Friday, February 28, 2014

The Wiccan Rede

One of the most often quoted "laws of Wicca," a variation of the Wiccan Rede appeared in the writings of Gerald Gardner.

A similar rule is found in the work of Aleister Crowley around the turn of the century, in which he advised his readers, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, love under Will."

One version was made famous by Doreen Valiente in the early 1960s, and in 1974 a lengthier version, by Lady Gwen Thompson, was published in the Green Egg, a Pagan magazine. Thompson credited her grandmother, Adriana Porter, with the original work. Although there is no scholarly evidence for this claim, the work remains one of the most popular writings in Wicca today.

Thompson's version reads as follows:
 The Rede of the Wiccae
Being known as the counsel of the Wise Ones:
 Bide the Wiccan laws ye must,
 in perfect love and perfect trust.
 Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about
 to keep the evil spirits out.
To bind the spell every time,
 let the spell be spake in rhyme.
 Soft of eye and light of touch,
 speak little, listen much.
Deosil go by the waxing Moon,
 sing and dance the Wiccan rune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
 and the Werewolf howls by the dread Wolfsbane.
When the Lady's Moon is new,
 kiss thy hand to Her times two.
 When the Moon rides at Her peak
 then your heart's desire seek.
 Heed the Northwind's mighty gale;
 lock the door and drop the sail.
When the wind comes from the South,
 love will kiss thee on the mouth.
 When the wind blows from the East,
 expect the new and set the feast.
 When the West wind blows o'er thee,
 departed spirits restless be.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go,
 burn them quick a' burn them slow.
Elder be ye Lady's tree;
 burn it not or cursed ye'll be.
 When the Wheel begins to turn,
 let the Beltane fires burn.
 When the Wheel has turned at Yule,
 light the log and let Pan rule.
Heed ye flower bush and tree,
 by the Lady Bless'd Be.
 Where the rippling waters go
 cast a stone and truth ye'll know.
 When find that ye have need,
 hearken not to others' greed.
 With the fool no season spend
 or be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part,
 bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
 Mind the Threefold Law ye should,
 three times bad and three times good.
 When misfortune is enow,
 wear the Blue Star on thy brow.
 True in love ever be
 unless thy lover's false to thee.
 Eight words ye Wiccan Rede fulfill:
 An' it harm none, do what ye will.
-The Crafty Witch

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