Deepening Craft: The Three-Fold Law and Other Things

Deepening Craft: The Three-Fold Law and Other Things July 25, 2010

I got some interesting feedback the other day on my musings on deepening my Craft. I’m going to touch quickly on some of that before I move on to talk about the Three-Fold Law.

One person mentioned that Wicca was most definitely not a revealed religion. Which is fine. I happen to be fine with leaving our origins shrouded in mystery. Be it 50 or 5,000 years old, it still has depth, magic and meaning. One of the oldest branches of this weird collective called Modern Paganism, Thelema, is a revealed religion. I think Wicca may have the same sort of issue with revelation that Reconstructionists have with UPG; they are very similar concepts.

Our praxis is designed for revelation. We divine. We invoke our Gods into our sacred circle. We meditate seeking answers from the worlds beyond. Why do we do this if we are not seeking personal revelation? Some groups relish in the revelatory nature of the Craft, while others do not see revelation as an intregral part or focus of Wicca. Neither is wrong. Each Witch is sovereign of his or her own soul. We have no prophets and no One True Way. Just as you may not care for tarot, you may not be comfortable with some of the revelatory aspects of what we do as a mystery tradition. However, if you practice Wicca, you have at some time or other either sought or experienced a revelatory experience.

Is it wise to look for an advanced Wicca? Well, if you mean you’re looking for something beyond Wicca, then probably not. It’s like someone reading the Bible and then asking their priest for advanced Christianity. However, I think we should be trying to move more deeply into our Craft all the time. Like onions and ogres, the Craft has layers. I am no longer the same Witch I was when I picked up my first book on the Craft a decade ago, and likely I will be quite a different Witch in another decade. My praxis has not changed significantly. I’ve simply gained greater understanding, acquired significant experiences and glean more from ritual than I used to. I still have a long ways to go. Formal training has given me new insight and greater polish to my praxis, but I still use the circle, the quarters, incense, candles and salt.

What does actual practice look like if it’s not rote? Graceful. We cast our circles, call our quarters and make our declamations over and over, like practicing the multiplication table. Then one day you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. At first this feels like rote and then you realize you’re free to focus on the actual work and intention of the ritual. In Daosim this is called “not doing”, just like a major league pitcher no longer has to think raising his knee to his chest. He has done it so often that his body obeys and his only focus is on the path the ball will take. As you deepen your Craft your praxis doesn’t change, your consciousness does.

How do I seek the shallows in my practice? I read back through my class notes, my Book of Shadows and books on Wicca and when I find something that either rankles or means nothing to me I take note. Recently I was reading back through my class notes and saw where I’d copied down the Three-Fold Law and I flinched internally.

Ever mind the Rule of Three,
What ye send out comes back to thee.

So karma grows exponentially out of control with every action and reaction? It’s against the laws of physics. It rubbed me the wrong way for years. So I sat with it and thought really about what the Three-Fold Law means and what purpose it holds within the Craft.

Continued —>

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  • Ali

    Thank you! I’m glad you decided to share some of this in response to the questions your last post generated. I especially like your take on the Three-Fold Law. Not being Wiccan, I haven’t had much cause to contemplate its meaning on any deep level, so it was fascinating to read your thoughts on it. It sets an excellent example for others hoping to deepen in their spiritual work as well (another three-fold return? ;)).

  • Glad you liked it Ali! It’s nice to be able to learn from other Pagans! One reason I love hanging out with Recons!

  • Vivianna

    I really like your take on the concepts you presented. In a vacuum, I find the law of 3 troublesome and arbitrary. (Don’t even get me started on karma!) But you’ve provided some additional context and new thoughts to think!