Many wiccans and Pagans prefer to perform ceremonies and rituals in special robes. If you're part of a coven or group, your robe might have to be a certain color or style. In some traditions, the color of the robe indicates the level of training a practitioner has. For many people, donning the ritual robe is a way of separating themselves from the mundane business of everyday life -- it's a way of stepping into the ritual mindset, of walking from the mundane world into the magical world. Most people prefer to wear nothing at all under their ritual robe, but do what is comfortable for you.
It's not uncommon to have robes for the different seasons, symbolizing the turning Wheel of the Year. You can make one in blue for spring, green for summer, brown for fall, and white for winter -- or any other colors that symbolize the seasons for you. Do take the time to put some thought into your color selection -- it used to be that most Wiccans wore white robes, but many people prefer to use earth tones, because it's a way of establishing one's connection with nature. Some people choose to avoid black, because it sometimes has negative connotations, but use the color that feels right for you.
To make a basic robe, you can follow these simple steps. You'll need the following:
* A piece of material in the color of your choice -- make sure you select something that will be easy to sew and comfortable to wear. On the average, you'll need about three yards, but if you're heavyset or extra-tall, add in some more. A flat bedsheet is actually the perfect size for this.
* Scissors, thread, tailor's chalk, and a measuring tape.
* A sewing machine.
* A length of cord or light rope, approximately 6 feet long.
You'll need some help for this first step, because you need to measure yourself from wrist to wrist with your arms outstretched. Unless you have a third arm, get a friend to do this for you. This measurement will be Measurement A. Next, figure the distance from the nape of your neck to a point even with your ankle -- this will be Measurement B. Fold the fabric in half (if the material has a print on it, fold it with the pattern side in). Using your A and B measurements, cut out along the lines indicated in Figure 1, making a sort-of T-shape. Don't cut out along the top fold -- that's the part that will go along the top of the arms and shoulders.
Next, cut a hole for your head (X) at the center of Measurement A. Don't make it too big, or your robe will slide off your shoulders! On each side, sew along the underside of the sleeve, leaving an opening at Y for the arms (Figure 2). Then sew from the armpit down to the bottom of the robe. Turn your robe right-side out, try it on, and adjust it for length if needed.
Finally, add a cord around the waist, as shown in Figure 3. In some traditions the cord may be knotted to indicate degrees of training or education. In others, it acts simply as a belt to keep the robe from flapping around during ritual. You can also add trim, beadwork, or magical symbols to your robe. Personalize it, and make it yours. You may also wish to consecrate your robe before wearing it for the first time.
Recommended books (Free download):
Richard Alan Miller - The Magical And Ritual Use Of Herbs
Andrew Lang - Myth Ritual And Religion
Marian Green - A Witch Alone