Ritual wear

This last week I attend Estrella War which is a annual SCA event. If you dont know what the SCA is you can find information at www.sca.org in short it is a Medieval reenactment society. Like any group there are ups and downs. One thing that is particularly good is their obsession with creating period clothing or "garb" I have been for sometimes thinking about ritual robes. We circle with the usual hooded bag (or T-tunic) that most Wiccan and Pagans use. It is simple, affordable and easy to make. Several of my students brought up the point that they were "ugly" I  never really thought of them like that, but if you think about it, they kind of are. I chose this robe originally for several reasons. 1) This is how I was taught, and I agreed with it at the time. 2) All of my students could afford them.

So while I was at this event I saw so many beautiful dresses, in so many different styles. Many were over the top but others were flattering and functional. Now I believe that we will be keeping them for the Wicca course, it makes sense and I don't believe that one shouldn't be able to practice because they cant sew or afford the robes. Since my girls are unhappy, and I am looking for something different for the Cauldron of Avalon, we will be working with more historically accurate ritual wear. I am working hard and researching as deeply as I can all aspects of the per-christian Priestess in the British Isles. Unfortunately there isn't much information on these things. So I am left to look at other cultures, and mundane women of the time. To the left is a 12c gown. I really love this style but there was so much christian influence by this time that it is most likely not what the Priestess wore. The 2nd picture is a Viking Apron dress. We do know that the Anglo Saxon influence was very strong in the area during the 5th-9th c. Many of my girls like to veil for ritual as well. So with the help of some knowledgeable Scadians I have come up with 2 options. I do believe we will have a winter and summer "ritual wear"  both consisting of the same under tunic most likely in linen. The linen fabric is a natural fiber made from the flax plant, and is very durable. The winter will consist of the last photo a looser and longer sleeved robe, and the summer will be the viking apron dress. Now you might be thinking but these are Viking dresses, well yes you are right, but since there is little to no information on what the Cornish and Welsh were wearing at this time. This is our best guess, not only that they are flattering, functional, and I think that my girls will be happier!

There is something deeply touching about the layered look. Especially our summer look. The path of the Priestess though is one of power, is one of servitude. It is a modest path, that comes with hard work. These dresses (soon to be ritual robes) express this perfectly.