Sunday, July 6, 2008
Ok so you are serving as a Warrior in some capacity? What to wear? That is a common question for every pagan. “I’m going to a ritual, with a new group, what should I wear?” It’s important, you don’t want to stand out, offend, or look foolish (unless you wish to achieve any of those looks). So by serving as a warrior, consider what that will mean? Are you acting as a mystical buffer inside and outside of a ritual circle? Then practicality is less important and symbolism is probably more important! So ask the ritual leader(s) what they would like. However you are acting as “event” security, direction, first aid etc? Dress practically. Screw looking impressive. I do not recommend any form of weaponry be visible, however ceremonial it is. More on that next. I recommend dressing for the weather (and having back up for changes in the weather) wearing good sturdy footwear, and something to carry supplies (first aid kit, water, cell phone etc) in. I also recommend that ritual/festival goers be informed look for the person wearing this, and have some sort of easily recognizable but unique “uniform”. Uniform? No I do not mean look like a member of some militia, but rather every one wears the same thing, and it’s not a generic thing brought from a store either. The ADF Warrior’s guild (of which I am a member, and have been since 1999) decided on a red sash, with the Guild crest. The only people with the guild crest are members of the Warrior’s guild who have paid their dues. I’ve seen others wear a red t-shirt printed with “XYZ event aid” printed on it. Ok weaponry. While as a warrior you should not be against the ideas of weapons (as symbols or tools), they do not often aid in conflict resolution, and have no use in a first aid situation. So resist the temptation of carrying a large knife, sword, etc though a staff may well be appropriate. There are legal repercussions about carrying a weapon too. If the Police come on site, and they often do, they will get nervous when they see a lot of weapons on display. If a situation gets so bad that you NEED a weapon you have bigger issues! That being said if you can carry a legal knife in your area (a small folding one) then do so, it can be useful as a tool, just do not wave it about! So we’ve gotten down to a “uniform” for ease of identification, no big weapons, and practical footwear if you are serving in a practical role, and whatever is appropriate in a ritual only role. How about other people attending? If you are involved in the planning of an event, make sure any “media releases” (i.e. what will get people coming) explicitly states what is and is not allowable. Remember some pagans still think sky clad (weather permitting) is the way to go, but again police are not going to be that interested in the aesthetics as they handcuff the naked man who is screaming about his religious rights being violated. Similarly take a note from the SCA and Renaissance festivals, anything weapon like is either banned or peace bound. I recommend the banning of weapons (legal definition) but that is up to the entire organizing committee.