Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 17,166,696


September 14th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)


September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All


August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

Faith

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)


August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness


August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon


August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...


July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys


July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting


July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...


July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love


June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene

Results Magic and the Moral Compass


June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?

Norse Mythology


June 15th. 2014 ...

Becoming Your Own Wise One

Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha


June 8th. 2014 ...

Moral Relativism and Wicca

Paganism in Cebu, Philippines

Color Infusion

Soul Strings


June 1st. 2014 ...

Rediscovering My Pagan Faith

13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah


May 25th. 2014 ...

Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials

Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)

How to Work With Your Muse

10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch


May 18th. 2014 ...

Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)

The Medea Within Us All

Visits from the Departed


May 11th. 2014 ...

Breaking the Law of Return

Karma and Sin

Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!

The Sin Concept


May 4th. 2014 ...

When to Let Go...When to Hold On

Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty

Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance


April 27th. 2014 ...

Mental Illness in the Pagan Community

World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action

Being Pagan, Being Bipolar

"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!


April 20th. 2014 ...

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 3747

VoxAcct: 172225

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,669

Times Read: 4,237

The Rede

Author: Ginger Strivelli
Posted: December 8th. 2001
Times Viewed: 4,237

The "Rede" is a fine document, a good starting point for a 'code' of conduct, a great and rare uniting part of Paganism, as it is being followed, taught, learned and believed in by Pagans from various traditions all over the Planet... when so many of the practices, believes, Gods, and such parts of Pagan Religion vary too widely from group to group. Alas, what the "Rede" is not is "the Pagan Ten Commandments." It is often view as, held up as, and thought of, as such a 'carved-in-stone' ancient holy text... it just isn't.

It is not even an ancient text, but a very modern one... often credited to Doreen Valiente or more likely to Lady Gwen Thompson, or Lady Gwen's Grandmother, Adriana Porter, but in any case it is certainly less than 100 years or so old. Yet it is given the reference and 'weight' of an ancient document that was unearthed from under the Sphinx, or Stonehenge... .or copied down from a cave wall written in some dead language of our ancestors. It is in fact, like so much of 'modern Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism', modern, and based on teachings and believes of certain individuals, not on the religious principles of say, the Ancient Egyptians, Hindus, Cherokee, Aztecs, Hawaiians, or Celts, or any of the original Pagans. They would not recognize it, nor certainly understand their modern peers adhering to it as if it was the dictate of one of the Gods' Themselves.

In this it has no more 'power' than any lovely poem by any of a dozen or more popular Pagan authors of the last century, or any of the (hopefully) countless ones that will come this century. It is simply a poem, and a 'code' written by some modern Witches for their particular covens use... somehow it morphed into "the Laws" of ALL Witches. I still meet people who think it is taken from some ancient monument, or sacred text. It amazes me how the poem seems to have taken on a mythic life of its own in its very few years.

Now, That bit of history being said, I think the Rede itself is a nice sentiment... Not my personal code of ethics, I prefer the older, truly ancient, and truly magical code of "karma." But The Rede is not a bad code, better than no code, for sure. But it does have a couple of flaws. Firstly, most people can only recall the 'short version, ' the "and ye harm none do as ye will" part. Alas, this is pretty vague, and pretty permissive for a 'code of conduct'... I as a mother, can't imagine telling my kids... Hey, y'all go do whatever you want to, as long as you don't actually hurt anyone." It totally overlooks right and wrong, morals, discipline, and manners. A lot of bad behaviors that really don't hurt anyone are in fact unlawful, immoral or both. One can't in good conscience go about doing whatever they personally wish, just as long as they spill no blood. It is irresponsible, shortsighted, and reckless, not to mention rather selfish. One's personal code of conduct, whatever it is for each person, should go a bit further, I think.

Even the long version (which varies somewhat depending on where you get it, whom you ask, and such, ) is less than complete in its rules, it still leaves basically all behavior up to each individual with only their own beliefs of what is best for the world, as their guide. Sad to say, but the truth is, few people can see past their own nose when it comes to right and wrong. A lot of people would think it was 'right' to shoot someone they disliked, or fire someone for being a certain religion, or race, or harass someone if 'they deserved it.' Many people often think they know what's best for others... saying they would make someone leave their husband, or quit their job, or seek treatment for an illness, all because 'it is what they really need.' The truth is, we as humans have great shortcomings when it comes to telling what is best for ourselves, much less best for others, or the world as a whole. Yet to a great degree the 'Rede' that so many Witches, Wiccans, and other Pagan traditions follow, gives us little guidance in the area of judging right from wrong, it tells us precious little in the way of how to behave, and centers mostly on 'free-will.' Free will, is of course a good thing... we are not Christian sheep to be herded about by thousands of 'thou shall not's" but we are not all-powerful, all-knowing Gods, to be given free reign, over the universe, either.

In some versions of the Rede, a lot of religious dogma, is at least included, in the absence of a true 'code of conduct.' It tells us things to do and when, magically. It tells of circles, moon sign, and what trees to use for what sorts of magic workings, and mentions the eight holidays.... all useful information, and a good place to put it, as so many study little of "Paganism" but that one document before declaring themselves, to be "Pagan/Witch/Wiccan/Druid/Shaman/etc." But alas, there are often differing opinions, on which trees to use for fertility... the Apple tree may indeed be used often, but the Hawaiians, used others, obviously. A tree used for healing in ancient Asia might have been used for other causes in ancient Africa. There is no hard and fast 'right' way to work magic, from which direction to start casting one's circle, from which direction to spin, when the moon is waning... no certain tree that is ALWAYS used for one certain potion. Magical practice varies greatly. So even the useful magical information in some of the Rede's longer versions can be rather confusing, if one happens to be of a different tradition, than the writers of the Rede were. There are in fact several "Rede's", some more useful in both information, and behavior management, than the others. But in all cases they lack the ancient and divine power that the mythical "Rede" is often wrongly assumed to carry.

The Rede is a piece of poetry written by modern Pagans, for their personal use, not a carved in stone, edict from the GODS, to be followed by ALL Pagans, ALL the time, and certainly not the ONLY rules one should follow in their personal behavior, unless they want to be very willful, selfish, and self-centered people. It is a sad truth that this document has been held up as 'our official code' of conduct. It reflects badly on us, within our own communities of traditions, and certainly without, in the greater community, when others look upon this document and think we are so willful and unrestrained in our selfishness. Nonetheless, it is a good thing that so many Pagans turn to this one document as a source as it at least gives our varied masses some sort of uniting point.

Alas, the Rede is a small step towards a real 'code of conduct.' It is more like a lovely poem, with a theme of behaving appropriately, it certainly does not go far enough to tell us how to do that, it only suggests we should try, and then gives us such a inflammatory... do as ye will, permission slip. We should all try to follow our own code of conduct. If some want to base theirs on the Rede, I hope at least they try expand on the Rede's simplex prescription for moral behavior and do more than just 'not harm, ' but instead go forth and do good, temper free-will with some morals and avoid all evil.

For further reading;

Various Versions of the "Rede." http://pagan.drak.net/sheathomas/alternate.html

Some interesting articles on the Rede and war, and other Pagan codes; the 9 noble virtues of the Norse, Karma, and such more ancient 'laws.' http://paganwiccan.about.com/library/weekly/aa091801a.htm

Another interesting take on the Rede http://www.starkindler.org/dianis/realrede.html

Ginger Strivelli




ABOUT...

Ginger Strivelli


Location: Weaverville, North Carolina

Author's Profile: To learn more about Ginger Strivelli - Click HERE

Bio: Ginger is the Leading Priestess of The Appalachian Pagan Alliance (APA) and National President of Pagan Unity Campaign-Political Action Committee (PUC-PAC).




Other Articles: Ginger Strivelli has posted 6 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Ginger Strivelli... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Ginger Strivelli ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).