This fascinating book covers: a brief history of body art; how body art works its magic; symbols (and their meanings) used in body art; meanings of the colors; ritual and makeup; masks and masking; ritual apparel and props; ritual jewellery; scents; the setting for ritual body art; full body art; sabbats, esbats and the elements; and, everyday use of ritual body art. Paint binds and separates, defining the pairs of opposites: sacred/profane, male/female, sick/well, good/bad, high/low, living/dead. Paint sets human beings apart from nature, while at the same time putting them in touch with natural forces apprehended but dimly understood. Finally, paint communicates on the outer skin something of inner self. It is a self enlargement, idealised, enhanced. And the soul rejoices and is content.
Charles Arnold is a Wiccan priest who has studied and practised the art of ritual body painting and decoration for over 20 years.