Re: The Wiccan Rede
By: Nekoshema / Novice Aug 28, 2015
Post # 4
while including the 'full version' is all well and good, you might want to discuss the meaning of the Wiccan Rede, it is a key belief in Wicca, but it is interpreted differently. Every new Wiccan I have ever met explains the Rede as 'don't harm another living thing' then eats a burger or something. Harm comes in many forms, just as 'living thing' can be anything from human to grass. People need to reflect and make a list of what they see as 'harmful behaviour'.
harm is defined as physical or mental damage or injury. something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful.
with this definition, ask yourself again, what is harmful? you may not physically push someone down, but does spreading rumours or name calling result in harming the other person? the persons reputation is harmed along with their feelings. according to the Rede [if no one is harmed, go for it] should you be participating in verbally attacking this person?
for those who define the Rede as 'don't harm another living thing' plants and animals are alive and are killed for our food. killing is harmful obviously, so how do you explain away eating them? i'm not saying go vegan, or do the Jainist thing [eating food that falls off naturally, like apples. no meat, not dairy, no root vegetables] but if you believe it's harmful, you need to come up with a reason why it's still acceptable. [personally, humans are omnivorous so meat in moderation is fine, but i also aim to purchase meat from farm raised 'cruelty free' sources.] maybe that idea doesn't sit well with you and you become a vegetarian, it doesn't matter so long as you thought about it longer than 'don't physically hurt someone, cool, i can do whatever i want now.'
another something we are all guilty of is harm to ourselves. we can be our own worst critic, on top of eating junk food, drinking, doing drugs, even cutting, these are all forms of harm to our bodies. i know it's not as easy as 'just don't do it' but if you are being harmful to yourself, you are living against the Rede and need to work to correct this. the occasional bag of chips, or glass of wine when with friends, they are fine in moderation, when it becomes a daily habit, you are harming your body and you need to stop. negative speech can damage your self-worth, and make you feel unworthy. small steps can change this. write a positive quote on your mirror, or program your phone with reminders throughout the day. journalling, meditation, music, and art, are a few other ways you can begin to connect with yourself and heal. it's not easy, but it's easier to begin now than starting in 50 years when you have decades more bad habits. cutting, addictions, and eating disorders are things you shouldn't deal with alone. some people are able to stop on their own, but having a support system and a professionals help, things are easier to overcome. [same goes with negative thought patterns, talking with loved ones or a councillor can help]
for those who wish to dive further, couple question to think about:
Is physically hurting someone harmful, why or why not.
Is physically harming someone in self defence harmful, why or why not.
Is eating meat/dairy/fast food harmful, why or why not.
Is gossiping harmful, why or why not.
Is drinking/drugs harmful, why or why not.
Are tattoos/piercings harmful, why or why not.
Are Curses harmful, why or why not.
Is casting a spell on another person [love or healing] without their permission harmful, why or why not.
Re: The Wiccan Rede
By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable Aug 28, 2015
Post # 5
And I will point out that the last eight words of the Wiccan Rede are generally misunderstood and misinterpreted.
Many people believe it says that a Wiccan can take no actions that might be harmful in any way. This is patently incorrect. That's not what the Rede is saying at all. One cannot go through one's life without causing harm to someone or something.
The Rede is also taken as a law that all Wiccans must follow. Again, this is incorrect. The word " rede " means advice. It is a set of guidelines to help us make better ethical choices...it is not a law at all.
What the last words of the Rede are actually saying is that if an action you wish to take does not cause harm, then you are free to take it.
When it comes to actions that may cause harm the Rede is actually silent, leaving it up to the individual Wiccan to make their own decision as to whether to take that action based on our ethics and on the particular situation we find outselves in.
There is no absolute prohibition in Wicca against taking actions that cause harm if they are absolutely necessary and the best of all available options.