The Wiccan Rede & the Wicked Heart

magick occult ritual threefold law wicca wiccan rede

The candle had a label on it that said, "Shut Your Mouth". The subtitle at the bottom promised that using this candle would silence a slanderer better than a slap in the mouth. Next to it were other candles that promised the removal of hexes, the awaking of ancestors, and wild sex. To my surprise, it was the first candle that seemed most alarming to me. I was surrounded by books of magick, runes, spirit animal figurines, bundles of herbs, and other tools of witchcraft. Yet this promise that a candle ritual could shut the mouth of an enemy lingered with me longer than the smell of sage that permeated the room.

Witches have very few dogmas with which they align. Governance is left to covens, groups of no more than 13 witches, or even to the individual. The two overarching principles that most practitioners lean on are the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law. The Threefold Law states, “All that we send out, for good or ill, returns to us threefold”. This is South Asian karma on steroids. The motivation of course is that whatever you put into the world you get back augmented in impact. Hardly can I go anywhere in this world without stumbling over some form of a belief in karma. Here in the world of Neo-Paganism and the occult it rears its ugly head again. Where witches have seen to upgrade karma though is by giving it an operating morality at its core. The Wiccan Rede, a common part of any description of morality found within Wicca, states, “If it harm none, do what you will.” These two principles work together to form a system of morality in which good and bad is shaped by the question, "Does it hurt anyone?" If the answer is "no", then the individual is free to continue. All this is motivated by the pending three-fold return of whatever action the witch performs.

So it is strange that among pentagrams, idols, and blank books of shadows waiting for someone to come along and fill its pages with their own preferred magick and rituals- that a candle would stand out to me. Everyone else in the shop that day might have read the label of that green candle and perceived it to be a helpful tool in ending gossip and slander. I read it and perceived it as a tool to impose my will on someone else. This whole shop, propped up by the entire system of belief that is Wicca, portrays itself as peaceful. Its practitioners claim to be persecuted and discriminated against while harming no one. Yet the gaping void that no one from within Wicca will address is that "rede" and the "law" seem to suggest that it is the individual that knows best. That the witch's will is supreme, and that their interpretation of what is "harm" should prevail in the cosmic balance of morality. The cylinder of green wax in the shop that day stood as a monument for the individual will, and the imposing of it on someone else in the name of not harming anyone. Missing from the end of the rede is what is believed by all who claim it, "...according to me." This is one more piece of evidence that most of those who claim that there is no objective morality are lying. They believe in an objective morality, it is just that it's the morality they chose for themselves. For those that do not conform, there is a whole world of rituals, spells, and even candles to impose it upon you.

A glance at the state of the world we live in will leave most with the impression that it is a broken place. God revealed to humanity that we are as broken and sick as the world we observe to be beyond repair. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick." In the ever journeyed road to finding a moral system that works, only those who accept this truth ever find their way. We are broken and sick, led by our own selfish and deceitful hearts. Yet Christ offers us a morality supreme over any notion that we can interpret what is truly good and evil. Christ, whose teaching on good and evil turned the world upside down, offers those ensnared in the occult the freedom to stop playing the role of God. To give over the control that we claim should be ours, to God our kind who truly knows what is best. He knows what is good. Because He is good. He is not wicked, like us. He is not sick, like us.

The heart is deceitful and wicked. It is sick. Surrounded by darkness, idol worship, psychic reading, and ritual incense, I am reminded that at the core of it all is the most ancient lie ever told. I am grieved as I leave the shop that day because yet again I find more people making the same mistake as Adam and Eve. Looking at themselves in the mirror, they hear the whisper of the serpent and affirm him when they say, "You're right...I do know better than God."


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