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Pagans also reject western views of sexuality. For them the body is sacred and pure. Public and ritual nakedness is affirmed by some, though probably not the majority. Tabloids and papers make much of the sexual perversion of witches, but pagans believe that society has a suspicious and dirty-- minded view of sex: it sensationalises and titillates. But sexuality is a part of life's cycle to be celebrated in an open and pure fashion. The intertwining of sex with religion lifts it above the perverse and shameful act that it has become in western society.
The conception of a child is the most honoured activity of humans. It is `to accept responsibility for another life ... that will offer love and the promise of your family's immortality through its blood line' (Kemp: 176). The overtones of stewardship and regard for human life here are unmistakable.
Many who attend ConFest celebrate nudity publicly. They are not simply making a statement but discovering their inner self. When writing his PhD thesis, Graham St John attended ConFest and found that `being naked in the presence of strangers was not as difficult as I had been conditioned to believe' (187). Nudity at ConFest is a matter of reclaiming nudity as natural, innocent and right.
A positive view of nudity is said to change one's self- esteem and respect for others (St John: 187). It helps to bring out the child, the carefree gaiety and uncontrolled fantasy that is the world of the child (St John: 180). Nudity is about breaking down the masks of western society, the masks of social and economic status. Public nudity is rare outside such events, but some Wiccans and Druids practise ritual nudity.
Pagans claim to have a very positive view of the body, unlike most westerners. The goddess in Wicca is seen to have three forms: maiden, mother and crone. All are seen as beautiful and have specific roles. Western beauty belongs only to the maiden. Adler suggests that many women have found in Wicca a spiritual framework for feminism . But it would be a mistake to think that this is the driving force of paganism.
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