Spiritual Musings: The Wiccan Rede

This is a new blog topic that I will posted periodically every month. I am eclectic, so it will not be from any particular tradition. I mostly follow the Unity spiritual tradition, leaning towards shamanic, animist and Celtic traditions. I follow teachings from any “Good” religion, and I don’t believe in hate towards anyone or anything. I don’t believe in unquestioned obedience or that I need an intercessor to talk to the deities that I follow.

The Wiccan Rede

Bide the Wiccan Law ye must,

In perfect love, in perfect trust.

Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:

An’ ye harm none, do as ye will.

An’ ever mind the Rule of Three:

What ye sends out comes back to thee.

Follow this with mind and heart,

An’ merry ye meet, an’ merry ye part.

 

The Wiccan Rede is a simple prayer, and is really more like a daily affirmation. It is ancient in origin, but its philosophy is simple: An’ ye harm none, do as ye will.

If there was ever a code to live by, this is it. As long as we harm none, we are free to live in perfect freedom. Each witch (pagan) has the freedom and responsibility to determine the exact meaning of this phrase for themselves.

Many Witches agree that “An’ ye harm none, ” means we are not to harm anything or anyone, including ourselves.

Witches  see themselves as humble caretakers not only of the Earth, but of the entire universe. The complete physical plane of existence is ours to care for. This is not limited to humanity, but includes animals and plants as well. When we act with compassion, we allow the Gods to see directly into our hearts. Our actions serve to show who we really are.

To live in harmony with all of nature is to live by the Wiccan Rede. This is what it means to be a witch.

—-excerpt from The Wiccan Prayer Book by Mark Ventimiglia

 

There are many variations of the Rede, some are altered to fit specific traditions over others. Many believe that the original version was published by Gwen Porter in Green Egg (1975) under the title “Rede Of The Wiccae“. This is a much longer version than is in popular use today.

This Wikipedia article on Dating the Wiccan Rede, is very informative. Many authors have written variation of the Rede. The oldest seems to be from:

  • Francois Rabelais, 1534
  • King Pausole, 1901
  • Aleister Crowley, 1904
  • Doreen Valiente, 1964
  • Gwen Porter, 1975

These are only a few, there are many others. No one seems to know who originally wrote the Rede, but many claim to have been the author or at least to have written their own variation to fit their needs.

Of course, this is what I could find during my research. A more in depth search would definitely turn up more information.

 

 

 

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