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The Law of Return and the Wiccan Rede

Author: Ivy MoonPanther
Posted: March 15th. 2009
Times Viewed: 391

Note: This article is in two parts. The first part is concerning what I prefer to call the Law of Return (also called the Rule of Three, Three/Seven Fold Law, etc.) .

We all have been wronged before. It sucks, and we all know that some people/things are really experts at knowing what pisses you off the most. And then we often hear of people doing unspeakable things and getting off easy. Take as examples: most school shooters shoot themselves after they have sufficiently caused enough damage; Hitler did so, too. So they get an easy death. One shot and gone, right? How do we know that justice was really served?

I cannot say it truly was. I cannot say it wasn’t either, for the record. But being a witch, and a Wiccan one at that, I believe that everyone, no matter whom or what you are or believe in gets what comes to them. Be it positive or negative. Whatever you give you get back.

I believe in reincarnation, and that every life brings us closer and closer to the divine. No matter how miniscule the step, it is there. Now understand that I am not saying that these criminal shooters or Hitler are going to reincarnate as a target at a gun range and get shot for all eternity. And I do not believe in the patriarchal Hell/Satan either. But I do believe in justice, and I believe in it because of all the unheard voices in the world. The people who have been wronged who cannot speak. The dead who were killed before their time. Men, women, babies, mothers, fathers…people who will not die in vain.

Although, it was fate that they leave this Earth, the Divine Spirit, my Lady Luna and Father Helios cannot see their children suffer without proper retribution. The Law of Return is a universal belief that what you do will come back to you, in whatever multiplication you choose to see, be it three, seven, nine, or just whatever multitude the event happened in (which is my belief) .

Now, my brother (of all people) said something about karma that made a lot of sense.

“If the person does not know what they did was wrong, karma couldn’t come to them.”

Of course, his grammar was not as good, but you get the point. That is a very good point, and I agree. That’s when perception comes into play. If we are talking about a universal principle, we have to take individual perception into account. Everyone sees what he or she wants to see, consciously and subconsciously. You may really, really want to see something, but inside, you know you’re not ready for it.

Like fate. If subconsciously, you believe you did wrong, then wrong will come to you. But if inside you believe you were giving justice, or some kind of belief like that, (i.e. a Nazi extremist, skinhead, or Al Qaeda bomber) , then it will not.

However, retribution will be given in other ways. Like on our side of the world, we are very prejudiced against Middle Eastern folks because of 9/11. The spirits of those men have to see how their fellow Arabs are being treated now. The injustice is because of them. (Heightened security, extra scrutiny, all of it.)

I am really getting off track, but moving on.

The Law of Return basically says that we alone are responsible for our actions. Our actions, our decisions are the only things we, ourselves, can control. Not Satan, not a cult leader… no one else can be responsible for what we freely decide to do. But once you give up your own power, your rebound involves any action that was not made because of your better judgment.

This Law goes so well with Perfect Love and Perfect Trust because you have to love and trust the divine enough to say, “I own my life and my actions because you gave me a mind and a body and a heart to make my decisions with. I am in control, but in the event I get overwhelmed, I can surrender my problems to you.”

I know this law is true because I lost one of my dearest loves, and best friends to a force I couldn’t stop. I know that fate works because I have faith in it. Have faith in the universe, and it will bring you peace.

This second part is my take on the Wiccan Rede.

The Rede has been interpreted as a lot of things. Long, short, law, advice, or not even relevant at all.

The truth is “bad” things and “bad” events exist because, not only were we given the capabilities to make these things (ex: given the knowledge to make steel, which can be made into a sword) , but also because they are here for a reason.

Bad and good are up to the individual’s interpretation, and of course, perception. For example, most of us good ol’ American kids have gone to D.A.R.E., right? Drugs are “bad”. I know this as I have already gone over that abuse hump and survived it to this point.

But at the same time, if there were no drugs or addiction, or abuse or neglect, so many people would not experience the feeling of being alive and reborn that stopping an addiction or freeing themselves from tyranny often gives. Drug free programs would have no use and we would not know the uses, medicinal and otherwise of most plants. Some of our best songs in many genres were written out of and about addiction or abuse of some sort.

There are many things that come out of “harm”, so really, labeling anything as “bad” or “good”, “light” or “dark”, “good” or “evil” is pretty much futile in my opinion. Without one, the other cannot exist. This world is not black and white, or even gray. It is of many shades, hues, sizes, and shapes and we need to consider them all, even within our own “world”.

Although there really is no point in labeling anything as bad or good, we all must have some sort of ethics system to regulate the extension and boundaries of expression and free will. That’s how I see the Wiccan Rede.

I do not see it as a law for every person because it is simplistic by itself. However, within its simplicity is its beauty and curse. We all want to do what is best and what will bring the most positive energy to the universe. That poem simply puts a label to that ideal.

It is not to be taken literally, because if we never harmed anything, we better be plants, because we can’t eat anything. In any topic of ethics, it is very tricky because every side of the spectrum has to be taken into account. This world is complicated, but this aspect of humility towards all things, giving back what you take, and treating all with respect and tolerance is an ideal for which all of us should abide by.

Please know that you don’t have to like something to tolerate it. Tolerance is simply saying, ok do what makes you happy as long as you don’t hurt others.

And, as far as defending yourself, and all that, you are included in the universe, as we are all connected. If I am to hurt you, then I am in essence hurting myself. So, protect yourself!

You are all you have at the end of your days in this life. You are the constant that keeps the fabric of existence in tact. If you were meant to be gone, you would not be reading this. The Goddess has given us trials, and has given us the God in the form of the Sun and his rays for us to see the light of every dark situation. There is always a plan B, and your actions will reflect in your environment.

I think that’s it.

Love and Light to you all.

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The Three Fold Law and Wiccan Rede is more of a morale guide line for people to think about their actions before taking them. You as a free think person know what is right or wrong, that is called morale's. The God or Goddess aren't there for you to cry for forgiveness from, because only Christians need forgiven for sinning due to their disregards for morales. You don't have to understand or believe in Karma, for it to punish you for your treatment of other people or nature. Harm none is a hollow saying. People say it as in regards to using magic to harm another. Harm comes in many forms, mental, physical, emotional, and magical. Could it be said that by stepping on a bug, you have harm a life form? You have to own your actions, good or bad, right or wrong. Yes life can an is black and white a lot of the time. I treat people the way I want to be treated, but use me as a door mat and see what happens. Use magic against me and you will know pain in many forms. I'm not a sheeple, I don't need somebody to tell me how to live or what to do. I don't think there is anything in life that is perfect.
I c ur opinion & I value it. The law of 3 is like something that gives us morals & or guidance of some sort. 2 know that if u harm some1 it may come back & bite ur ass is good cause it's kinda like learning from ur mistakes. Ty 4 ur opinion & Blessed Be
I agree w u & I think ur opinion on this was great. It's nice 2 know in the back of ur mind that if u do something wrong u will face the consequences eventually.. Ty 4 ur opinion & Blessed Be
I don't think Westerners fully understand what Karma is. For a little while I was studying Hindi and the word Karma simply meant action. I suppose it can be interpreted as "Your own doing". I am reluctant to call it justice or punishment. If I run out in front of a car, the fact that it hits me is not a punishment for having done so. It is simply a result. Cause and effect. Are we replacing an angry judgemental God with Karma?

I c the threefold law 2 b something like (morals) 4 us. My friend wrote the article & I thought it would b a good topic 2 discuss. ty 4 ur opinion. blessed Be
Everything is so true. I think we all need to follow the Wiccan Rede every closely
I don't follow the Wiccan Rede, I'm not Wiccan in my beliefs. I just think you have to own your actions good or bad, right or wrong. I try to live a balanced life on a daily basis. You decide to do moral or immoral things, not some outside force tempting you to do bad or wrong things. If you want to live a life of harm none, then become a Buddhist or Jainist. I have met plenty of Wiccan's that say they follow the Wiccan Rede and harm none with magic, but they have no problem harming someone with mental or physical harm.
All religions at their core have the most basic and simple concept reward and punishment, play the game obey the rules and earn the cookie, go against the teachings the program and you are smacked down and you are responsible why because you knew this would happen if you rocked the boat but you choose to do this, and you will earn your reward or punishment one day just maybe not today. this is a universal, in families, relationships, jobs, you name it. As per karma, the victims of the school shooters had incurred their deaths as this was their karma to die in this place in this way, this is essentially the teaching of the Bahgavad Gita. they were fulfilling what was expected, in this case life becomes a constant series of causalities, I kill you today you kill me tomorrow, it was in effect a way to circumvent the issue of morality, why did some good people experience bad things and why did some bad people experience unexplained blessings, reason, they must have done something to receive the outcome, so were the thirteen million who died in the Holocaust, the Jews, homosexuals, dissenters, and other undesirables essentially earnedtheir fate. It was Hitler's karma to become the leader of Germany lead it into war and destruction, they commit suicide rather then be captured and put to death by his enemies. Where then thge 5,00,000 who were put to death between the Fifteenth and early Eighteenth century actually the souls of Romans who persecuted the Christians centuries earlier? We reject Christian Dogmas but do we really replace them with anything better?
Morality does not have to be connected to religion. When asking why you shouldn't do something, the answer "because God says so" is not always a good enough answer.(Actually, I can't really think of any time that it's a good enough answer.

I took a college class a couple years ago about "Contemporary Moral Issues". It was a philosophy class, and a lot of fun...even though I shocked most of the class because I'd argue whichever side of the debate was currently losing, just because I could. It took a while before they realized that what I argued wasn't necessarily what I believed.

Anyway...the teacher pointed out to me at one point (after an out-of-class discussion, where I was debating my actual beliefs) that my moral compass seemed very "harm based". Basically, when faced with a choice, whatever caused the most good and the least harm was usually the choice I'd make. While I'm definitely not wiccan, the idea of "As it harm none, do what you will" does seem to be what I generally follow.

I think you have to look at the intent behind an action, too. Sometimes an action may cause harm, but was actually meant to help. Yes, there will likely be some negative consequences...but I don't think they tend to be as bad.

As far as the idea that “If the person does not know what they did was wrong, karma couldn’t come to them”, I have to disagree. There are consequences for every action. Even if it was accidental...there are still consequences.
I am a witch, but not wiccan. I do believe in karma, ( not 3 fold, etc.), but in the law of attraction. My father is a great example. All of his life he treated people as servants, as if he couldn't do things for himself, that is was beneath him. IE: having his mother cut his nails, bring him food and drink, etc. throughout his adulthood... He always put his passions before his family. He mentally, verbally and physically abused me for my entire childhood. Now, he cannot even use a remote. Someone has to feed him, bathe him, dress him, change the tv channels, he cannot drive, (used to race cars, cars are his passion), draw or paint, he was an artisit.
I used to feel guilty, that he was being punished for the things he did to me, I don't anymore. He's getting exactly what the universe says he deserves...


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