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.
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