Medieval reproductions of witches often showed them naked. This can be seen in such classic images as The Witch by Albrecht Durer (1500) and Witches Sabbath and Departing for the Sabbath by Hans Baldung Grien (1510, 1514). Durer’s painting of The Four Witches (1497) is significant in that it shows the women still wearing their headgear, which clearly indicates their different social classes from peasant to aristocrat, a distinction that disappears in the naked state. This is a point often made in modern writings centuries later.
Lastly, we suggest that the term ‘skyclad’ is most likely borrowed from the Sanskrit word ‘Digambar’, the name of a sect of Jains. The term translates as ‘sky-clad’ and was certainly well recorded throughout various publications during the late nineteenth century. The use of ritual nudity during Wiccan ceremonies has so many precedents within other religions that we have concentrated our attention on those sources of most direct relevance to the Wiccan tradition, in this instance the classical witch of the medieval period.
Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr. Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.