The term Rede, or Wiccan Rede, refers, apparently interchangably, to either the long poem I have provided a link to or, more accurately I believe, to the eight-word form below;
“An it harm none, do what ye will.”
If you’ve read any modern books on Wicca, or searched the internet for it, you’ll probably have found both versions repeated quite often. The Rede is the cardinal rule in Wicca, but half the websites present its text without exploring its origin or meaning.
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The Threefold Law is attributed to Gerald Gardner, and the basic idea behind it is that any energy you send out will return to you three times as strong. It is first suggested in High Magic’s Aid;
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“Thou hast obeyed the Law. But mark well, when thou receivest good, so equally art bound to return good threefold.”
The ‘Burning Times’ was a period of history when around 60,000 people were tried and convicted as witches. The majority of these trials took place between 1550 and 1650 CE, however most of the victims of the witch-hysteria were not actually Pagan, and they most certainly were not Wiccan as this is a much newer form of Paganism. In reality, most of them were Christians who had the misfortune to be in the wrong situation, at the wrong time.
In an attempt to answer the question of why these people died, I’ll give you a brief look at the factors that combined to open the way for witch burnings to occur.
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