When you hear the word Wicca, you may imagine a bunch of women riding around the sky on brooms and chanting Latin words to cast spells. Or, you might think of a bunch of women prancing around naked in the moonlight.
It’s true that Wiccans have a cultural connection to “witchcraft,” but there’s more to this polytheistic form of spirituality, and no matter what religion you personally observe, its followers have some healthy habits anyone could potentially benefit from.
Wiccans put an emphasis on nature, and the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance note that they “meet out of doors where possible.” And getting outside is good for you. Harvard Medical School lists benefits like getting more vitamin D from sunlight, increasing your physical activity, improving concentration and promoting healing. Overall, “you'll be happier,” the school says. “Light tends to elevate people's mood, and there's usually more light available outside than in. Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.”
Tight social groups
A local group of Wiccans, referred to as a coven, typically has just 10 to 15 members, Encyclopaedia Britannica says. Such a strong social connection between a small group of people could have a positive effect. An article on the National Institutes of Health notes that “adults who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than their more isolated peers.” People who are cut off from others can suffer from depression, and many argue that solitary confinement in prisons is a form of torture.
Song and dance
Joyous singing and dancing can improve your mood, and dancing also represents physical activity. These are things Wiccans do often, according to Religion Facts. Women’s Health magazine ties dancing to better heart health, sharpened motor skills, reduced stress and sharper memory and focus.
Many Wiccans practice meditation, which has been shown to fight anxiety and depression and improve overall mental health. It has also helped people with high blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome, among other illnesses.