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.