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The Ordains: Part 1 – Harm None

This is the first part in a series on a set of laws known as the Ordains.

The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener, the man scholars credit as the founder of Wicca. Depending on the source, these Ordains may contain anywhere from twenty to over eighty rules and guidelines that most practicing Wiccans have accepted for generations. The Ordains have, over the years, morphed into various versions. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

Every version I’ve read begins with the same specific line. You may recognize this rule. You’ve heard it echoed in various Pagan tenets and groups, and it’s the basis of my own practice.

“An ye harm none, do as ye will.”

Like the phrase “Blessed be” and a powerful devotion to the number three, this statement pervades throughout most Pagan circles I’ve participated in. It lives in the core of Wicca and remains a constant influence over how I choose to live my life.

The idea of what this phrase means to me, however, has changed drastically from when I was 14. And there was a time when it meant nothing at all.

At first, I took it to the extreme—something I believe many of us do. It got to the point that I was so intent on saving nature that I couldn’t stop to appreciate it.

A year later, my world-view took on a more nihilistic color. Nothing seemed to matter, and “do as ye will” shone a little brighter than the “harm none” that precedes it. I stuck in that mindset for a few years.

Now, though, I think I’ve found a healthy medium. “An ye harm none, do as ye will,” without the archaic language, boils down to: “So long as you harm none, you may live as you choose.” However, the world we live in complicates that sentiment.

Simply by existing in the modern world means we’re complicit in the harm of someone somewhere. While we are all responsible for improving the situation, the task doesn’t lie on the head of any singular person. Not you and not me.

“Harm none” doesn’t mean you have to go off-grid and live in a minimalist box.

Sure, in my ideal world every single person would live in a self-sustaining home powered by wind and sun with gardens both inside and all around the neighborhoods. No one should be homeless. No one should go hungry. And I won’t believe anyone who tells me we don’t have the resources.

My ideal world isn’t yet a reality. Someday, I hope we get there, but for now, I must do what I can. In my actions and words, I try to limit the direct harm I cause any other living being.

I fail a lot. Even when my intentions are to help, things don’t always play out that way. People get hurt, including me.

In my evolving understanding of “An ye harm none, do as ye will,” I’ve had to take frequent looks at my own flaws and misbehaviors. There are many moments in my past I’m not entirely proud of. There will be more in the future.

The key to not letting guilt or shame overwhelm me is in forgiveness. So long as I do my best to be a good person and try not to actively hurt anyone… So long as I work towards helping others heal and keep love in my heart, I can forgive myself when I mess up.

“An ye harm none, do as ye will” isn’t a call for perfection. Nor is it permission for bad behavior or recklessness. We can’t turn a blind eye to our own misdeeds under the guise of “I’m not trying to hurt anyone.”

This is certainly true on my end. The way for me to honor this important guideline is to continue to do my best. I must not only actively avoid harming other living beings, but I need to regularly look at my failings in order to learn how to be a better person.

The first Law reminds me of this. Showing up in both the Wiccan Rede and the Witches Creed, it is the main tenet of the Wiccan practice. Therefore, it’s a constant guide in my life.

What does it mean to you to “harm none”? Leave a comment here or a message on Facebook. I’m dying to hear from you!

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week!
Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page!
PLUS I’ve decided to start a new MCCA newsletter so that you can be updated whenever there’s a new blog post, as well as on any other MCCA matters. Don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox! Sign up now!

New Series: The Ordains

Hello again, witchlings.

First, let me apologize for taking such a lengthy hiatus. You deserve better. This blog deserves better. I do hope you can forgive me for going away for so long.

The energy I once directed into this blog was diverted towards other writing and entrepreneurial efforts. The creative juice that would be pumped into these posts went instead into my novels and other projects.

The days flew by, though, and turned into months—and you got nothing. For that, I’m sorry. I always intended to return, and that time has finally come to pass.

In “The Future of Maiden’s Circle”, I expressed difficulty when it comes to writing this blog. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to say here anymore. I’d lost my motivation and my purpose.

None of the ideas I’d prepared for the blog felt right. They didn’t seem to matter. Most importantly, they weren’t as connected to Maiden’s Circle Coven or or our Covenpath Course as they should have been.

Ultimately, that’s why the blog was created in the first place. To honor and return to that purpose, I’ve decided to write a brief series on a topic covered in our Maiden’s Circle Covenpath course.

In the first part of the course, we cover the basic beliefs and tenets of the Wiccan religion. Among those tenets are the traditional Ordains, also known as The Witches’ Laws. These “laws” were popularized by a man known as the “father of Wicca,” Gerald Gardner.

In this series, I’ll be posting a short entry on each of the twenty-two Ordains that help form MCCA’s practice. These entries are my personal thoughts and feelings, and they are in no way meant to dictate what you or anyone else should believe. This is an activity similar to one of the assignments in the course, and I’ll post an entry each week on Monday.

Hopefully, you find the following entries to be entertaining, as well as informational. I’d love to know your thoughts on these so-called “laws” for witches.

Be sure to check back every week for a new entry, and check your email for any big Maiden’s Circle updates.

Thank you so much for your patience, for your continued support, and for your divine love.

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week!
Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page!
PLUS I’ve decided to start a new MCCA newsletter so that you can be updated whenever there’s a new blog post, as well as on any other MCCA matters. Don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox! Sign up now!