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  • Katie Jefcoat

The Similarities Between Happiness Practices & Witchcraft

Updated: Oct 29

Let’s talk about witchcraft. Are you ready? I just watched Hocus Pocus 2, and with Halloween just a few days away, I ended up going down the never-ending Google information hole. Click after click on witchcraft, Wicca, and what it means to be a modern-day witch. Of course, while the pop culture icons of green-faced, ugly ladies riding on a broom are fun, as I read through a dozen different articles on the subject, it got me thinking about how the practice of Wicca could improve your happiness.



Now, I want to preface this with the idea that this is not a slam against religion in any way. Learning more and even practicing Wicca doesn’t require one to change their spiritual beliefs. It can be as simple as listening to an inner call, whether that is to protect the environment, pursue human rights, or explore one’s inner self.

For those who don’t know, Wicca came about in the 1950s and varies widely in beliefs and practices. It is often a presentation of feminism, environmentalism, and placing value on self-worth rather than social comparison or outdated cultural customs. The people who practice Wicca are referred to as Wiccan.


As many of us know, witches have a dark and sad history. What I find fascinating is that you can find forms of witchcraft in almost every culture around the world dating back thousands of years. When there is such a widespread belief in anything occurring naturally without outside influence, especially if it is centered around women who are perceived as strong and independent figures of a community, it gets me thinking.


While I was lost in the Google universe of articles, I found a few interesting comparisons of Wicca rituals and happiness practices.


3 Similarities Between Happiness Practices & Witchcraft

1. Covens & Social Social Connection

Covens are groups of Wicca practitioners (called Wiccans) who get together to perform rituals. While they can be standing around in flowy dresses or chanting together, what I see is something a little different. I see a strong social connection. It is a group of like-minded people who gather together to pursue a common goal in a healthy, positive manner. There is laughter, friendship, and a deep bond. As you know from listening to the Everyday Happiness podcast and reading posts here, social connection is a huge part of happiness; a coven is essentially a built-in friend group that supports your goals.


2. Connection to the Environment

The second is environmental connection. Many Wicca practices are held outside, utilize ecological components, and require homegrown herbs. As we have discussed before, connecting with nature is a valuable tool for grounding oneself and finding inner peace. Wicca strongly believes in the power of nature, and we can use that to our advantage. No, this doesn’t mean hunting for toadstool or the eye of a newt. Embracing your inner witch can be as simple as a walk through the forest, using homegrown herbs to make yummy tea, and feeling the dirt beneath your feet as you breathe deeply.


3. Hedonic Adaptation

The last one I want to touch on is the acceptance of the journey of life. Wicca recognizes and reveres the cycles of life, encouraging the celebration and acceptance of change, both good and bad. Whether it is the changing of the seasons or the passing of life, Wiccans focus on accepting what we cannot change, adapting as circumstances happen, and looking inward to identify what we need at this point of our life while being grateful for what we already have. I believe this to be a very healthy mindset, and much of its components are taught in various scientific psychology and self-help books, just with different lingo. Does hedonic adaption ring a bell?


Now, am I saying that you should suddenly buy a spell book? No. I am saying that being open to other people, being empathetic to other cultures, and being willing to learn about how happiness theories are embedded in so many different life practices is a beautiful way to learn more about the world and spread kindness.


I also want to provide you with the ability to explore the same Google path I went down, so I have included some of the articles I read, with sources being The New York Times, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and more!


Remember, kindness is contagious and increasing happiness is a personal journey. If you do happen to find a Wicca ritual, such as making a candle or lighting incense, that makes you happy, then embrace it. We all traverse different paths in life, and utilizing compassionate, empathetic, and healthy practices in our life can elevate our happiness and those around us.


References:

- https://www.today.com/tmrw/how-witchcraft-can-help-us-connect-ourselves-mother-natur e-t202677

- https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-and-happiness/201910/does-witchcraf t-hold-the-secret-happiness

- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/style/pam-grossman-witch-feminism.html - https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/witchcraft-juliet-diaz/605518/ - https://u.osu.edu/vanzandt/2019/04/05/wiccan-witchcraft-is-it-real-or-merely-a-fad/ - https://tweakindia.com/culture/discover/modern-witch-share-7-daily-practices-to-attract-g ood-vibes-only/

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