One thing I don't do is skyclad. I don't have anything against nudity in it's context and I celebrate the naked form as beautiful in all ages, shapes and sizes, both female and male. There occasions when it is ritually proper ( and perhaps necessary, depending on the nature of the ritual). Skyclad, although a bit on the dramatic and romantic side visually, is a ridiculous sounding word and smacks of foppery. I realize there needed to be a euphemism created for the time it was first used, but now it just seems silly to me. I slept naked under the covers last night-does that make me blanketclad? No, it made me naked...and I don't like being cold, nor do I find it particularly conducive if participants are uncomfortable during ritual-for whatever reason. We can feign an air of progressive thinking all we want, but the fact is that most of the time people are still uneasy with public nudity. Moving right along...
|Orthodox dalmatic and deacon stole|
(the Anglican Church calls this Whitsunday," White Sunday"), but most liturgical churches use red to symbolize the Spirit and Word of God descending on the Apostles-most of whom will be martyred. The season of Pentecost- when the spirit of God dwells among the people, is celebrated by using the color green to symbolize growing in faith. It is temporarily supplanted for the by either white for feasts relating to Mary or Jesus or red for the feast day of saints who were martyrs.The green is in continuous use until Advent rolls around again at the start of the next Church Year.
The vestiture of the clergy and the sanctuary reflect the colors of the Liturgical Calendar. There are variations to shades of the colors in modern usage from parish to parish. The dalmatic and chasuble pictured aren't exclusive to the Christian Church because they were the garments of the day. The dalmatic is a ornate tunic worn by deacons in the Roman, Anglican and Orthodox Churches. It is worn over a plain white tunic called an alb. Some albs are hooded, most of them are white or cream linen, and they resemble the monk's robe. A rope, called a cincture may be wrapped around the waist; they come in all liturgical colors as well as white.The deacon's stole is worn across the left shoulder and either left to hang as shown or fastened at the right hip. A chasuble is traditionally worn during communion services by priests, but it is actually an adapted outer garment like a poncho in the middle-ages.
As Pagans, we follow no such hard and fast rules other than gold for the God and silver for the Goddess, and even that is debatable. The colors we use are reflective of the seasons and the Sabbats we celebrate (at least in the Northern Hemisphere!): the reds, greens,and whites of evergreens and berries for the Winter Solstice and Yule; reds and yellows for the flames of Imbolc; grassy greens and all pastels related to colors related to Ostara; heady greens and rich shades for Beltane and Litha; muted yellow, brown and gold for Lugnassadh and Mabon, and blazing oranges, yellows and somber black for Autumn and Sanhain....and a million others in between, dictated by location, personal preference and custom. It's wonderful and dizzying and somewhat chaotic. I have my own personal selections, and I'm sure you do to...But to continue...
|robe and cowled hood|
|Greek or Elemental Cross|
While we're at it, lets talk size. Personally, I don't like anything too big and flashy. Not my personal taste or style. An elemental cross or a pentagram about two square inches is plenty enough for me. A man may want something a little bolder-or bigger-and that's fine. Hubcap size is over-doing it. Nobody needs to see you coming from that far away! This is not the time to make a fashion statement. You want to keep it low-key and understated to look professional.
No matter what you're wearing, it can be covered by a nice hooded cape or cloak. This garment is always neat and attractive, and you can layer clothing beneath it if necessary. You can even wear a coat under it without it becoming too bulky and still have a nice profile.