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Wicca Celebrations of Cycles

References /credit to Helen BergerSept. 17, 2021

Helen A. Berger is a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Wicca celebrates both a Goddess and a God as an independent practice, setting it apart from more mainstream religions, such as Christianity. Additionally, Wicca has less of a focus on formal structures, such as churches, and more of an emphasis on ritual and direct spiritual experience. Adherents to this religion refer to themselves as practitioners, not believers.

A yearly cycle of rituals, known as sabbats, celebrates the beginning and height of each of the four seasons of the Northern Hemisphere. Each ritual encourages participants to celebrate the season in direct contact with the divine. For example, at Beltane – which takes place May 1, at the height of spring – Wiccans celebrate fertility in both the Earth and in people’s lives.

Wiccans have one overriding rule, “Harm none and do as you will,” and no single religious text they draw beliefs. Most Wiccans practice alone and are free to develop their unique practice. This allows them to readily encounter and embrace divinity.

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