The Wiccan Rede
The Wiccan rede (also called Wiccan Creed) is a poetic text which gives advice and recommendations on how to live the way of the Wiccan. While there is a short version of the Wiccan rede, this article will present the full length Wiccan rede with additional commentary and explanations.
Full Length Wiccan Rede
Bide the Wiccan Laws we 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 spirit out.
To bind the spell every time,
Let the spell be spake in rhyme.
Soft of eye light of touch,
Speak little, listen much.
Deosil go by the waxing moon,
Chanting out the Withces’ Rune.
Widdershins go by the waning moon,
Chanting out the baneful rune.
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.
Heed the North wind’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 West,
Departed souls will have no rest.
When the wind blows from the East,
Expect the new and set the feast.
Nine woods in the cauldron go,
Burn them fast and burn them slow.
Elder be the Lady’s tree,
Burn it not or cursed you’ll be.
When the Wheel begins to turn,
Let the Beltane fires burn.
When the Wheel has turned to Yule,
Light the log and the Horned One rule.
Heed ye Flower, Bush and Tree,
By the Lady, blessed be.
Where the rippling waters go,
Cast a stone and truth you’ll know.
When ye have a true need,
Hearken not to other’s greed.
With a fool no season spend,
Lest ye be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part,
Bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law you should,
Three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow,
Wear the blue star on thy brow.
True in Love ever be,
Lest thy lover’s false to thee.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill –
An ye harm none, do what ye will.
It is important to emphasize that any intention should come from the heart. Words, as poetic as they can be, are a reflection of what the heart wants to say and not the opposite. Words should not order the heart. The true rule is what your heart feels to say. There is no need to follow the Wiccan rede as a rule of thumb, but rather as a suggestion.
Understanding the Wiccan Rede
The Wiccan magic circle is the basis of magical work for many Wiccans. However, not all Wiccans use it – beginner Wiccans often don’t use the magic circle, or use it both when needed and not needed. The Wiccan Rede clearly states that the magic circle is used for protection. It is not surprising that medieval exorcists (who were Christians) used such magic circles in their practices.
Wiccans do not practice dark witchcraft, and have no need to protect themselves when communicating with the Gods and the spirits. So then, why do Wiccans need the magic circle?
In the middle ages, witches had to work in secrecy with fear of being harmed if seen. This required a form of protection in order to safely practice their craft. This is how the magic circle got its meaning. The circle used the energy of the witch against the energies of the inquisition, and it is said the circle made witches invisible. If you happen to practice magic in an unfriendly environment where you can get interrupted, create a magic circle in order to increase the chances of remaining undetected and undisturbed.
Another meaning for the magic circle is it being a sacred space (as opposed to protection). Such a circle can be built from candles. You can exit its boundaries and enter back. This circle doesn’t protect or isolate you, it concentrates your energy in a sacred place where you open the gates between the world of people and the world of the spirits of nature.
Spells that rhyme, and are being said with proper rhythm can be more powerful than spells without rhythm. To improve the rhythmic still, it is very helpful for the witch to learn about poetry and its structure. Practice by writing your own poetry, and when your poetic experience is high enough – your spells will hold a stronger effect.
Back in the days when being a witch was dangerous, a wise witch was one that listened much more than talked. Such witches never spoke if not asked, and if asked – they would answer with careful consideration of their words. Nowadays, this danger is gone, although there are still signs of discrimination towards witches.
Even if you know a thing or two, it might not be a good enough reason to present yourself as a teacher or mentor to others. A wise witch learns more than teaches.
The waxing moon has always been considered a good time to practice magic, cast spells and perform rituals.
The waning moon is a good time to work on purification from negative energies and expelling other negative spirits and effects.
People are afraid of the new moon, which is black. However, the black moon is a witch, a tempting virgin. Give it the respect it deserves.
When the moon is at its peak, perform the most important rituals and magic.
The flower, bush and tree all come from the Goddess, and each of them is hidden within the Goddess. You need to be able to see her in all the places she is at. Read her, remember her. Enjoy her happiness. She loves her children and gives them her blessings.
Some believe that if you do good – it will come back to them three times as much. The same thing if you do evil – it will come back to your three times worse.
Another interpretation is answering good and evil three times as much. This means that you need act and not wait for something to happen.
True in Love ever be, Lest thy lover’s false to thee.”Lines 47-50
A pentagram and blue light are considered protective. You can visualize a blue star in order to protect yourself.
Don’t mindlessly take these words as they are written. You don’t have to become a vegetarian if you feel the need to eat meet, for example. You cannot harm no one – it is impossible. There will always be some aspects and nuances in life where you might hurt someone or something without wishing for it. It is important not to hurt for pleasure, avoid hurting as much as possible and take account for your actions.
About High Priestess Altera
Having 20 years of dedicated experience with Wicca, Altera has been invited to participate as a writer and a Wiccan educator to help share her vast knowledge and guide others in the correct path.