Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 18,732,348

January 22nd. 2016 ...

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Energy and Karma

Community and Perception

December 20th. 2015 ...

Introduction to Tarot For the Novice

Magia y Wicca

October 24th. 2015 ...

Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self

Native American Spirituality Myopia

The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans

A Dream Message

Feeling the Pulse of Autumn

October 16th. 2015 ...

Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts

September 30th. 2015 ...

Into the Dark

The Other-Side

September 16th. 2015 ...

Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents

Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate

Weeds and Seeds

August 6th. 2015 ...

Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale

July 9th. 2015 ...

Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Magic of Weather

June 7th. 2015 ...

A Pagan Altar

A Minority of a Minority of a Minority

The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?

Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism

May 6th. 2015 ...

Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists

Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism

I Claim Cronehood

13 Keys: The Crown of Kether

March 29th. 2015 ...

A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft

March 28th. 2015 ...

On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations

March 1st. 2015 ...

Choosing to Write a Shadow Book

Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story

My Concept Of Grey

February 1st. 2015 ...

Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader

The Three Centers of Paganism

Magick is No Illusion

The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames

The Gods of My Heart

January 1st. 2015 ...

The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch

Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft

Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs

Pagans All Around Us

Broomstick to the Emerald City

October 20th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits

A Microcosmic View of Ma'at

October 5th. 2014 ...

The History of the Sacred Circle

Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots

September 28th. 2014 ...

Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials

Creating a Healing Temple

September 20th. 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

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

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

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?

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

Article Specs

Article ID: 14557

VoxAcct: 403194

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 1,657

Times Read: 3,244

RSS Views: 17,658
Harm None and the Rede?

Author: Phoenix Sol
Posted: July 31st. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,244

The rede is a very important thing to me and most other Wiccans I know, and some other branches of Paganism. However I feel that this important piece is highly misunderstood by a lot of the community. I have seen it again and again so I thought that I would maybe try to clear up a few important points that I have found.

Please read the whole thing before you judge my above statement, I understand that some of you might disagree with the points I am about to make and I respect your different views and opinions even if I do not personally agree. You can feel free to think what you think but I have not heard my view put out there in the past so I feel that I must do it now.

‘Harm none.’ What do these two words imply? To harm nothing would be to not exist. To live is to cause harm and death so that the cycle of life can go around. There are microorganisms in the air that when you breathe you kill them. Every time you eat you are causing harm, if you eat meat then someone had to end the life of your meal and even if you don’t eat meat then you are still causing harm to the plant you are eating, for it too was a living organism.

Anything you say can harm another human, even if you tell your religion to a loved one who is against it then you are harming them in some way. If someone attacks you then you would you use what you could to survive or let him or her do what they will because you refuse to cause harm on them? The latter option is impractical, unsafe, and if you chose it you probably would not be mentally all right even if you did live through it.

I do not know why people can think that they truly follow this code in life when it is clearly out of the questions in some situations. However is it even a code?

People who claim to ‘harm none’ do so usually by following the rede thinking that this is what the rede says. However the rede I have found and follow says, ‘An ye harm none, do what ye will.’ The two words mentioned earlier are by no means the only part of the rede as it consists of all eight words. If the eight words were there then it would stand to reason that all of them would share an equal importance.

As mentioned above, I have a very hard time excepting that the only two words in the rede that are important is ‘harm none’ because then the rest of the rede would not be there at all. This is not a short story either where words just get thrown in even if they have little to no meaning within the context of the larger story. This is one sentence that every word has to be perfectly chosen and placed in order to make the meaning get across in such a short amount of space.
In modern language this translates into, ‘if you harm none then you may do as you will.’

Note again it does not say only ‘harm none.’ The ‘if you, ’ or ‘an ye, ’ implies the choice. Such as if a mother said to their child, ‘if you eat your dinner then you may have your chocolate cake.’ If you do something then you will get a sort of reward in return. I know that this is not the basis of Wicca, or Paganism in general, but it is the best example I can come up with for trying to get across my point. So now that we have established what the first four words mean lets move on to the next four.

‘Do what ye will.’ Now this part I feel is much more straightforward than the first four words. It is well known that in Paganism there is no dogma that you MUST follow and there are no rules that direct your behavior. We do not condemn as some monotheistic religions do, threatening with hell fires and the like. However as this alone would make sense, the Pagan paths to not look for this type of behavior as you have to have some structure (what that structure is depends on the particular path that you choose to follow) . But you should also realize that this is also not quite what the rede is telling us. The last part is that we have to take the two parts discussed so far and add them together.

Now there is another common misunderstanding of what it says at this point. I would like you to realize now that if the rede meant to say that you could do whatever you want as long as what you do doesn’t do harm then it would have been worded much differently. It would read, ‘Do what ye will, if ye harm none.’ Think again of the parent and child, this situation would say something along the lines of ‘you can only play in the park if you don’t use the sandbox.’ And yet again this is not how the rede is read.

What it is saying, however, is that if what you are doing causes no harm then you can do it freely. It is not commending the action of causing harm but implying that you may not do harm lightly, with no purpose. Harm is inevitable and the rede I lives by tells me that a logical reason, such as surviving or happiness or well being, is necessary if one decides that they need to cause harm. Harm should not be done without reason however it is inevitable.

This is the rede I live by, ‘An ye harm none, do what ye will.’

Now again this is just how I view the rede and it may be interpreted differently. I will respect other views on it but I would like to say that some things are plain impossible for humans to accomplish.


Phoenix Sol

Location: copalis beach, Washington

Author's Profile: To learn more about Phoenix Sol - Click HERE

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

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

To send a private message to Phoenix Sol ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

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 1997-2016 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

 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).