The Wiccan Rede refers to the moral code to be practiced and maintained by the followers of the neo-pagan religion of Wicca. The word ‘rede’ has been derived from Middle age English which means ‘advice’ or, ‘counsel’. Therefore, it is a kind of advice to the followers to conduct their methods of practice in a righteous way.
Eight words the Wiccan rede fulfill,
An it harm none, do what ye will
This is the ‘Rede’ in its most popular form and was first recorded in public in a speech made by Doreen Valiente. In very simple words, the rede means ‘do what you will as long as it does not harm any others’. This clears the intentions of the followers of this tradition as they are meant to harm none with any power whatsoever they may possess.
Mind the threefold law you should,
Three times bad and three times good’.
The Wiccan Rede and The Law of Three
The rede of the Wicca is greatly dependent upon the ‘Law of the Three’. According to this law what ever you give out to the world comes back to you three fold. If one has troubled another or, done him harm, he will have to face the same three times more. The same goes for the good deeds as well.
The Wiccan rede directs the conduct of the followers of the Wicca. It also mentions that those who follow the rede will be rewarded and the ones who do not will be punished. It not only mentions severe consequences for the delinquent, it also warns those who do not stop a fellow Wiccan from treading the wrong path.
It is a common belief among the general people that the Wiccans are into unimaginably evil activities like laying curses, worshipping the devil, controlling the mind and body of people against their will and so on. The fact is, for those who believe in the ‘law of three’ will never attempt anything as such.
The Wiccan Rede as the Key Moral System for Wiccans
In all religions over the world, there are guidelines compiled in the form of books, like for the Hindus there is the Bhagwad Gita, the Muslims have the Quran, the Christians follow the Holy Bible and so on. The golden guidelines for Wicca, which has established itself as a religion, are compiled as the Wiccan rede. The rede respects the ethics of reciprocity, which forms a part of all major religions in the world.
Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give’.
Gospel (Luke 6:31, King James version)
‘And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise’.
Mentioned above are the first two lines of the rede and a same principle of reciprocity mentioned in the Gospel. Both reflect the same values. Therefore, the religion that reflects so much peace, harmony and appreciation of nature should not be branded merely as Satanism.
The Long Wiccan Rede
Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.
For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.
Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
let love and light be our guides again.
Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.
When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart’s desire seek.
Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God’s
insight. Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady’s tree burn it not or cursed you’ll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.
As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it’s now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.
When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.
Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.
In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it’s height time for Oak and Holly to fight.
Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you’ll be.
Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you’ll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.
With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.
Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill:
“An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”