Bide ye the Wiccan laws ye
must, in perfect love and perfect trust.
Ye must live and let live, fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about, to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be spake in rhyme.
Soft of eye and light of touch, speak ye little and listen ye much.
Deosil go by waxing moon, chanting out the Wiccan runes.
Widdershins go by waning moon, chanting out the baneful tune.
When the Ladyís moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak, then the heartís desire seek.
Heed the North windís mighty gale: lock the door and trim the sail.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss thee on the mouth.
When the Moor wind blows from the West, departed spirits 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 quick and burn them slow.
Elder be the Ladyís tree, burn it not or cursed yeíll 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, the truth to know.
When ye have and hold a need, hearken not to otherís greed.
With a fool no seasons spend, or be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law ye should, three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow, wear the blue star on thy brow.
True in love ye must ever be, lest thy love be false to thee.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An harm ye none, do what ye will.
The Wiccan Rede, in its most basic form, comes down to
this: Harm None. It sounds so simple, yet the debates over this little statement
are far reaching throughout the Wiccan community. Many people wonder how far
this law is to be carried. If someone magically attacks you, can you fight back?
What about a physical fight? Can you injure people emotionally? Do positive
spells performed on a person without their permission go against the Harm None
There are no easy answers. I can give only suggestions.
Each walks their own path. I personally believe that the law should be carried
out to its fullest. Harm None, under any circumstances. There is one situation
in which I believe this law can and should be broken, and we'll discuss this
Many people ask why I don't believe you should perform
spells on a person without permission as long as they're positive. My answer to
that is you never know if the person wants the effects of the spell, even if
they seem positive to you. I never perform name specific love spells, because
this would manipulate someone's life to a great extent.
There is one spell I will cast without permission, and
this is the place I said earlier that the law does not apply (in my beliefs).
That is a binding. If someone is doing great harm to anyone, magically,
physically, or emotionally, then I beleive that it is all right to step in and
bind them from doing harm. This way you protect yourself, anyone else the one
doing the harming might hurt, and even the harmer themselves. By the same
principle, defending yourself or another is permissible as well. After all, if
you don't do anything to protect yourself then you get harmed, and so
your inaction is comparable to harming yourself. Situations like these are
admitedly tricky, and must be taken on a case by case basis.
This is where I go into Karma, otherwise known as the
Three-fold Law. It is the Wiccan belief that anything you do will come back to
you three times as strong as you sent it out. This applies to everyday life as
well as magic. If you perform a small act of kindness, you will reap rich
blessings in the future. A small act of revenge could come back as some major
trouble down the road. So if someone is hurting people with no regard to the
Three-fold law and you bind them, then you are doing them a favor by saving them
All this talk about Harm None under any circumstances
sounds very good in theory. The hard part is living it, and I'll be the first to
admit that I don't practice what I preach. I try of course, but inevitably fall
short. There are a few tips I can give you on how to abide by the Law, but no
hard and fast answers.
Some, like walk away from fights, are obvious. I know
just as well as anybody else how difficult that can be. Also, try not to do
anything to offend people in the first place. With some people this is
impossible. They will take offense at anything you say or do.
Another, and the most important, is to try and love
everyone. This is the hardest of my tips to live by. I fall way short of this
goal myself. A good thing to help you start is to concentrate on the good
aspects of people you meet instead of the bad. Sure, that person is might have
an unattractive nose, but don't they have pretty eyes?
Also, try and see that spark of Divinity that lives in
us all. In some people it's hard to see, but if you keep looking you'll
eventually see the Goddess and God living in everyone.