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Author Topic: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?  (Read 13832 times)

Nyktipolos

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2011, 12:28:40 am »
Quote from: outlaw393;4092
I'm not sure what pagan would want to wear a head covering. Paganism to me is all about freedom, and wearing anything over your head because you feel your religion tells you to isn't freedom.

 

And that freedom allows me to dress modestly, submit to another person, give up sexual interaction, or work within a hierarchy, etc.. I don't have to chose any of those things, but I have the freedom to choose.
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Asch

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2011, 12:38:44 am »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;4138
And that freedom allows me to dress modestly, submit to another person, give up sexual interaction, or work within a hierarchy, etc.. I don't have to chose any of those things, but I have the freedom to choose.

 
This.

Freedom doesn't equal a total lack of restrictions, it is a choice of/in restrictions. Rules and boundaries exist in any tradition/path/society. If a free person *wants* to dress modestly or any of the other aspects Nyktipolos listed then he/she/they can. That's freedom, not being coerced but freely choosing.

sailor

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2011, 02:29:52 pm »
Quote from: Asch;4140
This.

Freedom doesn't equal a total lack of restrictions, it is a choice of/in restrictions. Rules and boundaries exist in any tradition/path/society. If a free person *wants* to dress modestly or any of the other aspects Nyktipolos listed then he/she/they can. That's freedom, not being coerced but freely choosing.


That is the issue for women in many Muslim controlled countries. They are not free to engage in a version of Islam that does not require head coverings to some degree, or even if not Muslim, to not follow the fundlementalist version of keeping covered.

Now in other countries, like the US, women (in particular Muslim and Jewish) can decide to wear or not wear coverings without fear of legal actions or violence. They may not be really welcome in the orthodox / fundementalist groups, but it's a choice.

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2011, 12:00:53 pm »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550

So, getting to the discussion part, how do you feel about modesty, simple living, and "Pagan plain"? Does it have a place in Pagan life, or not? Are you interested in it yourself? If you are interested, or if you're one of the rare few that actually do it, in what ways are you modest, "plain," or living simply? Are you completely against it? If you're for it or against it, why?


Like many of the others here, I think headcovering and such is a personal call. I believe it has a place in Pagan life, simply because paganism offers a lot of freedom in many areas.

Personally, I like the idea of headcovering. In ritual, when I am working with Isis, I always feel the need to cover my head. I do it for respect, to show humility before She of 10,000 Names. I would also do so for stronger dieties such as Sekhmet, Hekate, etc. And when I get married, I believe I may start covering my head. I like to wear bright, interesting clothes, but you can find cute scarves and hats all over the place. When I'm married, the last thing I want is for others to look at me and hit on me. Plus, by wearing a headscarf, then it's another sign of devotion, like a wedding ring. I know it seems one-sided, because my husband isn't going to wear a scarf. But to me personally, it feels right, and he supports me. And this is all coming from a strong believer in gender equality and respect!

All in all, I think there is a place for this age-old tradition for modern pagans. It's a matter of choice, and if you want to do it, then by all means i think you should go for it! I know I omitted plain clothing and such, but there's a place for that too, since plain clothing could mean something as simple as a solid shirt and khakis!
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mandrina

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2011, 05:51:19 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10577
Like many of the others here, I think headcovering and such is a personal call. I believe it has a place in Pagan life, simply because paganism offers a lot of freedom in many areas.

Personally, I like the idea of headcovering. In ritual, when I am working with Isis, I always feel the need to cover my head. I do it for respect, to show humility before She of 10,000 Names. I would also do so for stronger dieties such as Sekhmet, Hekate, etc. And when I get married, I believe I may start covering my head. I like to wear bright, interesting clothes, but you can find cute scarves and hats all over the place. When I'm married, the last thing I want is for others to look at me and hit on me. Plus, by wearing a headscarf, then it's another sign of devotion, like a wedding ring. I know it seems one-sided, because my husband isn't going to wear a scarf. But to me personally, it feels right, and he supports me. And this is all coming from a strong believer in gender equality and respect!

All in all, I think there is a place for this age-old tradition for modern pagans. It's a matter of choice, and if you want to do it, then by all means i think you should go for it! I know I omitted plain clothing and such, but there's a place for that too, since plain clothing could mean something as simple as a solid shirt and khakis!


I've seen on some of the headcovering (conservative christian)sites, there are barrettes with little veils on them, for women who feel convicted, but for whom full covering is too much or whose husbands object.  They're really cute, I, for one, do not look good in the all covering scarf or snood, as much as I love snoods, so if I felt convicted, that is probably how I would go
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SatAset

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2011, 09:38:46 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10577
Like many of the others here, I think headcovering and such is a personal call. I believe it has a place in Pagan life, simply because paganism offers a lot of freedom in many areas.

Personally, I like the idea of headcovering. In ritual, when I am working with Isis, I always feel the need to cover my head. I do it for respect, to show humility before She of 10,000 Names. I would also do so for stronger dieties such as Sekhmet, Hekate, etc.


Since you worship Isis, and wish to veil, you may want to look at how the ancient Greeks and Romans veiled themselves for religious ritual/everyday life.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2011, 12:55:41 am »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550
On the archived board, I found there was a discussion about Pagans and headcovering and modesty a while ago, and I thought I might try to start it up again.

So, getting to the discussion part, how do you feel about modesty, simple living, and "Pagan plain"? Does it have a place in Pagan life, or not? Are you interested in it yourself? If you are interested, or if you're one of the rare few that actually do it, in what ways are you modest, "plain," or living simply? Are you completely against it? If you're for it or against it, why?

 
I have nothing against any sort of covering for religious reasons, in circumstances dictated by religion - like in a temple, or during ritual or whatnot.

I also have nothing against modest dress, when chosen by the wearer, for whatever reason. It's a whatever-floats-your-boat kind of thing for me.

Personally I will not go out of my way to dress what someone might consider to be modest, but I won't dress like I might end up naked in any moment either.

My objection to covering up begins with my perception of security and identity, which comes into play whenever someone's face/body is either partially or wholly covered. Fortunately where I live it is neither mandated by law or very common, and I can't see much of that kind of modesty starting up in Pagan circles either :)

To add a very serious but not note:
I am a secret follower-in-my-head of the Dirty Underwear On The Head movement to further religious freedom to wear anything you want in public. :ninja:

faefawn

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2011, 06:49:56 am »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3550
On the archived board, I found there was a discussion about Pagans and headcovering and modesty a while ago, and I thought I might try to start it up again.

A while ago, I found some blogs of Pagans who wear headcoverings and/or dress "plain" or modestly and/or are into simple living. This is something I am also interested in, and I thought I was looney for the longest time until I found I wasn't the only one. These are things that one associates with Judeo-Christian religions, certainly not Pagan religions, so I felt a bit confused as to why I was interested in dressing "plain" and all that. But finding other Pagans with the same interest has helped me in exploring the reasons behind this feeling, and I thought by making this thread, I might be able to help other Pagans interested in exploring the idea of plainness or simple living as well.

So, getting to the discussion part, how do you feel about modesty, simple living, and "Pagan plain"? Does it have a place in Pagan life, or not? Are you interested in it yourself? If you are interested, or if you're one of the rare few that actually do it, in what ways are you modest, "plain," or living simply? Are you completely against it? If you're for it or against it, why?

You don't have to answer all or any of that, of course, I'm just giving some ideas to get a conversation going. From the looks of the old thread, I'm expecting lots of people to disagree with the idea, but I still think it's worth a re-visit for my own curiousity if nothing else. :D

I'll share my own opinions later, but first I'd like to see what others have to say. It's not much of a discussion if I'm just talking about myself. :p

 
This is a really interesting subject, thank you for posting!

I agree with a lot of the others here. If you want to wear a head covering, or indeed any sort of covering, then by all means do so. If it is by free will and freedom of choice then I see no reason why you shouldn't do it, or why you should be regarded negatively for doing it. As has been said, modesty isn't just dress, you could be totally covered and still be immodest. I think enforced 'modesty' isn't really giving the wearer the choice of how they view modesty themselves, they're made to dress in that way and it might not reflect their own views on modesty at all.

Personally I'd call myself modest but not plain, I like far too many bright colours for that! The idea of revealing 'sexy bits' is interesting to me, in all honesty I don't really mind what other people do but dressing sexily for me isn't that comfortable. I don't like random people to look at me in that way, in my own home I could happily do it, but out on the street I prefer to avoid that kind of gaze. At the same time I'm not adverse to wearing things like tank tops and, being of the rather busty variety, it's kind of hard not to show cleavage when I wear them. It doesn't bother me because I'm not trying to be sexy by wearing them, being able to see cleavage is just a byproduct of being comfortable. I'm aware people might look at my boobs when I wear them out but then I'm more of the 'oh well' mindset, as long as they're not coming onto me then it doesn't bother me.

I noticed some people mentioned those who are sort of over adorned. I don't really have a problem with that either, I think it's the motivation behind it that is more important. To me if you want to be heavily adorned, wear lots of pendants, rings, whatever and it's because that's what makes you comfortable, fits in with what you believe and is just coming from an honest place then why not. People might get the 'wrong idea' but really whose fault is that? We shouldn't have to tone it down because others might get the wrong idea about us, though I understand it can lead them to having the wrong idea about pagans in general. That can be said for anything though, everything we do could be concieved by somebody as being a good or bad reflection on anything.
Then again if the motivation is simply to be rebellious, or to get attention and be different then I would find that more annoying because it's coming from the need to draw that attention and possibly get in people's faces. Still there's no real way to know just by looking at someone whether they're doing it for that reason or not, without actually hearing them out on the reason they're adorned that way it's all just assumptions.

Duchess Atreides

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2011, 07:47:26 am »
Quote from: xerces_blue;3772
The main reason was that the thread on the old board included the idea of modesty in the topic. Another reason is that I think when people think about plain-dressing Christians and other religions with a dress code, we tend to associate plain dress with modesty.

However, I think modesty CAN be fashionable. I think modesty is a behavior, which may include how you dress, but it's other things as well. Like it's been mentioned, some Muslim women dress modestly in the sense that everything but the hands, feet, and face are covered, but they look very fashionable. However, even with everything covered like that, if what they're wearing is very tight and shows their body shape and they're wearing heavy makeup and jewelry, it might be considered to not be modest at all.



So I was basically saying just now what Sperran said, only not as simply put. :)

But the part about the sexy bits reminds me of something I hoped would get brought up, so I'm going to bring it up now. Somebody already mentioned modesty and going skyclad, but I forgot to mention it at the time.

Right now, the most noticable practitioners of plain/"modest" dress are Judeo-Christian, and the reason stems greatly from shame about sexuality and the human form. Since most Pagans don't have these kinds of hang-ups, it would mean the motivation for a "Plain Pagan" would be quite different, or at least it is for me.

My interest is not in covering up something shameful or denying my sexuality. In fact (and this is a way of thinking I realized from reading why Muslims cover, actually), I see sexuality as something sacred, as I think many other Pagans do. But because it's sacred, and my body is sacred, it's something that I feel shouldn't be available to everyone.

I'm aware that not everyone shares that view with me, nor do I think everyone should. It's just part of my own personal reasoning as to why I would/am considering "plain"-ifying my wardrobe. There are other reasons, like simplifying my life in general, which would include clothing, but I just wanted to cover the part about the view of sexuality, because it's usually an important difference between Judeo-Christian folk and Pagans, and it's just a fun thing to talk about, I guess :D


This post draws attention to the following issue: what definition of modesty are we working with, afterall? To me it's kind of silly to say that dressing plainly and wearing headscarves is being modest, no matter what your feelings are and no matter the culture around you. Take, for example, a veiled Muslim woman in a Western country. By dressing like that, she stands out and gets looked at a lot. She may even feel proud to dress like that, especially when it is of her own choice. She feels "special". Personally, I don't call that modesty. For her, modest would mean to adapt to the culture and wear Western clothes to blend in.
I like the idea that sexuality and my body are sacred and should not be accessible to random people on the street. I have a (head)scarf fetish and often wear those outside, I also like long hippie-style skirts that cover my legs. But I'd hardly call that "dressing modestly" since I actually take pleasure in wearing that very style of clothing. To me being more "modest" or "humble" would be to actually wear more revealing clothes instead of being proud of my body and taking pleasure in keeping it all to myself. Then again, I don't care much for modesty under my own definition, so...
Just wanted to point out that wearing a particular type of clothing does not equal being modest. It's all in your feelings about it and reasons for doing it.

Nyktipolos

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2011, 12:40:30 am »
Quote from: Duchess Atreides;17056
For her, modest would mean to adapt to the culture and wear Western clothes to blend in.

 
Personally, I'd view that as assimilation rather than adaptation. Usually the only people who have issues with people who wear or act differently than the dominant culture are... the people who are in the dominant culture (especially in Canada and America, this would be white, able-bodied, Christian, heteronormative, etc.).
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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2011, 06:41:33 am »
Quote from: Duchess Atreides;17056
This post draws attention to the following issue: what definition of modesty are we working with, afterall? To me it's kind of silly to say that dressing plainly and wearing headscarves is being modest, no matter what your feelings are and no matter the culture around you. Take, for example, a veiled Muslim woman in a Western country. By dressing like that, she stands out and gets looked at a lot. She may even feel proud to dress like that, especially when it is of her own choice. She feels "special". Personally, I don't call that modesty. For her, modest would mean to adapt to the culture and wear Western clothes to blend in.


And what if one feels that the Western style of dress is indecent? I can certainly understand not wanting to compromise one's own sense of what is right. Even if I personally feel it's excessive or misguided (face veils freak me out).
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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2011, 09:34:51 am »
Quote from: Nuri;10577
In ritual, when I am working with Isis, I always feel the need to cover my head. I do it for respect, to show humility before She of 10,000 Names.

 
It was common in ancient Rome to lift part of the toga or stola to cover the heads of ritual-goers. Another reason to do this was to create focus on the ritual and not be distracted by everything else going on. (Like blinders on carriage horses.)

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2011, 10:20:39 am »
Quote from: FierFlye;17787
It was common in ancient Rome to lift part of the toga or stola to cover the heads of ritual-goers. Another reason to do this was to create focus on the ritual and not be distracted by everything else going on. (Like blinders on carriage horses.)


Ah, thanks for setting this up for me FierFlye. In accordance with ancient custom, I prefer to worship in Capite velato; or with covered head. I would like to get a toga for use in the rites, but I'm still researching/thinking on the subject. :)
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Duchess Atreides

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2011, 01:49:42 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;17757
And what if one feels that the Western style of dress is indecent? I can certainly understand not wanting to compromise one's own sense of what is right. Even if I personally feel it's excessive or misguided (face veils freak me out).

 
The way they dress would be more decent, but not what I'd call "modest". If anything, it's vanity. "Look at me, I dress more decently than these people here, I'm special."
And this is coming from someone who loves headscarves of all kinds. My point is that it is misguiding to refer to that style of dress as "modest".

yarnwitch

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Re: Modesty, Headcovering, Plain Dress, and Paganism?
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2011, 05:23:06 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;4104
I know some Pagans who use a headcovering (usually of a format that doesn't look overtly religious - a bandana or scarf, usually with a fair bit of hair showing rather than something that looks more like a typically Jewish or Muslim or Christian version)  

They do it for a very Pagan/magical reason: it helps them 'tune out' the press of minds and emotions around them if they're otherwise sensitive to those things, and focus on what really matters to them. Yes, this is a thing that solid training in centering, grounding, and shielding can do a lot to help with - but some of these people find a headcovering either helps with that, or leaves more of their energy and attention free to do other things.


I've been considering doing it. I know that for me personally, I find that my hair absorbs everything. I recently cut off 3 feet of it to allow me to move on from the spot in life it had chained me to.

I didn't really think about it much, but I tend to subconsciously cover my hair nowadays anyway.

I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone. Sorry!

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