As many of you know by now, I was raised as a witch and also as a shaman. So this created a unique blend of ancient practices in the Craft as well as practices that are even older than that from a shamanic background. Someone asked me today about how to wear a cape and what is the protocol and is there better weather than others for wearing a cape, because windy could equate to the cape constantly strangling you by the throat as it blows about in the wind. So I thought that I would share with you a few pointers when it comes to good weather at the Cape:
- Most “capes” that are used in the craft are actually “cloaks” and not capes. Capes do not have sleeves or slots for the arms to go through. Cloaks do, which makes them a much better “fit” for ceremonial work.
- If you are wearing a cloak with angel wing sleeves, be extremely careful around bon fires and candles because those sleeves can, in the blink of an eye, light up your world with flames. One of my cloaks has angel wing sleeves, but on the inside of the sleeve is a button at elbow height, which buttons through a button hole on the cuff of the sleeve, thus pulling the sleeve up to the elbow for greater ease when working with flames…even old flames.
- Some capes and cloaks are hooded. This is all good, especially for daytime rituals when the sun can give you sun stroke if you are not covered, but make sure that you can actually easily see around you and in front of you. You do not want a hood that drapes down over your eyes. That blinds you. It may look “cool” until such time as you walk over the edge of a cliff or into a tree because you didn’t see it coming. And, again, don’t expect the hood to stay in place if it is a very windy day.
- Some capes and cloaks go all the way to the ground. This looks elegant and stunning, but remember that if you walk past thistles or branches they will shred your garment in a nanosecond. Also, you have to remember (and this I say mostly for the benefit of my male magical friends because women have known this for centuries) to always…ALWAYS gather your garment up before doing stairs, otherwise you just end up being cheap entertainment. Stairs are NOT the friend of the cape or cloak.
- Remember that you are no longer riding a broomstick, so tuck it in around and under you when you get into the vehicle.
- Speaking of stairs…those angel wing sleeves can be deadly if they catch on the end of a banister.
- If there is wind outside and the ritual is taking place, you might want to wear something under that cape or cloak, because all it takes is one good updraft and you are suddenly sky clad.
- Remember to jazz it up! Add some ribbing, ribbons, glitter, sashes etc and make that thing your own. And feel free to add to it or take from it as need be over the years. It is not something that is supposed to remain static, but you will get static if you clean it and forget the fabric softener. (That was actually 2 points in one, which I think was pretty clever, if I do say so myself.)
- These days, everything, even a cloak or cape, should have pockets. Seriously, they need POCKETS.
- Make sure the cloak is not too tight. You want to be able to breathe comfortably in it and you want to be able to move easily as well.
- And no good cape or cloak is complete without at least a wand or a medicine staff. So accessorize!
- ROCK THAT LOOK. Do not put it on and then cower away from the power that you feel. Do not think you look silly. This is not just a fashion statement, it is a working tool for your magical work. Respect it and walk proud in it. And honor it every time you put it on.
- Remember to either layer or line a cape or cloak for winter. They may feel quite warm in the spring and summer, but as soon as autumn and winter come around they can feel quite chilly.
I think I will stop here because 13 is a Sacred Number and you now have 13 valuable points. I should mention that your cape or cloak does NOT have to be a certain color, unless you want it to be. Allow yourself to express yourself with whatever color makes you SHINE. After all, yellow and green do not look good on EVERYONE, and there really is no one color that does.