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Spiritual Connection => Wicca Q and A => Topic started by: Ashe Isadora on April 20, 2014, 06:37:29 AM

Title: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on April 20, 2014, 06:37:29 AM
Many folks have a duotheistic view of divinity and see the deities simply as the Lord and the Lady. rather than worshiping specific aspects such as Cerridwen or Herne.  They often define the Lord and Lady by cataloging feminine and masculine attributes such as the hunting instinct or the ability to nurture and attribute them accordingly.

But this raises a question.  Isn't this a slippery slope? How can we do this without stereotyping and making sexist assumptions? I'm not devaluing anyone's perception of the divine here or their liturgy, but I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Arnemetia on April 20, 2014, 08:16:44 AM
Even though I refer to them as Mother and Father or Lord and Lady, I think of them as two different energies.  I don't believe it to be sexist or stereotyping, just my way of understanding.
In nature, two energies are needed to propagate the species.  I believe in the spiritual (for lack of a better word) world, dual energies are also needed.  Whether we think of them as male and female or positive and negative, one alone cannot do the job. 
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on April 20, 2014, 01:17:49 PM
Even though I refer to them as Mother and Father or Lord and Lady, I think of them as two different energies.  I don't believe it to be sexist or stereotyping, just my way of understanding.
In nature, two energies are needed to propagate the species.  I believe in the spiritual (for lack of a better word) world, dual energies are also needed.  Whether we think of them as male and female or positive and negative, one alone cannot do the jo
Do you think of them as archetypes?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Draconis Rex on April 20, 2014, 02:47:55 PM
I am an agnostic, however I am familiar with the male and female aspects, my own opinion says that the male and female is in everything, positive/negative, good/bad, dark/light, yin/yang. They are two halves of the whole, as we are. We are individuals, each of us, but we are only one half of a whole and this is how I would see the God and Goddess. Furthermore they are equal, male and female/ masculine and feminine.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: marisol on April 21, 2014, 05:16:28 AM
I most often refer to the god and goddess as simply equal yet opposite. Feminine and
masculine, each one half of the whole. One cannot work without the other. Yet....
I do call upon a certain aspect of one or both by calling upon a certain god or goddess,
for example Selena. Depending upon what I am doing.

Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on April 22, 2014, 04:28:18 AM
But how do you decide what's feminine and what's masculine?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Draconis Rex on April 22, 2014, 05:22:13 AM
That's a fair question, but is not a lot already predetermined? And we have accepted as such? Who decided the Moon should be the feminine aspect for instance? I think other than the sexism side of things, that we humans are predisposed to, the question becomes an exercise in philosophy.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Canis on April 22, 2014, 01:39:51 PM
It seems to me that earliest humans based feminine and masculine aspects in large on what they observed.

It's the female of each species that gives birth to offspring, and in many species it's the female that's primarily, if not solely, responsible for nurturing and rearing the young. I their blossoming religious beliefs, the feminine aspect came to be associated with birth and nurturing.

In many species, though by no means all, the male is slightly larger in size. The larger size was equated with strength, and these aspects came to be associated with the masculine. Even as religions and knowledge changed throughout the ages, these aspects remained. Even though the feminine and masculine each represent different aspects and roles, it's only when the two come together that the greatest magic, the creation of life, could be preformed. And only with balance of these two aspects can there be true harmony.

Those are just two examples, but brief research or even observing the natural world through the eyes of our ancient ancestors will reveal more examples.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on April 22, 2014, 06:49:30 PM
So where do you draw the line between "observed characteristics" and "gender stereotypes"?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Arnemetia on April 23, 2014, 09:38:20 AM
Even though I refer to them as Mother and Father or Lord and Lady, I think of them as two different energies.  I don't believe it to be sexist or stereotyping, just my way of understanding.
In nature, two energies are needed to propagate the species.  I believe in the spiritual (for lack of a better word) world, dual energies are also needed.  Whether we think of them as male and female or positive and negative, one alone cannot do the jo
Do you think of them as archetypes?

A hard question to answer.  I suppose I would.  As a human, my vision of divinity is in my own form, that of male and female.  The attributes of each though I tend to go with observed characteristics.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: marisol on April 23, 2014, 01:18:10 PM
So where do you draw the line between "observed characteristics" and "gender stereotypes"?

Stereotypes rarely communicate accurate information these days as far as I'm concerned.
I feel depending upon gender stereotyping hinders personal growth. So, for me observed
characteristics is the way I identify male and female or positive and negative. I do not
always identify divinity in human form, but more as simply energy without form. But still
as feminine and masculine. I don't know maybe I sound seriously confused, but I don't
feel as tho I am.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: TheGreenWizard on April 29, 2014, 08:12:21 PM
Not to derail your topic Ashe, however, I have a question in a similar vein.


In the Wiccan tradition, the tenet of "You shall harm none" - and its various versions - is an absolute, for it goes against the Divine energy of the Lord and Lady (as I have gathered from Cunningham's Solitary Practitioner book). However, if the Lady and Lord are similar, if not exactly the same as, the concepts of Ying and Yang - where the two are opposites, yet have a little bit of each other within the other, and thus are linked - then, could one also state that this flux of energies is inherently imbalanced, in the sense that if there is creative magic, shouldn't there also be destructive magic? Likewise, if there is "good" magic, shouldn't there also be "bad" or "evil" magic?


Maybe I'm conflating a few ideas here, but can someone make sense of that? (if not, let me know, and I'll try to elucidate it in the AM).
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on April 29, 2014, 08:23:25 PM
Not a derailment, just a minor excursion and the issue is tangentially relevant.  When my head cold and medicine clear my system I'll take a crack at an answer.  Anyone else feel free to get a jump start on this. Though Wicca is not based on a good vs evil paradigm, it is a religion of balance and free will. So good question.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 03, 2014, 07:56:44 AM


Most Wiccans believe that evil exists as an exercise of free will but it's not in battle with good in the way that, for example, a Christian might see the universe as being in a constant good vs evil struggle.  Evil and good simply ARE.  Added to this this gods are not all good or all perfect as humans would see it.  They have their faults and foibles. Exactly what Scott meant when he referred to the divine I'm not sure.  I love Scott, but he took his excursions now and then and his opinions often speak to his path of Wicca influenced paganism and do not reflect common Wiccan thought.
 
I'd add that there is no law that Wiccans can harm none. That's a common misconception.  'Do as ye will an' you harm none" just means don't sweat it about doing things that don't hurt anyone.  That's not the same as saying you must never harm.  Sometimes destructive magic or a destructive by product of our actions, including magic, serve a greater purpose and Wiccans take personal responsibility for this.  Same with our Rede.  It advises us to stay away from harm but it is not an edict.  The Rede is good advice, not a commandment.  Don't get me started.....
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Nieske on May 05, 2014, 01:47:43 AM
Sometimes destructive magic or a destructive by product of our actions, including magic, serve a greater purpose and Wiccans take personal responsibility for this.

My thoughts exactly.
Destructive energy is also not necessarily a bad thing. Dead leaves on the ground create nutrients for the seeds that lie dormant, the lioness kills the gazelle to feed her cubs. Harm can be needed for growth.
This is for me also how the Lord and Lady work, I see them as the Life-Taker and the Life-Giver. Always in harmony with each other, but at opposite ends of the scale.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: MoonlitWings on May 05, 2014, 01:17:58 PM
Sometimes destructive magic or a destructive by product of our actions, including magic, serve a greater purpose and Wiccans take personal responsibility for this.

My thoughts exactly.
Destructive energy is also not necessarily a bad thing. Dead leaves on the ground create nutrients for the seeds that lie dormant, the lioness kills the gazelle to feed her cubs. Harm can be needed for growth.
This is for me also how the Lord and Lady work, I see them as the Life-Taker and the Life-Giver. Always in harmony with each other, but at opposite ends of the scale.

This! Definitely agree with your views on destructive energy and also how the Lord and Lady work.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: alyceavary on May 05, 2014, 05:57:24 PM

I'd add that there is no law that Wiccans can harm none. That's a common misconception.  'Do as ye will an' you harm none" just means don't sweat it about doing things that don't hurt anyone.  That's not the same as saying you must never harm.  Sometimes destructive magic or a destructive by product of our actions, including magic, serve a greater purpose and Wiccans take personal responsibility for this.  Same with our Rede.  It advises us to stay away from harm but it is not an edict.  The Rede is good advice, not a commandment.  Don't get me started.....

WHAT Wiccan books have you been reading? What Wiccan path have you been following? How DARE you suggest that those 8 words are nothing major. For the past 10+ years, EVERYTHING I have read and learned about Wicca state the EXACT same thing: "And if it harms none, do what ye will." Those are the foundation for the Wiccan religion. I have ALWAYS been told that it means this: you can do whatever you want, so long as you don't harm yourself or anyone else. Yes, the Rede is a set of guidelines and not hard set rules, as the Bible is. But to say there is "no law" against causing harm is dangerous and completely laughable. I think it is destructive to suggest that the basic law, in fact the ONLY "law" in the Wiccan religion is simply a misconception is ignorant to say the least. And it makes me SERIOUSLY question the integrity of this board.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 05, 2014, 08:54:30 PM
Aly, I too have been reading books on Wicca for a long time.  Actually about 25+ years.  Some I treasure and many I discard.  I'm also an initiate of a British Traditional Wicca Trad.  The Rede is a beloved part of Wicca but it is not integral to the religion.  The religion is based on orthopraxy, though we have many shared beliefs that are not part of the religion.  The Rede  is one of those things.
"Rede" means advice, and it's not a law or even a tenet of Wicca.  As you yourself said it means we can do things that don't harm others but that isn't the same as saying we must never harm.  Under some conditions Wiccans may sometimes harm if it yields a greater good or under extenuating circumstances, though that is done with great restraint.

I'll say it again.  The Wiccan Rede is important but it is not a law.  I know that misconception is out there, mostly due to a particular publisher, a few authors, and the general well of public information about the Craft that's public.  That well of information has been poisoned by a few new age folks.

Aly, I don't doubt your sincerity or your integrity but you happen to be mistaken,  As for the integrity of the board, others may give their own response.  I do not speak for the board on this issue, only for myself.  How you could construe my post to be a reflection on the whole board I have no idea.
If you want to continue this exchange I'd be happy to.  Please quote your sources, share your reasoning for your interpretation of the Rede and it could be a good discussion.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Draconis Rex on May 06, 2014, 03:20:41 AM
Aly, I don't doubt your sincerity or your integrity but you happen to be mistaken,  As for the integrity of the board, others may give their own response.  I do not speak for the board on this issue, only for myself.  How you could construe my post to be a reflection on the whole board I have no idea.
If you want to continue this exchange I'd be happy to.  Please quote your sources, share your reasoning for your interpretation of the Rede and it could be a good discussion.

I find it very strange that you would get so hot under the collar so easily Aly, you of all people should know that if there is something you don't agree with, then by all means discuss it, no need to filibuster.
 
I also agree with Ashe re the highlighted line; why would this bring the whole board into question? it is one persons opinion.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Micheál on May 06, 2014, 02:51:34 PM
I'll agree that the Rede is one of the many misconceptions that's difficult to clear up due to the spread of misinformation by DYI books making Wicca out to be an orthodoxic personal spirituality.  Believe it or not there are initiates that don't even conider the Rede or Threefold 'Law' Wiccan at all.

More on the topic, I consider acknowledging duality of deity, which we do by serving our Gods, as part of Wiccan praxis. Although polarity is important, I don't believe that it's the Gods that have to encompass "this" or "that." Although sometines classifications are clear,  some things need anotger influence to weigh in and, or....like language for instance, in Irish every noun is either masculine or feminine,  yet you have words like the term for girl, 'cailín,' which is masculine.  Some even go as far to say that the sun must be associated with a goddess because 'grian' is feminine like the Norse or Mesopatamian cultures, but it's just merely a word classification.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 06, 2014, 05:02:26 PM
Michael, I never thought of serving our gods outside of ritual as part of our praxis but that's great food for thought.

I'm not surprised that some don't consider the Rede a part of Wicca since it seems to have been written well after the religion was founded.  It is lovely though, and I'm glad Doreen Valiente or Lady Gwen Thompson ( or her mom) wrote it.  The context of the words is critical though, and that often gets lost.  But like I said, it's good advice for all and the poem in it's entirety is certainly a classic. 
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: alyceavary on May 06, 2014, 07:02:19 PM
I have spent all day trying to figure out how to properly respond to this. You wanted me to cite sources, so I have gathered 3.

From: The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism by Raymond Buckland Pages 511-512:
There is only one law, which is known as the Wiccan Rede: "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt." The word 'An' means 'If', so it is saying that you may do whatever you like just so long as what you do harms no one. That "no one" includes yourself.

From: A Witch's 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life by Marian Singer Page 123:
It is truly sacred ground upon which we walk every day. Respect for nature and every inhabitant of this planet is part of living our path. With that in mind, the prudent witch not only "does unto others".........but also does unto the earth as he or she would wish to be treated.

From: Solitary Wicca for Life by Arin Murphy-Hiscock Page 9:
Quoting John Coughlin who was referring to Gardner himself: "Do what you like so long as you harm no one." But they believe a certain law to be important, "You must not use magic for anything which will cause harm to anyone, and if, to prevent a greater wrong being done, you must discommode someone, you must do it only in a way which will abate the harm." This involves every magical action being discussed first, to see that it can do no damage, and this induces a habit of mind to consider well the results of one's actions, especially upon others. (Gardner pg 127)
Page 10: Taken literally, the code dictates that you may not take any action if it causes harm.
Also key to this law is respect for the self, a belief inherent in the practice of Wicca. Undertaking action that harms the self is as wrong as undertaking action that harms another. The moral and ethical guidelines set out in the Rede are further developed by the second most often quoted couplet: "Ever mind the rule of three: what you send out comes back to you times three."


Again, I KNOW that the Rede is a set of guidelines to be interpreted individually, much like the Pirate Code. However, it is wrong to say that the one edict that EVERY major player in the Wiccan religion has set down is "nothing major" is egotistical.

As far as integrity, you ASHE, are a moderator of this board, regardless of how anyone may feel about how that happened, you are held to a higher standard than any other member of this board. All Mods and Elders are, that is the nature of the beast. (With great power comes great responsibility) IF this board is to TRULY hold to the notion that was originally set forth to EDUCATE on the Craft, then you MUST hold dear to what has been handed down through tradition as truth. Harm None has been steadfast throughout the centuries, simply because EVERY religion has their own version of it. If one person of power of this board takes it upon themselves to state something as blatantly hypocritical as you did, then you are causing harm to EVERY person who reads this thread. You can claim that the Harm None rule is a misconception, but I would suggest that when you are making such a personal claim/view, then note that it is YOUR personal opinion. What if a newbie came here, read what you wrote and took it to be COMPLETE truth, without knowing the history or WHY you feel that way, and took it to a coven? Or worse, if said newbie went and killed someone and claimed that nothing wrong was done in the name of Wicca? Clearly someone who has 15 years of more experience than I have should know the basic tenets of the Craft, right?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Sage on May 06, 2014, 11:45:08 PM
Aly, you are flipping the words of the "Rede" around, which I think is where your confusion stems from. "An it harm none, do what ye will" does not mean the same thing as "Do whatever you like just so long as it harms none". The Rede was created to basically to say that all the harmless actions that many mainstream religions condemn, such as having premarital sex, eating pork, etc, is OKAY since it is not harming anyone. The rede does NOT say anything about what you can't do, however. Basically, the Rede leaves the decisions to do right/wrong up to the practitioner. It lets you have a mind of your own rather than listing out rules for you to obey.

Plus, it is literally impossible "to not take any action if it causes harm". You are causing harm in a sense all day long. If you drive a car, eat meat, step on bugs, or take antibiotics, you are harming living things in some way. If the Rede meant that you could do nothing that caused harm, you would literally have to cease existing to obey it.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Micheál on May 07, 2014, 12:20:48 AM
Michael, I never thought of serving our gods outside of ritual as part of our praxis but that's great food for thought.

Apologies, I should have worded it to show I was actually emphasising acknowledging specifically within a ritual context.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 07, 2014, 12:27:50 AM
Well darn Michael, I kind of liked the idea of redefining what praxis means.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Micheál on May 07, 2014, 12:35:51 AM
Again, I KNOW that the Rede is a set of guidelines to be interpreted individually, much like the Pirate Code. However, it is wrong to say that the one edict that EVERY major player in the Wiccan religion has set down is "nothing major" is egotistical.

It is true that the Rede was a later addition to the Craft by Doreen Valiente. Gardner himself only mentioned Witches having a similar moral code to the fictional King Pausole in his "The Meaning of Witchcraft."

[Witches] are inclined to the morality of the legendary Good King Pausol, "Do what you like so long as you harm no one". But they believe a certain law to be important, "You must not use magic for anything which will cause harm to anyone, and if, to prevent a greater wrong being done, you must discommode someone, you must do it only in a way which will abate the harm."

Keep in mind that at the time of writing witchcraft was tainted very negatively and throughout that whole book he was trying to show otherwise. With many authors that have followed, Wicca's material can only be touched on so much in order not to elaborate on oathbound material, and authors tend to insert a lot of their personal interpretations in place. That is if they're actually initiated Wiccans to begin with, as many are not. When it comes to actually learning the tradition, the Rede serves little purpose other than being a line some may copy in their coven's Book of Shadow's. As mentioned, there are initiates that don't believe it to be Wiccan in essence at all. In fairness these DYI books are a bad influence on newbies.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Micheál on May 07, 2014, 12:37:08 AM
Well darn Michael, I kind of liked the idea of redefining what praxis means.
Maybe it's possible lol
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 07, 2014, 04:59:39 AM
To me it's kind of interesting that the Rede, which is actually a statement of empowerment and tells us what we can do, has been reduced to the two words "harm none"  which is usually quoted out of context to the rest of the sentence. I think at some point the Rede was conflated with the oath of Hippocrates.

But many, especially Seekers, need a concrete guideline for personal ethics so it has probably served it's purpose in the community. But what constitutes harm, and that some harm may be inherent in any act of magic, can become a very complex subject.  The Rede serves as a useful touchstone.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Kiara on May 07, 2014, 09:59:42 AM
Perhaps I do not belong in this thread, since I am not Wiccan.  I am, nevertheless, interested in learning about and understanding Wicca – if at all possible.  I find threads such as these quite confusing.

I was under the impression that Raymond Buckland is an expert on Wicca.  It is my understanding that it was he who brought Gardnerian Wicca to the United States and founded the first Wiccan Coven in America.  He has been called THE leading authority on Wicca in the United States.  I hope that I am not misinformed.

The following quotes are from Wicca for One: The Path of Solitary Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland*:

“This idea of the working of retribution contributes to what is the only “law” of Wicca.  That law, known as the Wiccan Rede, is “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”  (The meaning of the old word “an” is “if.”)  It is saying that you can do whatever you like, just so long you do not harm anyone.  That includes yourself, of course….it should be obvious that the only magic that is done in Wicca is positive magic.  No magic is ever done that would harm anyone in any way.  Negative, or black magic, is only done by magicians who do not share the Wiccan beliefs.” – page 37

“Another thing to be considered – in fact the most important thing – is who will be affected by your magic?  We have the one true law of Witchcraft: “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”  To repeat what I’ve said before, so long as you don’t harm anyone, you can do what you like.  That means do whatever magic you want to do.  But there is that precautionary tag:  not to harm anyone….So if your magic in any way affects another, look at the situation from all possible angles to determine whether you are interfering with another’s free will.  If you are, then DON’T DO IT!” – page 126


*Buckland, Raymond.  Wicca for One: The Path of Solitary Witchcraft. Kensington Publishing Corp., New York, 2004.



Personally, I find Aly’s integrity and passion for this topic commendable.  I was recently admonished by a Catholic priest for my interest in Wicca.  Please remember that this thread can be read by anyone on the Internet – guests, seekers, outsiders – anyone at all.  Those in a position of authority are indeed perceived as experts.  What is written here can certainly matter.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Micheál on May 07, 2014, 12:16:37 PM
Perhaps I do not belong in this thread, since I am not Wiccan.  I am, nevertheless, interested in learning about and understanding Wicca – if at all possible.  I find threads such as these quite confusing.

I was under the impression that Raymond Buckland is an expert on Wicca.  It is my understanding that it was he who brought Gardnerian Wicca to the United States and founded the first Wiccan Coven in America.  He has been called THE leading authority on Wicca in the United States.  I hope that I am not misinformed.
You absolutely belong in this thread then! Anytime something is confusing then it's even more reason to have these discussions...

You're not far off at all. Wicca has a hierarchy structure within its individual covens, however I wouldn't say it has "experts." Certainly elders with enough time and experience can speak with a bit of authority,  but it wouldn't overshadow that of someone else equally with the same. It's true that Raymond Buckland brought Gardnerian Wicca to the States, and for a long time his line was very influential to Wicca over there, however in the family tree he is just one of many. In Europe(especially here in the UK where Wicca originated), Gardner worked with many other Priestesses, and there are numerous other lineages that have spread throughout the world. Since Buckland, other lines and trads have hit U.S shores as well.

The example listed names "Solitary Witchcraft," which is a break from what Wicca is traditionally. It would seem natural to include things taken from Wicca that could be adopted for solitary practise in that case. If not focusing on its orthopraxic nature, something like the Rede is something one can adopt individually. The problem is in Traditional Wicca the Rede is not a "Law." Books like Buckland's big blue book are good recomended reads, however Buckland isn't without his flaws. Some of his later work, like his "Scottish Witchcraft" one is completely terrible where it's clear he probably had to crank another book out to pay rent. (I have no intention to discredit him by the way, as his credentials are strong elsewhere,  and he is who he is. I learned a lot from his books myself starting out)

In regards to Buckland, there are initiates  of his own Long Island line that don't even believe the Rede to be Wiccan in essence. I'm across the pond in Ireland where he has no relevance to my trad, and when it comes to authority there are things in my Farrar upline written in books that I wouldn't agree with. Janet herself has said she has written things in the past that she no longer believes. I only speak as one initiate, where I'm sure there are others that wouldn't believe opinions of mine, but regardless in Wicca we all share the same core praxis in which the Rede isn't a "Wiccan" law though it's sometimes named as such and considered a tenent elsewhere.

It's hard to clear up misinformation that has been mass published. For a seeker just learning, they can read numerous sources describing the Rede as a law, and if they want to adopt it as such then fair play, however it's true that if they were to move onto seeking out a traditional Wiccan coven then they'd have a different experience with it......as we all have.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: alyceavary on May 07, 2014, 01:04:49 PM
I had a friend post this on FB, and it opened my eyes a bit. I think it's one of the BEST explanations I've ever seen. Commentary written by Lady Bridget.


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The Wiccan Rede Explained

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The Wiccan Rede
(Also known as the Advice of the Wise)
(Commentary written by Lady Bridget )

Bide the Witches' Law ye must,
In perfect Love and perfect Trust.

Basically, this refers to Perfect Love and Trust in the Lord and Lady, not necessarily in a human person. Remember, all witches are human first, and they will have the same faults and shortcomings as everyone else. Honor them for their knowledge and experience, but don't expect them to be saints!

Live and let all else live, Fairly take and fairly give.

Pretty self-explanatory...

First tread the Circle thrice about
To keep unwelcome spirits out.

This refers to casting the circle first with your athame, sword, staff, or whatever tool you use, then casting again around fully with salt & water, then a third casting is done with the Incense. (Not necessarily in that order - it goes by tradition)

To bind the spell well every time,
Let the spell be spake in rhyme.

This refers to your "younger self" or subconscious mind, which hears and reacts more quickly and more fully to rhymes and chants. It also makes it fun for your inner child, and this will enhance your magickal workings.
Light of eye and soft of touch,
Speak ye little, listen much.

"Light of eye" is an injunction against staring forcefully at another, and comes from the Stregan "evil eye.? And the second line has always been sage advice.

Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
Let love and light be our guides again.

Similar to "Honor thy father and mother,? but this means anyone elder, not just family. Somehow politeness is being lost in today's society.

Deosil go by the waxing moon,
Sing and Dance the joyful rune.

"Deosil" means clock-wise, or sun-wise, and the waxing moon is from New Moon to just before the Full Moon, while the moon is "filling out.? This is the time to ask for what you want to have joyful in your life. "Rune" is another name for spell, but specifically a rhymed, chanted, spell working. This is evolved from the use of a single rune (such as today are used for divination) to represent the person's desire.

Widdershins by the waning moon,
Chanting out the baneful rune.

Now "widdershins" is counter clockwise, and the waning moon is after the full moon, when it is "dwindling." This is the time to get rid of unwanted habits, weight, bad feelings, or anything you wish to be rid of. "Baneful" comes from "banish" and that's what it means.

When the Lady's moon is new,
Kiss the hand to Her times two.

It was the custom in days gone before to send kisses to the New Moon. It must have been a very wide spread custom as I have seen references to the Inquisition warning people that those who did it would be closely watched for signs of heresy and witchcraft!

When the moon rides at Her peak
Then your heart's desire seek.

This of course is the Full Moon, and the time when the magick of the Moon is at full power.

Heed the North winds' mighty gale,
Lock the door and trim the sail.

These next four verses are "wind wisdom" and refer to the times when the wind comes from the four directions, and also refers to the four seasons. The North wind is well known for the winter storms it brings. Lock everything up tight!

When the Wind blows from the East,
Expect the new and set the feast.

The second line refers to the tendency the East wind has to bring changes, and unexpected visitors.

When the wind comes from the South,
Love will kiss thee on the mouth.

The warm southern wind brings Springtime, when young fancies turn to romance.

When the wind blows from the West,
Departed souls will have no rest.

The West is the direction that the souls of those passing on to the Summerland will take. (I suppose they have to work harder when the wind is against them!)

Nine woods in the Cauldron go,
Burn them fast and burn them slow.

Nine woods are placed in the Beltain fires and each one is significant.

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.

Count them, Elder is the 10th tree, and the Balefire only gets Nine. This is a warning to those who would burn the elder, and refers to the English elder, but I don't burn the American one either.

Four times the Major Sabbats mark
In the light and in the dark.

I want to clear up a point: "Major" doesn't refer to the Sabbats' importance, all are equally important. Rather, it refers to us celebrating these Sabbats at the height of the Season, when the Sun reaches 15º in one of the four Cardinal Astrological signs that mark each season.

As the old year starts to wane
The new begins, it's now Samhain.

Samhain, or Halloween as it is called in the United States, is the Witches' New Year, and marks the first Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year. It occurs at 15º Scorpio, or is traditionally dated October 31st.

When the time for Imbolg shows
Watch for flowers through the snows.

Imbolg occurs at 15º Aquarius, or is traditionally dated February 2nd.

When the wheel begins to turn
Soon the Beltaine fires will burn

Beltaine occurs at 15º Taurus, or is traditionally dated May 1st.

As the wheel turns to Lammas night
Power is brought to magick rite.

Lammas or Lughnasadh occurs at 15º Leo, or is traditionally dated August 1st.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall
Use the Sun to mark them all.

Now these Sabbats are called "Minor" simply because they happen at the start of the season, when the sun is just entering the Fixed Astrological signs of the four seasons. All of the Sabbats are considered "solar,? meaning that they are calculated by the sun. Esbats are the Lunar celebrations calculated by the phases of the Moon.

When the wheel has turned to Yule
Light the log the Horned One rules.

Yule, or Winter Solstice occurs at 0º Capricorn, or is traditionally dated December 21st.

In the spring, when night equals day
Time for Ostara to come our way.

Ostara, or Spring Equinox occurs at 0º Aries, or is traditionally dated March 21st.

When the Sun has reached it's height
Time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Litha, or Summer Solstice occurs at 0º Cancer, or is traditionally dated June 21st.

Harvesting comes to one and all
When the Autumn Equinox does fall.

Mabon, or Fall Equinox occurs at 0º Libra, or is traditionally dated September 21st.

Heed the flower, bush, and tree
By the Lady blessed you'll be.

All life is Sacred to the Goddess, and proper respect should be shown for the sacrifice of Her Creatures and Plants so that we may eat and survive.

Where the rippling waters go
Cast a stone, the truth you'll know.

This is referring to a water divination, where one tosses a pebble into the surface of still water to watch the ripples and divine the future.

When you have and hold a need,
Harken not to others greed.

One should not do magick out of greed, but out of need. So if someone offers you money to do a spell for them, what is your motivation? And that is theirs? Do you want to attract dependent people to you who could possibly put so many demands on your energy that you have no time for yourself? This one is thought provoking, isn't it?

With a fool no season spend
Nor be counted as his friend.

Or in other words, people know you by the company you keep....

Merry Meet and Merry Part
Bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Also self explanatory... we're all pretty happy to see one another, and open expressions of affection are encouraged.

Mind the Three-fold Law you should
Three times bad and three times good.

The three-fold law refers to the belief that whatever you sent out, be it good or ill, will return to you three-fold. There is a common saying used these days - "What goes around, comes around." - which means much the same thing, except that we multiply that energy by three. Since "energy follows thought,? it seems it would be wise to avoid thinking negatively, because that's what you'll attract to you.

When misfortune is enow
Wear the star upon your brow.

In this form, it means to open your third eye and listen to your higher self/Spirit Guide/Guardian Angel whenerver you find yourself in difficulties. I was taught a slightly different variation: "Wear the blue star on your brow" which harkens back to the days of Welsh villages, and may be evolved from the blue crescent of woad worn on the foreheads of the Picts...

In love you must be ever true
Unless your love is false to you.

A witch does not give her or his word lightly... and a vow of true love is also not spoken lightly. However, if your lover is untrue to you they have already broken vows with you.

Eight words the Rede fulfil
"And it harm none, do what ye will.?

This "Rede" is the law by which Witches live, with harm to none. Harming none, includes not harming yourself. The term "Harm" and what actually contitutes harm to another being, is a convoluted concept, and requires thought and meditation on the part of the Witch, to weigh possible consequences of actions to see if harm will result. Also bear in mind that you have no right to do magick or cast spells on another person WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION! This IS considered harm, as you are forcing your will on them, even if you are doing a healing spell. This concept can be the most difficult for a person new to the Craft to grasp, yet it is the most important, and the cornerstone of our religion and beliefs. It makes you totally responsible for your actions and their results. If you have a dilemma, it's best to get another informed opinion before acting, especially if you are strongly and emotionally attached to the result.

The only person you can work all the magick you like for is yourself!


Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Micheál on May 07, 2014, 02:01:47 PM
That's a lovely individual interpretation of a text that many can draw from....

However it's usually called the "Long" version of the Rede, (as Ashe already mentioned) and was published as "The Rede of the Wiccae" in 1975 by Lady Gwen Thompson, (or by Green Egg more specifically),and Gwen Thompson was not Wiccan....http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Gwen_Thompson

Doreen Valiente coined the Rede as a later addition to the Craft, with it first being publicly known in 1964, which she expanded on later.

In the Book of Shadows I had to copy it just simply says, "Eight Words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An it harm none, do what you will," and it's not included as a "Law."
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 07, 2014, 05:05:46 PM
@ Kiara, I agree that "people in a position of authority" have a huge responsibility.  But foremost is our obligation to provide accurate information for Seekers, casual readers and anyone else who visits out site.  I can't alter the truth simply because a deranged person might go off the rails.  Wicca is a religion of free will governed by personal responsibility, and I will always do my best to see that our members get accurate information.

One of the first things I was taught in the Craft is that Wicca is not for the faint of heart, and it is not warm and fuzzy.  Quoted for truth.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 07, 2014, 07:13:52 PM
Kiara, I found your post interesting and I thought about it awhile.  If I understand you correctly  you feel it's my responsibility to consider the safety Seekers and others when public statements are made.  Would this be correct?  That view is understandable and sounds reasonable at first.  But think about it from another view.  Do we REALLY want people (me, even) who are in positions of responsibility or whose opinions carry some weight in the Craft to decide for others what they should or shouldn't hear, or sanitize things "for their own good"? That's a very slippery slope indeed, and I hope my co-religionists never fall into it. 

I believe your intentions are the best, and noble too, but in the end we have to let individuals utilize their intelligence and make their own decisions about our religion.  We cannot sanitize or censor things that someone ostensibly MIGHT misuse.  Yes it's a trade off and not entirely without risk but ultimately the responsibility doesn't lie with the individual who disseminates information.  It lies with the person who acts upon it.  Goddess forbid we embrace a Nanny Wicca mentality.  Horrors!

So thanks for the food for thought and Blessings.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Firesong on May 08, 2014, 02:07:09 PM
@ Kiara, I agree that "people in a position of authority" have a huge responsibility.  But foremost is our obligation to provide accurate information for Seekers, casual readers and anyone else who visits out site.  I can't alter the truth simply because a deranged person might go off the rails.  Wicca is a religion of free will governed by personal responsibility, and I will always do my best to see that our members get accurate information.

One of the first things I was taught in the Craft is that Wicca is not for the faint of heart, and it is not warm and fuzzy.  Quoted for truth.

Speaking as another in a position of authority, I have to say I agree Ashe.  I think you do hold yourself to a higher level of responsibility.  It's why, after much discussion, you were invited to be one of our Moderators... if somebody has an issue with that, they can take it up with me, and the other Council members, as we all share that same responsibility, and for more than 10 years, I've never taken that responsibility lightly.

Open communication is the sharing of ideas, not impressing them on others... no? 
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Draconis Rex on May 08, 2014, 02:10:49 PM
@ Kiara, I agree that "people in a position of authority" have a huge responsibility.  But foremost is our obligation to provide accurate information for Seekers, casual readers and anyone else who visits out site.  I can't alter the truth simply because a deranged person might go off the rails.  Wicca is a religion of free will governed by personal responsibility, and I will always do my best to see that our members get accurate information.

One of the first things I was taught in the Craft is that Wicca is not for the faint of heart, and it is not warm and fuzzy.  Quoted for truth.

Speaking as another in a position of authority, I have to say I agree Ashe.  I think you do hold yourself to a higher level of responsibility.  It's why, after much discussion, you were invited to be one of our Moderators... if somebody has an issue with that, they can take it up with me, and the other Council members, as we all share that same responsibility, and for more than 10 years, I've never taken that responsibility lightly.

Open communication is the sharing of ideas, not impressing them on others... no? 

 
      ^^^^  THIS QFT   ^^^^
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 10, 2014, 08:24:03 PM
 Do you feel that the Earth's energies have changed or shifted since Beltane? Many traditions within the Craft see the  god predominating during the dark half of the year (Samhain to Beltane) and the goddess being the more dominant force during the light half (Beltane to Samhain).  Do you see a masculine emphasis in nature vs a predominating feminine influence depending on the time of year?  Why do you think this gender division came about in the way we think of the seasons?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: C_A on May 12, 2014, 11:14:03 AM
"Harm"? 

What IS "harm"?  What is boon to me may well be bane to you.

The admonition against "harm" is one that guides us to do nothing half-arsed, nothing that isn't thought out.  There is no reason one can't/shouldn't use whatever techniques available in defense of one's self or family.

As to the OP...The "Lord & Lady" or "G-d & G-ddess" or <insert deity names here> are diune.  (cf "triune" for the Abrahmic deity).  In other words, WE, as humans, use the masculine and feminine to sort out the creator / destroyer aspects of the universe....(cf Shiva / Kali).

It is all about duality and the balance thereto.

Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 14, 2014, 05:48:38 PM
But the sticky point to me - and I may be being dense here - how can you have a diune concept of divinity without gender stereotyping?  Isn't this basically a cataloging system that requires some assumptions about gender roles?
As a hard polytheist I find this less problematic but I know many Wiccans are duotheists.  I'm not knocking it I'm just trying to understand the rationale and how people deal with the pitfalls in cataloging male/female attributes.

Hoping you're not all face palming here but I feel I'm missing something critical.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: C_A on May 15, 2014, 09:35:38 AM
But the sticky point to me - and I may be being dense here - how can you have a diune concept of divinity without gender stereotyping? 

Isn't this basically a cataloging system that requires some assumptions about gender roles?

As a hard polytheist I find this less problematic but I know many Wiccans are duotheists.  I'm not knocking it I'm just trying to understand the rationale and how people deal with the pitfalls in cataloging male/female attributes.

Hoping you're not all face palming here but I feel I'm missing something critical.

You can't.

Yes.  Because it isn't about roles.

I don't see any "pitfalls".

Wicca is, at it's most essential level, a Nature-Fertility based mystery religion.  While the practitioners, (and, indeed, the L&L), tend to not care if you're straight male, female, asexual or any other orientation or identification you want to apply, the crux here is that in most circumstances within Nature, (saving, of course, species that reproduce parthenogenically or by simple cellular division),  it "takes two".  It's down the same road of balance as light / dark, positive / negative, bitter / sweet, day / night.  It's not that complicated.  No matter who you are or how you identify, you are aware that the basics require that duality. 
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: marisol on June 04, 2014, 12:16:41 PM
Do you feel that the Earth's energies have changed or shifted since Beltane? Many traditions within the Craft see the  god predominating during the dark half of the year (Samhain to Beltane) and the goddess being the more dominant force during the light half (Beltane to Samhain).  Do you see a masculine emphasis in nature vs a predominating feminine influence depending on the time of year?  Why do you think this gender division came about in the way we think of the seasons?

Ashe could you explain a little more about the last sentence in this quote, please?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on June 04, 2014, 04:34:34 PM
I wondered if people have any ideas why the dark half of the year is seen as masculine and the light half as feminine?  In some Wiccan and Neo-Wiccan traditions the HP predominates over the coven during the dark half of the year and the HPS predominates after Beltane.  So what is there about the seasons and the Earth's energies that seem to favor one gender or the other depending on the time of the year? 

Any ideas out there?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Alchymist on June 04, 2014, 10:35:34 PM
H'mm.....

I've always felt darkness, mystery, intuition, the dark hidden places of the Earth, moonlight, winter as a time for contemplation, gestation, giving birth to the new year, to be feminine in character, while the qualities of light, intellect, rationality, the emphasis on outward things, secrets laid bare, sunlight, seem (relatively speaking) masculine ......

But that's just me, and everyone knows I'm weird.....

Alchymist.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on June 05, 2014, 04:54:01 AM
Ah, but Alchy that illustrates a point I touched on earlier.  How can you categorize intuition as feminine and intellect as masculine without buying into stereotypes?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Draconis Rex on June 05, 2014, 05:43:05 AM
I've never considered there to be a masculine and feminine aspect of the year, the cycle rotates and both are needed as the year turns.... just my opinion though.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: MoonlitWings on June 05, 2014, 08:33:03 AM
I agree with you Drac on that one.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Alchymist on June 05, 2014, 11:36:11 PM
Ah, but Alchy that illustrates a point I touched on earlier.  How can you categorize intuition as feminine and intellect as masculine without buying into stereotypes?

This is a sticky subject, for sure.

I agree, that's always a danger, but for me it's more a matter of acknowledging and celebrating the different ways in which men and women - and, presumably, Gods and Goddesses - relate to their worlds, rather than buying into stereotypes. I characterise intuition as a feminine quality because women, in general, seem to be more in touch with their intuitive, right-brain powers whereas men typically view the world through a left-brain, intellectual filter; not always, but often. I've known highly intellectual women (my first wife, for one) and intuitive men - I find that I, personally, seem to operate very much on intuition, and I've been told, by several women whose opinions I respect, that I have a "female soul" - so, the differences seem to me to be merely convenient descriptors, not absolutes or stereotypes.

This is, after all, what the primary Quest of Magic and Alchemy is about; striving to become the perfected human being, the "Alchemical Androgyne", wherein the masculine and feminine sides of our natures are in perfect balance and harmony, the Middle Pillar of the Quabalistic Tree of Life ...... we can never quite get there, perhaps - not, at least, in a single lifetime - or even at all, on this Earthly plane - but it's the aim of the Magical Quest to bring each of us closer to that goal; the Sangreal, the Philosopher's Stone - "The World", Major Arcana number 21 of the Tarot.

...... why else do you think "She" wears that wisp of a scarf, "She" who hovers, wingless, in midair, a Wand in each hand?......

Alchymist. 
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: marisol on June 06, 2014, 05:54:09 AM
Well that's interesting I'm sure I am aware of this, but always as a given as the wheel turns.
It's not something I think much about. :)
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: C_A on June 06, 2014, 08:31:53 AM
Ah, but Alchy that illustrates a point I touched on earlier.  How can you categorize intuition as feminine and intellect as masculine without buying into stereotypes?

Ahem...without sounding too cheeky...SO?

"Stereotypes" do not spring fully formed from someone's forehead.  They are accreted.  And there's not a thing wrong with that.  A HUGE percentage of everything that *Nature-based* religions DO is based in "stereotype".  We seem to sidestep it by calling it "archetype".

Of course there are above and beyond hyper intelligent feminines, (regardless of physical plumbing) and of course there are super-sensitive masculines, (physicality also stipulated).  ON the WHOLE, we bear the stripes of our archetypes.  Pick ANY "Rom-Com" movie and, with doggone few exceptions, these stereotypes are the absolute-zero root of the entire play.  Most of the things we deal with, daily, are also generally fenced in by those stereotypes.

And there's nothing...err...not enough wrong with that to be significant in any way other than to assuage an occasional minority voice.  That's not to invalidate that voice on an individual level, but, in fact, to validate that individuality.  "I Nature, all tigers are orange and black".  "OOoohh!  But that's a stereotype!  I have seen WHITE ones!"  Yes, you have.  And yes, they are beautiful.  But exactly how many of them do you need to go back, as a society, and re-write every book on every shelf that has ever been written that states that all tigers are orange and black?
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Ashe Isadora on June 08, 2014, 08:28:44 AM
Cheeky's fine.  i'm too old and too many times around a Wiccan circle to be struggling with this, but there you go.  A clear answer I'll mull over carefully, so thanks.

Hopefully coming up with a "d'oh" question was good for my character.
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Kuerden Dúghlas on December 05, 2015, 03:39:04 PM
To me it's kind of interesting that the Rede, which is actually a statement of empowerment and tells us what we can do, has been reduced to the two words "harm none"  which is usually quoted out of context to the rest of the sentence.

I've read it argued that reducing it to those two words also changes the meaning.

The best examination that I have found is The Wiccan Rede: A Historical Journey by John J. Coughlin (http://www.waningmoon.com/ethics/rede.shtml).

I'll come back to the original question at another time (soon).

UPDATE: Tonight I happened upon this interesting comment from Jesterbear:

Quote
The following quote from Hans Holzer implied that Doreen Valiente was quoting the couplet to encourage harmonious interaction between covens. Hans Holzer's interpretations are not always the most accurate, but portions of what he wrote are historically meaningful, because they have an early publication date.

    Demanding tolerance between covens as well as toward the outside world, Doreen spoke the Anglo-Saxon witch formula called the Wiccan Rede or wise teaching: "Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfil, An' it harm none, do what ye will." --Hans Holzer, The Truth about Witchcraft, 1971, p. 128

I would not be surprised if publication of Holzer's book was one of the first sources where American Wiccan learned the Rede. I remember his book being on the reading list that my first teacher gave me in the '70s.

And another interesting article I read this evening, "The Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law," (http://www.ravenfamily.org/ffetch/comments/3fold.php) suggests,

"In the absence of any other verifiable text, the weight of evidence points to the 'Three-Fold Law', as commonly quoted, not having been a part of any 'Wiccan' tradition on which Gardner's original work may have been based."
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Kuerden Dúghlas on December 05, 2015, 04:59:03 PM
Well darn Michael, I kind of liked the idea of redefining what praxis means.

Me, too! (Hi Michael! *waves* We were friends at WT.) I still think that idea of "serving our gods outside of ritual as part of our praxis" deserves further exploration, personally. I mean, are we only Witches when we're inside the Circle? No. Of course not.

OK, I really am going to tackle the question about the Lord/Lady next.  ;)

B*B
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Firesong on December 06, 2015, 10:40:59 PM
Quote
Now "widdershins" is counter clockwise, and the waning moon is after the full moon, when it is "dwindling." This is the time to get rid of unwanted habits, weight, bad feelings, or anything you wish to be rid of. "Baneful" comes from "banish" and that's what it means.

Baneful comes from "bane", and "bane" has no relationship I've  been able to fine to the word banish.  Baneful is poisonous or noxious.

Quote
This "Rede" is the law by which Witches Wiccans live, with harm to none. Harming none, includes not harming yourself. The term "Harm" and what actually contitutes harm to another being, is a convoluted concept, and requires thought and meditation on the part of the WitchWiccan, to weigh possible consequences of actions to see if harm will result. Also bear in mind that you have no right to do magick or cast spells on another person WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION! This IS considered harm, as you are forcing your will on them, even if you are doing a healing spell. This concept can be the most difficult for a person new to the Craft to grasp, yet it is the most important, and the cornerstone of our religion and beliefs. It makes you totally responsible for your actions and their results. If you have a dilemma, it's best to get another informed opinion before acting, especially if you are strongly and emotionally attached to the result.

The only person you can work all the magick you like for is yourself!

Why do people seem to think that Wiccan rules apply to all Witches?  As a witch, I am responsible for what I do, not by choice, or because of any "rede", but because that's the way the universe works.  We are all responsible for all our actions, mundane or magical.

Because it's impossible for me to anticipate any situation I may encounter in the future, why would I put any limits on my actions, beyond my own personal code of ethics?

I once asked, under the rede, how you would send healing energy to someone who was unable to give permission, because of age, illness or other infirmity.  The answer was to address the workings to the individual's higher self, and let it decide if it was in agreement, and would allow it.

How is this any different for anybody?  We all have higher selves.  When you send healing energy to an animal, it can't give you permission; when you send healing energy to a situation(environmental issues,etc), it can't give you permission. 

I believe there are just some things you need to rely on your intuition for, rather than trying to decipher someone else's instructions or paint by numbers.  I think people need to realize it's an "abstract", rather than an absolute, at least in my view.     
Title: Re: The Lord and The Lady
Post by: Alchymist on December 07, 2015, 12:49:29 AM
When we reduce the Wiccan Rede to the mere two words, "Harm none", we, first of all, set ourselves a  standard impossible to attain, and secondly we render ourselves toothless and clawless in the face of external threats.

"Harm none", interpreted to mean "Do no harm to any sentient being", ignores the fundamental, but uncomfortable, fact that in order to live at all, we inevitably do harm to sentient beings. We - some of us, anyway - kill fish or chickens in order to feed ourselves; and even the vegetarians and vegans among us are, directly or indirectly, responsible for the deaths of innumerable other creatures. Think of the grubs and caterpillars that must die to bring the vegetables and fruit to your tables, or the rats and mice that are killed to prevent them devouring your grains and your soybeans. Death is an integral part of life; it won't go away - though we, inevitably, will, eventually.

Also, the Rede does not prohibit us from self defence, or defence of those we have chosen to love. If I, or my wife or a friend, is attacked, by a human or an animal, if necessary my response will in all probability involve violence - with whatever weapon I can lay my hands on - I'll accept responsibility for what happens, and let the Karmic chips, if any, fall where they may.

It's often said that "You're not permitted to change another person's life path." Well, I'm sorry, but if someone's coming at me with a knife, I'm going to do my very best to change his life path, by whatever means necessary - and no regrets.

The same, of course, is said of healing. "You shouldn't heal someone without their permission, because you'd be changing their life path." I submit that this is a precept that can't always be followed; I agree with Firesong here. Consider the following: you receive a phone call that an elderly relative is seriously ill in hospital. When you get to her bedside, she's unconscious, but breathing; do you not take her hand and give her healing energy because she hasn't asked for it? Or, you're walking by a river and you see someone, a young girl perhaps, floating face down in the water, not moving. Do you stand dithering on the river bank, afraid that if you tried to rescue her you'd be "changing her life path"? - Or do you jump in, drag her to the shore, commence CPR and mouth-to-mouth, call an ambulance, and, again, accept responsibility and let the Karmic chips fall where they may?

The Rede, it seems to me, simply asks us to think about, and accept responsibility for, the consequences of any action we might take, positive or negative. No piteous bleatings of "The Devil made me do it!" or "I was only following orders!"

Blessed Be everyone,

Alchymist.