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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Ritual nudity is not uncommon and was found throughout the ancient world. Both the Greeks and the Romans favored it, as did the naked wise men of India—the Gymnosophists. Ancient British women performed magical rites naked, according to Pliny, as did the women of Ancient Persia. Charles Godfrey Leland tells of the daughters of the ancient Persian magi who worshiped the sun as it rose by waving freshly plucked verbena (one of the seven most powerful plants in magic). In Aradia

, Gospel of the Witches of Italy, Leland says that "these Persian priestesses were naked while they thus worshipped, nudity being a symbol of truth and sincerity." Many ancient Jewish prophets worked naked. The Old Testament states (I Samuel

20:23-24): "And the spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?"

Leland recounts Aradia, the Witches' Goddess, speaking to her followers: "And as the sign that ye are truly free, Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and women also." This exhortation is echoed in modern Wicca in the rite of "Drawing Down the Moon."

Many early illustrations of Witches and sabbats depict naked Witches. Albrecht Dürer's drawing of a Witch riding on a goat to the Walpurgisnacht shows the Witch naked, as does his The Witch and The Four Witches (1491). Similar is Hans Baldung Grun's Witches Concocting Flying Ointment before the Sabbat (1514). Grun did any number of illustrations showing naked witches, such as Witches at Work, The Consecration of the Fork, and Witches' Sabbat. The Douce Collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford, contains an illustration of The Witches' Sabbat on the Brocken with many of the participants naked. Practically all of Goya's paintings of Witches show them naked, Two Witches Flying on a Broom being typical. In the 1610 (Paris) edition of Pierre de Lancre's Tableau de l'inconstance des mauvais anges, a great gathering of Witches is shown with a circle of dancing nudes in one area and a naked mother presenting her equally naked child to the Horned God in another area, this engraved by Ziarnko. Johannes Geiler von Keisersperg's Die Emeis (1517) shows a naked Assembly of Witches. A decoration on the right hand voussoir of the western doorway of Lyons Cathedral (fourteenth century) shows a naked witch riding on the back of a goat.

Today in Witchcraft, Wiccans are divided. The majority in Europe seem to follow the original tradition and to favor ritual nudity, while in the United States the majority prefer to be robed. Some traditions, such as Gardnerian, prescribe ritual nudity, while others leave it to the wishes of the individual covens.


Adam and Eve
unashamed in Eden without clothes. [O.T.: Genesis 2:25]
Agnes, St.
hair grew to cover her nakedness. [Christian Hagiog.: Daniel, 21]
burlesque show
stage entertainment to which was added striptease dancing. [Am. Hist.: EB, II: 383–384]
ascetic Jainist sect whose members went naked. [Jainism: NCE, 1392]
Godiva, Lady
(d. 1057) rode naked through Coventry to secure tax reduction for the people. [Br. Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 471]
ancient Indian philosophers forsook clothing. [Asian Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 396]
Lee, Gypsy Rose
(1914–1970) American burlesque artiste. [Am. Hist.: Halliwell, 429]
Maja Desnuda
Goya’s celebrated picture of woman in the nude. [Span. Art: Spain, 246–247]
Playboy centerfold
nubile woman exhibited au naturel in centerfold of every issue. [Am. Magazines: Playboy]
Venus de Milo
half-naked marble Aphrodite. [Gk. Art: Os-borne, 1184]
Wilberforce, Miss
English lady shocks the populace by publicly disrobing when drunk. [Br. Lit.: South Wind in Magill II, 988]


Being naked in a dream suggests vulnerability and exposure. It could be compensation for what is going on in daily life. Are you very guarded and unwilling to let people see the “real” you, or are you feeling embarrassment as a result of a mistake or emotional reaction? With this dream, the unconscious might be encouraging you to become more open with your feelings and more accessible emotionally. Additionally, if you see yourself naked in inappropriate places, your rebellious side may be coming through and with it some fear that people may not accept you for what you really are. Nudity in sexual dreams has its own meaning. For suggestions, please see Sex.
References in periodicals archive ?
The nude women motif continued at the actual square.
Images of nude women reveal what the artist or, in modern times, what the photographer or filmmaker wants the viewer to see.
A source close to the couple said: 'Len's been buying a few pieces of art for their home in LA and a lot of them happen to be of nude women.
His arty photos of nude women have outraged groups of clean-up campaigners.
A typical example is the use of images of scantily clad or nude women in print advertisements.
The article, "How Women Age," included photos of nude women with strategically covered breasts.
Finally, many women testified as to open displays of sexually offensive materials in the workplace, including pornographic magazines, pornographic calendars, pictures of nude women, pictures of scantily clad women and sexual cartoons.
The movie, most of which takes place inside a topless club, features nude women dancing, jogging through neighborhood streets, and lathering themselves with motor oil.
95), a compilation of the leading lesbian lenswoman's sizzling black-and-white shots of nude women entwined in love, lust, and fine linen.
Soon, he was joined by two nude women who proceeded to shove a dildo up his rectum and pull him around the room by a string wrapped tightly around his testicles.
Savonarola is remembered as the severe moralist who burned Botticelli's paintings because nude women appeared in them; but Venchi points out that Michelangelo admired him, and that Raphael (now "Blessed" Raphael) painted him in a mural in the Vatican.
The research team has been given a pounds 260,000 Government grant to find out why men become aroused whenever they see nude women.