Dress

Many covens—and certainly the vast majority of Solitary Witches— work naked ... referred to, in the Craft, as skyclad—"clad only by the sky". This certainly seems a preferred and recommended practice. But there are times when, perhaps due to temperature, you may wish to be robed. It may even be that you just prefer to be robed most of the time anyway... that's all right.

Robes can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. I here give you instructions for making a simple one. Those more adept with a needle than I am may elaborate to their heart's content.

Any type material will do, the choice is up to you—polyester (if you

In a recent discussion on Witchcraft, the question came up 'What proof is there that Witches always worked naked? Is this tradition, or is it a recent innovation?'

There are certainly many early illustrations of naked Witches anointing themselves preparatory to their departure for the Sabbat, but there are also illustrations of Witches at the Sabbat who are clothed. For interest I did a little research to see how many, if any, such early illustrations showed the Witches actually naked at the Sabbat. The result was; fairly conclusive.

Hans Baldung Grun, the sixteenth Century German, did any number of Witch illustrations (Witches at Work and Witches' Sabbat are typical) all showing naked participants. Albrecht Durer's The Four Sorcerers is of naked Witches. The Douce Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford, contains an illustration of The Witches Sabbat On the Bracken with many of the participants naked. Practically all of Goya's paintings of Witches show them naked (Two Witches Flying On a Broom being typical) and especially interesting is the 1613 (Paris) edition of Pierre de Lancre's Tableau de I'inconstance des mauvais anges which shows a great gathering of Witches with a circle of dancing nudes in one part and a nude mother presenting her equally naked child to the Horned God in another part.

It would seem, then, that there was no hard and _ fast rule. As is _ found today, some covens only strip when working magick but otherwise wear loose robes. Other covens are naked throughout their rites.

Witchcraft Ancient and Modern Raymond Buckland, HC Publications, NY

1970

Throughout the fifteenth century a popular headdress for women was the tall, conical 'dunce hat1; sometimes with a brim but more often without. By the early sixteenth century this was no longer the fashion at court or in the large cities and towns. The fashion, indeed the actual hats themselves, eventually . found their way out to the villages and farms. Part of the purging by the new religion was to show that the Old Religion was outdated. Witches were therefore pictured, at this time, wearing the demode head-gear—they were 'behind the times'; out of fashion.

Witchcraft _ from the Inside Raymond Buckland, Llewellyn 1971

must!), silk, cotton, wool. Consider, though, its weight: will it be too heavy and hot, or too light and cool? Also consider how easily it creases and wrinkles. Will it stretch too much? Is it washable? Will it itch? Since Witches wear nothing under their robes, this last is a serious consideration!

Measure yourself from wrist to wrist, with arms outstretched (Figure 3.6, measurement A), then from the nape of the neck to the ground (measurement B). You will need to buy material of A width by twice B length. Take the material and fold it in half, as in figure 3.6. If the material has an "outside" and an "inside", fold it inside out. Now cut out a piece from each side, as indicated. You will be left with what you see in Figure 3.7; a more-or-less "T" shape.

The exact dimensions of the cuts will depend on you. Leave enough for a full sleeve at "x" but don't take it up to make it too tight under the arm at "y". I recommend you experiment with paper first (pattern paper can be purchased from material stores). At "z" cut an opening for your head, as shown. Sew where indicated: along the bottom of the sleeves and down the sides. All that remains is to turn it right side out again, try it on and hem it to a convenient length (e.g. an inch or so above the ground). If you wish to add a cowl-hood there will be plenty of material available from that initially cut off. Either a pointed or a rounded hood is appropriate.

Add a cord around the waist as a finishing touch. Some wear a magickal cord but I am of the opinion that a magickal cord is for working magick, not for holding your robe (things were different during the persecutions, when it was necessary to hide one's magical tools. It is not necessary now)._

Think carefully about the color of your robe. It used to be that most Witches wore white robes, but I'm glad to see more and more color appearing at festivals. In Saxon Witchcraft, the Priest/ess wears either white, purple or deep green and the others wear greens, browns, yellows and blues, though this is not a hard and fast rule. Combinations of colors can be attractive, of course, as can a basic color trimmed with silver or gold, or with a second color. Some few Witches do wear black but, while acknowledging it to be a very "powerful" color (in fact a non-color), I personally think that it plays up the misconception of equating Witchcraft with Satanism and, if only for that reason, should be avoided. We are a religion of Nature, so let's use the colors of Nature ... the bright and the sombre earth colors (there is actually very little black to be found in nature). But again, in the last instance it is your choice.

JEWELRY

In some traditions certain jewelry is used to signify rank. For example, in Gardnerian Witchcraft female Witches of all degrees wear a necklace (signifying the Circle of Rebirth); the Third Degree High Priestess wears a wide silver bracelet, with certain specific inscriptions; the High Priest wears a torque-like gold or brass bracelet (again with certain signs on it); and the Queen wears a crescent-moon crown of silver and a silver-buckled green garter*. In other traditions different customs rule.

Generally many Witches—though females especially—wear a headband.

Necklaces and pendants are very popular, including

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7

'Not a "garter-belt", as one writer once reported!

necklaces of acorns, beans, wooden beads or similar. Rings, often bearing inscriptions or depictions of the deities, are also very popular. Certainly there are some very talented Witch jewelers who produce incredibly beautiful items that deserve to be displayed.

But some people feel that jewelry has no place in the Circle. There are some who feel that it is a hindrance to the raising of power—though in almost a quarter of a century of practice I have never found this to be true. However, I do respect those who do feel this way. If they truly believe that it restricts, then it will restrict. So, decide for yourself whether to encourage the use of jewelry; whether to limit its use; whether to use it to denote position; whether to prohibit it altogether.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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