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Wiccan Rede

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 law??

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 later on.

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 from themselves.

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.