The Wiccan Rede
May 7, 2008
The Rede has been interpreted as a lot of things. Long, short, law, advice, or not even relevant at all.
The truth is “bad” things and “bad” events are in existence because, not only were we given the capabilities to make these things (ex: given the knowledge to make steel, which can be made into a sword), but also because they are here for a reason.
Bad and good are up to the individual’s interpretation, and of course, perception. For example, most of us good ol’ American kids have gone to D.A.R.E., right? Drugs are “bad”. I know this as I have already gone over that abuse hump and survived it to this point. But at the same time, if there were no drugs or addiction, or abuse or neglect, so many people would not feel that feeling of being alive and reborn that stopping an addiction or freeing themselves from tyranny often gives. Drug free programs would have no use and we would not know the uses, medicinal and otherwise of most plants. Some of our best songs in many genres were written out of and about addiction or abuse of some sort.
There are many things that come out of “harm”, so really, labeling anything as “bad” or “good”, “light” or “dark”, “good” or “evil” is pretty much futile in my opinion. Without one, the other cannot exist. This world is not black and white, or even gray. It is of many shades, hues, sizes, and shapes and we need to consider them all, even within our own “world”.
Although there really is no point in labeling anything as bad or good, we all must have some sort of ethics system to regulate the extension and boundaries of expression and free will. That’s how I see the Wiccan Rede. I do not see it as a law for every person because it is simplistic by itself. However, within its simplicity is its beauty and curse. We all want to do what is best and what will bring the most positive energy to the universe. That poem simply puts a label to that ideal.
It is not to be taken literally, because if we never harmed anything, we better be plants, because we can’t eat anything. In any topic of ethics, it is very tricky because every side of the spectrum has to be taken into account. This world is complicated, but this aspect of humility towards all things, giving back what you take, and treating all with respect and tolerance is an ideal for which all of us should abide by.
Please know that you don’t have to like something to tolerate it. Tolerate is simply saying, ok do what makes you happy.
And, as far as defending yourself, and all that, you are included in the universe, as we are all connected. If I am to hurt you, then I am in essence hurting myself. So, protect yourself! You are all you have at the end of your days in this life. You are the constant that keeps the fabric of existence in tact. If you were meant to be gone, you would not be reading this. The Goddess has given us trials, and has given us the God in the form of the Sun and his rays for us to see the light of every dark situation. There is always a plan B, and your actions will reflect in your environment.
I think that’s it.