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Wicca 101 A 6 to 8 week course covering basic topics about what the religion of Wicca is and how you can explore it further.

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Old 11-21-11   #1
Ben Gruagach

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Novelty, Ohio USA
Posts: 195

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Default 3B. Ethics: The Wiccan Rede

The basic idea of "harm none" was promoted by Gardner at least as far back as 1956 where he mentions it in his book "The Meaning of Witchcraft", and in the Laws that he presented to his coven in 1957 as documented in his Book of Shadows. The concept really became popular within Wicca though in 1964 when Doreen Valiente presented the eight-word phrasing: "An it harm none, do what you will" in a speech she gave which was widely reported in Pagan newsletters and magazines.

The eight-word Rede gained further popularity when it was included at the end of Lady Gwynne (Gwen) Thompson's longer poem which she titled "The Rede of the Wiccae" which is still sometimes mistakenly referred to as the long version of the Wiccan Rede. Lady Gwynne's poem was first published in Green Egg magazine, Vol. III. No. 69 (Ostara 1975).

There might be some Wiccans today who do not consider the Wiccan Rede to be central to their spiritual philosophy, but the majority do tend to at least include it in their system if not make it a central guiding principle.

An excellent study of the Rede concept and how it developed in Wicca is The Wiccan Rede: A Historical Journey by John J. Coughlin.
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