Today we will learn about the Wiccan Rede, sorta like a Wiccan’s commandments. We will discuss what each part means and how they apply to the religion and to our life.
“Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give. ”
The first phrase is talking about how all Wiccans must follow the Law of Goddess, the Rede, in a manor out of love for the God and Goddess and Their creature, as well as Trust in the God and Goddess. This peaceful nature is reiterated in the second sentence about letting people and creatures live the way they deem fitting, and encouraging harmony.
“For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme. ”
This part refers to ritual and spellwork. Before rituals and spells, a Circle is cast to protect the Witch from harmful energies while she is in a vulnerable state. For the most effective Circle, it should be cast, created, three times (we will go over this at a later time. As for spells, to be most effective, the incantation should be said in rhyme.
“Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again. ”
The first sentence of this phrase talks about how Wiccans are not to judge on appears and should not act on physical violence; they should teach, or Preach, only for those who are listening and should listen to what others have to say more so than tell them who and what to listen to. This also applies to nature; instead of directing Nature or trying to control it, listen and flow with it.
“Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane. ”
This phrase talks about the meaning of the waxing (growing) and waning (shrinking) moon phases. Deodsil means clockwise, and a clockwise motion draws energy in; so the Waxing moon is meant to bring things to you. Widdershin means counter-clockwise, a motion of protection/banishing/getting rid of; the Waning moon is meant drive out energies, a time for protection and banishing.
“When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart’s desire seek. ”
This phrase talks about the meanings of the New and Full Moon. The New Moon, aka Dark Moon, is a time of rest and to just honor the Goddess. The Full Moon is a time when energy is at its peak and spells should be done for maximum potency.
“Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast. ”
This phrase is a bit about divination; using the direction of the wind to determine what’s to come. A wind coming from the North, and blowing towards the South, means trouble or a storm, and that it’s best to stay inside. A wind coming from the East, blowing towards the West, means new beginnings, good changes, or perhaps new people. It is a time of joy and good fortune.
“When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest. ”
This phrase continues the meaning of the Winds in corespondence with the meaning of the directions and their associated elements. A wind coming from the South, and blowing towards the North, means new passions or a new lover, perhaps an old flame, or family is coming. This could also mean new ambitions. A wind coming from the West, and blowing towards the East, is a time of cleansing a balance, quarrels or legal matters will be settled, something’s may come to an end.
“Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows. ”
This phrase talks about the Nine Sacred Woods that can be burned during Sabbats and Esbats. Birch wood is burnt to represent the Goddess, our Lady.
“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. ”
Oak is burnt to represent the God and to bring enlightenment. Rowan is burnt to draw in magick and brings about change.
“Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye. ”
Willows are burnt at Crossings, Wiccan Funerals, to guide the dead spirit to rest in Summerland, Wiccan Heaven. Hawthorn is burnt to consecrate and purify anything within its flames or smoke. It also draws in Faeries.
“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. ”
Hazel is burnt to heighten our minds and to unlock the secrets of Nature. Apple is burnt to bring love and to promote fertility; fertility in the body, in the land, in the workplace, etc.
“Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine. Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen. ”
Wood from a grape plant is burnt to signify thankfulness and happiness. Fir/Pine/Evergreen is burnt to represent incarnation, which essentially make us immortal, as well as the ever steadiness of Goddess.
“Elder is the Lady’s tree burn it not or cursed you’ll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark. ”
Elder is the most sacred of woods and should not be burned or misfortune will fall upon you (though, they make very powerful wands). The Major Sabbats mark the middle /peak of seasons, and are the Fire Festivals.
“As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it’s now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows. ”
When the year seasonally ends and the last of the crop is pulled in, we know that it is Samhain (Sow-en), a time to honor the dead, mid-Autumn, and the last Harvest Festival. When it is cold out, but we feel and see the stirring of life in the animals we know that it is Imbolc (Im-ball-k), a time to honor Brigid and mid-Winter.
“When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn. As the wheel turns to Lammas night power is brought to magick rite. ”
When Spring is in full bloom, it is time to celebrate the season by burning fires at Beltane. Lammas, meaning Loaf-mas (much of bread and wheat), it is a time when the nights are getting darker and the power of the Goddess grows stronger. It is the first of the Harvest Festivals.
“Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all. When the wheel has turned to Yule, light the log, the Horned One rules. ”
The Minor Sabbats celebrate the beginnings of Seasons, using the sun to determine the Summer and Winter Solstices as well as the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes. At Yule, the Winter Solstice, we honor the new born Sun/Horned God by burning a log that is to last all night.
“In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it’s height time for Oak and Holly to fight. ”
The Vernal/Spring Equinox marks equal day and night, and the first day of Spring, is the day of Ostara to celebrate Spring and fertility. The Summer Solstice is call Litha and is when the young Oak King of the growing year battles the old Holly King of the dying year.
“Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you’ll be. ”
The Autumn Equinox is called Mabon (May-bon), and is like a Wiccan Thanksgiving. This is the Second Harvest Festival, the peak of the harvesting season, and is a time to honor the food received from the Goddess and to give thanks for all we have.
“Where the rippling waters go, cast a stone, the truth you’ll know. When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed. ”
If you should ever have trouble in life, divine (like using tarot, runes, crystal ball, etc.) and the Goddess will provide counsel and advice. Do not go to others who will most likely use you or feed you lies for their own gain.
“With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend. Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.”
Do not waste your time or be associated with ignorant people, these are people who are not understanding and are close minded. Be peaceful, Merry, in all of your greetings and farewells to stay happy and harmonious.
“Mind the Three-fold Laws you should, three times bad and three times good. When misfortune is enow, wear the star upon your brow.”
Follow the Three-Fold Law, which is for every good deed you will receive goodness, for every negative deed you will receive negativity. When there is trouble though, keep the pentacle close to you for protection and luck.
“Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill:
“An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”“
Be true in your intentions and devotion, if you know your love is not true and pure, it shall be your undoing. “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will” is the most famous and well known “rule” in the Wiccan religion. There is much controversy over it’s meaning, but here is my understanding: Your Will is your spiritual journey towards enlightenment and Wisdom, and to get to that goal you will not physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually harm another person intentionally. This means you can shoot someone in the leg out of self defense (or something of the like), but you can not cast a spell to make someone believe in the same religion/give them small pox, etc. or harm them with out magick because they insulted your spirituality or religion, etc.
BOM: What is your interpretation of “Harming None”? What are your thoughts about the Rede? What are some things you learned about Wicca that you didn’t know before reading this post? 2 years ago