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Exegesis on the Wiccan Rede

by Judy Harrow

All religions began with somebody’s sudden flashing insight, enlightenment, a shining vision. Some mystic found the way and the words to share the vision, and, sharing it, attracted followers. The followers may repeat those precise and poetic words about the vision until they congeal into set phrases, fused language, repeated by rote and without understanding. Clichés begin as great wisdom – that’s why they spread so fast – and end as ritual phrases, heard but not understood. Living spirituality so easily hardens to boring religious routine, maintained through guilt and fear, or habit and social opportunism – any reason but joy.

We come to the Craft with a first generation’s joy of discovery, and a first generation’s memory of bored hours of routine worship in our childhood. Because we have known the difference, it is our particular challenge to find or make ways to keep the Craft a living, real experience for our grandchildren and for the students of our students.

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