Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Beautiful Balanced Wiccan Rede
Article ID: 14993
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 644
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Author: Naya Aerodiode
Posted: June 3rd. 2012
Times Viewed: 3,573
Lately, I've seen "harm none" become the new short form of the Wiccan Rede among the Pagan populace. The whole of the Wiccan Rede reads, "An it harm none, do what thou Wilt." There are two parts to this, and both are very important. To drop one side of it is to cut the one of the wings off of a bird. The integration of both halves of the Rede creates a perfectly balanced moral guide, which has many meaningful implications.
An it harm none,
The first part, "An it harm none, " (the archaic "An" meaning "If") is a condition - is this action going to bring harm to someone? If so, choose another pathway. It's simple enough, right?
"Harm" is a multifaceted concept that needs to be more carefully considered. We might be Mister Rogers himself in our dealings with others, but it's difficult to live one's life without causing some degree of strife to someone, somewhere. That fancy new iPhone, the gas in the car, the clothes on my back, the computer I'm working on, and so many other things that we take for granted are all brought to you by the suffering of others. If everyone were to take stock of the degree of hurt that our purchases inflict upon others and do something about it, the global economy might grind to a halt. People are working in slave-like conditions in companies like FoxConn in China, and people are dying in toxic villages in China for these technologies. All of this brings great harm to the world, yet it's so pervasive that it's hard to demand the right thing be done. By typing on this computer, I'm bringing harm to people and the environment. Can we go so very long in our interconnected world without causing harm to one another? Everyone's got responsibility for everyone else, because we're all in this together.
Acknowledging that feeling of guilt is the first step toward healing it. We do indirect harm all of the time and in many ways. For many of us, it's necessary for our survival in this world. Without oil devastating coastlines and fueling brutal wars, I can't make it to work to earn the money I need to feed myself. By being aware of the harm that I cause, it leads me to work in my own personal way to healing and minimizing that harm.
We can heal what's in your own backyard first. In our interactions, are we wishing the best for the person we're talking to, even if they may be giving us a difficult time? Are we wishing them destruction and suffering for their trespasses against us? Are we giving fairly and taking fairly? Are we speaking fairly? Are we hoping that those people we come across all find their life's dreams and fulfill them, or are we wishing them as much misery as we must be currently experiencing?
To further complicate things, there's this idea of tough love. To hurt is to heal. Hurt and harm is not necessarily the same thing, and hurt is required for us to evolve. Without pain, there can be no growth. The gods certainly don't go easy on us at times, and if we're not willing to suffer, we're not ready to learn. A child might feel hurt when a parent punishes him, but the child will grow up wiser and stronger for being corrected. It might hurt to study for my finals when I'd rather be partying with friends, but to fail my exams would do real harm to my life.
While realizing all of these many aspects on the nature of harm, I agree, it's a very good idea to live in such a manner that infringes on others as little as possible. There is no need to be nasty to others while achieving your goals. There are enough dreams out there that we may all be fulfilled.
In fact, in resolving to do no harm to others, one can learn a lot about him or her self. If someone or something irritates me, I gripe a lot and in doing so, I process exactly what it is that irritates me. Why did this elicit such a strong emotional reaction in me? What is the root of that reaction? What new information does this tell me about myself and the shape of my soul? Those people who irritate me have also initiated leaps and bounds worth of changes in my life's evolution. After I process the information, I put it aside, keep calm, and carry on. Rush Limbaugh has really been putting this exercise to the test lately.
Keeping calm and carrying on is the key to the door of success carried by the second, equally important half of the Rede:
Do what thou Wilt.
The Rede half-quoted is a bird with just one wing. Harming none is half of the equation - doing your Will is the second vital half. After all, stones in the grass harm none, but they also just sit there, providing a home for moss and not much more. We, as human beings, must do more. Our consciousness demands it.
The Charge of the Goddess says, "Keep pure your highest ideal, strive ever toward it." In this case, the word, "Charge, " means, "To impose a duty, responsibility, or obligation on." This is not a request on Her part. This is a charge. Your life's quest. Your soul's job as it inhabits this flesh.
I've often said that the key to happiness is to figure out what you're supposed to be doing, and do it. Listening to and understanding the goals of your soul is so important to my magical path. Without that, I am a ship in the sea without a compass.
"Do what thou Wilt, " reaches much farther than "do whatever you want." As anyone with any life experience knows, doing whatever you want can be very detrimental to your relationships, career, education, and financial situation. What we want at any given time is strongly determined by ego, and ego can be easily manipulated and led astray if not held to the guidance of one's Will. Doing one's Will must not violate the first half of the Rede by doing harm to yourself.
We are constantly inundated with advertising that seeks to define and profit from what we want to do. Those in our social circles also would love to tell us what we want to do. My parents want me to move somewhere closer to them and raise children, my friends want me to take sides with them in their quarrels, and my enemies would love it if I sat down and shut up. Clergy and politicians want me to support their wars and not question their authority. Pop culture wants me to develop anorexia, indulge in a string of bad relationships and spend too much on purses. Advertisers want me to buy their latest product so that I may be truly happy and fulfilled in life.
None of these things are my Will, and all of these things are traps that without the guidance of one's will can cause one's life to stagnate so that whatever your Will is, it's buried under a mountain of irrelevance. There are many in this world who would be happy to sap my energy for themselves and their own purposes. The guidance of my Will protects me from and alerts me to these traps.
I cannot value enough the power I have found in learning my soul's path. I am constantly discerning and clarifying those things that fulfills my heart, mind and spirit in such a way that I do them with a power that I afford to few other things. Aleister Crowley once said, "A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the universe to assist him." This is what, you, human seeker, are charged to do - find your Will and do it.
Just don’t be a jerk about it.
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