Monday, March 19, 2012

Veiling as a Religious Devotion

In recent weeks, I have come across several blogs discussing this topic and friends have posted about feeling called to veil.  It was quite refreshing to know that I was not just imagining it.  Many Pagan women are now being called by their Higher Power to veil.  Some are feeling called to veil or cover their hair for religious ceremonies or prayer.  Others are being called to veil at all times.  I myself feel called to veil while I am at home.

In Western society, this is a strange topic of discussion.  Why is that?  I love it when I can educate people or provide them with another point of view to a topic they might never have given any thought to.  This is one of those topics.  Veiling, or covering of the woman's hair is not as strange as one might think.  I have produced some examples of veiling from cultures around the world, including here in the United States.

                                                               A woman covered while praying.

Veiling as a religious devotion has a long history, dating back centuries.  Greek and Roman women covered their hair.  Roman women were required to cover their hair upon marriage.  Examples of veiling and covering of the hair can be found in polytheistic and monotheistic religions around the world.  Jews, Muslims, Christians (Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic), Pagans, Hindus.  You name it, women are choosing to veil themselves. Unfortunately in some cases, it is a requirement by the law of their country.  When you think of religious law requiring veiling, you probably thought of Islam?  Well, the reality is that most of the majority Muslim countries of the world do not require veiling.  Still in other countries, it isn't required by law, but by the rules of the Church.  In Catholic religious ceremonies, women are asked to cover their hair.  The same goes for Jewish women.  If they don't, it won't necessarily cause them any problems, but they will be looked upon as rebellious and against the true teachings of the Church. 

 I do not look on veiling as oppressive to women.  I like to think of myself as progressive when it comes to women's issues.  And I was once a woman who thought that covering your head was just another tactic used by the patriarchy to control us.  I have changed.  I no longer see it as a restriction or a requirement.  I see it in a whole new light.  It is simply another tool of devotion, much like making offerings, fasting, or praying.  I have not veiled yet, I actually don't know how to do it but I plan to teach myself.  I will veil around the house as I go about my daily duties as a stay-at-home mom.  The laundry doesn't wash itself. :)  In a practical way, if my hair is covered, it cannot get in my eyes and make it difficult to go about my business.  I do not feel brave enough to veil outside in public, though I may veil as I work in my garden. 

It is a calling I feel is a test of my devotion.  I know I have proven my devotion many times through prayer and offerings, but I also feel like this may be an answer to a prayer I offered up once.  I prayed that the world would take it easy with their judgement of Muslims women who choose to veil as part of their devotion and not because their husbands or fathers required it of them.  When I first received the calling, I was a little weary. 

After all, fulfilling religious duty can sometimes be a lonely business in a polytheistic society that is antagonized by the monotheistic majority.  But in the last few weeks, more and more of my Pagan counterparts are coming forward with the same calling.  Could this be a preparation for a higher calling?  Could it be a sign of the great awakening?  Who knows?

Other blogs that discuss this topic: (this one has some other great links and photos)


  1. A good blog to follow (if you are not doing so already) that is heavily devoted to veiling is this one:

  2. Ooops, nevermind... I just saw that hers was the very last link you listed!

  3. I'm a head covering Pagan as well. Nice to meet you. :)

  4. Hi Zedral! There is a group on Facebook called Covered In Light, you should check it out! We are all head-covering Pagan women over there. :)

  5. I am hajabi (veiled) muslim women. As a means of devotion to the Creator, we cover not only our hair, but the neck, ears and chest, aswell as wear loose fitting, non-see through clothing in presence of non-mahram (men who are not related to us by blood or marriage). Covering is one aspect of faith...the other aspect is one's behaviour, character and sincereity of devotion.

  6. I absolutely agree 'Anonymous'. This post was simply about the 'covering' aspect of faith. I do plan on writing about the other aspects of faith as time allows. Having two children out of school for the summer and a little one occupying my belly makes for one tired mommy.

  7. Love your blog on being called to veil. <3

  8. all women should feel goo dabout covering the things that make us the most valuable people on earth. we are the mothers the peace keepers and the teachers of our households and we are the gems of humanity. our value is worth far more than the skimpy clothing that a mans industry put many of our sisters in humanity in.

  9. Hi. I'm not Anonymous the first, but the second. (I really need to set myself up with and account, and a screen name.)

    I just love Hijab, but I'm not Muslim, and I feel it would be inappropriate for me to veil like a Muslimah. My answer is not a veil, per se, but more of a snood that I make myself. I feel this is enough to cover, but I still adore the real veils. They are so feminine. Maybe my urge to cover has something to do with a wish to feel more "womanly". I am a pagan, but if there is a particular deity involved in my desire to cover, he/she hasn't revealed himself/herself to me.