I found & read this a few weeks ago… What are your thoughts on this?
Short answer? I agree with her, and here’s why…
I was Wiccan for a long period of my spiritual journey and actually just recently decided that the term Wicca - and all the tenants and structure that come with it - wasn’t for me. I am a logic-driven person most of the time, and when you analyze the idea of doing whatever you want as long as you aren’t harming someone, that idea becomes an issue.
Every single action you take has ramifications that could negatively impact other people without your knowledge. And I mean every single action! If you were to try and never harm anything ever again you would have to stop participating in life in any way. All actions in the world have both positive and negative results and how you perceive these results is entirely based on perspective.
I’ve even talked about it before on my own podcast.
And what about morally grey spaces? Say somebody tries to mug you and the encounter become violent. Is it morally reprehensible for you to hurt this person in self-defense? I mean, you are still harming them so under “harm none” this is not ok. I think most people would agree that defending your life from an attacker is not a bad thing though. And if you wouldn’t defend yourself, what if it was someone else being hurt? If you saw someone being attacked and did nothing, your inaction would be contributing to the harm they’re experiencing. If you intervene and harm the attacker, however, your action is causing harm.
The Traveling Witch sums up my thoughts on the Wiccan Rede much better than I could have ever done on my own. It is an obvious reminder that not all witches are Wiccan and they should not be expected to uphold a tenant of a religion that they do not practice.
I’ll play Devil’s advocate and offer my (contrasting) view.
While I agree with many points that the article makes, I think calling the Wiccan Rede “Utter Bullshit” is going a bit too far. Let’s look at the Rede, as the author cites it:
“Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will”
I believe the reason that it is condensed into 8 words and not 1,200 words (the word count for this article) is that it is supposed to be a quick, catchy guideline that anybody can memorize and keep in mind when casting a spell (or making other decisions).
Of course we could talk and talk about each specific scenario, but the Wiccan Rede is not for that. The way I see it, it is simply a suggestion for not using our power to harm others. If I’m casting a spell for my own gain, I will generally close it by saying: "And harm no one!".
That means: If it is going to harm somebody in the process, then I don’t want it. If me wanting a better parking spot is going to make somebody else get their car towed away, then I don’t want it after all. But I still will cast the spell hoping that we can all benefit and that there will be plenty of space available to park that day.
Regarding self-defense, again, I think that depends on the specifics of the situation and 8 words are obviously not going to offer any practical solution. I see the Wiccan Rede as a moral compass that says “Do not actively harm others”. If your Will is to harm, then you should re-evaluate what you’re doing.
I can agree with these points here, too. I think the way that The Traveling Witch writes it is solely from her perspective as a witch and not a Wiccan. Therefore, I can understand her frustration when it comes to others telling them they need to follow the Rede.
I also understand that the Wiccan Rede is a guideline and not a hard and fast rule, so we could probably discuss the semantics of it forever.
All in all, I agree with both you and the article’s author. I think the takeaway should be that if you have a moral code that’s either personal or religious, that’s great. However, you shouldn’t attempt to get everyone to follow that same moral code - and this is a problem we’re having even in the United States government right now.