SILVER BRANCH GOLDEN
HORN

   Your Denver Druids since 2009.

Blog

Work It!

Posted by Tony on May 7, 2016 at 1:55 PM

The other day at Beltaine a good friend of mine came to the rite resplendent in pagan finery, including a beautiful cloak. (In Colorado, a cloak something you have a 50/50 chance of needing at Beltaine.) A newer grove member commented to the effect of 'He looks so good, I never dress like that for ritual so that I appear humble before the Gods.' I commented something to the effect of 'bling out all you want to, I dress the way I do because this kind of stuff is a big part of what I do on High Day.' (At the time I was moving boxes and hand carting the Maypole base into position.)

I wanted to more thoughtfully address this comment, but we were running a little behind, and I didn't have time. To the new person, if you recognize yourself, this is in NO WAY meant to chide. Also, I might misremember the conversation, I'm old and forgetful.  I'm giving the answer I wish I had had time for, and using this as an opportunity to get some personal thoughts out there.

I believe that the idea that we have to be humble before the Gods is a concept that we absorb from Christianity. Even if we were not raised Christian, Western culture is so steeped in Christianity that we cannot help but be influenced by it. I believe that even a small matter such as dress points up differences in Pagan vs. Christian mind set. A major leitmotif in Christianity is that people should be humble and obeisant to their God. In Western paganism the God/desses are much more like us, only more powerful. Without questions of Who made who, our deities are similar to ourselves. They are grandious, they are great. And they expect us  to take our own raw materiel and forge something worthwhile out of ourselves. They expect us to emulate them and to be great ourselves.

Put another way, Christianity frequently uses the metaphor of sheep, The old Gods want lions!

When the Celts buried important tribal leaders, they buried them with lavish grave goods. They believed that the dead would be important in the afterlife, and would need things that maintained their life style. Our ancestors didn't separate the profane and the sacred. Our minds, hearts, and yes, our physicality were consitered one functional unit. The soul was not thought to be made greater by ignoring the physical.

I believe that part of being our best self, is looking our best. So, wear that bling, work it!!!!!!




Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

2 Comments

Reply Ragnhilta
6:16 AM on May 8, 2016 
I don't disagree, but I don't totally agree, either. Also, Christians tend to dress up for church; the whole "Sunday best" thing comes from them.

I go back and forth on this a lot. Dressing nicely should be a part of ritual, but I think it's mostly important to be clean and well-groomed. I approach my faith and especially the concept of "dressing up" in general the same way I approach my every day life, not to mention dating: I'd rather be me.

I'm not going to wear disgraceful clothing with holes in things that smells 'cause it was in my dirty laundry bin, but I'm also not going to be untrue to myself. Like, for example, I don't wear makeup because it makes me feel fake. But I love to wear glitter on very rare and very special occasions, and I will admit that I wore makeup for my high school dances. I'm also guilty of wearing makeup very rarely to get all dolled up for a concert. But, really, I probably wear makeup approximately once a year. And, even when I'm trying to dress nicely, I still tend to go for things that are modest and fit my overall very practical and functional nature. I think that it's important to be you with the gods, rather than pretentious or something you're not.

Also: Live awesomer. Those are some of my words. It means the things/circles you're involved with don't make you great; rather, you make the things/circles you're involved with great. It's this ideal of being a person whom greatness follows, someone who makes magic happen (no pun intended in present company).

Your clothes don't make you great. You can wear anything and you're still you. And I think that's an important distinction.

Sure, finery is nice, but there are so many little ways you can also look sharp. I don't wear makeup, but I'm hella particular about my eyebrows and keeping them immaculately maintained, it's a level of effort on my part that is very important to me. I'll change out my bellyring to one of my special ones for special occasions. I'll change my necklace out for whatever purpose I might need at any given time. I do lots of little things that are nearly impossible to notice . . . but I think they mean just as much as going all-out with attire.
Reply Tony
1:18 AM on May 10, 2016 
I'm not saying folks ought to church it up. But if you want to wear something that makes you feel extra good, or that says to the subconscious that its ritual time, go for it!




I don't disagree, but I don't totally agree, either. Also, Christians tend to dress up for church; the whole "Sunday best" thing comes from them.

I go back and forth on this a lot. Dressing nicely should be a part of ritual, but I think it's mostly important to be clean and well-groomed. I approach my faith and especially the concept of "dressing up" in general the same way I approach my every day life, not to mention dating: I'd rather be me.

I'm not going to wear disgraceful clothing with holes in things that smells 'cause it was in my dirty laundry bin, but I'm also not going to be untrue to myself. Like, for example, I don't wear makeup because it makes me feel fake. But I love to wear glitter on very rare and very special occasions, and I will admit that I wore makeup for my high school dances. I'm also guilty of wearing makeup very rarely to get all dolled up for a concert. But, really, I probably wear makeup approximately once a year. And, even when I'm trying to dress nicely, I still tend to go for things that are modest and fit my overall very practical and functional nature. I think that it's important to be you with the gods, rather than pretentious or something you're not.

Also: Live awesomer. Those are some of my words. It means the things/circles you're involved with don't make you great; rather, you make the things/circles you're involved with great. It's this ideal of being a person whom greatness follows, someone who makes magic happen (no pun intended in present company).

Your clothes don't make you great. You can wear anything and you're still you. And I think that's an important distinction.

Sure, finery is nice, but there are so many little ways you can also look sharp. I don't wear makeup, but I'm hella particular about my eyebrows and keeping them immaculately maintained, it's a level of effort on my part that is very important to me. I'll change out my bellyring to one of my special ones for special occasions. I'll change my necklace out for whatever purpose I might need at any given time. I do lots of little things that are nearly impossible to notice . . . but I think they mean just as much as going all-out with attire.
[/Ragnhilta]