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Author Topic: Robes  (Read 10074 times)
Collinsky
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« Reply #15: March 16, 2011, 08:04:32 pm »

Yes, you've got ashe pretty well correct. and yes, the white head wrap would act more like a conduit. During the asiento, the main initiation process, after the head is shaved, painted markings are placed on the head, I won't detail how, to aid in the initiates first possession by his/her orisha, thus forever binding them. I haven't studied anything in particular with wearing a head wrap to having your head and balance. There are just as many followers who don't them as those who do, but it is clear that wearing it is an extra step in regards to spiritual connection and as a sign of respect by covering your hair and connecting your head with that energy and ashe.
I'm also not familiar with the Iwa-pele. I did study Santeria much more than Vodou and it has been a while since I've been in real Vodou practice other than my connection to Ezili Danto.
The starching, from what I've learned, is a traditional practice that moved into a spiritual practice. AS it was a special cleaning practice to make one's clothes pristine and special, it moved into the spiritual realm as mot of the orishas will not be disrespected by dirty appearances and housekeeping. Clothing should be starched to be pristine for the orishas, but this is often the case for gatherings and golpes. At home, simply wearing clean clothes and typically one white article is very acceptable and even nowadays, using a can of spray starch when you iron your clothes is more than suitable.
Hope these responses were helpful.

Thank you, yes, very helpful!! The starching certainly would make the clothing crisp and pristine, and I could see that the orishas would find that pleasing if they appreciate order and cleanliness.

As far as I can see, Iwa-Pele is ... "right living?"  Huh Having a good character, to get/keep your Ori in alignment.

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« Reply #16: March 16, 2011, 10:19:11 pm »

Has this been something you've noticed does make a difference in your energy, or in your perception of your power?

yknow I haven't paid that close enough attention,but I read it when I was looking for ways to get closer to a deity or to raise ones potential power in ritual,so I de died to try it cuz why not.
I've stuck to it as recently all my rituals have been big changes in my usual routine and also big changes in my worship so I haven't had a more routine average ritual in the last two months.
but my usual thing to do before was to tie my hair back with a white ribbon,whereas all my clothes were black and grey....relating to hele and the moon,but that was before all the changes and before I felt the need to get a closer connection as things didn't feel all there.
so I think what I'm trying to say is I havent had a chance to test run it in a usual situation and compare...or paid close attention to it. but I think it might be tied up nowin my mind to being associated with all the recent good changes so maybe I can say yes? it has worked?
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« Reply #17: March 16, 2011, 11:41:43 pm »


Headcoverings:
In our practice, the veil is a sign of the third degree, and in general, one does not wear anything on the head (including a veil or a mask) without explicit instruction from the HPS in charge of that ritual. (Sometimes it's fine: sometimes we use them as specific ritual indicators, part of process of a Draw Down, etc.) (Obviously, this does not include things holding hair back/away from face/fire/etc. which are fine, though a number of us prefer loose hair when practical.)


This is interesting to me. I have heard of groups who require their initiates to veil but this is the first I have heard of it being a sign of higher degree. If you can expound a little further on how this tradition came about in your group I would love to here it. In our group HPS and HP's have crowns that they can wear (most usually only do when they are also in a major role of the ritual but the option is theirs), is veiling a similar thing in your group?

Just curious, thanks for sharing Smiley

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« Reply #18: March 17, 2011, 12:11:21 am »

Jennett, I so appreciate your reply! Thanks for taking the time to share. In your tradition, it seems, it is more important that the clothing be set aside (made sacred) than the details of what the clothing might be, is that right?

More or less, yes - it's not that the details of what the clothing might be don't matter - just that it's both something that has variables, and that there's lots of ways to potentially meet the goals.

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The shift in clothing is an external cue to you for an internal shift, and also to others if you're in group? It also makes sense that color would be significant, as color has a strong, subliminal effect on mood - in addition to spiritual significance. (My internal thesaurus apparently is on the fritz.)

Yep. But let me break this down a bit further:

First, we can use clothing as a tool to trigger a particular state of mind and readiness. For example, say someone puts on hockey skates and pads. When they've done that a few times, their subconscious will go "Oh, right, we're going to play hockey now." Do that enough, and your body and brain will start getting reading for that when you put on the skates, and start gearing up extra energy and focus and concentration that you need to play well.

We can program the same response for ritual: if every time we do ritual (or every time for a while, and then regularly afterwards, to maintain the habit), we do certain things - put on a certain kind of clothing, let our hair loose, go barefoot, whatever - then when we start doing those things, our minds (and bodies) will start quietly preparing for the other things we need for ritual. It will become easier and faster to drop into a relaxed state, easier and faster to set aside the worries of the day, easier and faster to make the energetic shifts to prepare for and go deeper into ritual.

(Incidentally, I got a reminder of how powerful this can be: I mentioned I did ritual with the HPS and HP who trained me last week, for the first time I'd been in a trad-structured ritual since Samhain. Soon as we'd changed, I felt the old helpful habits fall into place, and as soon as we got into the circle cast, even more so. It's like dominos flowing smoothly, knocking each new block into place, without my needing to pay a lot of conscious attention to it. Even though it'd been months since I either had done much formal structured ritual, or using the precise methods the circle I trained in uses (I've made some variations, within the bounds of the tradition, which I normally use at in personal work.)

The other part is the idea of what's called a magical persona: this is the idea that we build up a concept of what we want to become more like. Picking a name for ritual use is part of this - but so is how we dress. The tradition's training includes a meditation to help people narrow in on that, and a lot of people come away with at least some element of clothing or hair that they use to help trigger that persona for ritual. (For me, it was having my hair loose, in particular, but there's also some clothing considerations.)

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This may seem like an odd question, but when you first started on this path, did dressing for ritual make you feel self-conscious, or was it similar enough to your regular clothing that it didn't feel awkward at all?

Not really - but my father was a theatre professor; I grew up with the idea that people put on clothing to help them become more like other people from before I could remember. (And with the idea that what we wear is a powerful sensory and setting trigger for us, and for people around us.)

Quote
Can I ask why not silk? Is this because of vegan principles, or is there a spiritual reason?

Energetic more than spiritual - there's a longstanding tradition that silk insulates from magical energies. (This is why people often wrap their Tarot or divination decks in a silk cloth, for example.) Same deal with clothes: if I want the energy to work through me, and breathe through me, using a magically insulating material is probably not the easiest way to do that.

Ok. Onto two other follow ups Smiley
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« Reply #19: March 17, 2011, 12:22:40 am »

In our group HPS and HP's have crowns that they can wear (most usually only do when they are also in a major role of the ritual but the option is theirs), is veiling a similar thing in your group?

We also use crowns, though - as with your group - generally only for what I tend to call high-impact rituals. (Samhain, initiations, other times where we're being both quite formal, and where we're playing the theatre of the ritual as high as possible.)

The more basic rule around headgear - and clothing in general - is something I just realised I didn't articulate: it is "Don't outshine the HPS and HP" - because they're the ones directing the ritual, you don't want other people wearing jewelry or clothing that are a huge amount 'flashier' than they are, because part of what helps keep the group ritual together and focused is everyone subconsciously (and consciously) following their cues. With so many other things going on in a structured ritual, it's often very helpful to make it simple for our brains to figure out who to pay attention to Smiley

Stuff on head is a really simple way to do that fast - it just isn't the only one.

More generally: the veil is the sign of someone who can Draw Down in ritual, and a symbol of some related autonomy of being able to make that decision of when it's appropriate for themselves.

While I know groups who unveil for a Draw, my HPS has usually done it by veiling for the draw (and being unveiled at other times). (Me, I find it doesn't make a huge amount of difference, though I *do* find that some kind of clothing/costume change is very helpful, and a veil is an easy one that's portable, flexible, and where we generally have a bunch of possible options already at hand. My HP has found putting on a well-designed mask very helpful in a similar vein, but masks take a lot more preparation.)  

There are exceptions (like I said, it's up to the HPS whether to allow something specific for a given ritual: flowers in the hair, scarves for a particular purpose, like for quarter callers, whatever.) But it's the HPS who gets to decide that.

In practice, once people are familiar with the group, it sort of comes naturally: I can only think of a couple of times in 7 years with the group I trained with that people pushed the limit (and generally, a quiet "Hey, here's why" solved it fast.)  
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« Reply #20: March 17, 2011, 12:52:27 am »

We also use crowns, though - as with your group - generally only for what I tend to call high-impact rituals. (Samhain, initiations, other times where we're being both quite formal, and where we're playing the theatre of the ritual as high as possible.)  

Thank you for the insight. I hadn't thought about veiling in a aspecting sense, although a few of our HPS have done that very thing when working with specific deities.

I suppose since I hopped on this thread I might as well contribute lol.

Clothing

Our group is pretty flexible when it comes to clothing as it is in most things. It's all about what speaks and is comfortable to you. So if that means mundane jeans and a t-shirt, that's fine. Generally speaking our trained clergy are taught the usefulness of clothing in a ritual setting. As Jenett already spoke about, the process of putting on certain clothes can trigger in the mind, body and spirit the energy for a ritual. This is especially true if you are aspecting in the ritual. The process of creating/finding the key elements for a deity becomes part of the process of honoring and being closer to that deity.  

Some rituals we put together we encourage everyone to wear a specific color, or other specific, these things are parts of the ritual to enhance the power. And other times specific priest/esses wear things in accordance to their duties but that is dependent on the ritual purpose and deties being worked with.

Edited for fogetting a key thing:
We do have a rituals where color is important. At initiation for our public service Tradition, which happens at Imbolc, the initiates wear all white. Ordained clergy wears all black. And our Elders wear red. It's a simple symbol of the initiates being new and pure, and the ordains having experience. The Elders wear red (partly because it was their choice) and also as a symbol of them being the life blood from which this tradition sprang.

---

Me, personally, I have a few dresses that I have made specifically for ritual. They are in my colors, and are things that I can wear, and get me in my Priestess mode so that I can be active and alert to anything my fellow covenmates may need in ritual. I have a outfit specifically dedicated to my patroness that putting on essentially means I am walking with her power and that is not something that I put on lightly.

I also tend to be the one that labors and spends a lot of time crafting ritual wear when I am in a position of high-impact (such as aspecting). It helps me get in touch with the divine and is an act of sacrifice of my time to do it properly and well in their honor.

Other Sacra

We don't have specific clothing in our coven. But we do have sacra that have meaning. All ordained clergy have priest/ess rings, certain traditions have necklaces that signify what year they were ordained. Certain training and traditions have cords that are specific to them. High Council members have a piece of Amber that they wear. And all HPS and HP's have crowns.

Don't know how interesting that is but there you have it lol
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« Reply #21: March 17, 2011, 04:48:16 am »

If you are part of a tradition that involves wearing robes, or other specific garment, for ritual or special occasions, tell me about it.  (This would include headcoverings, etc.)

Is it mandated as an integral part of worship, or if you're solitary, do you feel it is required? Is it for priests/priestesses only, to denote a particular role? Is it optional, that some do for personal reasons? 

Or does your path not involve anything but "regular" street clothes? (Or, "other" -- there always has to be an "other."  Cheesy)

If you choose to wear a cloak or ritual garment, what is it, when do you wear it, and what is the significance for you/your religion?
Wicca wise, they're substitutes on the few occasions when work isn't done skyclad.

In Thelema, most Thelemic bodies utilise them. In the O.T.O, members are to acquire a black&white Tau robe shortly after O* initiation. The black will be for general use that will be relevant upon further commitment to the order, and the white is to be worn during the Gnostic mass. The "Tau" shape has occult significance, and they should preferably be made of wool, to symbolise Aries, the Ram, however since most groups work indoors where wool makes us become hot in ritual, cotton is an ideal substitute. Different lodges may use different colours, and the magus him/her self can posses different colours for different purposes.

I belong to the O.T.O, but different orders have different specifications. The A∴A∴ for instance have certain specs, hooded, with different lamens depending on different lineages. Of course in a group, they're masked to conceal their face, as identity is concealed. You wouldn't know who was in the A∴A∴, and members would only be able to know two other identities, that of their mentor, and that of their apprentice.

In Thelema, robes represent the occult, the "hidden" places we withdraw to in meditation&ritual. It represents the "withdrawal into the wilderness," and protects us from the elements. 
   
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« Reply #22: March 23, 2011, 05:43:19 pm »

Wicca wise, they're substitutes on the few occasions when work isn't done skyclad.

Interesting - to separate the sacred (ritual) from the mundane (everyday) when skyclad isn't possible?

In Thelema, robes represent the occult, the "hidden" places we withdraw to in meditation&ritual. It represents the "withdrawal into the wilderness," and protects us from the elements. 
   

This is an interesting perspective I hadn't heard before. It has an appeal!
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« Reply #23: March 24, 2011, 04:02:56 pm »

Interesting - to separate the sacred (ritual) from the mundane (everyday) when skyclad isn't possible?
That as well. All group workings are skyclad, except the occasional weather permuting outdoor rites, and even the odd public one where it wouldn't be ideal. 
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« Reply #24: March 29, 2011, 05:57:01 pm »

If you are part of a tradition that involves wearing robes, or other specific garment, for ritual or special occasions, tell me about it.  (This would include headcoverings, etc.)

Is it mandated as an integral part of worship, or if you're solitary, do you feel it is required? Is it for priests/priestesses only, to denote a particular role? Is it optional, that some do for personal reasons? 

Or does your path not involve anything but "regular" street clothes? (Or, "other" -- there always has to be an "other."  Cheesy)

If you choose to wear a cloak or ritual garment, what is it, when do you wear it, and what is the significance for you/your religion?

For me, it doesn't really matter.  It's the person that matters, not the wrappings.  Sometimes I want to change out of whatever I was wearing that day, some day's I don't.  Some days I even dress in what I know I will want to wear for ritual later that night. 


That being said, I lead a club of college pagans and generally are meetings are focused on the less religious side of things, since we try to incorporate all of the various "Alternative" religions on campus.  However we tend to celebrate the traditionally Wiccan holidays, and for those I do try to dress up just a little, in a style or color appropriate for the feast and ritual. 

For instance:  For our Ostara ritual two weekends ago I wore a long, flowy light blue dress that was very appropriate for Spring (even though our weather wasn't very spring like).
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« Reply #25: April 14, 2011, 11:15:21 am »

If you are part of a tradition that involves wearing robes, or other specific garment, for ritual or special occasions, tell me about it.  (This would include headcoverings, etc.)

Is it mandated as an integral part of worship, or if you're solitary, do you feel it is required? Is it for priests/priestesses only, to denote a particular role? Is it optional, that some do for personal reasons? 

Or does your path not involve anything but "regular" street clothes? (Or, "other" -- there always has to be an "other."  Cheesy)

If you choose to wear a cloak or ritual garment, what is it, when do you wear it, and what is the significance for you/your religion?

I'm solitary, and I never felt I had to wear robes or exclusively ritual garb. Being of a nocturnal/chthonic bent, however, whatever I pick for ritual is black with silver accents. I find I prefer to keep my midriff and as much of my back is possible, bare; my feet as well. So I dress for ritual like for dance practice - in yoga pants and a belly dance top I bought as a 'special touch' (this one). It's very noisy if I move a lot, but if I sit still in meditation, the coins almost whisper with my breath, and somehow that helps me focus more.
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