The snares of the world were its ways of sin. He would fall. He had not yet fallen but would fall silently, and in an instant. Not to fall was too hard, too hard: and he felt the silent lapse of his soul, as it would be at some instant to come, falling, falling but not yet fallen, still unfallen but about to fall.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
I was raised a Naturist. In Britain that means a lot of time spent naked in wooded enclosures all across the country. I was baptised in a swimming pool in the sunlight not in a Church. As I was growing up I used to find myself wandering off into the woods by myself. At the different campsites I gave the various places I found different fantasy names like Scorpion's Lair or Vampire's Cave. The greatest of these sites was the one established by Craven Walker, the inventor of the lava lamp - the main clubhouse was a shrine to the device. When I think back on it now, a lot of these little adventures ended their trails with blank memories - I think spirit communication could have taken place during this path-walking. When I think back to the paths they always end in a cliff face or a river or a fence, some kind of boundary and I don't remember the journey back.
Within British Naturism the outside world is considered to be populated by textiles - you are raised in what is effectively a secret society. There is a weird crossover between Fascism and Hippies in the early history of these sun-seekers, which you can see in the ways in which nakedness is or isn't enforced in the various grounds. The way in which Walker attempted to ban obese individuals from the grounds is symptomatic of this crypto-eugenics. Like Eden in appearance and certainly a childhood experience I would not want to change, there can be a darker side to some Naturist/Nudist circles. Depending on the depth of the darkness in the particular community, the deeper the darknesses in their woods.
In this split world it is easy to see how children who grew up as part of the movement went on to share feelings of narcissism, paranoia and an interest in conspiracy theory. Many of us, who didn't want to share our secret with the textiles, were involved in a conspiracy ourselves - we saw how easy it is for a small group to obfuscate the truth. The exposure and vulnerability that comes with nakedness certainly contributes to a defensive narcissism I see in people who shared the experience. Discussing the psychological commonalities amongst the children of the Baby Boomer naturists/nudists would make a great documentary.
There is something about the naked naked ape's relationship with nature that is interesting to me from a magickal perspective. Deprived of fur or armoured skin, being naked in the woods is quite dangerous - even the British ones are full of nettles and thorns. Like a native in an Amazonian jungle an animism evolves, you cultivate a relationship with the spirit of the forest in order to spare you unpleasant trips and falls. The lack of protection makes you commune very closely with the vicious potential of the path.
Although I would say that I still fell in the end I would argue that being involved in Naturism lessens the severity of the fall and hastens the return. It contributed to my knowledge of esoteric physiognomy, allowing me to see the composition of bodies and link them to personalities at a young age and exposed me to information that was otherwise covered up. It is behind my understanding of how psychological masks can be appropriate or inappropriate to the underlying genetics and aids in the rapid identification of diseased egos. This knowledge crystallised in the vision of the Rivers of Time and its acompanying system of archetypes.
When I fell, I fell into the twilight world of theatre - I left behind the world of Naturism, acting classes and stage plays now dominated my life, my work performed in the evening and the shadows, in costume and in mask. From my dawn of magickal nakedness I fell into the evening of magickal disguise. In discussing my baby magic as a response to Otherwise there were different areas I could focus on but I chose this one as I feel I had an opportunity to experience something close to humanity's baby magic which other people are often deprived of by parents or society and which they have to seek out later.
Not born into disguise I had to choose to fall.