This week's writing prompt:

The Wiccan Rule of Three states that whatever negative or positive energy you put into the universe through your actions will return to you threefold.

(1) Do you believe this?
(2) Do you interpret this as receiving the consequences of your actions three times or only once but three times as strong as the original action?
(3) Can you think of any examples in which the Wiccan Rule of Three came true in your life or the life of someone close to you?
(4) If you don't believe in the Wiccan Rule of Three, do you have another belief that guides your actions? What is it?

My answer:

(1) I don't believe in the Rule of Three. I apologize in advance to those who do. We must each choose the elements of our faith that resonate with us and leave behind the things that don't, so just because I don't believe in something doesn't mean it isn't valid and true for someone else. I don't mean to offend anyone who does believe in the Rule of Three, but I must be truthful here because only the truth goes in the Book of Mirrors. To me, the Rule of Three feels like something empty and simplistic that Gerald Gardner made up. (See my articles Wiccan Threefold Law and The Wiccan Threefold Law is Overrated.)

(2) I don't know if the "threefold" part of the Rule is interpreted as three separate times or only once but three times as strong. My guess is that most people interpret it as three separate times. But to me that's further evidence of bad writing and muddled thinking. If the Rule of Three was seriously meant to be a religious tenet, it should have clarified by Gerald Gardner or whichever source it came from.

(3) When I think of reciprocity in my own life and those of others, it seems random. Some of the worst people go on thriving. Others do good works and get slammed with one misfortune after another. I get the feeling that we are only seeing a part of the huge "big picture" that is karma, which is far too vast a concept for the Rule of Three to encompass. See my articles on the subject for more.

(4) Instead of the Rule of Three, I believe that I should always choose the honorable action with no avarice over what reward I might get and no cowering over what punishment I hope to avoid. We are each of us responsible for developing our character and we do this through our actions. There is a Taoist quote that I can paraphrase something like this: our thoughts become our words which become our actions which become our character which becomes our destiny.

To act with honor and great kindness towards others takes great strength. Here is another quote by Samuel Johnson that I love: "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." To treat someone as you would want to be treated develops empathy. The more you practice kindness, honor, and empathy, the easier it gets and the stronger you become. Maybe it is the Asatruar in me coming out, but I try to guide my actions by these beliefs and not the Wiccan Rule of Three.

Ro Longstreet
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