The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Author Ms.Faith

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What you send out, returns three fold . . . or does it?

 Good evening all,

Let's discuss for a bit the law of three.  All who start walking this path soon hear of a law, or rule. the law of three, also known as the three-fold law.  'What you send out, returns three-fold to the sender' , so in other words careful what you do, because it will return even more intensely to you.

Like much in the world of Wicca, where this rule  is a very strong one, the origins of this belief is shrouded in legend and mystery. There are many schools of thought as to where this idea of karmic retribution returning to the magician  first began.

Karmic return has been a concept for centuries in many cultures. Yet, as we can observe, it doesn't always work as promised. If the bad things people did to others always came back with three times the severity in consequences, well we wouldn't need police, courts or prisons.

There is a phrase in Gerald Gardner's fictional  High Magic's Aid published in 1949 where it is believed by some scholars this concept was first introduced by Gardner and would be adopted as a key concept in his new religion of Wicca:

"Thou hast obeyed the Law. but mark well, when thou receivest good, so equally art bound to return good threefold.'

  Yet there was controversey surrounding even the founding father of Wicca and his sources, as his high priestess Doreen Valiente was quoted as saying in regards to Gardner's three fold law " I think old Gerald cooked it up in one of his rituals and people took it terribly literally." - Doreen Valiente

Let's not quibble over origin as that's simply a waste of time, but let's discuss the practicality of this law. First, it's not a law, at least not by our understanding of physics.  It's a 'law' that gravity works. Stand upright, with an apple in one hand. Each and every time you open your hand the apple you hold will drop. This is a law of physics. The concept of what you do returning to you three fold is not a law, a law that we can depend on every time. It is instead a warning that what you do will return to you, and as a warning to new magickal practitioners who first experience the power and ability when wielding magick, to take it seriously and not lightly or ever to harm others. 

Now, I have seen this concept at work. I have found that the 'times three' whammy is only in reference to magick cast in a circle with magickal intent and focus. This is clear in most writings on this subject, yet many people seem to interpret this as anything they do will return three times! Wow, that's a little extreme! It's an awesome idea when things are going great and you're happy, loving life and everyone in it.(hear birds singing)

Then there's Wednesday for example.    Half way through the week and you dread driving through that traffic yet again and your week seems it will never end. Maybe you were a bit short with that lady who cut you off, and really isn't that gesture bit childish? Well, it might be a bit harsh for you to receive karmic feedback of a automobile issue three times as severe? That could be a bit out of balance. I find energy is returned with equal strength. What you send out, comes back. Flip someone off in traffic and most likely you will deal with the sting of someone's tongue that day or shortly thereafter, or receive your own gesture of affection from a fellow road traveler.

Now, I'd like to look at this topic a bit more seriously. In reference to magick done in a circle with magickal intent, I do believe the energy is returned magnified. I also tend towards some schools of thought that what is being effected are our three worlds, our physical, mental/psychic and spiritual selves.  As strongly as I lecture against ever doing anything regarding another magickally without their express knowledge and permission, there are those foolish enough to disregard the warnings and play with it anyways. I have heard the stories from people who stop by and visit, and I have seen people who have deliberetly attempted to harm another with their magick.

  Now, mind you, I consider it harming another if you put a love spell on someone without their knowledge or permission.  A binding spell on any other human being or spirit is also taboo.  Yes, it can be done. But the effect is worked on the practitioner, not the intended, and I've never seen it come out good. Ever.  I've said it before and the same principle applies here, we work our magick from within. 

But for those foolish and reckless, most of the times, the practitioner  loses the ability to cast any effective magick. Almost as if there were a cosmic divine plug that gets pulled.  I have over the years, unfortunately witnessed a couple of individuals who had attempted, it was revealed at a later time, to control others with their magick, and to hold power over them. This is considered direct harm. Both of these individuals developed severe psychological disorders, but I caution against assuming they did not have a latent mental illness before developing an interest in the magickal world.

Anyone who, in anyway, wishes to control, impress or have power over others, with their magick, needs to know that the magickal world does have rules, although I fear us mere mortals only understand but a few of them. Perhaps the rules are specific and as individual as each of us. I only know what I've seen and I know karmic return exists.  But I don't fear karma. It makes me feel good to do good things, to be nice to people and try to understand others frustrations when directed at me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not Glinda, the 'good witch of the North' hummmph, I could tell you stories about goody Glinda,  she has her moments, let me tell you!   Well I have my good days and like everyone else I have my not so good days. I joke, when people ask me "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" and say "It depends on the day. Cut me off in traffic and we'll see!"  On a regular basis though, everyday I am aware of my behavior, temperament and how I come across to others. I try to moderate me, so I don't affect others adversely.  I also try to learn from each experience I have.

Just the other day, I was driving and as I came to an intersection I slowed and I saw a man out walking along at a good pace and he walked right off the curb, and continued into the intersection in the crosswalk. I slowed to allow him to pass and he stopped and got a bit testy and growled 'go, go, go, you've got the light grumble, grumble, growl', with more anger than he probably realized.   I continued on my way, and checked in with myself if I had that bit of karma coming. I couldn't remember anything specific, so I thought maybe there was a bit of balancing needed, and if so o.k.,  that wasn't so bad. 

Then I thought about the man.  I have no idea what was going on in his world and he could have had many reasons for having a bad day. If anything,, he's probably feeling bad growling at a complete stranger who was just trying not to run him over.  So my lesson, not to take it personally and send loving energies out to the grumpy man, because I don't believe you can have too many loving energies surrounding you.

There's little room for victims on this path. Oh sure there are those who want to blame others for their difficulties even in the magickal world. But the truth is, we craft our reality every moment of every day. We really can blame no one else, but you can take the credit for crafting a life that brings you happiness and joy. If your life does not make you happy, only you can re-create your world. Send out what you will, all the while knowing it will return to you.. 

© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see

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