As most people know, Dr. Leisure is a recognized authority on public nudity. He has testified in a number of court actions, written a book on the management of public nudity and given a few talks on the subject.
During the summer of 1995 he gave a talk at a Naturist gathering at the Cherokee nudist resort. His talk was on the subject of trends in the law regarding the concept of public nudity. During the few days at the conference he met Gavin and Yvonne Frost (founders of The Church and School of Wicca).
After the talk, Gavin asked Dr. L if he had ever been to a pagan get together.
Dr. Leisure responded that he had not. It was suggested that since Dr. L was an expert on "nudity" he ought to attend a pagan event or two since nudity was not uncommon at such festivals. Apparently pagans like to do some of their rituals "skyclad" which translates to nude. Furthermore there was to be a significant such gathering in a few weeks in New York known as "Starwood."
Dr. Leisure couldn't think of any reason why he shouldn't attend and made it a point to visit the festival.
At Starwood XV Dr. L not only learned about nudity he found that he was a pagan at heart. It seems that the underlying premise for many people attracted to the festival is a reverence for mother earth and all which that entails, including a concern with the environment and a deep respect for mother nature. As one might expect a persons religious views are ultimately defined by the individual. Each of us is different and to the extent that we are different we define our religious beliefs in the same manner.
There is a lot of variability in the way people look at themselves and how they fit into the scheme of things. Dr. L came away from Starwood realizing he was a "Born again Pagan."
If you think you are a born again pagan and want to get connected with the movement here are some suggestions from Dr. Leisure on how to go about it!
One way is to attend a festival like Starwood. It is a terrific place to learn. Many of the key people associated with different aspects of the rather diverse movement can be found there. (For more information on this years festival consult their web page by hitting this link rosencomet.com/starwood.html )
Starwood takes place ever summer at the Brushwood Folklore Center situated at Sherman, New York. (Just a couple of hours from Cleveland by car.) Brushwood also puts on a number of different events. For more info contact Brushwood.com.
The ultimate source of information on festivals
around the world is produced by Larry Cornett at http://members.aol.com/lcorncalen/CALENDAR.htm
Check it out!
Want a more intellectual approach? Read a book! A good overview of the pagan movement can be obtained by reading Margot Adler's Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and other Pagans in America Today. Published 1997 (You can obtain from Amazon.com for less than the $16.95 cover price by hitting this link.)
Margot gives a very insightful overview of this broad and fascinating subject area. She also suggests that attending a pagan festival or two is a great way to meet diverse and like minded individuals. I just finished reading her book and was delighted and intrigued to learn more about my many friends associated with various aspects of the movement.
Helping Yourself With White Witchcraft by Al G. Manning
To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft by Silver Ravenwolf
The Witches' Way: Principles, Rituals and Beliefs ofModern Witchcraft by Janet Farrar
and How They Work by Janet Farrar, Stewart Farrar
Want to know more about such people as Gavin and Yvonne Frost and their Church and School of Wicca? Get a hold of People of the Earth by Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond. It is a collection of brief biographies on many of the people involved in the neo pagan movement. Dr. L particularly likes this book since he has met so many of the individuals within it first hand. Even so he is amazed to learn more about his friends. New or different insights are revealed every time he reads a section of this book. (To obtain this book from Amazon.com for less than the cover price of $19.95 ISBN 0892815590 hit this link.)
Be a pagan. Its fun and healthful to the planet. If you respect and honor your mother how can you go wrong! Think about it!
OTHER BOOKS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST:
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (Liewellyn's Practical Magick Series) by Scott Cunningham List $9.95 ISBN 0875421180 Available from Amazon.com to order know click here.)
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess by Starhawk List $16.00 ISBN 0062508148 Available from Amazon.com to order know click here.
Dr. Leisure is now affiliated with Amazon.co.uk which is situated in England.
The following guides are available and may be of interest to some of
Dr Leisure's readers:
World Naturist Guide, Paperback 1994 by Wolters Kluwer Belgie. For more information or to buy click on the title to go to Amazon.co.uk.
Naturist Guide to Britain, Spiral-bound (April 1994) by David Martin. For more information or to buy click on the title to go to Amazon.co.uk.
Witches' Goddess, (January 1996) Janet Farrar, Stewart Farrar
For more information on nude beaches of England and to learn what they are reading on them, click here!
Curious about Amazon.co.uk? Check them out by going to their home page. See what they are reading in England!