Face Danger and Harm None

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The insect stung me and soon my whole arm was swollen. That was several years ago.

Today, I stood facing wasps on my balcony, a can of insecticide in my hand.

For three years, I have dreaded this day. And for three years, I’ve practiced the Wiccan “an it harm none.”

But today, the nest is so big and the wasps are so active.

Worse yet, they’re now getting into the house! Somehow, they are defying our screens and working their way into the house. I must take action.

If I get stung, I feel that my family will need to rush me to a hospital.

The Wiccan Rede advises me to “harm none” but these insects are invaders and they can severely harm me and my family members.

What can I do?

How do we, Wiccans, keep to the Wiccan Rede and still live our lives?

Let’s look at the word “rede.” Its origin is Middle English, and the definition is: “to give counsel to, or to advise.” Notice it isn’t defined as a rule, meaning something that must be followed.

And here is an important point: If I do nothing then harm will come to me and a family member. That is NOT “harm none.”

So now, it’s impossible to follow the “harm none” phrase like a rule.

To simply live, your body is defending you from germs and viruses. That means, your body is killing germs and viruses each day. To survive, you need to eat. Even if you are a vegan, you still kill plants in order to live.

Let’s go back to the definition of rede and the section that says, “to advise.” The idea of “advice” means that a person can take the advice and current circumstances all into account.

So how do I deal with the wasps?

I knock down their nests. I faced the risk of being near them as I was de-homing them. But they kept coming back. So I asked in the form of a prayer, “Wasps, please leave.”

The wasps did not comply with my plea. Over and over they came back and built new nests.

We are still in negotiations at this time.

But you can see: Staying true to my Wiccan path does not mean I never act to protect myself. But I strive to follow the Rede as much as I can.

What would you do?

May you find your answers on your path.


Moonwater SilverClaw


For more of Moonwater SilverClaw, consider some of her books:

The Hidden Children of the Goddess Embrace Wicca, Become Strong, Be at Peace with Yourself and the World Around You


Beyond the Law of Attraction to Real Magic: How You Can Remove Blocks to Prosperity, Happiness and Inner Peace


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5 thoughts on “Face Danger and Harm None

  1. You could contact a bee/wasp removal service… they can often remove and/or relocate the hive & the bees (or wasps) without harm to them or you.


  2. Hi..
    I like Jonni’s idea as well.. not only does it save you or your family getting hurt by angry displaced critters, it puts your mind at ease that they are being dealt with (hopefully) humanly as possible.
    Crossing fingers for you that you find a good solution.. I’d probably do exactly this and hope that it’s dealt with quickly..


  3. Being a witch who is no longer “Wiccan”, it may be easier for me to see the “dehoming” and destruction of these critters as an easier moral decision that you do. While I still follow a “harm as little as possible” rule, when it comes to decisions like this I follow the rule of “the better path”. Is it better to protect yourself and any of your family who may have inherited the allergy from you (or an even more virulent version of it) but not know from not having been stung yet? Is it better to do whatever you have to in order to protect yourself and your family? Even if you do not have children, (you do mention family that would be impacted as well as yourself) is it not better to protect yourself and your family? Or, is it better to let the insects build where they wish without obstruction/destruction regardless of potential for serious harm?

    As a widowed mother of three teens with a severe insect allergy myself, I am sorry to have to destroy insects, which have a valid purpose on this earth, just as I do. However, that being said, I am not going to take a chance on leaving my kids with no one should the worst occur. Nor, am I leaving them to fend on their own while I am hospitalized. Nor am I allowing the opportunity for our limited financial funds to be re-directed to a hospital in lieu of the food, clothing, bills, back-to-school supplies, etc that requires every available penny each month.

    Just as these insects will try to protect their home and loved one, which is natural, I will do the same, that, too is natural. However, as a firm believer in doing as little harm as possible, may I suggest, instead of insecticide which will also potentially harm the insects charged with removing the “remains” why not get a bottle which squirts up to 10-12 feet away and use a soapy water base, which is non-toxic to the scavenging insects who will follow. This will not only knock them out of the air, it prevents them from flying as the soapy water coats their wings. This is what I have done for the past 20+ years and have not been sting since. Also, if you want to prevent them returning and can afford it, Haint Blue paint is supposed to discourage them from becoming friendly with your home in he first place. I have a sister who did the exterior of her home in the dark shade and she does have an incredibly low incidence of wasps compared to my home and I am literally only 2 miles away from her home. Might be worth the investment if you can afford it. I certainly wish we could!



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