What to Wear to Ritual

Recently I have started transitioning from a solitary witch to a social witch working with a local coven.  When preparing for my first public ritual with this coven, one thing that kept stressing me out was what I should wear.  I know, I know, a little superficial.  But my background working with spiritual groups comes purely from my Christian upbringing which had a strict dress code. So I honestly didn’t know what to wear.  However after a few rituals the answer to this question was easily answered: anything I want.  There aren’t any hard and fast rules for the average Pagan ritual.  I’m sure specific traditions and events have guidelines, but in general dressing for a Pagan ritual is just as unique as every day personal style.

There are a couple of popular options:

  • Robes and Cloaks: This choice draws on old European traditions.  The benefit of this option is that you’re tapping into the old ways and an age-old tradition.  Also, I would never, ever wear a cloak to any other type of event (okay maybe the Renaissance Faire), so wearing this article of clothing can really put you into the right frame of mind because you just wear it during rituals.  The downside to wearing a robe or cloak is it isn’t always practical especially for public events and in warm weather.  You can buy beautiful ones on Etsy or in Pagan supply shops.
  • Skyclad: As the Charge of the Goddess puts it, “You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites.”  Birthday suits are the ultimate representation of confidence and self-love (especially if you circle with others).  Of course, this option is not always appropriate especially for family friendly rituals.  And not all Witches and Pagans are comfortable being naked in public.  If you’ve never done it, I suggest performing one ritual skyclad in the privacy of your own home just to see how you feel.
  • Street Clothes: Basically, come as you are. However, you don’t have to stick to your every day jeans and tee shirts.  Put aside a couple special pieces just to wear for rituals.  For example I have a white lace sundress I put on for solo rituals, which I choice in part because it’s gorgeous and also in part because I am in the Maiden part of my life.  Feel free to get creative!  Use sabat appropriate colors or all white for Full Moon rituals.

Something to keep in mind is your comfort level and ability to be mobile.  Some rituals require a lot of standing up and sitting down, so pencil skirts and really tight jeans might be a bad idea.  Also it is important to remember that most rituals are done in bare feet, so make sure your feet are clean and well groomed.

Just remember that you should exude your individual spirit, as you do in all other aspects of your life.  I was talking to a new Pagan friend, and she said for the longest time she felt compelled to wear all black to rituals because that is what she thought Witches wore when gathered together.  It took her a long time to wear color to a gathering, despite the technicolor nature of her wardrobe.  My advice to to wear what makes you confident, strong, and amazing.

For more information on magical dressing, check out Tess Whitehurst’s Magical Fashionista.

© Ariadne Woods

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3 thoughts on “What to Wear to Ritual

  1. Sometimes you can ask whoever is hosting the event what is appropriate, too. Most public rituals are pretty relaxed, but event planners may be hoping for robes or costumes or certain colors to set a particular mood. 🙂

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