( I deleted the old essay so I could make some slight modifications, here is the new essay.)
Skyclad is a very misunderstood form of ritual garb. Skyclad pretty much means clad beneath the sky, or naked beneath the sky. This practice arises from the idea that psychic energy is restricted or inhibited by clothing, especially tight or binding clothing, though many no longer believe this.
Something else to consider is that we are born naked, we are only ?pure? when in that state, so if we approach deity in the nude, we are laying aside preconceptions and prejudices of the physical, mundane world to reveal our true, inner, spiritual selves. Basically, we are laying ourselves all out there for deity to see. By setting our clothing aside, it can be said that we are laying our social distinctions and self-deceptions aside as well. This allows us to see and be present in the light of the Great Goddess.
A really good example is the Sahus of India, who are holy people who strut about naked to show that they have moved beyond the outer form of being to the inner essence of being.en you think about it, back in the day, most clothing were not productive or practical for dancing or dealing with fire, hence another reason for skyclad rituals. Though a very ancient custum, it?s not very common in modern wiccan practices. Many wiccans only go skyclad when doing solitary work or with a romantic partner.
Also, although many Neo-wiccans may perform only with a partner or in solitary, there are some traditions that still practice Skyclad as a coven, as a way of trusting one another, and feeling the natural energy that flows between each person.All Gardnerian covens require skyclad rituals - ALL. It is a basic and absolute requirement. Most Alexandrian ones, do as well. Other Traditions have their own requirements, some of which are known only to Initiates. British Traditional Wicca considers skyclad rituals to be among the most sacred and powerful. (special thanks to Noeital_Tell for this last fact here.)
Many people have issues with their bodies, working skyclad can help one become not only familiar with your body, but it can help you accept your body. Sometimes, clothing and fashion impose many false and unrealistic ideas on our relationship with our bodies. By accepting our bodies as they are, we can break free of the socially imposed ideas of how we should look and dress. There are some people who use clothing as a mask, placing their physical self esteem in external items of dress. But external items are purely illusory and not always under our own control. The main thing to keep in mind here, is that even though many of us have issues with our bodies, we need to set that aside and accept our bodies as they are when we go before our Deity. We lay ourselves out and we are accepted as we are by our deity, and we should be grateful as well as happy for love we receive.