Ethics of Witchcraft

What are the ethics of Witchcraft? Do we get out our book and look up Ethics and find them cut and dry? What about Harm None?

A Witch must form his or her own code of Ethics based on the Wiccan Rede and the Law of Three. Lets look at the Rede - Harm None - Sounds simple, but is it. What about the times when all course of action will harm at least one person? An ye harm none, do what ye will.... What about when inaction will cause harm? Not so simple anymore. Now we must balance what we do. If there is harm, will good outweigh bad? This is when we can bring in the three fold law. For every thing we do its returned to us, good or bad. (and if you can not see the good that is returned you need to get closer to nature, open your eyes, and listen)

Using the Rede and Law of Three as your guide stick, you form your code of Ethics. You do not wait till something happens and then say well, with the three fold law and.... You need to have a firm code made. As time goes by you may refine your code, but it should not be something that is easily changed.

Ethics within a Coven

When you become a member of a Coven you take an oath. This Oath says that there are certain things you can not talk about outside your Coven. It will also say how you will act within the Coven. Some normal thing in this Oath would be not to tell others the names of the other Coven members. (Some may not be out of the broom closet and this could cause them harm). Tell how certain rites and rituals are done. Terminology used by the Coven or Tradition. To show respect for your Elders. (Referring to an Elder within the Coven, who could be younger than you) Breaking this Oath could get you banished from the Coven and could possibly get you called a Warlock!

When you take an Oath, you must up hold it. It is very important.

Here's a quote I like:

Magick requires mental discipline more than it does anything else. You must keep your word whenever you give it, and always follow through with everything you undertake. To do otherwise is to negate your own will. We often see in Wiccan magick the phrase "and as my word so mote it be." If your word means little to yourself or others, then it will reflect in your Magickal ability.

Raven Grimassi - The Wiccan Mysteries - page 140.

Your WORD.... So important. As a Witch, your word must mean something.

Ethics within the Wiccan and Pagan communities

There are many Pagan paths and many Wiccan Traditions, so there are going to be many things that are not agreed upon. When you are at an open circle, don't say "They are doing it wrong!" because they are not doing it the way you would. Witches depending on Trad will start a circle in either the East or the North. And other Pagan paths could do it completely different. Accept that they are doing it their way and it is the correct way for them, and enjoy the circle.

Now you are asked to be part of an open circle. Ask questions - find out how they expect the circle to be done. This way you will not be doing something one way and everyone else another way. If the way they want to do circle feels wrong to you, thank them for asking you, but decline being part.. (Do Not say "You all are doing it all wrong")

If you are invited by a group to cast circle, do it the way you normally do. (If you are claiming that you are a Witch of the first degree or above - this is not something you would decline)

DISCUSSION: Ethics of Witchcraft


1. Explain why Wiccan ethics are positive, rather than prohibitive.

2. Mother Earth, why must we protect her?

3. Should we use drugs in our rituals? Why or why not?

4. What kind of spell are justified under the Rede?

5. What is the boomerang effect?

6. Explain: “Never accept money for the use of the art, for money ever smeareth the taker”

BONUS QUESTION 1: What is a Warlock and his relationship to Modern Witchcraft.

BONUS QUESTION 2: What are some of the important reason for having an Oath when joining a Coven or Covens outer court.

BONUS QUESTION 3: In Wicca we do not search out people to join, but let them seek us out. Why? Will this view change?

BONUS QUESTION 4: Should Witches start churches for Pagans?

Read pages 13 - 25 Buckland’s  Complete Book of Witchcraft.

Where do you like to hold your rituals.