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The Rede of the Wiccae

Witches do not have a list of commandments or a framework of many laws that they must abide by, as is usual in other religions. Instead we have The Rede of the Wiccae, also known as the Witches Creed or the Wiccan Rede. We are also governed by The Law of Three. The word rede is an archaic term for advice or council. The Wiccan Rede and The Law of Three outline the ethics and morality that rule our daily lives and magical practise.

The rede is not, as some might think on brief inspection, a hedonist’s license, to irresponsibly do whatever they wish, as long as it's pleasurable or they just feel like it. The age old idea of witches in popular imagination, is that we hang out in shacks in forests, waiting to lure little Hansel and Gretel to their doom or else rush around casting the evil eye, hexing and turning the populace into toads if we don't like the look of them. On the contrary, the Craft teaches us to work for everyone's good, 'so be it in love that harms none,' as our belief is that everything and everyone in the Universe are connected, as though there were an invisible cord connecting all life on earth and beyond it. A true witch will not harm anyone, we know this would have karmic repercussions for ourselves; sooner or later we would suffer for the wrong we had done, so we do none. The Craft is known as 'The Craft of the Wise' because we hold the knowledge of the power and energies of the Universe, its natural and spiritual laws, which must be adhered to and used positively or mayhem will ensue. This is a heavy responsibility and hardly a license to do all as we please, we carry this responsibility, mindful of our duty to the Universe itself and those around us, with whom we are all connected. We know that if I harm you, I harm myself, if I do you good, I profit by it, a truth echoed in Christianity and many ancient religions. We bear the weight of our responsibilities with even more care, because we do not believe in the Devil. We believe that we are solely responsible for our own choices and anything bad that we may do; we alone tempt ourselves and have to bear the dark consequences. It's a universal truth that no one can do a bad thing and like himself for it and anyone that does not love himself, cannot be happy, this is only the beginning of the consequences we would expect.

Another misconception is that we cast spells on the instant like household air freshener, blighting many a sleeping beauties life and causing mayhem. This, need it still be said, is totally false and belongs only in fairy stories. Spells are an art that require great forethought and we always end them with the words 'for the good of all and the harm of none.' Because as mere fallible mortals, we know, that by repeating this phrase at the end of our spells, we ensure that, though we may not be aware of all the ramifications of our spells and may not have all the information about a situation, our spells will not bring harm in any unforeseen circumstance. 'And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love that harms none,' if we adhere to the rede, to do our workings with love, is certainly the challenge, for as humans, if we work and live only with love for our fellow humans, we can only bring good and happiness to each other. Which is why witches are not vengeful. We may protect our own from harm by drawing protection spells around them but these spells are not destructive. Protection spells divert any harmful energy sent to us and neutralise it, directing it back, cleaned, filtered, and now harmless, back into infinity, like a spiritual air conditioning system. We cannot wreak vengeance because that would not be working from love. Instead we rely on justice, that we know we will have, if anyone wrongs us, in the same way if I harmed you, you would be owed and get justice, what goes around comes around, we know to be true. And if our hearts and magic workings come from love, as the rede instructs us, we trust that we will be found to be without blemish in the eyes of the divine.

The Rede of the Wiccae

'An It Harm None, do as Ye Will'

Hear now the word of the Witches, the secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destinys pathway, That now we bring forth in the light.

Mysterious Water and Fire, The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,
By hidden Quintessence we know Them, and we will keep silent and dare.

The birth and rebirth of all Nature, the passing of Winter and Spring,
We share with the life Universal, rejoice in the Magical Ring

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat, returns, and the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas dancing, on May Eve and old Halloween

When daytime and nighttime are equal, when sun is at greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned, again Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are, thirteen is the Covens array,
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry, for each golden year and a day.

The power has passed down the ages, each time between woman and man
Each century unto the other, ere times and the ages began.

When drawn is the Magickal circle, by sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies, in the land of shades of that hour.

Our world has no right to know it, and the world beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there, the great work of Magic is wrought.

For two are the mystical pillars, that stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of Nature, the forms and the forces divine.

And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment, By Magick of old be it done.

Eight words the Witches Rede fulfill:
If it Harms none, Do what Thou Will!

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