The Wiccan Rede…the tenet by which those who practice most forms of Wicca try their best to stay within. Not everyone, not daily, but as a principal in general to live by, it isn’t too bad. I have pasted it here for you to look at before I go into some areas ca little deeper:
The Wiccan Rede
Bide the Wiccan Laws we must In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.
Live and let live. Fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about to keep the evil spirits out.
To bind the spell every time let the spell be spake in rhyme.
Soft of eye and light of touch, Speak little, listen much.
Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the Witches’ Rune.
Widdershins go by the waning moon, chanting out the baneful rune.
When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss the hand to her, times two.
When the moon rides at her peak, then your hearts desire seek.
Heed the North wind’s mighty gale, lock the door and drop the sail.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss thee on the mouth.
When the wind blows from the West, departed souls will have no rest.
When the wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.
Nine woods in the cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Elder be the Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed you’ll be.
When the Wheel begins to turn, let the Beltane fires burn.
When the Wheel has turned to Yule, light the log and the Horned One rules.
Heed ye flower, Bush and Tree, by the Lady, blessed be.
Where the rippling waters go, cast a stone and truth you’ll know.
When ye have a true need, hearken not to others’ greed.
With a fool no season spend, lest ye be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law you should, three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow, wear the blue star on thy brow.
True in love ever be, lest thy lover’s false to thee.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An ye harm none, do what ye will.
If I look at the Wiccan Rede just in aesthetics it is one of the most beautiful poems you will ever come across and there are significant pieces to it that can be applied to the seasonal world, to the secular world, to everyday living for everyone. As a piece of literature this is full of symbolism and rhyme and it has a great theme. There are things here that appeal to the English teacher and writer within.
As someone who follows pagan and Wiccan beliefs this beautiful poem is one I try to love by, most importantly the last eight words. As we look over those it appears they should be easy: An ye harm none, do as ye will. Well I can do what I want so long as I don’t hurt anyone. Wait…what if I say something but it gets misconstrued? Now someone’s feelings are hurt. Or maybe I pulled into a parking spot right before someone else and they are hurt. Did I break the Rede?
Like any spiritual or religious doctrine the Rede needs to be looked at as a guideline to do your best to try and be the best, kindest person you can be. Realistically there is no way to ever ensure that every action you do will not hurt someone, even down the road. However, if you are coming at or from a positive, no harm intent, you will mitigate any possible harm.
The other part of the Rede to pay close attention to if you are following it is The Threefold Rule. You may better know it as… Karma. Have you ever heard someone say it comes back to you times three? Well that concept comes from the Wiccan Rede. The idea that the energy, attitude and actions you present will come back to you three times is a thoughtful way to live your life. Do you want good things or bad things coming back at you? This is something I try to live by on a daily basis. It helps me mitigate the harm I may do accidentally or from being unaware. I truly believe the better my intentions and actions the better the energy return.
What about you? Do you believe in karma? Do you believe that a tenant like harming none is one you could live with?