Hey VW and others,
This image posted by VW got me thinking about something....
But here is the question: I have observed several things...especially in the few years I have spent @30BaD. We have a few members who almost go an anarchist path. They tend to have cold personalities and almost narcissistic or egotist. They care only about themselves. These types tend, in the name of going green and saving the planet, to leave the world behind, and go live in the forest, and many of them would prefer not to wear clothing and become almost animal like. I am not saying they are completely wrong, and they may have their place in saving the planet too.
But that does not necessarily satisfy my own personality.
But...what i have noticed is that people who tend to be more in tune with a spiritual life, actually tend to wear more clothing. In psychology, it is taught that in almost all cultures and religions, there are several arch types that are recognized everywhere, and that is the witch and the wizard. And yet, when we think of them, they are fully clothed, robed, and their head is covered with some kind of hat.
The same seems to be true in world religions too. In xtianity, nuns cover themselves, and monks might wear robes. Kings and queens of old were robed. Muslims from around the world that have not chosen the modern path are fully clothed including men wearing a thobe and turban, and women again might be robed and veiled. And there is a mysterious beauty in this too. If I see a picture of a woman in a nikab with only her eyes showing, I want to stare more, and yet, if I see half naked people on the beach, I feel almost shy or repulsed.
Personally, I like to wear long skits and modest shirts, and obviously, I have kind of a shyness about myself and hide behind the mask of my cat. I am not shy when it comes to socializing or getting things done as some of you might have observed here at BaD though.
So, I ask you people, what are your observations, thoughts, and experiences, even opinions on the modest dress and or arch type images that pervade in the witch community?
Clothing in Western society is associated with power, although it may be associated with spirituality as you suggest. In part this is because it is often cold, and it takes some money to have nice clothes. In fact St. Patrick, if I'm not mistaken, before he converted to Christianity, was an enslaved shepherd and "nakedness", by which I hope he meant a lack of enough clothes to resist the cold rather than total nudity, was one of his major problems.
Pictures of Wizards, Popes, Royalty, etc., therefore are heavily garbed---even our Medieval pictures of Greek sages tend to show them where layers of (light) clothing.
The Greeks felt the same way about clothing expressing power. In the beginning of the Odyssey, we hear that Penelope's gifts to Odysseus include a shirt "as light as onion skin" and a double-thick purple cloak.
However, the Greeks were also willing to get nude or near-nude of athletics and even work. It may even be that military scouts, who were not fighting but doing reconnaissance, would be lightly clothed. I think they would strip off their clothes to bathe in a stream the way country folk in America used to do the same thing before anybody had swimsuits.
When the Romans made a sculpture of someone they wished to honor, they would often make it "heroically nude"---that is, they might make a nude sculpture of an emperor, even though that emperor would never have paraded around in the nude. (Although nudity at public baths would have been accepted.)
Personally, I would prefer to be less clothed than society expects---but it is impractical given my house, my work, my children, etc.
I personally don't agree that body modesty is associated with spirituality. I like the fact that in my experience pagans accept nudity more than most of society.
Your comment is interesting. Being a pagan myself, and pretty much a solitary one at that, I do many of my rituals (some would say spells) 'skyclad' and I notice the energy or connection with the planet seems stronger as a result. Obviously I don't get around nude all the time, it's just something I do when I'm performing a ritual and on my own.
I admire this! Being nude in nature is definitely a spiritual experience. One has to try to know!!
"what i have noticed is that people who tend to be more in tune with a spiritual life, actually tend to wear more clothing"
What about Ghandi? He showed some skin just about as often as he was fully robed.
When I am wearing clothing, I am like you - I like to wear long skirts and dresses. But honestly, I prefer to be nude. It is my most comfortable and natural state of being.
Whether or not this means that I'm less spiritual, I don't know. But I do know it means that I am comfortable with my body and don't like to hide from it :)