The Three-Fold Law is the belief and principle on which Magick is used. This law relates to the use of power and energy, for when used, power is returned to the sender, three times the level it was sent out.
Used in relation with the ethos, "Do what thy wilt, though it harm none" (as stated in the Wiccan Rede), witches take great care when preparing and casting spells that no harm should come to others because of it.
The nature of this three-fold return can perhaps be better understood when considering the cause and effect principle of a spell. Let's take an example: Someone comes to you in distress with a problem. You help by sending out positive energy and the problem is successfully resolved. This automatically makes you feel good about yourself and influences your thoughts; thus your state of consciousness is altered.
In turn your thoughts stir the emotions; which has a physical effect in the body by causing glandular secretions to enter into the blood stream. The resulting state of mind and body lifts your spirit, which is what makes you feel good. Thus, with the act of a single good deed you have been effected three times in mind, body, and spirit. This then is your three-fold response to the return of positive energy. Now consider your response had you sent out negative energy or something went drastically wrong.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Authorship information for this article was lost when we cast a love spell wrong and all records got destroyed in a fire. Let that be a lesson for us all.
Actually it does relate to magic in that it is for the practitioner to think about one's actions before casting a spell. It is also for those who join Witchcraft for the purpose of casting black magic spells, and the threefold law is to stir them away from that. I got this information from the Gardnerian Book of Shadows on Sacred Texts.com.
The Three-Fold Law is a Wiccan concept [it was coined by Gerald Gardner who founded Wicca, based on the Hindu concept of karma] Most Wiccans and non-Wiccans view it as what happens when you cast ''black magick'' when it's more how you live your life. Doing good will reward you threefold, doing bad will punish you threefold. Yes, many witches use the threefold law as a scare tactic for new members, but it isn't universally followed by all witches. There are those who only do ''black magick'' [which I would call ''magick that has the potential to cause harm to others'' since magick is intention and not colour] and never receive anything close to the threefold law because they work with magick differently than Wiccans. One is not better than the other, it's just a moral system and understanding of the craft. During my first couple of years as a witch, I followed the threefold law out of fear, not really understanding it, but after contemplating it and doing some soul searching, I realized two things. A. the idea of triple karma doesn't make sense, that instead, it affects our mind, body and spirit. and B. if you cleanse frequently, try to keep your energy balanced [more towards the positive] and don't overdo your spells, you won't see any negative effects, minus the occasional backfire or negative energy build up. [also ''Gardnerian'' is the path Gerald Gardner founded, also known as British Traditional Wicca, so your source is biased in favour of the threefold law. Nothing wrong with that, just you should read other sources and points of view, that's all. I try and read about other paths I have no interest in, just to better understand their view]
As usual, Nekoshima's Clarity and Insight are hard to beat. I, too, abhor the idea of this being used as a Scare tactic to keep Practitioners in line. Further, while I appreciate the overall Intent as Novices are easier to subject to Harmful repercussions from such Magick, I think that incorporating it in this way creates its own negative effects, in Triple Measure. The worst type of Foundation for Magick is Ignorance, and incorporating the Threefold Law as a fear-tactic is just that--Ignorance.
Further, I believe that Magick that Harms has an equally valid place in a Practitioner's Repertoire and I also do not believe that there is a Karmic Effect, either in Magick, or in Life. People who do much Bad receive much Good-Fortune from their actions and people who do much Good receive much Ill-Fortune. While it is a bit more complicated than being reduced to the actions and effects of this life, overall, I believe that if Karmic Payback was a Universal Law, we would not see so much of what I have mentioned.
I prefer to think of it more this way; the Threefold Law is a Feedback system. If you try to cram a 120 V power source into a 45 V conductor, you blow the conductor and you also receive the excess energy back in the form of Feedback, with it having no place to go but the next nearest conductor, usually the person who incorrectly used the power source to begin with. If we see this more as a Law of Nature than Karma, I believe it will create that sense of Caution teachers of Magick so strongly try to evoke when using the Threefold Law as a scare-tactic to begin with.
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