The Ordains: Part 11 – Every Action Has A Reaction

This is the eleventh entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as The Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches realize that for every action there is a reaction.”

In some circles, this is called the Law of Three. I don’t really like to use that phrase, but it’s pretty common in most Wiccan-leaning circles. Put simply, the Law of Three states that anything one does will somehow return to their lives threefold. There’s a lot of debate in Pagan communities about what that actually means, though. When it comes to the Threefold Law, I’ve heard lots of different ideas.

We have the strict belief that should you, for example, lie to someone, you’ll receive three times as much dishonesty in return. You steal five dollars, you lose fifteen. That kind of thing where your consequences directly reflect your actions.

Then, we have the idea that whatever good or bad deed you do, you’ll receive three times as much good or bad. So, the results don’t have to correlate with the action, just with the intention or effect of the action.

In any case, it’s rather difficult to assess how much is “three times” a good deed. Who determines what’s three times helping an old lady cross the street? How do you triple a kind word or helping someone move?

Because of this vagueness, I prefer not to use the Threefold Law/Law of Three, but felt it necessary to bring up as you will often find these laws grouped together. That said, I do believe they’re separate laws and choose to follow the less confusing one.

That is, for every action there is a reaction.

Of course, I think this should be common sense and not solely in the domain of witchery, but having that understanding as part of our basic philosophy puts us in a unique position. This law forces us to ask “why?” when it comes to just about everything.

Some witches, like me, have spent their entire lives asking why things happen. Others come into this curiosity only after finding their Pagan path. However we approach this question, I can’t think of a witch I know who doesn’t wonder at the consequences of their actions.

Although, that could just mean I know very responsible practitioners. But I believe that any thoughtful witch will have faced this question at some point, and this law is a constant reminder to think before we act.

In order to continuously grow on our path, it’s important that we ask ourselves: “What reaction can I expect if I take this specific action? What if I take action B?”

When I ask myself these questions, I find that I’m quite a bit more mindful about my behavior. Before I say something that may be harmful, or do something that could hurt me or someone else, I am able to stop and consider the direction that choice would take me. This is a big deal in my life, as it isn’t something that comes natural to me.

I still make a lot of impulsive decisions, and I’m still learning how to take more time to consider my actions before facing the inevitable consequences. If I keep this law in mind, the learning process seems just a little easier.

What do you think? Do you follow the Law of Three? Do you see it as I do or in a way I didn’t consider?

P.S. I’m in the process of starting a charity that offers aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
The idea would involve bags of essentials including blankets, feminine hygiene products, and more to help individuals navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part and welcome you to join me.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

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