Nudity within Spirituality

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Silver Spider
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Nudity within Spirituality

Post by Silver Spider » Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:36 pm

Greetings,

Is nudity within Spirituality ethical? Is it appropriate?

Earlier I read a topic about how Kystar preparing to get married, and then the subject of being nude came up. She said it wasn't her thing. I know the conversation was said with some humor. I laughed a little too.

It got me thinking about nudity in a more serious way. Here's what I know about nudity within Spirituality. I've visited major book stores as well as small book stores. I've scanned through some of the books to see if a book gains my attention. Unexpectedly, I've seen some nude spiritual activities/rituals photos and drawings. There's the photo of a couple getting married in the nude. I've also seen nude photos of spiritual people (both couples and non-couple groups) performing some type of ritual(s.)

Now I'm not a Christian, even though I've been born and raised in a Christian society. I've heard throughtout the years, from time to time, that's it's unethical to be in the nude–the exceptions being when you're showering or bathing, or changing your clothes when in the privacy of your own home. I've heard Christians say things like, "hide your shame", "have you any common decency?", "pervert", or "blasphemy." Sayings like that. No, I wasn't the one who has gone nude in public, but I've seen and heard such things in other ways like newcasts, movies, tv, and perhaps some writings in the past.

Oh, I just thought of a real life example. There are people out there who feel poor their entire life. (I'm not one of them, I'd like to be wealthy, and I've felt active my entire life; kind of like there are lives out there who've felt like artists their entire life.) My aunt, who's been dead for many years and felt poor her entire life, thought nudity was ok.

Well maybe that wasn't a spiritual example, but it's an example of nudity that would make other lives (including myself) say that it's unethical to be nude because I don't want to be poor.

I could also easily get into the whole issue of "Is nudity art or porn?" or "Is it both?" It could be art, but then somewhere a line is crossed, and it becomes porn? I don't know. Perhaps that's less of a spiritual ethics, and more of a secular ethics? (If there's such a thing.)

I can think of more things regarding this, but it would be too lengthy to list.

Hmmm...Well I think it's good to stay on the topic: Is nudity within Spirituality ethical? Is it appropriate? Why or Why not? I'm curious to hear what our forum has to say on this.

Blessed be

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Post by Vetle » Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:39 pm

I think there's nothing wrong with nudity because, when it comes down to it, humans are animals. It's just that our society calls for the use of clothes.

As far as shame, what's shameful about the human body? It's an amazing "machine" and definitely a masterpiece of the gods. I find nothing shameful about the human body.

With that in mind, if the body is portrayed as beautiful, it can be artistic. Or if it's portrayed as ugly too, but it's not as common. I don't think something is pornography unless it's purpose is to sexually arouse someone. Aside from that, I don't see anything as pornographic.

Regarding whether or not it's appropriate, it's a context sensitive issue. You wouldn't go to the beach in a full suit, just like you wouldn't go to a cocktail part in shorts and a t-shirt. You have to dress (or undress) for the occasion. If the occasion calls for clothes, don't go nude. If the occasion calls for nudity, don't wear clothes. Appropriateness comes down to consent and what everyone has agreed on.

Within spirituallity, I must agree with what I most often read on the matter. Doing a ritual nude is OK if everyone is OK with it. You can't just say, "hi everyone, drop 'em" without letting them known ahead of time that the ritual is to be done nude. Likewise, you can't say the ritual is nude if nudity is not agreed on. It's a decision the group has to make. If you're alone, make the decision yourself.

Of course, you can't just walk out into the park nude because then the right of being nude is not yours. The standard is then determined by society because it is public and that which is public belongs to society.

I perform most of my rituals skyclad or close to skyclad because it's comfortable and I feel more "at one" with nature, if that makes any sence. However, I don't think I'd be able to perform skyclad with another person because of the societal implications of nudity that have been ingrained into me. I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the ritual.
"I just hope angels in the forest
Saw me praying in my own soul
Death is unfair - That's real pain
Remoun you...Am I almost dead?
I miss my hope; My will to live
My last farewell forever, all alone"

-Anita Auglend

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Post by Raven » Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:53 pm

Is it Art or Porn?

this begs the question:

Is porn art?


not my thoughts, just an interesting question i felt like throwing out...
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Post by Vetle » Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:57 pm

Raven wrote:Is porn art?
I think it boils down to the intention behind the creation of said thing. If you create something for the purpose of personal satisfaction (that's not a dirty reference, I satisfaction with yourself as an artist) then I think it can be considered art. While it's different territory, music is a good example. If something is made for the sole purpose of pocketing some cash, it's not art. If it's made as an expression of emotion or creativity and is made in good taste (I'm not going to debate the definition of good taste) then it's art. I think this applies to all things with questionable or questioned artistic integrity.

Just my 0,02 euros.
"I just hope angels in the forest
Saw me praying in my own soul
Death is unfair - That's real pain
Remoun you...Am I almost dead?
I miss my hope; My will to live
My last farewell forever, all alone"

-Anita Auglend

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Post by Wbdsgnr1 » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:49 pm

Being spiritually nude is often called going Skyclad in paganism and a lot of people practice this way.

It has a lot about being "open, honest and vulnerable" in front of your Dieties. Why should you have anything to hide? You were born nude and natural and there is nothing wrong with it. And also, being in circle/ritual you wouldn't set clothing on fire, but you have to watch your skin for the fire and the athame's that are around.

But if you don't feel comfortable doing circle this way (me and firelord have done it this way a lot in the privacy of our own home) then don't do it. Nobody says you have to go skyclad.

but thats just my own personal opinion.

blessed be
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Post by Raven » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:32 pm

Ive never been big on the whole ritual thing, but i personally like my cloths.... or hate my body ? (better start getting over that one, I'm obviously not getting any prettier =P) i don't know which. But I do feel as though certain cloths might enhance energy flow and direction, just as being skyclad might do the same thing. Im with you all on the fact that its up to the individual.
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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:44 am

Greetings,

Personally I don't like the word nude - NAKED seems to much better convey the state of being that way.

As for doing rituals naked or not, I think the usual standard of "If it does not feel right, the don't do it" applies. I think great caution is appropriate with people who insist that nakedness is essential for a ritual - for all you know they may have unsavory intentions....)

Nakedness is not only used by pagans for ritual purposes and symbolism, but by other religions as well.

Blessings
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Skyclad...

Post by dragonflydrummer » Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:02 am

A few years ago I was part of a Skyclad Spiral Dance and Ritual with about 50 other very spirited pagans. I had never done a skyclad working ( with others ) and thought that I would find it a situation entailing a lot of 'body-consciousness.' I was very surprised to find that this was not the case. Because of the range of body types and the acceptance all the participants had towards one another -- the effect was more one of uniformity and almost anonimity ( skin being really only just skin after all... ). Clothing often serves to differentiate us more than our humble 'birthday suits'.

Since then I have done several skyclad rituals with smaller groups -- some involving sensuality and some not. I find that when the effect is warranted, doing a ritual skyclad is a way of lessening the ego awareness of the participants, and lending a more natural & honest atmosphere to the workings...
:GHug:
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Wbdsgnr1 » Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:07 pm

Well I happen to like my body but in a few months I'm going to really hate it. I will be super fat and have stretch marks and never look like my old self again! :((


blessed be
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Post by dragonflydrummer » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:09 pm

You'll just look like your 'new' Self. It'll still be you. That's a good thing.

(Believe me, I'm no stranger to the concept of "faded glory...") :bigsmurf:
The spirit abides immovable; it beholds the infernal monsters swarm down upon it, and does not fear. (Eliphas Levi -- The Sixth Hour)

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Post by Kystar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:54 pm

There are herbs that can help with strech marks...lavendar is one...helps reduce scarring. There's a couple of books on the market that deal with what herbs will help with pregnancy...from morning sickness to strech marks. I don't know any titles offhand, but I know that there are at least two.

When my partner was pregnant with her son, we were working on some herbal remedies for pregnancy woes, but they never got out of the testing phase since we couldn't get the bases.

Sigh...oh well.

Good luck with little one!
You say "Witch" like it's a bad thing!

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Post by Dreams2wicked » Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:04 am

On the topic of just nudity, I have to quote my very cool, literal genius, grandfather...
"We all came into this world naked and if no one had invented clothes, there would be no such subject, there would be no such thing as 'nudity'".
With that said, I agree that it is a personal choice and that "spiritually" speaking, it is a way of humbling yourself AND being your "true" self before your Dieties. But that's just my opinion of course.

Personally speaking, I'm not, nor have I ever been, shy... being naked doesn't bother me (unless it's cold). Image
I've never done a skyclad "group" ritual, but I have done it privately... I'm a solitary practitioner anyway.

Blessed Be

Dreams
"In the real world, as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems"-Dean Koontz

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Post by Luciferish » Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:38 pm

The material object of clothing does not translate through the Veil unto the Gods, it merely shields us from temperature and discomfort.

This being said, I think its entirely optional and up to the individual. I have worked nude in circles before, I prefer not to. Also I would never impose that practice on another person because of the various cultural and psychological boundries that are surrounding the issue. If a person is comfortable with themselves enough to practice that way then working in a Robe or other garment won't inhibit them, but a person who is uncomfortable will shut down. I do not feel that a small issue such as a layer of cloth should be a hinderance to spiritual exploration and excercise...

The Gods could care less if we are clothed or not, being that our soul will always be devoid of such coverings when it is presented to them. They do not see us as we physically are. The God percieve humanity as a culmination of the entire ancestral and spiritual being that is manifest in your body, not your body.....
Even the devil's got a lawyer, would you like my card?



Est nullum problema tantum ut usu vis maximae idonei expediri non possit.

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Post by Odbe » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:38 am

I think nudity can be good or bad and it all really depends on preference and circumstance. If it adds energy to a ritual, fabulous, but if it makes people uncomfortable then don't try.
But I have an issue with the people who think humans are "meant to be" naked in everyday life. I find it very hard to imagine nudity being the natural state of, say, Inuits, if you see my point.

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Post by Arcanum Owl » Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:00 am

Never done anything skyclad, though it begs to be tried. Very interesting insight Dragonfly, as I wouldn't have at first thought that would have been the case, but as you were there I'll take your word for it. Hmmm Interesting.

On a completely different side note:
This just in... a week ago...
First Christian nudist camp, called (I kid u not) The Garden of Eden. They are building it somewhere in the US, don't ask, I can't remember the article.
lol
"Project what you are and what you feel, not what you think!" - quoted from yours trully.

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