Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tips for Living Wicca: Read the Charge

The Wiccan Rede, the Threefold Law... yadda yadda yadda. 

I honestly get sick of hearing about them. 

The Wiccan Rede is actually pretty simple in its philosophy (I'm talking about the 8-word actual Rede, not the popular 1970's poem built up around it; I don't particularly care for that poem myself). In fact, it's a bit overly-simplistic.

If it harm none, do what you will. Otherwise translated as: If you're not hurting anyone, then hey, have at it and don't feel bad.

The Rede is held up as if it's a Wiccan commandment. A lot of authors tout it so much, you'd think that's what it was. But it's not-- in fact, the word "rede" means "advice". And it's advice that came to us in about the 1960s. And while it's good advice, it's not a very complex moral code. 

After all-- the Rede doesn't tell you what to do if you are doing harm. It doesn't tell you how to deal with complex issues, when you have to choose between the lesser of two evils, or when you have to weigh out potential harm of your actions.

And as for the Threefold Law-- I side with Doreen Valiente on that one (who incidentally is the author of the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess, adapted from other works). I think it's poppycock. 

It shouldn't be taken literally-- the idea that there is a big scoreboard in the sky makes very little sense in terms of nature. The only way I can take it so it makes sense is to consider it a simply poetic warning about being mindful of the consequences of your actions. As for it  being a law or some kind of divine payment plan with interest-- it just doesn't make sense.  

Sadly, one major source of Wiccan ethics that speaks to more deep and complex issues is the Charge of the Goddess. This piece of liturgy often gets way overshadowed by those two little quips that fit more neatly on a bumper sticker. 

My Tip for You Today:

Read the Charge of the Goddess. Read several versions of it if you like. 

Here's a good version of it: Reclaiming: Charge of the Goddess  

Read it once; read it twice, or half-dozen times. Read it slowly, read it aloud... let the words sink in.

A good Book of Shadows exercise is to break it down section by section, or line by line, and write about what it truly means, and what it truly implies about how we live our lives. 

Original Painting; Acrylics on Canvas
copyright: WiccanSage (2011) All Rights Reserved

Take one section of the Charge of the Goddess that you find particularly poignant, and share that insight with us!

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