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 Wiccan Rede The creed of contemporary Paganism

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MessageSujet: Wiccan Rede The creed of contemporary Paganism   Dim 18 Avr - 11:42

Wiccan Rede The creed of contemporary Paganism
and Witchcraft is expressed simply:
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill;
An’ it harm none, do what ye will.
The Wiccan Rede acknowledges the right of all people
to choose their own paths, as long as their choices do not
bring injury to another. The term Wiccan Rede is derived
from the Old English terms wicca (“witch”) and roedan
(“to guide or direct”). An is Old English, short for and.
Some Witches erroneously believe it is an archaic term
for if.
The exact origin of the Wiccan Rede is uncertain. According
to Gerald B. Gardner, the creed is derived from
the legendary Good King Pausol, who declared, “Do what
you like so long as you harm no one,” and apparently was
adhered to by successive generations of witches. It probably
has more recent origins, dating to the 1940s and 1950s, the
early years of what was to become the “Gardnerian tradition”
of modern Witchcraft. Gardner, who borrowed from
the writings of Aleister Crowley, may have composed
the Wiccan Rede by modifying Crowley’s Law of Thelema:
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Crowley
believed that if people knew their true wills and followed
them, they would harmonize with the universe.
The Rede may originally have been intended to help
make modern Witchcraft more acceptable to the public. It
has since become interpreted very conservatively by most
Witches and influences the casting of spells. Some witches
feel the Rede should be interpreted more liberally.
Witches espouse a deep and abiding respect for the
sanctity and free will of all living creatures and do not
believe they should use their powers to interfere in that
free will. They believe it is unethical to use magic to harm
or manipulate; even a love spell is manipulative if it is an
attempt to sway affections against one’s free will. Rather
than cast a love spell aimed at a particular person, for example,
a Witch casts a spell directed at attracting the right
and perfect love, for the good and free will of all. Many
Witches believe they should not cast any sort of spells
on others without first obtaining their permission—even
healing spells.
It is believed that violators of this interpretation of the
Wiccan Rede will suffer a karmic boomerang effect and
bring negativity or evil upon themselves.
This interpretation of the Rede seems extreme to some
in the Craft, for it means that spells should not be cast
against wrongdoers: a Witch could make no effort to stop
a rapist or a crime magically, because that would be manipulation
of the criminal’s free will. Those who favor the
conservative interpretation argue that they can instead
cast spells to protect victims.
Other Witches advocate casting “binding” spells; that
is, spells that stop or prevent evil. A binding spell on a
serial murderer, for example, would not be a curse upon
the murderer but would be aimed at getting him caught.
One celebrated binding spell was cast in 1980 in the San
Francisco Bay Area, against the Mt. Tam Murderer, a serial
killer who ambushed and shot joggers, most of them
women. A group of Witches led by Z Budapest conducted
a public “hexing” (their term for binding) ritual, calling
for the murderer, who had been at large for nearly three
years, to bring himself down through his own evil and
mistakes. Within three months, the killer made enough
mistakes to lead to his arrest; he was later convicted and
given the death sentence.
Many Witches also cast binding spells to help causes,
such as antinuclear movements, environmental concerns
and animal welfare—to stop the killing of whales, for example.
Binding spells are also cast against troublemakers,
destructive gossips and annoying, meddlesome persons.
In some of these situations, judgment is subjective.
Casting a binding spell upon a coworker with whom one
is having conflicts may be considered ethical by some
Witches but not so by others. In an effort to be ethically
consistent, some Witches cast spells that are directed not
at persons but at situations. For example, instead of binding
a troublesome person in order to solve a problem, the
Witch casts a spell directed at solution of the problem
by unspecified means “for the good of all.” Or, instead
of casting a love spell on a specific individual, the Witch
casts a spell to attract “the right and perfect love.”
Still other Witches feel the interpretations of the Wiccan
Rede have become too convoluted and have stripped
Witches of their magical effectiveness, reducing them to a
harmless level of “Bambi magic.” They say that if it is morally
responsible to stop a crime physically, then it should
be morally responsible to stop it magically. Some Witches
do practice cursing when they feel it is warranted, but are
quiet about it.
In other cultures where witchcraft plays a different
role, the issue would not exist: a magician or sorcerer who
372 Wiccaning
refused to curse an enemy would be useless to society.
But contemporary Witches seek to dispel age-old negative
beliefs about Witches. Despite occasional allowances
for “white witches” in popular lore, the witch has been
perceived throughout history as one who uses supernatural
forces and powers especially for evil. Contemporary
Witches define themselves differently, as agents of good
and as healers.
See Threefold Law of Return.
Further reading:
Buckland, Raymond. Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.
St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1986.
Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium.
Revised ed. London: Thorsons/Harper Collins,
1996.
Valiente, Doreen. An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present.
1973. Reprint, Custer, Wash.: Phoenix Publishing, 1986.
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