The Wiccan Rede - An Interpretation
During my studies for my first degree I had to write my own interpretation of the Wiccan Rede. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the Wiccan Rede is a set of guidelines that should be followed every day when living life as a witch. It helps outline the ethics that one should consider when following Wicca and practicing witchcraft or magic. The following is my line by line personal interpretation based on what I discovered in my research.
The Wiccan Rede
"Bide ye Wiccan Laws you must" This makes reference to us following the wisdom and guidance offered in the Rede.
"In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust" This refers to how you must live out your life with the Gods and Goddesses, and yourself. When performing magick or rituals it is essential that you enter into it with full love and you have complete trust.
"Live and let live" Live your life how you will as long is it is not having a negative impact on others lives. Let others live their lives as well. Don't be quick to look harshly upon someone who chooses to live a different lifestyle than you.
"Fairly take and fairly give" When practicing the craft make sure that you are engaging in an equal exchange. Use your gifts and talents to help people in life and not take advantage of them.
"Cast the Circle Thrice about, to keep the evil spirits out" Make sure when you are practicing spells and rituals that you cast the circle of protection to keep out evil spirits.
"To bind the spell every time, Let the spell be spoke in rhyme" Most spells that you will perform are in the form of poetry or rhyme. Rhyme appeals to your Maiden aspect and can help awaken your subconscious. This will help increase your focus and the energy you are able to put into your spell.
"Soft of eye, light of touch" When you interact with people make sure that you are looking at them with love and understanding. When you become cross with someone don't give them the "evil eye" Don't be quick to jump to a conclusion about someone who may have a difference of opinion than you. Try to see the world with patience and understanding. Remember that your interaction with people affects their world. Positive energy will have more benefit than energy put forth by speaking with a negative tongue.
"Speak little, listen much" As a general rule you should listen more than you speak. Listen to others to find their point of view and learn what you can.
"Deosil go by the waxing moon, singing out ye Witches’ Rune." Deosil means sunwise or clockwise. A Waxing Moon is the period when the Moon moves from New Moon to Full Moon. Rune is another word for spell. This is the time to perform spellwork that will bring things to you.
"Widdershins go by the waning moon, chanting out ye Baneful Rune." Widdershins means counterclockwise. And the waning moon is the period when the moon is going from Full Moon to New Moon. This is the time to cast spells for things that you wish to banish in your life.
"When the Lady's hand is new, Kiss the hand to her, times two" In older times it was a Wiccan tradition to send two kisses to the new moon.
“When the moon rides at her peak, then ye heart’s desire seek.” The best time to perform magick is during the full moon, when the magick and energy of the moon is strongest.
"Heed the North winds' mighty gale, Lock the door and trim the sail." Represents the winter season. The North wind brings the winter storms so lock the house up tight. This is celebrated by the Imbolc Sabbat.
"When the Wind blows from the East, Expect the new and set the feast." Represents the Summer season. The East wind is known to bring change and unexpected visitors. This is celebrated by the Lughnasadh Sabbat.
"When the wind comes from the South, Love will kiss thee on the mouth."Represents the Spring season. The Southern winds are known to bring love and romance. This is celebrated by the Beltaine Sabbat.
"When the wind blows from the West, Departed souls will have no rest."Represents the Autumn season. The West Winds are known to bring the departed souls to the Summerlands. This is also celebrated by the Samhain Sabbat.
"Nine woods in the Cauldron go, Burn them fast and burn them slow" Nine different types of wood are places in the Beltain fire. Most Wiccans agree that the following are the nine woods used:
Birch – represents the Goddess.
Oak – represents the God.
Rowan – represents the Tree of Life
Willow – known as Hecate's tree, represents our journey to the Summerland
Hawthorn – represents the Fairy folk and purity
Hazel - represents wisdom and learning.
Apple - represents love and fertility.
Vine - represents joy and its juice is said to cause heightened awareness.
Fir - represents immortality and well suited to Beltaine
"Elder be the lady's tree, Burn it not or cursed you'll be." The Elder tree is the Goddess's tree. It should never be burned.
"When the wheel begins to turn, Let Beltane fire burn." Beltaine falls on May 1st. It is tradition to burn a Beltaine fire on this Sabbat featuring the nine woods detailed above. It is also known as the time where the Goddesses Rule.
"When the wheel has turned to Yule, Light the log and the Horned One rules" Yule falls on December 21st. It is known as the time where the Gods Rule.
"Heed Ye flower,Bush and Tree, By the Lady, blessed be." As witches we have a responsibility to be nature friendly and to help take care of our environment.
"Where the rippling waters go, Cast a stone and truth you'll know." This line refers to water divination, however it applies to all forms of divination.
"When Ye have a true need, Hearken not to other's greed." You should only perform magick when there is a need. This makes you think about what your motivation should be when performing magick for yourself and others.
"With a fool no season spend, Lest Ye be counted as his friend." Know the people that you choose to spend time with. Choose your friends wisely in life. This also applies to the phrase that you are known by the company that you keep.
"Merry meet and merry part, Bright the cheeks and warm the heart." Express that you are happy to see your fellow brothers and sisters and your friends. Don't be afraid to express your love and friendship.
"Mind the Threefold Law you should, Three times bad and Three times good." This is the threefold law that whatever you put out in the world, either bad or good, will be returned to you multiplied by three. It goes along with the phrase "what goes around comes around" except we believe it "comes around" multiplied by three.
"When misfortune is enow, Wear the blue star on thy brow." The star is the pentacle. This tells us that when we are experiencing trouble we should open our third eye and listen to the Goddess and spirit guides for guidance, resolution and protection.
"rue in Love ever be, Lest thy lover's false to thee." A witches vows can never be taken lightly. If you make a vow to your lover be true to your love. If they have been untrue to you this annuls the vow that you took.
"Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An it harm none, do what thou wilt." You may not harm yourself or someone else. As long as no harm will be done a witch is allowed to do as they see fit. You must make sure you think out each spell and action taken to know the possible consequences of your actions.
Love and Blessings,