The Wiccan Code of Conduct

Yes, there is a lot of freedom in our practice of Wicca. When I first found Wicca, I was so relieved to not find the set of Christian rules some of which were based on fears. However there are some basic codes of conduct in Wicca. We will start with the Wiccan Rede. This one of those texts that is suggested to learn by heart. This is essentially the “Golden Rule” for Wiccans. To practice Wicca with perfect love and trust, we must we must not live in fear, and to protect each other we must not harm. Otherwise we may do what we will. What does that mean? How about that mosquito you slapped just as it was ready to bite you with the possibility of it giving you West Nile Virus? What if you eat meat of any kind? What if you took a job, and someone else who wanted that job could be harmed because they did not get it? What if you hex that annoying person of another belief who is trying to save your soul? What if someone attacked you? Where do we draw the line? I am not suggesting that you offer yourself as bait for the next mosquito. As humans we are omnivores. Therefore I am not suggesting that you may not eat meat. But some of us may make the decision to eat vegetarian or even vegan. If you do, make sure to eat healthy and get the protein you need. If you are offered a job that you want, it is yours. You earned it. Claim it. Anyway, what would happen if everyone did not take a job they wanted because someone else might get hurt? Everything would come to a standstill and no one would be living life to the fullest. And what should you do about that person who wants to save your soul? Stop and think. Definitely create a boundary. You may say “No, I am not interested. Leave me alone.” If this person is at your door, by all means shut the door. But do not hex this person. This is when you need to be firm but keep your cool. And what do you do about that person who is attacking you? Escape if you can. If you cannot escape, fight as hard as you can. Kick this attacker in the groin and/or put your fingers in the eyes. If you are offering yourself up as bait, getting run over or not living your life to the fullest you are harming someone. That someone is you.

The Law of Three is partly a statement of karma. Simply put whatever you put out there comes back to you three times. It may come back to you in this lifetime or in future lifetimes. If you put out helpful energies, they will come back to you three times. The same goes for harmful energies. It may not literally be the same thing happening to you as you put out. You may have tipped a food server very well out of kindness. You may someday find someone very precious to marry, or you may win the lottery. Perhaps you punched someone. You may not get hit three times, but someday you may tear your Achilles tendon which may be considered to be three times worse. With the Law of Three you might wrestle with the kinds of questions posed in the above paragraph.

To find success in life it helps to follow The Witches’ Creed:
To Know: Firstly it means to study and learn about what it means to be a Witch. Secondly we need to turn off the idle chatter in our heads, so that we may learn from nature, life and the gods.
To Dare: We must overcome outdated ways of thinking so that we may grow as human beings and Witches. An example of this may be learning to develop a trust in the male deity.
To Will: We must experience the need for our goals so that we put every ounce of energy into achieving them.
To Keep Silent: Firstly this means to silence the chatter in our heads so that we may commune with nature and the gods. Secondly this means to think before speaking. It especially has to do with preservation of ourselves and others in the Craft. There are people who out of fear would harm us. They are the ones who are ignorant and will not educate themselves. Following this Creed may help you achieve your goals in life.

Another text about our code of conduct is found in the Thirteen Principles of Wiccan Belief written in 1974 by the American Council of Witches. It describes what we believe in and what we strive to do and not do. It describes our close relationship with nature, polarity in deity, the maintenance of our inner and outer worlds, our rejection of authoritarianism, understanding what makes a Witch a Witch, our relationship with other religions, our rejection of evil and that we do not do power grabs.

Is it okay for a Wiccan to serve in the military? I pose this question for you to wrestle with. There are Wiccans who do serve in the military.

Many Wiccans feel that it is only right to take responsibility for the environment. What can you do? First take time to honor Mother Earth spiritually. Know that you are natural and are a part of nature. Celebrate Earth day created in April 22, 1970 every day. Do those things that help to leave as small of an impact on Earth as possible. Use energy efficient bulbs and reusable shopping bags. Purchase sustainable products. Be careful what goes in the trash. Reuse and recycle. Put up solar panels if you can. Carpool. Garden organically, and make and use compost. Plant trees and use them in ritual as you care for them. And the list goes on. Take care of this precious planet we call home.

Justice is important to many Wiccans. Justice for women, race, the LGTBQ+ community and religious freedom are among those to be fought for. In terms of gender rights we have made many advances. But, with Roe vs. Wade struck down, we are starting to move backwards. We need to remain vigilant. What can you do? Start by having a goddess image on your altar that you connect with. Vote. March in protests. Know what bills are coming up for a vote and contact your representatives. Get involved in politics. We have to stop sexual exploitation, rape and domestic violence. Know that in some parts of the world women are seen as property and are denied choice and opportunity. Goddess spirituality is one aspect of Wicca that lends itself to social justice. Social justice for Wicca is important to this day so we can practice in safety and be open about who we are.

Enjoy wrestling with these kinds of questions and issues!

I will continue to post on Wednesdays.

Auburn Greene

Suggested Investigation: This is a source of the Thirteen Principles of Wiccan Belief.

Buckland, Raymond, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, Llewellyn, 2004.

Fox, Selena, “Earth Day Ceremony,” Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, April 19, 2020. Encore from 2015.

Fox, Selena, “Goddess Magic & Women’s Equality,” Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, March 8, 2020, Encore from 2014.

Morrison, Dorothy, The Craft: A Witch’s Book of Shadows, Llewellyn, 2001.

Sabin, Thea, Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice, Llewellyn, 2006.

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