For most people this is a serious question. So, let's take a look at the history and pros and cons for it. I am not here to pass judgement on anyone whether or not they practice skyclad, but to offer some facts and reasons for both the pro and the con of it. First just for those that don't know, skyclad is the neo-pagan word for going naked when doing rituals, rites and magic. It isn't meant to be a sexual act but a bearing of oneself to the universe and the Deities. It is also said that clothes would hinder one from being able to draw in and release energies effectively. Not everyone feels that one needs to be skyclad for worship or magic.
 
Gardnerian Wiccans are particularly known for going skyclad when they worship and do magic. There are other Traditions that also calls for it as well as individual solitaries that do it. Some covens or groups will say that you will be expected to be skyclad briefly for the initiation ceremony. There may be other reasons that you may be asked to occasionally be skyclad for a specific ritual. However, not all Wiccan covens insist on being skyclad. Many will insist on you wearing a special robe, sometimes of a specific style and/or color. While others will say that you may attend in everyday street clothes.  If you are uncomfortable with the idea of being skyclad then find a coven that doesn't require it. I do suggest, though, that if you wear street clothes to a ritual or rite, that your clothes are neat and clean. They don't have to be your best clothes but clean clothes is expected. I mean, you are going to be presenting yourself to the Deities, don't you want to be presenting yourself to Them clean? It's a matter of respect. Obviously, you wouldn't travel to the site of the meeting skyclad. You would remove your clothes just before the ritual or rite starts. Do to laws against public nudity, most of these meetings are held indoors or far from prying eyes. 
 
As I said, some Traditions have dress codes. They might insist that you wear a ritual robe made to their specifications, style and color. For some Traditions, the color indicates your degree level or status within the coven. Other Traditions may just insist on everyone wearing the same color robe but won't insist on a certain style. Cords are another issue and varies according to the Tradition. One reason for everyone being dressed in robes is that it puts the witch into a certain mindset for what is about to take place. Getting ready, ritual bath and dressing into the ritual robe, can be a ritual in itself and is the beginning of the actual ritual and magic that the witch will perform. Still another reason to have everyone dressed pretty much the same is to show that they are all equal in the eyes of the Deities. I'm sure there may be other reasons that covens give for their dress codes that may be oath bound. 
 
However, many Traditions don't have a dress code at all other than asking their members to be neatly dressed and clean. Their members might wear common street clothes or some may dress in some kind of "fancy" dress that might reflect clothes worn by those of a few hundred years ago, or some other kind of style. One of the reasons that many Traditions have chosen to be more relaxed with their dress code is that their members may not have the money to buy or the skills to make a ritual robe. Where other Traditions recognize that their members don't wish to be traveling to the meeting in something that will label them as witches because they are in the "broom closet" so to speak. They may not have many witchy items because they are hiding their practice from those they live with or are in their home often. 
 
On a personal note, I have gone skyclad before in the privacy of my home in the past, but no longer do so. I have found no difference in my worship or magical workings' success whether or not I am skyclad. For me, I feel that if you feel that being clothed will interfere with your magical workings then it will interfere with it. Remember that your magic starts with your thoughts and if you put certain limits or conditions to what you think will work, then they will affect the efficiency of your workings. What you believe will affect your practice. As for going skyclad when doing your worship of your Deities, I personally feel that They really don't care as long as you are showing proper respect for Them. It is true that many statues of the various Deities show Them as naked or nearly so, but not all of Them do and though you might see Aphrodite naked as a statue or picture, the next time you see Her She will be clothed. 
 
So, do you need to go skyclad? I believe that it is a very personal choice. But whatever you do, don't let anyone pressure or bully you into doing it when you simply are not comfortable with it. You don't have to give a reason if you don't want to. So, the first question you should ask when you are asked to or ask for yourself to attend or join a group ritual or rite is whether or not being skyclad is a requirement. You may also find that some members will be skyclad where others aren't, so take that into consideration too. I also feel, and most will agree, that it is totally inappropriate for there to be any nudity around children, that means anyone under the age of 18 years old. You will find that for the most part, rituals and rites held at festivals are pretty loose with the dress code and will not have any nudity. But it never hurts to ask first. So remember, it's a personal choice and one that you can at any point in your practice change your mind about. Enjoy your worship and magical practice and be comfortable with who you are. Blessed Be.
 

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So, do you need to go skyclad?

IMO, the answer is self-evident: if one wishes to pursue a specific tradition and skyclad is an integral part of that tradition, then the answer is yes. No one is required to belong to any given religion or any given tradition within that religion. So neither the tradition or the religion is obligated to alter themselves to suit the individual. The onus is on the individual to find a path that is compatible with them. If a religion or given tradition within it consists of beliefs or practices that aren't compatible with the person's needs, that's indicative of it not being the right thing for them. That doesn't make it wrong nor does it make the person wrong either. It just means they don't mesh with one another and the person will continue to seek whether another pre-existing path meshes with them or if they should consider developing their own system.

If the person chooses to create their own personal brand of practice then it's entirely up to them whether to include being skyclad.

I agree and thought I made that clear in the article. Sorry if I didn't. It's just that there are those that feel that everyone should be skyclad no matter the tradition and to not be skyclad is wrong and disrespectful and that you can't do proper magic when you are clothed. I just wanted people to know that they have a choice. So yes, if a tradition says you have to be skyclad and you simply don't want to, no matter the reason, then you should choose a different tradition or practice solitary. 

I am Gard. I find that being skyclad in ritual makes the requirements of ritual much easier, but I am not going to cross an oath bound line to discuss this further. Outer court Gard training is done in white robes, and it is not until you are prepared to don the black that you will be asked to shed your clothing, and it is still a choice, you do, or you remain outer court and uninitiated, or you can choose to walk away.

I am a male, and I was initiated into a coven that was nine women, two gay males and me. Nudity in ritual becomes commonplace quickly. It took one comment from my High Priestess that she was going to take out the ritual rings for my sisters to play ring toss if I got any harder...never happened again. The focus becomes on ritual, not on the other coveners. Removing that black robe signals start of ritual. Indoors, or out. A good coven will have places in the out of doors to practice skyclad...

Even covens and groups that are not typically skyclad may once in a while do something that involves optional nudity, like a sweat lodge, or jumping the Belfire naked. I have also seen the Maypole dance done skyclad, but I have been on my path as a witch for forty-five of my sixty years, so I have seen many things.

I DO, however agree with you, whether you take your clothing off or leave it on, it is wholly your choice. Still, some covens will expect you to be skyclad and just like a bar, if you only drink water you will not be welcome long.

Ty for your words. I was never in a coven so it can sometimes be hard for me to see things in that light. However I do try to present both sides of most issues. I do have one comment to make. I was involved with some Native Americans for 10 yrs and not once in all that time was I asked to be naked for a sweat lodge ritual. as a matter of fact it was made quite plain that the men would wear swim shorts or even just loose boxers and the women were asked to wear a loose gown that covered them from neck to toes, that is if the sweat was being held with both men and women in it. the reason given was that we were there to have a spiritual experience and that being naked would be a distraction for both men and women. These were reservation Native Americans and the holy man that led these sweat lodge events was very old and very traditional. Well that was my experience. 


Different cultures adopting what they believe to be correct in honoring old ways. Diviners no longer have to prove that they are menstruating as the Oracles of the Delphi did. Druids no longer tear limb from limb their best and brightest once a year in sacrifice. Times change, as do practices. A sweat lodge set up by a coven is not the same as a traditional sweat lodge. It attempts to honor the purpose and spirit of those who came before, but the adaptation may differ greatly.

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