Descent

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5 comments

  1. Studying the aspects of my Catholic faith, and researching paganism in order to gain an understanding of different faiths, I’ve noticed that naked women are a predominant image in a number of faiths.

    For example:
    1. Venus, the Greek goddess of love, is often depicted as naked.
    2. Eve, before being cast out of the Garden of Eden, is naked.
    3. Nudity — becoming skyclad — sometimes plays a role in pagan practices.

    And I wonder: Why? What is it about nudity that is so compelling?

    On the one hand: We come into the world naked. Naked is our natural state of being. So it makes sense that, in order to get closer to the realm of the spiritual, getting naked is one way that would be achieved.

    On the other hand: When a person is naked, they are at their most vulnerable. So a person must be careful to make sure that they are not harmed mentally, physically, or spiritually.

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    • Interesting thoughts. I think nudity depicted in art of various time periods of human existence are a reflection of the morals & societal norms of each period. Ancient Greece was appreciative of the human body, and art depicting that time is quite full of nudity. Art that depicts mythology uses art to be demonstrative of the subject matter. Gods & goddesses representing love/sexuality are often naked.

      Regarding Paganism, yes, I think Pagans generally have a more open mind about nudity, and many Pagans who do ritual without clothing (skyclad), do feel it brings them closer to deity, and a willingness to appear as they were brought into this world.

      There is an openness to sexuality in the Pagan & witchcraft community that does transcend most religions. Mainstream faiths reserve sex largely as a means of procreation, viewing sexuality as something to be relatively hidden. The concept of original sin sets back an openness to sexuality right from ones birth.

      I’ll be honest, and say that Paganism & witchcraft have made me more comfortable with my body image. I’m certainly less judgmental about body shapes and sizes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Interesting thoughts.”

        Thank you. I’m glad you found my thoughts interesting.

        “I think nudity depicted in art of various time periods of human existence are a reflection of the morals & societal norms of each period.”

        I agree.

        “Mainstream faiths reserve sex largely as a means of procreation, viewing sexuality as something to be relatively hidden. The concept of original sin sets back an openness to sexuality right from ones birth.”

        I agree.

        I feel like the teaching I received as a Catholic, teaching that emphasized keeping sexuality and nudity relatively hidden, led me to fear my sexuality and nudity.

        Thankfully it’s a fear that I feel, because I’m studying my Catholic faith more, I’m getting over. For example: Keeping in mind that everything that God has made is “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and that we were originally meant to be naked (Genesis 2:25), I no longer see nudity for a non-sexual purpose — for example: nudity in art — as something to avoid. Where before I would cover my eyes at a piece of art like The Birth of Venus, nowadays I am training myself to see the inherent goodness of Venus’ body and, thus, not cover my eyes.

        “…Paganism & witchcraft have made me more comfortable with my body image. I’m certainly less judgmental about body shapes and sizes.”

        I’m glad that Paganism and witchcraft are helping you.

        Your words remind me of a quote:

        “A woman’s breasts, hips, bottom and lips all proclaim the glory of the Lord! Each womanly part honors Him.”

        Liked by 1 person

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