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pagans who cover? - Page 2

post #21 of 250
it is a bit hard with bw, i wear mine too. On days when i bw i find wearing a wide hard headband instead is much better.
post #22 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by gun View Post
I would like to cover more often, but we are still BW'ing and she finds head coverings irresistable right now.
I've been wearing a scarf tied "tichel" style, and it's firm enough for DS to touch without falling off. I tell him I'm wearing a hat, and he seems to let it go. (Of course my glasses are far more interesting than anything on my head, so...)
post #23 of 250
Thread Starter 
With Ro (who lived in the ergo till a bit after a year and still prefers being carried to walking on her own) the shiny wore off the bandana after a few weeks. Kind of like my glasses... she noticed that they came off, got really interested, grabbed for them non-stop, but I just kept taking them back/moving out of the way/redirecting her hand and offering a really low key "those are mama's glasses". And now she usually leaves them alone.

I tie the bandana pretty tightly so it doesn't slide right off and when she was interested in it I'd keep the whole thing really boring and matter-of-fact... "that is mama's scarf, it goes on mama's head. Where is Ro's head?" sort of thing. It wasn't overnight or anything, but probably within a month of starting to wear the scarf she sort of lost interest? Like the scarf had become just another boring old part of mama.

And an added bonus is that she now associate my taking off the scarf (and my glasses ) as a sleep-cue! Sort of a sign that we're home for the night, time to sleep.
post #24 of 250
What's BW?
post #25 of 250
Baby wearing
post #26 of 250
The modern neo-pagan movement hasn't embraced covering as far as I know. But it would seem resonable for Greek or Roman recons, among others. I know Nova Roma folks cover during some ceromonies as a sign of respect. Most pagans I know reject Abrahamic ideas of modesty on principal...but I think it's something that should be reconsidered.
post #27 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntnmom View Post
Most pagans I know reject Abrahamic ideas of modesty on principal...
Not to veer too far off topic, so I'm not going to get started on my usual rant about the topic, but I just wanted to second that idea. I really wish that more neo-pagans would at least draw inspiration from the rich Abrahamic trads, just as they do with other pantheons and mythological systems, etc. After all, how many neo-pagans embrace ALL Celtic myths/practices? (Again, not talking about recons.) I'm not sure why people are so jaded about the Abrahamic traditions that it's almost dirty to speak of them in neo-pagan circles.

Wait, I said I wasn't going to rant, right? I better cut myself off before I really start going.
post #28 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
Wait, I said I wasn't going to rant, right? I better cut myself off before I really start going.
Don't stop on my account I was enjoying (and agreeing with) you.

I think some of it is that when you are a younger pagan, as most of the more outspoken people I know are, you are very much about rejecting what you grew up with. Well, in my area, 75% of the pagan community was raised Catholic.

I would have rejected head covering when I was 19. I have grown into it as I got more mature!
post #29 of 250
Thread Starter 
See, that's what I'm wondering... I'm not looking at covering as a sign of modesty as such. And I wonder if all covering really comes down to modesty? There are non-Abrahamic traditions that also cover (not just female covering either) or display in certain ways that are socially or spiritually significant, but not necessarily tied to physical modesty or sexual exclusivity. Coverings or items of clothing that act as a reminder to the wearer as well as a clue to the observer about the status/focus/state of the wearer. Similar to a uniform or physical badge of office/membership I suppose... a priest, a soldier, a custodian, a waitperson, a union member, a scout, a cab driver, etc. Or perhaps more stereotypical but the "look" of a librarian, an artist, a biker, etc. A biker's sterotypical outfit isn't designed with modesty in mind, but with the realities of road burn and the temperature variations of riding a motorcycle (and sometimes the legal realities of helmet laws). A scout wears a uniform and sash with badges not as a symbol of submission (or empowerment for that matter) but as a mark of group membership and a display of ability/skills attained.

I guess at it's core I cover my head as a tangible reminder to myself that I am sacred/engaged in sacred activities (as a priestess), as a sort of spiritual "protection" (I am interacting with all sorts of people, energies, places, numen which may or may not mean me well & may or may not be healthy for me physically/energetically), and as a visible sign similar to the uniform mentioned above. For me personally there is no "modesty" element... but there are social and spiritual elements to covering that I'm trying to figure out. Covering feels "powerful" and also "restful" to me, but I'm not positive why this is.

There's a chant used in some Reclaiming communities that has the line

Quote:
Though my veil be drawn, you’re glowing in my mind and soul and body
(complete chant listing/lyrics free on their website here)

I've always seen the "veil" here as mortality/physicality... while caught up in the "veil" of the physical world the spiritual world is an unfocused glow that can't be completely made out. But now I'm also looking at it from the other direction I guess... hmmm... like smooring the fire? You bank and bury the fire to intensify and maintain it's heat/light during the hours when it's not actively being tended. To protect the embers and maintain their energy. So maybe the veil in the chant also refers to protecting and strengthening the internal glow in the same way the heart of the fire is smoored? I guess I'm coming to feel (in some ways) that covering offers me a similar means of maintaining a spiritual energy level that I can't otherwise.

Ok... that drifted a bit towards the woo woo. But I think that's the angle I'm coming from (as I think and write more about this).

(and kind of off topic but my spiritual journey took me first through the "celtic" christian practices and then into the straight "celtic" recon practice and in both the ritual of smooring the fire each night is a big deal. There are christian-dominated and pagan-dominated prayers and a very specific order in which things must be done. But until now I'd never drawn a connection between covering the fire and covering the body.... hmmmm....)
post #30 of 250
Thread Starter 
Another post cause posts crossed in the ether... (and not to veer too much myself).

I think more pagans can and do draw from Abrahamic traditions as they become more comfortable and confident in their choosen faith. And a lot depends on their personal background. Some pagans I know IRL who were raised within a Hindu household have no problem "borrowing" from christian traditions and others who were raised in christian families have no trouble borrowing from Hindu tradition. But both avoid borrowing from "their own" past practices/terminology. In part because personal experience has tied a negative emotional response/memory of a hurtful experience to those traditions.

I have attended rituals where the guardians were invoked using the names of archangels and the general theme of the ritual was angelic. People attending the ritual had very mixed responses depending on their personal religious history... those who had left a christian church, who had as a result been alientated from family, who had memories of painful religious struggle tended to feel that they wanted no part in a ritual that invoked Michael or the other angels (yes, I know these beings are not exclusively christian, but that isn't necessarily the word on the street, you know?). While people who came from a non-christian background or who had moved more easily into a pagan lifestyle without losing family/friends thought the imagery was beautiful and powerful.

Same ritual, same images, same energy... but personal experience and pain changed the meaning.

There's also the element of convert zeal (which I saw a lot during my field work). You join a new group and suddenly want to be 110% that group and have nothing to do with the old group. Over time many people mellow out... as they become more comfortable in their new identity and confident in their choices. But at first there is a real emotional backlash against the "old way". And many pagans are first generation pagan... many are in that initial over-adopter phase. As they gain familiarity, confidence, and comfort they'll start to realize that bringing the positive elements of their past into their present isn't going to destroy who or what they are today. But it takes time.

I pray the rosary (edited to fit my faith), I have my first communion candle on my altar, I have orthodox icons above my altar, and a brigid's cross by my door. We attend a UU church and tell the girls stories from many faith traditions (including the abrahamic faiths). But even after 15+ years as an open and out pagan the personal pain associated with some rituals/traditions/practices prevents me from accepting certain elements of my childhood faith, even transformed and presented in a new way.

(to be honest, I thought the ritual I mentioned above was wonderful, but I didn't resonate with the angelic overtones and did not participate in future rituals with that group as a result)

It's interesting though that in modern north american society covering is so tightly bound to the abrahamic traditions of modesty and right living.
post #31 of 250
Wow, Wombatclay, that's a lot to think about. I agree with a lot of what you said. It's what I was trying to say, just without that "baby in my lap" breifness.

I think for a lot of people the "hard" part of paganism is finding what works for you. There is no proscribed doctrine, no list of things to do. I think that leaves a lot of people with a much longer "growing" period than they would find in other religions. Also, with many people becoming pagan without a community there is that constant fear "Am I doing it right?" and the fear of backsliding into whatever you used to do because it is easier.

Now, all that said, I think there is another group of people who don't like things like Angel based rituals because they are resentful of those who are still within the "mainstream" enough to be accepted. Kind of like some of the resentment I've seen int he GLBT towards those who are Bi. You know? They can "fit in" so we should hate on them. Worshiping Angels is not that far away from Catholisim, and isn't going to get you the same kind of notice around here that the Green man would.

Anyway, what it all comes down to, is a huge rejection of ANYTHING that might seem "non pagan". However, if you are taking head covering as a way of increasing your awareness of the divine, there are many pagans who do that in different ways. The majority of pagans I know wear special jewellry, and a few others dress in ritual type garb full time. Head covering is an excellent way of accompishing it, but there are other ways for someone who is uncomfortable with the idea.
post #32 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
I've been wearing a scarf tied "tichel" style, and it's firm enough for DS to touch without falling off. I tell him I'm wearing a hat, and he seems to let it go. (Of course my glasses are far more interesting than anything on my head, so...)
So is your cover a snood?


I feel more powerful with my hair covered, perhaps because I feel as if I am taken more seriously. I feel prettier because it also feels as if I have not become entangled in the superficiality of the hair and make-up trappings. It is grounding for me, and I feel ready to work. For me covering isn't so much a reflection of my spiritual beliefs, but for feeling strong and confident.

I do like the idea of the covering acting as a spiritual reminder. No, actually I really like that!
post #33 of 250
Nope, just a big square scarf that used to be my mother's. I'll have to take a pic. (There are lots of videos on Youtube about tying headdresses. The one I'm using is from www.coveryourhair.com - the tie, not the scarf!)

I know what you mean about getting down to business, gun. For me it's about confronting my face, and not hiding behind my crazy hair and really getting to know myself... which is a spiritual journey it seems to be time for me to take!
post #34 of 250
Thread Starter 
Quote:
However, if you are taking head covering as a way of increasing your awareness of the divine, there are many pagans who do that in different ways. The majority of pagans I know wear special jewellry, and a few others dress in ritual type garb full time. Head covering is an excellent way of accompishing it, but there are other ways for someone who is uncomfortable with the idea.
Certainly. Heck, I have my own jewelry. I'm just curious why more pagans don't cover in some way... it's fast, easy, inexpensive, has the potential for shock value, and there are sources for it in a variety of cultures.

Maybe because it is so associated with several of the abrahamic traditions though? And with concepts of modesty that are (in many ways) in line with mainstream social conformities that certain elements of the pagan world feel are antagonistic to the pagan path? Covering maybe just has too many "dings" against it to be more widely accepted within the pagan community? But for the same reasons I mention above I guess I'm surprised no group has tried.
post #35 of 250
Well, I think because for some it would be double shock value. They wuold lose the support of those in the pagan community around them after already losing the support of whatever religion they came from. Plus it's almost unheard of.

I thought I was losing my mind and was going to be the only pagan to EVER cover. Til you started this thread. It's nice to know that you are not alone.
post #36 of 250
Convert zeal! I had no idea that anyone else had noticed this particular phenomenon, but I have and it's always kind of made me giggle. Thank you WC!

Hm. Most of the Jewish Pagans I know think of themselves as "Jewish Pagans," where as the once-Catholic Pagans tend to think of themselves either as exclusively Pagan (or, you know, whatever) or as "Recovering Catholics." The folks I know who were raised Jewish or who converted later tend to really enjoy the crossovers between Judaism and whatever Pagan tradition they follow. I know several people who've become more observant in their Judaism through Pagan practices. It's always struck me as kind of sad that people who leave Christian traditions seem to feel the need to make a full break, while Jews who walk less traditionally-Jewish paths still tend to identify as Jewish. Nothing's 100%, mind, but I've only encountered two "Christian Witches" while I've met *four* Jewish Chaotes, a few Jewish Witches, some Jewish Wiccans, Jewish Gaians... I mean it goes on and on. And for the most part, covering (or not) doesn't seem to phase people, whether it's linked to modesty or mysticism, both or neither.
post #37 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
And an added bonus is that she now associate my taking off the scarf (and my glasses ) as a sleep-cue! Sort of a sign that we're home for the night, time to sleep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
Wait, I said I wasn't going to rant, right? I better cut myself off before I really start going.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
Nope, just a big square scarf that used to be my mother's. I'll have to take a pic. (There are lots of videos on Youtube about tying headdresses. The one I'm using is from www.coveryourhair.com - the tie, not the scarf!)

I know what you mean about getting down to business, gun. For me it's about confronting my face, and not hiding behind my crazy hair and really getting to know myself... which is a spiritual journey it seems to be time for me to take!
I'm glad *somebody* has an idea why they might like to do this lol, because I have absolutely NO idea where this came from for me! I love the pre tied bandanas on that site
post #38 of 250
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Convert zeal
It's big in the religious studies and anthropology literature... and it perfectly describes the situation (unlike some of the terminology you'll find in that same literature). People get so excited about whatever it happens to be that they decide they are going to be "more X than X". And the other side of the coin is that they often totally reject whatever they had before (religion, home city, sports team, political orientation). Most of the time it's brief, but sometimes it "sticks"... often if the change is viewed as really radical by their peers or if they are unable to fit themselves into a comfortable self-acceptance and the initial zeal turns into a sort of permanent need to prove themselves.

Twinkle- yeah, I'm surprised how many people responded to this thread! I was seriously expecting it to drift into thread death. I'd never seen such slim pickings via google before! I think you have a good point about the double shock, or the sort of "not fitting in either group" scenario (liminal, to pull out another of the textbook words ). It's just one of those things where I want to ask "why"? Why reclaim the word "witch" but not reclaim the headcovering worn by those women? (yes, I know those were christian women following christian custom but I know people who dress like medieval ladies for their rituals... but with nothing on their heads) Why build a recon faith that has people learning the original language, cooking the original foods, researching what the exact ingredients of the sacrificial whatever would have been... but not even suggest that people adopt a simple garment that would have been completely standard among the original practitioners of that faith? It interests me from the academic side as well as from the personal side... is the linkage of covering to abrahamic modesty so strong that there simply isn't room for other interpretations or uses? And why hasn't a pagan group grabbed hold of this as a viable spiritual practice/honoring of ancestors/personal tool/reclaimed symbol?

I know, I know, there is no single answer... but it's a fun question to roll around!

Cari- this thread has actually helped me put a lot of this thought into...well.... into thought! I started covering because I was unhappy with my hair, didn't have a chance to get it cut, and needed it out of my face. And then I realized that I "felt different" and specifically felt better when my head was covered. So I started experimenting and meditating and trying to dream into the situation and it sort of grew from there. And describing things here and listening to other mama's reasoning has kind of pushed things around in my head and helped me figure out where I think, maybe, I'm going with this.

Crafty- I just started knitting a head covering... it's going to be mostly triangular because that's what I've been using and I'm going gradually here. And it's just a really basic garter stitch triangle, nothing fancy. But I'm knitting it with intent and spiritual focus on my beloved wooden needles (used only for ritual or immediate family knit projects). It's a really pretty blend of blue and purple mohair with a tiny thread of silver worked into the yarn. It just seems comforting and welcoming and perfect for the winter solstice (since the Marian images I grew up with usually had a blue head covering/veil). Hopefully it'll be done by then!
post #39 of 250
I want to start by saying that I am not currently pagan. I was, but I still held very much to my Catholic roots while I was walking that path.

Anyway-
I wanted to add my two cents about covering. I have noticed that teichel type coverings are wonderful for everyday. Headcoverings by Devorah has some wonderful teichels of different fabrics, as well as some really beautiful snoods!
I am, currently, working toward full-time skirt wearing and headcovering. It is nice to know that it is not just the ladies with Abrahamic roots who feel the power of covering!
post #40 of 250
Ah geez. I was just about to do a whole long piece on modesty but DD woke up and I refuse to type it all out one-handed! Maybe tomorrow?? I gotta remember to come back to it, that's why I'm posting this non-post right now. Yup, that made sense! I swear it did!
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