(From Pensacola list. If we get carried away, as usual, I'll post our mishmash back to them! If you need to, paste in a short excerpt of what you are commenting on. This is pretty long. If you find this other than through a list and want to contribute, you can email: rede@sharpstick.org)

Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 00:06:58 -0000
Subject: " an do no harm"

Hey there ~

To start another topic ... how many of you live -- or try to live -- by the Wiccan Rede?

If so, what is your understanding of the word "harm?" Does it mean not to hurt other beings physically? Mentally? Spiritually? Does it mean we can't defend ourselves?

Curious to see where folks are coming from on this particular code of conduct ...



Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 19:45:39 -0500
From: "Sunshyne Powell"
Subject: RE: " an do no harm"

Okay, I don't think I am going to be anywhere near "popular" opinion on this one, but you did ask...

First off, it is nearly impossible to perform 'white' magick, where nothing/no one comes to any sort of harm.

In any spell working I do, I strive for 'gray' results, or better.

True example: About a week before we actually started dating, I cast a spell for love to find me. I released my intent into the universe and merely asked it to send me someone worthy of love, and capable of giving what I needed in return, with as little negative impact as possible. I already had a boyfriend, but that relationship was nearing it's end. About a week after that Grady (my husband) and I started dating, and have (for the most part) been together since.

Most people would say white magick, right? Wrong.

My now ex-boyfriend was hurt. A close friend who had a crush on Grady at the time (knowst to me) was hurt, and even tried to physically fight with me.

So what I did had negative effects, right? Well, half-right.

My ex used his emotional pain to finally admit certain truths to himself, and came "out-of-the-closet" about his sexuality a few months later. My close friend was upset for a while, but she was free to meet the man she is now married to, with a beautiful daughter and another on the way.

My point is thus: Most actions, whether physical, mental, spiritual, etc., will have a negative impact on *something* or *someone*. All we can do is hope that the negativity we inadvertently cause to others will be a medium for growth, not stagnation.

Whew.. Ok, I know I took that on a bit of a tangent, but there it is...



Message: 2
Date: Thu, 09 May 2002 20:06:06 -0500
From: "Becky Mac"
Subject: Re: " an do no harm"

Heyla Nora!

I am not Wiccan...but my personal code of conduct is very close to the Rede..."Do as much good as possible, and as little harm as possible, and try your best to be happy"

Note i said "as little harm as possible"

IMO..it is darned near impossible to live on this earth without ever hurting anybody in any way. I mean, how many of us have had people interested in us romantically, and had to "hurt" them by informing them that we did not return those feelings?

(Just as a very pedestrian example)

In any relationship, whether it be familial, romantic, platonic, etc, there will be times when feelings get hurt, things are misunderstood, and it escalates.

The difference between that and abuse, IMO, is intent and caring observation. Attacks, to me, are justified only in defense ofoneself or someone weaker...i.e., if i see an adult abusing a child, i believe i am justified in using whatever force is necessary to stop the abuse.

There are times when the best thing you can do for someone is to hurt them a little to save worse hurt later. The man telling his friend he needs to lay off the booze, the woman telling her sister that she is continuing the abusive cycles of a dysfunctional family, the parent disciplining a child for wandering too close to the street...these are examples of that. The "hurt" is tempered by its intent...to save the recipient worse pain in the future.

Obviously, i am NOT a pacifist. Unfortunately this world contains predators of many kinds from which we must defend ourselves and our loved ones. However i think there is a huge difference in loving defense, and agression.




Message: 10
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 02:27:38 -0000
From: "sharqner"
Subject: Re: " an do no harm"

I like to look at the spell i am doing. If i would not want someone to do it to me, then i do not do it to someone else. this is the path i have taken and works well for me. It keeps me from having to deal with anything bad coming back on me. I personaly do not do love spells . i feel that most of them take away a persons ability to make a choice for them selfs . this is my oppion and is not to say that everyone should do as i do. we all have to make our own choices as to what we feel is right or wrong.

Blessed be


Message: 11
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 21:46:18 -0500
From: "Sunshyne Powell"
Subject: RE: Re: " an do no harm"

-----Original Message-----
From: sharqner

> I personaly do not do love spells . . .

But, there *is* a discernable difference between casting on an individual, and requesting for love from *?????*. I feel that if you put no name or face on the love you are hoping for, then you will just be sent appropriate love for whatever stage of life you are in...

Sometimes people search for love when they themselves aren't ready for it...



Message: 12
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 22:14:37 -0500
From: "Grady Powell"
Subject: RE: " an do no harm"

"an do no harm"

Nice in Theory but that is about it.

Stop and think about it for a second. We are creatures of nature just like all others. There is no doubt about that. White Witch/Warlock, Grey Witch/Warlock, Black Witch/Warlock what is the difference? Tendencies

When I first started into the lifestyle about 13 years ago I was predominately Black for about the first 3 years and till this day have to fight it back on many occasions. Being of Irish Descent, raised partially in Texas, born a Cancer with a Leo rising and Aries moon. I tend to have a very short and hot temper. Over the last 10 years I have learned to focus, balance, and harness my energies to what I deem as the gray area on a very toned down scale. Which must be working as I keep hearing people saying "Grady is Pagan?" since the last 1.5 - 2 years.

Anyways back to the "an do no harm"

Lets look at some things in life for this.

You want a job and get it. Someone did not get it or lost theirs to open the position.
You find money on the ground. Someone must have lost it.
You find a new love. A secret admirer is stopped from advancing.
You get food. Something must die to give it to you (meat or vegetable)
A creature needs a place to live it must damage its immediate surroundings to make its home. (not talking about symbiots or micro-organisms here)
We need water. We must sterilize it to kill everything in it.
No matter how you look at it goes back to the whole Yin & Yang, Good & Bad, Black & White, or for the science buffs "For each Action there is an equal and opposite Reaction."

If someone or something was always White or always Black they would not be human because they would be infallible. Think about the Zen Buddhist spend their whole life trying to reach that perfect state of good. When they find it it is usually at that point their body ceases to exist in this world. Satanists say they are pure evil they worship the devil. Do they care for the devil? Do they provide for their coven? Even your biggest, burliest, ugliest, meanest, darkest a____le out there will have at least one thing that they love and will take care of (this includes themselves) otherwise they would cease to exist as well.

My point is this you can strive to be "an do no harm" but in order for it to be that way 99% of the time you have to be dead.


Message: 13
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 22:33:49 -0500
From: "Grady Powell"
Subject: RE: Re: " an do no harm"

Ok, 2 posts in a row. I don't know if I can handle this. But I have to make a point on Sunny's post on her love spell before we go off on a big love spells is a NO NO.

After we had been together for a week we were talking and she was not the only one that did the spell for love however mine was a little different and the outcomes were not what either expected.

While she did hers for general love. I was doing one myself the same night (coincidence) on a girl I had just broke up with who was having a lot of personal problems do to her family life. The girls name was amber and I wanted to send healing and love to her to help her with her problems even though I was no longer apart of her life. Now, also take into affect that Sunny's real name is amber (which I didn't know at the time), and she lived about 2 minutes away from my house.

Also, we had known of each other prior and had crushes on each other prior. Hell, I was at her house with my girlfriend on Sunny's 16th birthday trying to beat up her then boyfriend because he pulled a gun on me. That was our second meeting the first was at a mourning where I was making fun of the guy that had passed. Yes that was wrong but we NEVER got along.

Our first night out I didn't really care if it lasted and I actually broke up with her about 2 months after we initially got together.

Through more talking we were surprised that we had not met earlier. Her parents and my dad are from the same small hick town in Texas. When we were toddlers our parents lived down the block from each other. Her parents moved to Japan and came back to live within a 2 minute walk from my house and all of our friends were known by each other but we never met. To many coincidences not to have been dealt by a higher power.

Love spells are fine to do again, it is the intent of the spell that causes the problems. When you focus them on 1 person that is wrong. I agree this affects a persons ability to make a choice for themselves. To say I need somebody please help me that is not. It is basically like asking the god/goddess to be a matchmaker.


Message: 21
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 02:27:50 EDT
From: bearcub
Subject: Re: " an do no harm"

In a message dated 5/9/2002 10:11:33 PM Central Daylight Time, lepracaun writes:

> My point is this you can strive to be "an do no harm" but in order for it to
> be that way 99% of the time you have to be dead.

> Okay...I'm coming out of lurker mode here too...I agree with most of the previous post and here's my view on the "harm none" and the rede...

Life doesn't exist in a vaccuum...To simply BE and be alive means taking up space, using other organism's resources, and feeding off of life...It is a cycle of interdependence, a balance, that your body too will one day contribute to...

Witches and other magic users, however, are capable of drawing upon natural forces to affect change in the world...To "bend and shape" reality...These forces are part of the creative life potential...It is neither black, white, OR grey...Only the intention of the user makes it so...In short...ANY magic act intervenes in natural order...So do we NOT do magic then? Well, MOST human actions intervene in the natural order, we do so to survive...Physicians and surgeons intervene all the time to affect change in the natural order...In fact, surgeons take a blade and knives to CUT on people to affect change...So for magic users, should their decisions and actions in using their art to affect change be any less of a decision than it is for a surgeon or physician? No...It demands great responsibility...All possible consequences and benefits should be examined, other "mundane" actions should be considered, but in the end, an act of intervention is an act of intervention...Sometimes the results are justified, sometimes things may have been better off left alone to take their natural course...This is a decision a Witch must weigh carefully

As for the Rede itself, it is pretty certain that the words of the Rede itself are a fairly contemporary incorporation into the Craft...However, the idea of the Rede--the threefold law, etc., is perhaps a very old idea...Is it simply a karmic warning against doing harm to others, that doing so will rebound on the user? I think not, simply because I see no evidence of karmic retribution in Nature itself...However, Nature does provide evidence that abuse and creations of imbalances DO have negative consequences...If we cut down the rainforests, clear away all natural habitats, overpopulate the Earth, or fill the air with polutants, obviously WE suffer the consequences--this isn't karmic justice, it is simply a law of returns...To think of using magic in terms other than "karmic" we may consider the Nordic idea of the Wyrd, which is similar to the Eastern idea of karma, but slightly different: all life is connected; you, your ancestors, and everything else on the planet...Yes, like a "web"...Actions done by your ancestors, by you, and by others create vibrations on the "web" or even new strands of it that may take days, months, years, or a lifetime to "untangle"...To use magic, one must immerse themselves in the forces they are using, they become irrevocablly "entangled" in the "wyrd" they are creating when they use these forces...So of course, it makes common sense that to do what is perceived to be "good" is beneficial to the user...To do what is perceived as "bad" would only entangle the user in those energies...Decisions on what is "good" or "bad" however are not so cut and dry...Druids certainly had no qualms about using magic to defend against enemies to their tribe, to sway the course of a battle, or to attempt destroying their enemies...Such use of power may seem "backwards" to us today, but I for one would have no qualms using it either if I knew there was an army just over the hill about to invade my town, kill me and all other males in the community, and rape and enslave the women and children...But these are momentous decisions, and the user must decide if they are ready to "entangle" themselves in such forces, if it is "worth it"...The point is, deciding to use magic at all to intervene, even in the most mundane, "little" things in life, should be made with great care...

I personally love the words of the Rede, I find that as a modern pagan and Witch, these words are ones to strive to live by...However, I understand that behind the words is a deeper meaning, a warning if you will, "let the buyer beware"...And I do not believe in a simple three-fold karmic law of return, I simply believe that the forces you use in magic are forces that you yourself must become in order to use, so common sense should take precedence when doing this...And I also believe that the more a person follows their "pattern" in life, the more we strive to keep in balance with our own Wyrd, the less we have need to intervene with magic...I beleive that the greatest Magician in the world would be the one that NEVER has to use magic intervention...For me, the Rede is simply a focused and easy way of containing all of this of this information:

Bless and Blessed Be!



Message: 22
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 10:39:18 -0000
From: "sharqner"
Subject: Re: " an do no harm"

in your case and that of your husbands what you did i do not find any thing wrong with ,and did not mean to imply that with my post. you asked for help with your spells there for did not bend anyones will to do as you wanted. i was speaking of love spells that involve forcing the love of another. I have offten been asked by friends if there was a spell that could make a person love them.I tell them that there are but i will not use them because I would not want them used on me so there for i dont use them on others.

as for the posts on the harm none do as you will , I think there is a differance between using magic in defense ,if you are in danger or being personaly attacked , and using magic to attack people without cause or need to do so.
things all come back to us its the whole circle of life thing. what goes out has to come back in. If you put out negitive then that is what will come back to you. if you put out positive then that too will come back.
now this is not to say that everyone must be positive all the time. that is just not possable. but i feel that one should strive to put out the best of him or her self as much as they can.
I have in the past done many thing that at the time i felt were warrented but they were not positive or nice things to do to another person. I have payed for those things now and so having had to live with the choices I made in my past I now strive to put out only that which I wish to receve back. now it is a personal choice to live by the harm none.... we all must live with our own choices and no one can make them for us . Each of us must decide what we feel to be right for our selfs.

Blessed Be


Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 06:25:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mary Valdez
Subject: Re: Re: " an do no harm"
I personally never do pro-active spells. If someone were doing me harm, I would not cast a spell that would in any way affect that person. Instead, I would cast a spell of protection FROM harm. That way the harm that person was trying to do to me would be deflected and return to him/her threefold.

We were doing a project in my database class and one of the group members was truly an unhappy soul who tried to inflict her negativity on everyone else. I got frustrated with her and put on a necklace that I have charged with protection and sent her an email telling her that her negativity was unacceptable. Poof! Just like that she became almost bearable and stopped trying to disrupt the group dynamics.

If I want something, I would never cast a spell asking for it, because that might take it away from someone else. I would instead cast a general spell asking for goodness and light to be bestowed upon me. If I am meant to get what I want, that will ensure it. If I am not, at least I am getting goodness and light from another source.

Mary Valdez


Message: 21
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 17:32:18 -0000
From: "sunbirdsgarden"
Subject: Re: " an do no harm"
Hi again ~

Chris wrote: > Witches and other magic users, however, are capable of drawing upon natural > forces to affect change in the world...To "bend and shape" reality...These > forces are part of the creative life potential...It is neither black, white, > OR grey...Only the intention of the user makes it so...In short...ANY magic > act intervenes in natural order... I'm really glad to see all the replies to the orginal question about the Wiccan Rede. And I particularly liked what Chris said (above.) I don't think of magic as black, white, or grey. To me, it's just magic -- the power to work with the flow of Nature. Some ways of working are simply more constructive or destructive, depending on one's point of view.

I'm not Wiccan. And I don't follow any code of conduct anything like the Rede. In my understanding of the world, there is absolutely no way to go through life without harming anything else. And, though many times I've seen what I call "Universal Justice" at work (cause and effect) I've never seen anything happen "threefold." Now, that's just my experience -- perhaps others here have experienced the 3fold effect.

My thought is that, if one cannot go through life without causing harm, why have a code of conduct that is, for all intents & purposes, unworkable?

For me, I live by discernment. I decide situation by situation, person by person, what would be the best course of action. I use compassion as a guide, as well. Would I cause more harm or good to intervene? Which is the most compassionate choice?

It works for me ...


Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 18:26:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Shelle celesticat
Subject: Re: " an do no harm"

Well, According to my Numerology reports I have at least a whole other lifetime of Karmic Debt to work off now. So Yes, I have always tried to live in a way that would not interfere with someone else's desires. (as a child I was indoctrinated as a Chr*st**n, and have the "do unto others", rule). I don't believe in personal revenge if I have been wronged by someone (intentionally or not) I always try to examine the whys and wherefores. Revenge may FEEL great, but it only makes things worse. So I redirect my energires into healing for myself. To give myself power and not them. Because when you enact revenge you only give the power to the other person. and you lose yourself. Then I go forard and not look back. I guess that's why it is hard for me to trust people, and why I don't consider many folks friends. A lot of folks are 'friendly', yes, and I take people at face value. Because with me, what you see is what you get. Not a face for every occasion. But I ramble, so I will stop. I aways thought of things in threes though. You know bad things happen in threes, if you get a bad week or whatever. So at some level I'm asking myself, "What did I do to deserve this?" and I have to wonder if it was the time I was selfishly inconsiderate or just pissed-off and throwing daggers with my eyes(along with hateful energy) at someone. To me stuff comes back like a boomerang, good and bad. So I'm tring to be helpful of others more often, in the hopes my Karmic debt will be erased.




Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 18:35:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Shelle celesticat
Subject: RE: " an do no harm"

Right. I agree. Then at this point further in the future, you understand(looking back) that you were only a key turning in the new doors that just opened for all.

My point is thus: Most actions, whether physical, mental, spiritual, etc., will have a negative impact on *something* or *someone*. All we can do is hope that the negativity we inadvertently cause to others will be a medium for growth, not stagnation.

Ok, I know I took that on a bit of a tangent, but there it is...



*************** end, as of 5/11/2002