Don’t Step on My Cape!

I have so many topics written down on post-it notes to talk about, that I can’t seem to just pick one and go with it. I’m a Libra. Fence-sitting is something I’ve taken to a fine art. What do you want?

Today I’m going to talk about something that is very superficial when it comes to beliefs, but it’s easy for me to write about as I get my blog more organized on paper. The subject? Ritual wear.

I’ve really struggled with this over the years. There is nothing that will make me wince faster at a Pagan gathering than a grown man running around in a crushed velvet purple cape. Yes, yes, I know. I shouldn’t be worried about what other people are doing, and I should welcome the expression of others.

The purple crushed velvet cape was just the beginning of my ritual attire woes, though. Then over time I encountered the brand of Pagans that dress as if they’re going to an SCA event. I will groan a little as I think too hard about it, and I will then leave it at that.

I understand the need for sacred clothes that put you into the mind-frame of ritual and worship. I really do. That is probably where I am torn on the subject the most. You bet your knickers I wear “nice” clothes on Sunday to the Unitarian Universalist Society gatherings. You bet that when I’m actually dragged to church by my grandparents, I wear even nicer clothes. So why wouldn’t I wear something special for rituals and worship?

Well, you wouldn’t catch me dead in a robe, so it’s probably a good thing I don’t belong to some sort of coven or other group that requires it from me. Nor would you catch me skyclad, in a toga, or wench-wear.

Why? I believe in the use of contemporary clothing in ritual! There, that was easy enough to say! It was a shocking day the day I realized that the Greeks and Romans (The two groups I feel the most in common with) wore contemporary clothing to their rituals. How liberating for me! I don’t have to be distracted from my worship due to how goofy I feel wearing a hooded robe with a giant pentacle sewn to the front of it, because while it might work for others, it definitely doesn’t work for me.

I don’t feel like I’m doing this subject justice at all. Here is an essay that sums it up for me perfectly: Medieval Clothing And Wiccan Ritual In This Day And Age

3 thoughts on “Don’t Step on My Cape!

  1. Bravo and thank you for writing this even if it may not be so… "politically correct" in the pagan community. I agree with you 100%. My ideal ritual wear would be something dressier than normal but still a part of my normal wardrobe. I might wear a dress to a public gathering but it's going to be one I could theoretically wear elsewhere and not raise too many eyebrows. (OK, so some of them might be a little more on the hippy side than my normal everyday clothing is, but I still don't think it would be too far out there.) I too have had a few public gatherings give me a pause while I contemplated the exact reason grown men chose to dress up with fairy wings and devil horns. To each their own, but, huh? 😉


  2. Thank you! I'm not used to being "politically correct" in the Pagan community, but I have a feeling more people think it than are speaking up about it. Hopefully. 🙂


  3. I just read this tonight and I agree 100%. And that essay you linked also hit the nail on the proverbial head. This is why I refuse to seek out a public pagan group and refuse to practice with others. They are the types of people who give Wicca the public look that it currently has and that just irritates me to no end. Every time I see a picture of a public ritual with 5 women dressed in black crushed velvet capes or a tavern wench's dress with a half moon circlet on their their foreheads, I just want to scream. Also another reason I'm not Wiccan(there are many), I find less of that in non descript Pagans than Wiccans.


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