Wicca Ethics

Many Wiccans promote the Law of Threefold Return, a belief that anything that one does will be returned to them threefold. In other words, good deeds are magnified in like form back to the doer, and so are ill deeds.

Wiccan ethics can be summarised in the form of a text that is commonly titled The Wiccan Rede. The core maxim of that text states "An it harm none, do what thou wilt." ("An" is an archaic word meaning "if".) The origin of the Wiccan Rede is unknown, its earliest mention being at a meeting held by the witchcraft magazine "Pentagram" spoken by Doreen Valiente. Gerald Gardner suggested that it was taken by witches from the legendary ethic of the fabled King Pausol which was "Do what you like so long as you harm no one". Nevertheless, the similarity of the phrasing of the Rede (and explicit and verbatim phrasing of other texts) suggests that this statement is partly based on the Law of Thelema as stated by occultist Aleister Crowley.

Gerina Dunwich, an American author whose books (notably, Wicca Craft) were instrumental in the increase in popularity of Wicca in the late s and s, disagrees with the Wiccan concept of threefold return on the grounds that it is inconsistent with more than one law of physics. Pointing out that the origin of the Law of Threefold Return is traceable to Raymond Buckland in the th century, Dunwich is of the opinion that, "There is little backing to support it as anything other than a psychological law."citation needed Her own personal belief, which differs from the usual interpretation of the Threefold Law, is that whatever we do on a physical, mental, or spiritual level will sooner or later affect us, in either a positive or a negative way, on all three levels of being

Many traditional Wiccans also follow, or at least consider, a set of laws, commonly called the Ardanes. A common criticism of these rules is that they represent outdated concepts and/or produce counterproductive results in Wiccan contexts. Modern authors have also noted that these rules were probably the byproduct of inner conflict within Gerald Gardner's original coven over the issue of press relations.

Many Wiccans also seek to cultivate a set of eight virtues mentioned Doreen Valiente's Charge of the Goddess, being mirth, reverence, honour, humility, strength, beauty, power and compassion. In Valiente's poem they are ordered in pairs of complementary opposites, reflecting a dualism that is common throughout Wiccan philosophy.

Homosexuality is accepted in most traditions of Wicca: see Homosexuality and Wicca.

A common belief amongst Wiccans is that no magic, even of a benificent nature, should be performed on any other person without that person's direct permission. This stems from the understanding that it would interfere with that person's free will and thus constitute "harm", in violation of the Rede. There are many Wiccans who see Love Spells as only doing good - and therefore allowing them to be cast on an unsuspecting person

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See also
Body-language and Love Secrets