Some contemporary Wiccans perfom rituals skyclad, or naked. This is done for a few different reasons. Although some hereditary witches claim that their families have always practiced skyclad, nudity was probably introduced into witchcraft by Gerald Gardner, the father of modern witchcraft, who was a nudist and insisted his coven practice nude. The Charge of the Goddess, attributed to the Greco-Roman goddess Aradia, is the closest thing witches have to a standard prayer. The charge contains the line "and you shall be naked in your rites". Discovered in Italy in a 15th century witch's "confession", the charge suggestes older roots to the connection between nudity and witchcraft. Doreen Valiennte, Gardner’s high priestess, cites the frescos of the Villa of Mysteries at Pompeii as a precedent for nude rituals. Clothing is also shed so that individuals can be as natural as possible when worshipping the Goddess and simply, because the coven’s circle is a safe environment. Starhawk states in Spiral Dance, "nudity establishes a closeness and honesty among coveners and 'is a sign that a witches loyalty is to the truth before any ideology or any comforting illusions'". Today, many pagans do worship skyclad. Some pagans perform rituals without clothing but they wear special jewelry or cords.
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