Wicca Ethics

The Wiccan Rede

Wiccan morality is ruled according to the Wiccan Rede, which (in part) states ” Antiharm none,do what thou wilt!” ( “An” is an archaic word- meaning “if”.)

Others follow the slightly adapted Rede of: “An it harm none, do what Ye will….if harm it does,do what Ye must”.

Either way, the Rede is central to the understandind that personal responsibility,rather than a religious authority,is where moral structure resides.

One of the major differences between Wiccans and other types of witchcraft is the Rede.

Many “traditional” witches – or witches that follow other paths- do not believe in the Rede. This is a major topic of controversy within the Wiccan and Pagans communities.

Many Wiccans also believe that NO magick can be performed on any other person without that person’s direct permission ( excepting pets and young children who can protected by parents and owners).

Sometimes- when permission is expected but not yet attained; magickal energy will be placed on the astral plane for the receiver to gather vif and when he/she is ready.

The Law of Threefold Return:

Many wiccans also promote the Law of Threefold Return,or the idea that anything that one does may returned to them  X3.

In other words ,good deeeds are magnified back to the doer,but so are ill deeeds.

The Threefold Law is sometimes stated like this: ” Ever Mind The Rule of Three – Three Times Yours Acts Return to Three – This Lesson Well, Thou Must Learn; Thou only Gets What Thee Dost Earn”.

161 Laws:

May be some Wiccans who also follow,or at least consider, a set of 161 Laws often reffered to as Lady Sheba’s Laws.

Theay are based in large part on Gerald Gardner’s Old Laws, which he attributed to his New Forest Coven and first came to light in 1957.

Some find these rules to be outdated and counterproductive. I have heard comments such as ” where find much of this document, regardless of origins, to be outdated and unnecessary.It is at points sexist and ageist,and it is saturated with paranoia associated with the myth of the Burning Times.”

Eight Wiccan Virtues

Most Wiccans also seek to cultivate the Eight Wiccan Virtues.

There may have been derived from earlier Virtue Ethics,but were first formulated by Doreen Valiente in the Charge of the Goddess.

They are “Mirth,Reverence,Honour, Humility, Strength, Beauty, Power, and Compassion.”

They are in paired oppsites- which are perceived as balancingt each other.

Wicca and Feminism:

Wicca has a close association with feminism,and many Wiccans say their are attrracted to Wicca in large part because of its emphasis on female equality, divinity and power.

In addition to this emphasis on the Goddess, an attractive aspect of Wicca for feminists in the ability to indentify with powerful historical women who were persecuted by the male – dominated Christian church.

Dianic  Wicca – is the most feminist- oriented tradition of Wicca,in that it emphasizes the Goddess alone and excludes men from covens.

Other traditions,however, believe that this approach in improper ” and interferes with the balance of masculine and feminine in nature”.

Wicca and Homosexuality:

Throughout the majority of Wicca: and Neopaganism, ” all sexual orientations are accepted” : Sexual orientations is therefore not considered an issue.

Gay,lesbian,bisexual and transgender people are almost always welcomed in individual communities,covens,study groups,and circles.

Many homosexual Neo- Pagans were initiatly attracted to Neo-Pagan religions because of this inclusion,in which their relationships are seen on an equal footing.{{ Sometimes their desire is more specifically “to move away from what they see as homophobic pressure” in their original religion (s) of childhoods}}.

In support of this philosophy, many Neopagans cite the Charge of the Goddess, which say : “All acts of Love and Pleasure are Her rituals.”Therefore all forms and expressions of sexuality, as long as they are otherwise healthy and consensual, are accepted.

*One qualified exception is: Gardnerian Wicca and few other relatively traditional grooups…Gardnerians do not make any word judgments about homosexual people, but  they usually form their covens from male- female pairs.*

Most traditional Wiccan covens aspire to having equal numbers of men and women, to embody their belief in the importance of balance between the male and female ( which extends to sexually). This ,and the imbalance of female and male practitioners, can sometmes be a practical obstacle to gay people and women who wish to join traditional circles,an obstacle often shared by single people.The acual sexual orientation of the individual is not an issue.

Kemetic Ethics:

Kemetic Ethics are based in the Egyptian concept of Ma’at, ” which is – truth,justice,order, and ” that which is right”.

In addition Kemetics look to ancient Egyptian Law Texts: such as the Declaration of Innocence ( also called  the “Negative Confessions”), which contain a list of  42 sins a deceased person clain not to have done, and the Wisdom Texts, which are pieces of advice written by Ancient Egyptians.

The Declaration of Innocence includes such  sins -as- murder, muddying the rivers of the Nile river, adultery,theft. eavesdropping, and sexual perversion.This last  sin is often translated in older texts as committing  homosexuality , but Kemetic Reconstructionists consider this mis-translation and are open to homosexual members. {{ A common theory is that the prohibition refers to child prostituton…for this has been frowned upon and punishable under  layman laws in the most civilized countries in the world – for eons}}.

Modern Craft Laws:

Many traditions still keep to the 164 “Craft Laws” or Ordains”.

These so called “ancient” Laws – were written in 20th century- and are probably more a romantic notion- than acually being the ” ancient and sacred” laws they are often portrayed to be. In fact ,they  they were written by Gerald Gardner.

He began writing  what  he called the ” Ardanes” shortly after he established his first ” public” Coven.They were written in archaic language to give the flavor of antiquity. Gardner modified and added to these “Laws” over the years to suit his own views and purposes.Additinally, the “Ardanes” reflect the very patriarchal world view common at the time  that they were writennd many contemporary women  find some of them highly offensive.

Most Traditional Craft Covens retain them in their Coven Book of Shadows purely as an historical artifact.

Most wiccan traditions – adhere  to more modern  ” Covenants of Sacred Low” – ther are many variations ,there are adapted from the Temple of Danann:

1: Love is the Law and Love is the Bond.

2: Honor , Love and Trust  are the Sacred Vitues of the wise ,within the Circle and without.

3:Whatever action you take  will return to you threefold.

4: An it harm none ,live according to Will.

5: The wise shall rever each living thing , for all life is sacred.

6: The wise shall give due revereence to the Old Ones and obey their Will.

7: The Wise shall observe the Sacred Days…the Sabbats.

8: Sacred Knowledge {of the Craft) may be revealed to the unworthy.

9: None may enter the Circle without purification and then only with the sanction of presiding Priestess and Priest. {{ Solitary Practiitioners purify yourselves and your sacred place}}

10: All due respect shall be given to the Priest and Priestess who serve as representives of the Old ones.

11: As the wise are to the Old ones, so shall be their Sacredness.

12: All are equal within and without the circle according to ability and knowlenge.

13: Judge not the path of Brother or sister ,for all paths are Sacred.

Wiccans see ” entire universe as abeneficcent living being with all things connected”- alll crucial and sacred,our God – Goddess- implore us to celebrate love, laughter, art, sexuality, dance, music,food, song, birth and death- as necessary and beautiful parts of ” the Eternal Great Dance”.



Posted on December 19, 2012, in MYSTIC. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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