What is ‘skyclad’?
According to Wikipedia:
In Wicca and Paganism/Neo-paganism, the term skyclad is used to refer to ritual nudity. Some Wiccan groups, or Traditions, perform some or all of their rituals skyclad.
Right, you probably wonder why I made you read that.
I’m a Pagan. Pagans are folks who don’t follow any of the large religions with just one god. Enough of that, though, this post is about being skyclad. Being nude, obviously, clothed in sky.
And this is a way how pagans can perform their rituals. Skyclad.
Not all of them do. It’s a matter of choice.
Why do I bring this up? Well, on the friend of all naturists and nudists, Facebook (I’ll wait for all the laughter and boo-calls to end now…) I had an interesting discussion with a Wiccan friend of mine concerning burkinis.
You know, those unfriendly slabs of cloth that Islamic women can wear to beaches. She said that she was in favour of them because that way those women could go to the beach if they wanted. “Because everyone has the right to go to the beach the way they want.”
I asked her how she felt about nude beaches. Her response was that such a thing wasn’t right, because “at some point there is enough naked flesh“.
This of course made me ask her how that mixed with her previous statement about having the right to go to the beach the way you want. This, she said, was a matter of common decency. Because being naked wasn’t decent. (Note that I know she has done plenty of skyclad rituals.)
The minds of people and their attitude towards our lifestyle keep surprising me. Even someone who isn’t against nudity in one form can pull back from nudity in another form.
I think it has to do with safety. Someone who engages in a nude ritual does so with people (s)he knows, feels safe with. People like us, who engage in nude life do so with people we know and feel safe with. We have the advantage here because we don’t have such a tiny group of people we dare to trust.
Naturists and nudists are nude for (mostly) a common goal: not wearing clothes. For feeling free. For experiencing nature in the most optimal way. The way I like to do that is having nude walks. As many as I can. Along beaches, in forests, in the mountains. As long as I can feel the air on me, move without being hindered by cloth and such.
I wonder if you, the reader of this piece, have experiences with people who condone nudity in one way but are very opposed to it the other way. I’d like to hear about them.
And in the mean time: stay happy, be nude as much as you can.
3 thoughts on “Skyclad”
I had a few encounters. One in particular puzzled me. A woman, who did her (morning) run on the beach, complained to a ranger about me (apparently about walking nude on the beach). When I had a chance, a couple of weeks later, I put my shorts on (!) and brought up the issue, mainly in an attempt to diffuse her ‘fear’ for nude people. She said she had no problem with nude people as long as they were sunbathing on the beach (face down). She didn’t agree with people walking along the beach or go swimming in the nude.
I’m still a bit puzzled by this. She did make a reference to teenagers and that she would want a guy to walk in front of teenagers. I assume she had teenagers and felt she had to protect them from the possible ‘evil’ sight of a naked people.
Sorry, in my previous post ‘she would want a guy’ should read ‘she wouldn’t want a guy’
I come from a strongly-religious/Christian background, and most adherents are proudly-prudish. Pastors and priests are sometimes called “men of the cloth” after the “Geneva/pastoral” robes/gowns which were in vogue for many years. My dad wore one sometimes when he was a pastor, and I know another pastor who still wears one on certain occasions. Even though we claim to worship a God who knows and see all, and has “seen it all”, most people would be creeped-out just thinking about coming to church au naturel.
Why? Because they put-on a certain “persona” when they come to church. People think that they have to “look-good and smell-good” and present a certain-kind of “image”. How many doctors or nurses would “dare” show-up in church in their “scrubs” after pulling an all-nighter caring for the sick and injured? Or, how about the electrical-lineman who has just spent all night trying to restore the power to a storm-ravaged community? Would he “dare” show-up in church in his grubby work-clothes? Oh, but someone might be “offended” if they showed-up that way, but would God be “offended”? God is more honored and delighted by their selfless-service than He is “offended” by how they look. If fact, God doesn’t CARE how they look, so why should we? Who are we trying to “please” or “impress”? Man or God?
I have been privileged to participate in a couple of worship-services au naturel and they were delightful. We had nothing to “hide”, so we didn’t “hide” anything. We were free to be our authentic-selves without any need of “persona” or “image”. That is how worship should be.