Part 1: Harming Those that Harm Us
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant to offer advice on physically abusive situations. If you are in a situation where you need help you can reach out here if you’re in the US, here for a list of numbers in the EU and UK, and here for more global resources.
An Harm Ye None, Do What Ye WillWiccan Rede
This is a foundation of Wicca, and as such, is an incredibly important concept to grasp, especially when we don’t always live in a black and white world with clear answers. On the surface it’s simple: make the conscious decision to not hurt others. But let’s talk about the underlying importance of this statement.
Yeah, sure, no hexes or curses or whatever. But why?
I can use a basic argument like do unto others or hurting people is bad, but I feel like you already know that, don’t you? So let’s shift focus. When we aim to harm another, this turns our most powerful and important energy away from us. The Wiccan Rede also reminds us to abide by the rule of three, that is, anything that we send out into the universe we’ll get back threefold.
Let’s take that power back by admitting the only thing in this universe we can control is ourselves.
When we take our anger* out on others, even if we feel they deserve it, what exactly are we doing?
We’re spending our time and energy on someone else, with negative influence. Yes, we’ll hurt them and pay for it later (times three). But let’s hit the pause button for a moment and imagine what would happen if we channeled that energy back into ourselves in a positive way. Instead of focusing on why another person did us wrong or getting revenge, we’re focusing on why we deserve better.
If this law is about anything, it’s about aligning with our higher selves, not narrowly escaping negative consequences of the threefold law.
So let’s say we focus on why we deserve to be treated better. In that process, we’re acknowledging that this person hurt us, reaffirming that we are worth being treated well, and further defining our own personal boundaries. Maybe we cast a protection spell to help enforce those boundaries. We are spending our precious energy on building ourselves up rather than taking someone else down.
When we actively choose not to cause harm to another, we simultaneously begin to heal our own wounds and break the cycle of harm for any other parties involved. When we acknowledge that all we can control is ourselves, we make a conscious effort to align our actions with our higher selves. As spiritual beings, this is an important part of personal growth and finding our paths.
*All emotions are valid and necessary. Of course you’re allowed to be angry. But anger is what they call in therapy a secondary emotion, meaning it stems from another raw emotion, and exists to protect your ego. So be angry. Feel it. Acknowledge it. But look a little deeper than that. You’ll be surprised at what you find out about yourself.