprised to read here that people are supportive of this. I would be OK to post what is the actual practices I know of which fit in this category.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      Great hub, very informative. You explain it so well, so many people think nudity = sexual depravity and somehow it doesn't belong in religion, but how much more spiritual can you get to just drop the ego and go au natural? I love Taboo, I'm going to have to look for that episode.

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      7 years ago

      I am going thru a gender transition, and I am afraid that my body which is now both female and male will be frowned upon. Is anyone able to help me please?

      Blessed Be.

      Sarah

    • yyn1221 profile image

      yyn1221 

      7 years ago from China

      When I saw this title I thought you were going to talk about real applachian cuisne such as roadkill special or rattlesnake stew! ;) I liked your point about living off the land though. A lot of people here in WV still can what they reap in their gardens. Also butchering deer and fishing are a big part of the appalachian diet

    • profile image

      guhy 

      8 years ago

      I began to sleep nude last summer. I was astonished to find that it is cure for some diseases.

    • profile image

      mary mosby 

      9 years ago

      i would like to join but how do i do it .i'm just a beginner

    • profile image

      mary mosby 

      9 years ago

      i would like to join but how do i do it .i'm just a beginner

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Bless you kind kitty! I'm so happy you liked it!

      "Stay Nekkid!"

      Much Love, Raven.

    • theenchantedkitty profile image

      theenchantedkitty 

      10 years ago from United States

      I loved when you said this:"Our bodies are temples that house The Divine Spark that is given to all of us by our Heavenly Mother and Father, and they are perfection. No matter how they are shaped." What you said was so true about the social classification. I do feel like there are no barriers naked. I feel like, 'this is me, in the raw"! I really enjoyed this post as I do all of yours! Blessings.

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Many Welcomes Sligobay!

      How wonderful to hear of the Pagan revival going on over there! (What I wouldn't give to be over there witnessing it first hand!) Praise The Gods that changes are taking place over there...

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment. I look forward to discussing The Faith with you more in the future.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      10 years ago from east of the equator

      Lots of info for new aspiring pagans. Paganism in Ireland is enjoying a revival since the 'church' has been removed from government.  I'm a new fan and will enjoy following your hubs. Pagan holidays are now openly celebrated in Ireland.

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Greetings Funride,

      Please do! Come on in!

      How unfortunate to hear that the people in your country feel that way about nudity... *sigh* It's a wonder anyone has any sex at all with that kind of mentality. LOL! Well... I guess they could have sex with all their clothes on, although, I don't think it would be as much fun!

      And I have to say that I agree with you completely about nudity feeling "like when you were born"! It is just a blissful feeling - isn't it?! :-D

      Thanks for the comment, and please stop by any time!

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Hail and Well Met, Gamegirl!

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      Indeed, casting off the trappings of the "mundane world", that one might know better the Realms of The Divine is at the very heart of ritual nudity! Can I get a 'Blessed Be-uh'!

      {{{Hugs!}}}

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      May I come in, ladies!? :D

      I live in a country where people are still very subjugated by christian church ideas and where being naked it´s synonym of being crazy LOL. It´s one of the things I like the most, being just like when I was born. Great hub, Raven ;)

    • gamergirl profile image

      Kiz 

      10 years ago from Antioch, TN

      These sentiments are spot on!Casting off our clothing is another way to separate ourselves from the world of the "real" and step into the world of the Goddess, which are one and the same, and yet ever so slightly different.*hugs for her Sisters*

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Dearest Kitchy Wytch,

      I am so glad you enjoyed this post!

      And yeah, it sucks that we don't live closer to each other.... cause I just *know* that I could get you confident enough to give ritual nudity a try, if we could just get to hang out in ritual space together all the time. ;-)

      I have found that many people do not take the lack of 'social classification' into account concerning nudity. One of the earliest documentations for this particular reason for ritual nudity can be found in 'The Gospel Of Aradia', also called 'The Gospel Of The Witches', where the Strega were nude in their rites precisely because of social-political reasons: "And As A 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..." - The Charge of The Goddess Aradia, (from The Gospel Of The Witches). If one reads the Gospel of the Witches thoroughly, one can see how ritual nudity played an important role in leveling the field where the classes were concerned.

      Thanks for the rockin' comment! {{{{Huge Cyber Hug}}}}

    • Kitchy Wytch profile image

      Kitchy Wytch 

      10 years ago from Alabama

      Oh how I love this post! Some of this stuff you've been telling me for ages - especially about learning to love my body. I am trying. Pity we can't be closer so that I could learn more of that from you.I love the point about clothing being a social classification and nudity breaking those barriers. It's something I never really thought about before.You rock, my Sister!

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Greetings Dear Sylverfox,

      Oh yes, I am a huge fan of the Taboo series. I own both seasons and think they are just wonderful! So glad you enjoyed this hub and I hope you get to attend a skyclad ritual soon - I think you'll find that it is very enjoyable, not to mention magickal!

      Bendithion!

    • profile image

      sylverfox aka laurie 

      10 years ago

      Love this post i didn't know you like the tabboo series me too,this is so informative I very impress the cristians are taking nudity in a diffent way.The be naked part I love the way my body is I feel comfortable I'm a big girl too.I can wait to be able to go and do the ritual naked hoo!!!

    • Raven Emrys profile imageAUTHOR

      Raven Emrys 

      10 years ago from Salisbury

      Dear Raven,

      I am so glad to hear that you are working on this! Just remember that it has taken you your whole life to *learn* to feel the way you do about your body... through television, magazines, movies, you have been inundated with a false idea of how you are "supposed" to look. So it might take you awhile to break that conditioning. But you hang in there lady, I am more than confident that one day you will be able to participate in ritual skyclad!

      Bendithion! (Blessings Be Upon Thee!)

    • Raven Payne profile image

      Raven Payne 

      10 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Being a larger woman, myself, I don't quite feel comfortable with being nude around others and this is something that I am working on. I know that beginning with loving yourself is the first step and I'm working on it. Thank you for this hub, though. It makes me realize that I'm not alone in how I feel and I definitley will check out those books you recommended.

    working

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