“I don’t understand. The Wiccan Rede of ‘An it harm none’ seems almost impossible,” Nadia said.
“Impossible?” I asked.
“Look, I eat fish and chicken. That’s harms something,” Nadia said.
“Okay. I understand what you’re talking about. How about this? When you’re talking to a family member, and he says something in an irritated way, do you try to escalate it? Do you try to say something worse—something mean?”
“You know I don’t. I try to be kind to people,” Nadia said.
“Now, you’re onto something. ‘An it harm none’ is in the same spirit as ‘be kind; be compassionate.’” I replied.
In Wicca, we’re not scrambling for “commandments.” Wicca is a path that asks us to think, not just blindly obey someone else’s orders. This is what attracts many people to Wicca in the first place.
So let’s continue with the Wicca approach of thinking (not blind obedience):
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. Emily’s home is invaded by an attacker. If “An it harm none” was a commandment, do you think Emily would not fight back?
What if the attacker approaches Emily’s nine-year-old son, Joseph?
Many of us would say, go for it Emily and protect your son! And it would work, in a way, with “An it harm none.” How? If Emily does nothing, perhaps, Joseph dies. That is a greater harm.
Many of us would say, fighting back and causing harm to the attacker is correct—to save a life.
Self-defense appears right in line with the Wiccan Rede.
We need to think things through. We know that the world is not simply black and white. We don’t just turn the other cheek. We live in a shades-of-gray universe.
As we walk our sacred path, we make many decisions with each step we take. Each person has his or her own gait and stride. Each of us has our own moral compass, and we must make our own decisions as to where we place our feet.
I invite you to consider some important issues. Where is the larger amount of harm? Is this a situation in which some form of self-defense is appropriate?
Think of “An it harm none” as an invitation for you to live with as much kindness and compassion as possible.
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