For Ann: The Skyclad Blue Brothress and the little people

By | May 21, 2008

For Ann The Skyclad Blue Brothress and the little people

Regarding the photo in question, the caption reads: “An skyclad Blue Brothress invoketh and communeth with the Little People in Cornwall, England”

As Anne noted, the image is from Janet Bord’s “Faeries: Real Encounters with the Little People”

JANET BORD has lived in rural North Wales for the past 30 years and is well known for writing Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People, Mazes and Labyrinths of the World, Footprints in Stone and seventeen further books over a period of 25 years with her husband, Colin Bord. They also created the Fortean Picture Library, a pictorial archive of mysteries and strange phenomena. – gl

I wrote to Janet tonight to ask her for some details about the above photo.

What is “an skyclad Blue Brothress?” Skyclad refers to ritual nudity. A Brothress seems to be an occult title for a woman. A Blue Brothress? I don’t know. Hopefully Janet Bord will write back and tell me.

In Wicca and Wicca-based Neopaganism, skyclad is used to refer to ritual nudity. Many Wiccan groups, or covens, perform some or all of their rituals skyclad. While nudity and the practice of witchcraft have long been associated in the visual arts, contemporary ritual nudity is typically attributed to either the influence of Gerald Gardner or to a passage from Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches.

Gardner’s Witchcraft Today was published in 1954. The book claimed to report on the contemporary practice of Pagan religious witchcraft in England, which had supposedly survived as an underground religion for centuries. Ritual nudity was included as a regular part of Wiccan practice, and remains associated with Gardnerian Wicca. The “Charge of the Goddess“, a part of Gardnerian ritual liturgy, instructs Wiccans to practice ritual in the nude. Gardner spent several years in India, and may have picked up the concept from the Digambar Jains, a religious sect in which the monks may not wear clothing.[1]

The origins of this instruction have been traced to Charles Godfrey Leland‘s book, Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches.[2][3] The following speech by Aradia appears at the end of the book’s first chapter;

“And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;”[4]

Dr Leo Ruickbie also notes that the traditional and artistic representation of witches cannot be overlooked as a source for nudity in Gardner’s system, citing artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Salvator Rosi.[3]wiki

0 thoughts on “For Ann: The Skyclad Blue Brothress and the little people

  1. Ann

    Super!!! Thank you, Xeno! The photo is really cool! It’s b/w; perhaps it’s old. Fortean Times have it, supposedly, in one of their collections making me believe it’s not fake (?). I look forward to Janet Bord’s reply. But, Xeno I don’t know if the photo is in Janet’s book. Anyway, maybe she can tell us something about it. Thank you again.

  2. Ann

    Everyone heard, I suppose, of the Cottingley fairies photographed by two little girls, Frances and Elsie Wright, near Bradford, England, in 1918.

    Did you know that the photographs that are widely disseminated are not the original photos? What we often see is the sharpened version of the original, which appears much more authentic.

    In 1978, James Randi and a team from “New Scientist” again studied the photos. Randi claims to have seen “strings” in the enhanced version of the photos giving support to the notion that the fairy figures were created by the little girls. (He has other things to say about the case, of course. Anyway …) “New Scientist” (August 3, 1978), however, says the “strings” could be only printing streaks. So much for Randi’s hypothesis.

    In 1971, Elsie Wright was interviewed by BBC and she would not admit the photos were faked. Then, in 1976, Austin Mitchell of Yorkshire Television asked Frances, “Did you, in any way, fabricate those photographs?” She replied, “Of course not. You tell us how she [her sister] could do it – remember she was 16 and I was 10. Now then, as a child of 10, can you go through life and keep a secret?”

    The above was taken from two articles by Joe Cooper in two issues of “The Unexplained: Mysteries of Mind Space & Time” (around 1982?). At the end of the 2nd article Cooper writes that he “met seven people who claim to have seen nature spirits. One of them, an ex-wrestler of powerful build – an unlikely figure to consort with spirits – is adamant in his assertions. It is interesting to note how many are prepared to listen to him with an unusual degree of tolerance.”

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