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In Wiccan Lore, what is the rule of three?

The Wiccan rule of three is a teaching that your actions return to you threefold, particulary if they are magical actions. It is not a belief universally agreed among Wiccans, as it is not specifically stated in the Wiccan Rede. There are various interpretations of this rule, some of which see it as a kind of karma. This article provides you with an overview of the Wiccan rule of three.

The origins of the rule

Basic principles The Wiccan path was formed by Gerald Gardner, who established the Wiccan rede, a set of teachings expressed in verse, whose key teaching is "Do what you will, an it harm none." The original Wiccan text, the Book of Shadows, possessed by most Wiccans, does not contain the rule of three. It is not the third rule in any book, so it should not be called rule 3. However, "Ever mind the rule of three" is stated in the Wiccan initiation ritual as a warning about the casting of spells. The earliest formulation of the rule was in Gardner's novel, High Magic's Aid. The rule of three Not all Wiccans accept the rule of three. However, the basic teaching is that whatever energy you pour into the world returns to you threefold. Thus, if you work positively for the good of others, you will receive threefold benefits, whereas negative practices mean that you incur punishment. While the rule is applied to all areas of human activity, many Wiccans believe that it is particularly apt for the working of magic, and is regarded as a brake on the activities of evilly intended magical practitioners.

Interpretations

While many Wiccans accept the rule of three, some dispute the number, believing that the effects of actions cannot easily be numerically quantified. The Hindu concept of karma Others see a similarity with the Hindu concept of karma. The similarity is the principle that the effects of what you do bounce back to you. However, Hindus do not see karma as quantifiable in this way, and Hindus believe that karma can take many lives to work out, so the rule of three and karma are not identical, but similar teachings. Other interpretations Some Wiccans do not accept the rule at all, Some point out that they put hexes on enemies, which seem to incur no ill-effects on them. However, the introduction of the concept of reincarnation, common among Wiccans, does raise the possibility that consequences follow through the cycle of incarnations. Some Wiccans believe that the threefold consequence is that actions affect their doers at physical, spiritual and emotional levels.

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