top of page

Ch.6 Naked in your rites (WMB 6.c)

Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @


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 @ Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.


My name is Sorita d'Este

and this is my website and blog!  Thanks for visiting - I hope you are finding what you are looking for!


Many years ago I dedicated myself to the pursuit of both esoteric knowledge, and an understanding of polytheism, the Gods and Nature.  I have been a full-time writer, author and publisher, specialising subjects linked to the occult, witchcraft, Paganism, mythology, ancient religions and magic - and all kinds of things in between since 2003. 


I live on a hill in Glastonbury, overlooking the marshes of Somerset,  a place of myth and legend, and a crossroad for many different religions. Here I am frequently found digging and growing, serving my fluffy rescue cat and navigating the unknown with my teenage son.  

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
bottom of page