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Author Topic: you're gonna show up to a ritual in that? (dressing up during spells)  (Read 5904 times)

Kahina

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So, my mind has been all over the place. If anybody has seen what I've been posting, I've jumped from spirit summoning to priestesthood (although, if you think about it, this can kind of go hand-in-hand with performing priestess-like duties).

Now, I want to talk about what kind of things a person can wear when they're performing their magick.For me, I think I want something that reminds me of the ocean - a symbol of where my energy is drawn and what I carry with me as I perform. Granted, I know you don't need anything fancy, but I'm really passionate about immersing myself into my practice, so I'd actually love to try and find more 'formal' wear, you know?

What kinds of things do you like to dress up in? How often? Do you feel closer to your practice when you do?
"be careful, you are not in Wonderland. i\'ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation."

random417

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Quote from: Kahina;153713
What kinds of things do you like to dress up in? How often? Do you feel closer to your practice when you do?

My practice being more ceremonial, I have a robe for just about every occasion. I find color to be a useful tool, so quite often I'm in a robe. When I can't find a robe to suit, then I've got a nice vest and dress shirt I'll throw on.

For me, dressing differently is part of respecting the work. Yes, I'll do my daily practice in normal clothes, but any special stuff I always dress for.
"Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is in every way perfect."

AL 1:42-44

Sarah

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Quote from: Kahina;153713
So, my mind has been all over the place. If anybody has seen what I've been posting, I've jumped from spirit summoning to priestesthood (although, if you think about it, this can kind of go hand-in-hand with performing priestess-like duties).

Now, I want to talk about what kind of things a person can wear when they're performing their magick.For me, I think I want something that reminds me of the ocean - a symbol of where my energy is drawn and what I carry with me as I perform. Granted, I know you don't need anything fancy, but I'm really passionate about immersing myself into my practice, so I'd actually love to try and find more 'formal' wear, you know?

What kinds of things do you like to dress up in? How often? Do you feel closer to your practice when you do?

 
Because my rituals and my magic are really wrapped up in my everyday life I just wear everyday clothes. If I was going to a public ritual I would wear whatever the norm was for that
Knowing when to use a shovel is what being a witch is all about. Nanny Ogg, Witches Abroad

Lysana

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Quote from: Jake_;153718
Because my rituals and my magic are really wrapped up in my everyday life I just wear everyday clothes. If I was going to a public ritual I would wear whatever the norm was for that

 
This is me on the overall. I was with a group that practiced an Umbanda offshoot for a while so I had to wear white to their events. It always put me in the right mindset to switch into my whites no matter what else was going on in my life. That and the necklaces. And if I were going to a ritual for specific gods, I might dress in their colors if I knew what they were, or else just average street clothes barring other instructions.

Jenett

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Quote from: Kahina;153713

What kinds of things do you like to dress up in? How often? Do you feel closer to your practice when you do?

 
For me, it's not precisely 'closer' to my practice that's the issue: it's the dual question of using clothing as a ritual tool to bring me into the most effective ritual mindset possible, and - if I'm working with other people - setting the scene for them, as well.

(Also, not being insulting to the deities or other entities we're inviting, but that's a fairly low bar for me: I don't generally wear things at any time that'd be a problem.)

My tradition has the concept of the magical personna: the idea of picking things (a name for circle, choices in what we wear, jewelry, etc) that feed the self we are working to become.

Exactly how much I do obvious physical things for a particular ritual depends on a lot of factors. Lengthy involved rituals get more prep work than shorter ones. Rituals I'm doing with other people are likely to get more attention, because it is easier for everyone in circle to step into a ritual mindset when everyone in circle is dressing intentional for ritual, and not 'this is what I wore to work today'.

Likewise, I do believe that *changing* clothing, or setting aside something just for ritual is a useful ritual tool a lot of times, in helping with the switch in mindset, but I don't think it has to be completely different clothes: I usually default to changing clothes, applying ritual jewelry, and so on.

One of my standard 'I am in ritual now' triggers is to have my hair loose (my hair is waistlength, and normally it is braided or clipped up), which is handy because it is entirely portable and does not require any additional equipment.

My absolute baseline: Clean. Not going to interfere with or distract from the ritual work I'm doing. Preferably a neutral colour (I own a lot of black clothing) or one suitable to the ritual's purpose.

Preferred on my own: Simple dress or t-shirt+skirt combo (my usual clothing is a plain t-shirt/knit shirt and skirt for most purposes) with color and design choices based on the ritual focus, basic ritual jewelry (my ritual cords, and a suitable pendant, and a trad-specific piece.) For more involved rituals, I'll swap to purpose-made ritual clothing.

With other people: Simple change of clothing to something that's clearly not purely everyday wear - sometimes that's an actual made-for-purpose robe, often that's black top and skirt as a backdrop for the ritual jewelry and a shawl in a suitable colour. I have a series of elemental skirts made by a friend several years ago that are good for this too.

Ritual where what people wear is a big part of the full experience - ritual as theatre, at least partly, in other words: Generally for me this is a black floor length dress, full ritual jewelry (priestess crown, the matching bracelet, cords, two trad-specific pieces, and maybe something else, depending on the ritual.) Possibly a shawl or veil, depending on what's going on in the ritual.

In terms of the jewelry: one of the trad specific pieces is necessary if I'm doing the trad format ritual, my ritual cords are not essential but highly helpful, and I otherwise find jewelry to be very helpful in setting intention (I have a vast array of pendants, and wear them as part of my daily practice: almost none of them appear obviously Pagan.)
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Kahina

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Quote from: Jake_;153718
Because my rituals and my magic are really wrapped up in my everyday life I just wear everyday clothes. If I was going to a public ritual I would wear whatever the norm was for that

 
I usually go naked, tbh. I'm just thinking if it's a rather big spell or I'm feeling a bit more on the ceremonial side when I pay a visit to a body of water, a dress would be more appropriate.
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Catherine

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Quote from: Jenett;153724

One of my standard 'I am in ritual now' triggers is to have my hair loose (my hair is waistlength, and normally it is braided or clipped up), which is handy because it is entirely portable and does not require any additional equipment.

 
This is probably a stupid question, and maybe slightly off topic, but I'm asking anyway. How do you keep such long hair under control?

I've been growing mine for a while now, and it's gotten to be a few inches past my shoulders. It's constantly falling forward, getting in my face, and so on. When I honor Juno, it's not an issue because I cover. But I'd really like to be able to leave it loose for other kinds of ritual and magical things without running the risk of catching it on fire or something.

Does it get easier the longer it gets?

BrighidsAura

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Quote from: Kahina;153713
So, my mind has been all over the place. If anybody has seen what I've been posting, I've jumped from spirit summoning to priestesthood (although, if you think about it, this can kind of go hand-in-hand with performing priestess-like duties).

Now, I want to talk about what kind of things a person can wear when they're performing their magick.For me, I think I want something that reminds me of the ocean - a symbol of where my energy is drawn and what I carry with me as I perform. Granted, I know you don't need anything fancy, but I'm really passionate about immersing myself into my practice, so I'd actually love to try and find more 'formal' wear, you know?

What kinds of things do you like to dress up in? How often? Do you feel closer to your practice when you do?

 
Im going to come off like a prick in this thread.

Honestly, at the end of the day, to each their own. If wearing something special makes you feel more comfortable, than who am I to judge?

But I can't help but want to roll my eyes when I see people in faery wings and capes EVERYWHERE when I go to pagan festivals and rituals. I put myself into the perspective of someone that isn't pagan and is looking in to what we're doing and, if I were them, I wouldn't take the group seriously at all. As I approach some pagan festivals, it looks more like a LARP session than an actual religious/spiritual event.

When I go, I wear every day clothes. I have a flowey red dress that I like but I don't even really feel comfortable wearing it to pagan events. It's not really me. I'm an oxford shoes and peter pan collars kind of chica so the faery wings thing was never something I wanted to do.

Again, even though Im coming off like a prick right now, I really don't think too much about it. It's just something I notice. It makes me wonder if people sort of view witchcraft and paganism that way too: like its something pretty that takes them out of their regular mundane lives and I dont know if I consider that positive. It sometimes feels like people would rather belong in a fantasy than in real life.

Sarah

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Quote from: BrighidsAura;153728
Im going to come off like a prick in this thread.

Honestly, at the end of the day, to each their own. If wearing something special makes you feel more comfortable, than who am I to judge?

But I can't help but want to roll my eyes when I see people in faery wings and capes EVERYWHERE when I go to pagan festivals and rituals. I put myself into the perspective of someone that isn't pagan and is looking in to what we're doing and, if I were them, I wouldn't take the group seriously at all.

 
But why does that matter?
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Jack

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Quote from: BrighidsAura;153728
But I can't help but want to roll my eyes when I see people in faery wings and capes EVERYWHERE when I go to pagan festivals and rituals. I put myself into the perspective of someone that isn't pagan and is looking in to what we're doing and, if I were them, I wouldn't take the group seriously at all. As I approach some pagan festivals, it looks more like a LARP session than an actual religious/spiritual event.

 
If I cared what random passers-by thought of my practice I'd never do anything~!

I usually wear jeans + plain black t shirt when I go to CUUPS things. When I was going to rituals put on by Asatruar in Phoenix I usually wore the same (or shorts, because Phoenix) but a lot of them wore rennie-type gear and somehow it worked. Killer method of getting into the midset and also came in really handy when the Christian 12-step group started heckling us in the park.

(Don't heckle vikings, guys. Not worth it.)
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Jenett

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Re: you're gonna show up to a ritual in that? (dressing up during spells)
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 06:51:58 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;153727
This is probably a stupid question, and maybe slightly off topic, but I'm asking anyway. How do you keep such long hair under control?


I grew my hair out when I started college (up until then, I had bangs - what UK speakers often call a fringe - and the rest of my hair was about shoulder length.) so it's been this long for almost 20 years now.

I find it *way* easier when it's long, partly because it's usually braided or pulled back in daily life. (I have fine hair that tangles fairly easily when it's loose and mine's long enough now it will catch in chairs/etc when I lean back sometimes.)

My actual priestess crown (designed by a dear friend) was designed for my head specifically so that if I loop hair back under it, the hair will stay put and out of my face (and the rest is long enough to stay behind my shoulders.) I almost never have problems with my hair getting in the way.

Some of this is just practice, too - I found the the shoulder length to bra-strap-length the worst when it came to hair getting in places, and once it got longer than that, it was a lot easier.  
 
For other ritual, it depends a lot what I'm doing. If I'm going to be doing things with beyond lighting a couple of candles and stepping back, I usually pull the front part up and clip it back (so take the hair from the hairline back a couple of inches, about as far as the ears, and braid it back in a tiny braid from the center or just clip it in place.) The little tiny plastic claw clips (sample search - I mean the little tiny ones with like 3 teeth) are, well, plastic, but very practical for this, or a couple of bobby pins do very well.

If I'm doing more involved things with fire (a cauldron with a chemical fire, for example) I think about my hair, but also the length of my sleeves, whether my skirt will make it hard to get up and get the sacred fire extinguisher, and so on. But that's not just about my hair.

If the stuff that's bothering you is it falling in your hair, headbands can help a lot. (The broad stretchy fabric ones can be really good if you can find them: I find hard plastic too uncomfortable.)
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Re: you're gonna show up to a ritual in that? (dressing up during spells)
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 06:55:26 pm »
Quote from: Jack;153740

(Don't heckle vikings, guys. Not worth it.)

 
The local Viking group played security at one local Pagan Pride Day. Absolutely priceless.
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I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
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What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

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Re: you're gonna show up to a ritual in that? (dressing up during spells)
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 07:03:08 pm »
Quote from: BrighidsAura;153728

Again, even though Im coming off like a prick right now, I really don't think too much about it. It's just something I notice. It makes me wonder if people sort of view witchcraft and paganism that way too: like its something pretty that takes them out of their regular mundane lives and I dont know if I consider that positive. It sometimes feels like people would rather belong in a fantasy than in real life.

 
There are many different ways to approach religion and some are less serious than others. Some of the most serious religious stuff I've done has been very silly and inspired a sense of play in me. Sometimes it's just fun to hang out with people and wear faerie wings and get excited to be in an environment where there are others like you. And sometimes that experience of fun is, itself, an expression of spirituality.

The only time I find this disruptive is when trying to do ritual with folks whose mindset I don't share. My trick to solving that is not doing ritual with those individuals. :)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

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random417

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Re: you're gonna show up to a ritual in that? (dressing up during spells)
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 07:04:34 pm »
Quote from: BrighidsAura;153728
Im going to come off like a prick in this thread.
I don't think so, you make some very good points

Quote from: BrighidsAura;153728
But I can't help but want to roll my eyes when I see people in faery wings and capes EVERYWHERE when I go to pagan festivals and rituals.
As much as I go all out for ritual, me too. The point of ANY ritual wear is to be different from the day to day. To wear something outlandish in ritual can be acceptable, depending on the ritual, but every day? Even at a festival that's absurd.

Quote
It sometimes feels like people would rather belong in a fantasy than in real life.
Once circle closes though, isn't that almost the point? Inside circle, we need to accept things that many would consider fantasy. In circle, that element of a "fantasy world" can help set the appropriate mindset for some people. We are after all, in "a time without Time, in a place that is not a place".
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 10:35:51 pm by SunflowerP »
"Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is in every way perfect."

AL 1:42-44

Jenett

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Re: you're gonna show up to a ritual in that? (dressing up during spells)
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 07:10:17 pm »
Quote from: Kahina;153713

What kinds of things do you like to dress up in? How often? Do you feel closer to your practice when you do?

 
Oh, meant to add to my original: my actual *guidelines* for what I think people should wear in ritual. (Though, y'know, not like I care unless you're in ritual with me in specific, when I might.)

1) Is it safe?

Long flowy sleeves are gorgeous, but also fire hazards. (So is polyester fabric.) If you wear a long skirt or cloak, be absolutely sure you know how to handle it so other people don't step on it.

2) Is it allow you to do the ritual?

If you are going to be doing a lot of deep breathing meditation things, jeans may not be your friend: they can be quite restrictive of your body. Some kinds of clothing is easier to sit on the floor of the ritual space in than others. If your feet get cold in ritual, you want socks or sacred slippers or something. Cold feet are not conducive to good ritual experiences.

3) Does it enhance the feel of the ritual?

Some paths put things on altars. Often, the altar is both a 'place to put the tools we're using' but also a visual focus for the ritual. The people in the ritual are also a visual focus for the ritual.

If you're doing ritual by yourself, this is not a problem (you're not looking at yourself, generally). If you're doing ritual with other people, having everyone dressed in a way that suits the ritual style and purpose helps a lot.

This can be simple (everyone wears seasonal colours) or complicated (some traditions have matching sets of ritual robes all in the same cut or colour) or somewhere in between (people wear clothing that makes them feel magical or like they're stepping outside of their daily lives, into a space where the ritual can have a more powerful effect). Some traditions do other things (working skyclad is a way of visually indicating 'we are outside regular space and time') or have specific things that only the ritual leaders wear, for similar reasons.

Good group ritual is very often also good *theatre*. Theatre has costumes, because we respond to what we see and how clothing moves, and what the clothing makes easier and harder for us to do. (A properly fitted Renaissance bodice does very different things to someone's posture than a three piece suit or a draping chiton or mainstream 21st century business casual.)

All of those can be powerful tools, and like any powerful tool, I tend to think that thinking about it is a good idea before you make your decisions (or deride other people's choices.)
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