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Author Topic: Working Skyclad(nude)  (Read 31489 times)
Mannun
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« Topic Start: May 12, 2008, 08:27:41 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies?? If so how for the + or -?? I personally was an eclectic practitioner for a number of years and always worked robed. I eventually hooked up with a Gardnerian Coven and joined with that family and started working Skyclad. In my experience I prefer working Skyclad as it is a completely different and intense energy that manifests when I do so. I have spoken with many eclectics(mostly solitaire) whom also work skyclad and prefer it. Wondering the opinion of others??
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« Reply #1: May 12, 2008, 09:05:48 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies?? If so how for the + or -?? I personally was an eclectic practitioner for a number of years and always worked robed. I eventually hooked up with a Gardnerian Coven and joined with that family and started working Skyclad. In my experience I prefer working Skyclad as it is a completely different and intense energy that manifests when I do so. I have spoken with many eclectics(mostly solitaire) whom also work skyclad and prefer it. Wondering the opinion of others??


I like clothes and prefer keeping them on, thank you. I actually do most of my own 'rituals' in my pj's. But then I do a lot of trance and dream-work so I suppose it makes sense.
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« Reply #2: May 12, 2008, 09:19:03 am »


Generally no.  Sometimes after I take a shower at night I do my nightly devotion/meditation, and I'm already not dressed.  But that's as close as I get.  LOL.
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« Reply #3: May 12, 2008, 09:21:10 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies?? If so how for the + or -?? I personally was an eclectic practitioner for a number of years and always worked robed. I eventually hooked up with a Gardnerian Coven and joined with that family and started working Skyclad. In my experience I prefer working Skyclad as it is a completely different and intense energy that manifests when I do so. I have spoken with many eclectics(mostly solitaire) whom also work skyclad and prefer it. Wondering the opinion of others??

I've never felt any particular need to work nude.  It has no particular importance in my personal practice and never has, and my religion doesn't require it.  (In fact, though I have no sources for this, my UPG is that it feels like a really strange concept for the semi-reform-recon Hellenic practice I try to keep up.)  I feel most comfortable at least partially clothed (physically as well as mentally), so I do my religious ritual clothed.  I don't do much magical ritual anymore, haven't in years, but when I did I usually did that at a level of clothedness that allowed physical comfort while allowing freedom of movement (which usually meant undies).

Then again, I'm afraid I'm horribly practical when it comes to that kind of thing and not really that concerned about what clothing will or will not do to the energy.  Energy raising isn't really a part of my religious ritual, much less the point of it.  As for magic, some of the most "energetic" moments of my life have occurred when I was fully clothed, so...  *shrug*  Never saw the need.

Which is not to say that it wouldn't be an effective thing for other people, of course.  Just that it's sort of irrelevant for me personally.
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« Reply #4: May 12, 2008, 09:58:00 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working??

Nope, never worked skyclad. To be honest, I've never seen the point.  While I'll admit that it will make you more aware of your body, at least the first few times until you get used to it, I fail to see how wearing clothing will affect your performance in circle.  I've done plenty of energy work and never noticed my clothing getting in the way.

I read, somewhere, the argument of wearing street clothes that carry the subtle vibration of your daily activities causing interference with the energy being raised in circle.  While I'll concede the point, I'll also postulate that it's not the clothing of the practitioner but, rather, their mindset that causing the interference.  If the practitioner is still focused on what they did earlier in the day rather than the ritual at hand of course there will be interference.

The act of shucking one's clothes before ritual is an aid to focus on what you are doing.  The same mental/emotional space can be achieved through the use of ritual clothing charged in the manner that one would charge ritual tools or jewelry.  Much like any athlete getting ready for an event, the donning of specific clothing is an aid to focusing the mental awareness on the task at hand.

Beyond any and all of that, I have to wonder where the impetus for working skyclad came from.  Was it truly mandated as seems indicated in The Charge of the Goddess or was there a more sociological origin that drove Gardner and his folk to work in this manner?
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« Reply #5: May 12, 2008, 10:10:45 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies?? If so how for the + or -?? I personally was an eclectic practitioner for a number of years and always worked robed. I eventually hooked up with a Gardnerian Coven and joined with that family and started working Skyclad. In my experience I prefer working Skyclad as it is a completely different and intense energy that manifests when I do so. I have spoken with many eclectics(mostly solitaire) whom also work skyclad and prefer it. Wondering the opinion of others??


I've done both, but being that I'm not exactly 'body conscious' I don't really get the heightened awareness that it can bring for some people.  When a body is used to being clothed, it feels 'funny' to be unclothed for any great length of time.  The typical reasons, shower, bath, Dr's appt, sex, or random accident are all situations where your anticipation is peaked. 

Some arguments I've hear downplaying the effects of nudity on ones personal energy are that if one is sending energy across any kind of distance, then clothing compared to mountains, buildings and things of the sort is a flimsy enough barrier to be considered non existent.

The 'focus' nudity can bring is interesting, since in order to maintain politeness one cannot spend the ritual examining others bits.  Intent and purpose would be utterly lost were someone to in the middle of an invocation become fixated on someones inconveniently located mole.

At the same time, that focus can be maintained without nudity. 

I would ask what nudity brings to a ritual that can't be attained without it? (outside of adherence to the suggestions in the "Charge")  If a message can be conveyed without nudity in an artistic sense, but nudity is still used as the medium, then the question of gratuitous nudity is raised.  Is the message nudity, or is it something else?  How much of the original intent is lost to unnecessary nudity?
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« Reply #6: May 12, 2008, 10:19:11 am »

Beyond any and all of that, I have to wonder where the impetus for working skyclad came from.  Was it truly mandated as seems indicated in The Charge of the Goddess or was there a more sociological origin that drove Gardner and his folk to work in this manner?

Personally, while the practice might have some actual, useful purposes, I think that Gardner wanted to do it because it was "naughty".  I think that a lot of the ritual practices that Gardner chose were simply to accentuate the exotic and taboo.

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« Reply #7: May 12, 2008, 10:20:54 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working??

It's too darn cold here for me to be running around naked. 

There's no way I could work with a group that was skyclad.  Seeing some dude's dingleberries dangling would be a bit distracting.
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« Reply #8: May 12, 2008, 10:31:19 am »



A lot of what already was mentioned.
I see no need to be naked for energy work (and I do quite a bit of that). Unless I believe it disturbs the flow being not nude, than chances are it will. It's all about the mind, you know.

AFAIK some of Gardners stuff is just written down the way it is, because it was his personal preference. *shrugs* Since I'm not wiccanish it doesn't matter to me anyway. IMHO dogma is stupid, whatever dogma it is.
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« Reply #9: May 12, 2008, 11:30:04 am »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies?? If so how for the + or -?? I personally was an eclectic practitioner for a number of years and always worked robed. I eventually hooked up with a Gardnerian Coven and joined with that family and started working Skyclad. In my experience I prefer working Skyclad as it is a completely different and intense energy that manifests when I do so. I have spoken with many eclectics(mostly solitaire) whom also work skyclad and prefer it. Wondering the opinion of others??

I'm part of a tradition which requires we all work robed. Energy is energy - what counts is what you do with it, dressed or undressed.
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« Reply #10: May 12, 2008, 11:30:41 am »

Seeing some dude's dingleberries dangling would be a bit distracting.

Yup. That's one of the reasons we work clothed.
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« Reply #11: May 12, 2008, 12:04:29 pm »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies??

I've done both (and in both group work, occasionally, and in personal work).

For practical reasons, I tend to prefer robed, even inside. For lo, I live in the land of Minnesota, in which floor surfaces tend to be either frigid to chilly (on the winter end of the year) or sticky and ucky (on the warm side of the year). Also, there are places I just don't need cat hair, and if I'm sitting on the floor at all, chances are, there will be cat hair magnetically attracted to my body, no matter how much I cleaned before ritual.

That said, I find the particular combination of working with things that I, like many people, struggle with (body image, assumptions in society about our bodies) extremely powerful, and very much compatible with other parts of a witchcraft practice. I get where people are coming from with the distraction issue - but part of my interest is in *why* we consider it a distraction, and how that relates to our assumptions about how both sexuality and non-romantic/non-sexual relationships (such as with most circlemates or platonic friends) work.
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« Reply #12: May 12, 2008, 12:08:43 pm »


When I first started checking out Wicca 101 books, I came across the "skyclad" idea.  I was 15 and living in my parents' house.  There was little chance I was going to even attempt my first rituals naked in that environment, since the locks on the doors were kind of useless.  (not that people in my house made a habit of walking in on each other, but if Dad knocked on the door and it took my ten minutes to respond because I was naked, he'd instantly have way more information than I was willing to share.)

To add to that, even as I got older, I never fully grokked the reasons behind it.  And I feel that if you don't really understand the reasons *why* you're doing something in a ritual setting, then you probably *shouldn't* be until you do.  Know what i mean?
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« Reply #13: May 12, 2008, 12:14:22 pm »

Do or Has, anyone here worked skyclad during ritual or a working?? Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies?? If so how for the + or -?? I personally was an eclectic practitioner for a number of years and always worked robed. I eventually hooked up with a Gardnerian Coven and joined with that family and started working Skyclad. In my experience I prefer working Skyclad as it is a completely different and intense energy that manifests when I do so. I have spoken with many eclectics(mostly solitaire) whom also work skyclad and prefer it. Wondering the opinion of others??


My ideas here are pretty much all theory rather than based on practice as I live in Middle-of-Nowhere, Massachusetts and thus there isn't anything by way of ritual available for me to attend. Personal ritual I'll do however I feel like at the time, ranging from naked to PJs to street clothes to something I chose specifically for the occasion. Outdoor ritual skyclad (when whether and location permit) is something that I find very invigorating and would love to do in a group setting. I don't think it would be distracting at all. But then my roommate frequently teases me that if there wasn't a risk of getting arrested I wouldn't ever wear clothes and, with the exception of weather necessitated occasions, she's pretty much right. Kind of like Jennet said: why would it be distracting? We've seen it all before... But then I grew up with my backyard essentially being its own mini nudist camp for our family and friends so, I guess I am just used to it.
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« Reply #14: May 12, 2008, 12:55:39 pm »

Does being skyclad as opposed to robed or what have you change your energies??

I've done rituals in assorted clothing (and lack thereof), and what seems to effect the energy the most for me is what sort of ritual it is, not what I'm wearing.
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