Talk:Wiccan Rede

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Archive 1,

An and an'[edit]

Just to clear this up, the "an" of such Shakespearian phrases as "an hadst thou not come to my bed" is conditional, and is much the same as "if". (This is how Valiente used it in "An it harm none".) When the phrase "an it" is abbreviated to "an't", the apostrophe stands for the missing I of "it", and not a missing D of "and". This is the same as in "for't" and "to't", for "for it" and "to it" respectively.

The examples that were cited from Shakespeare do not show a contracted "and" but a contracted "an it". "An't shall please your Majesty", for example, is simply "If it shall please your Majesty", and emphatically not "and it shall". [[1]] Cavalorn 12:26, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Just to clear this up, "an" as in "an't shall please your majesty" is, according to the OED, a contraction of "and" ("weakened from and" it says). Yes, it has the function of "if", but that function derives from its role in phrases where the "and" identifies a condition: - that is "and and only and". It is an additional condition for the act that it should "please your majesty", hence "an(d) it please".... If the word simply meant "if" then the phrase "an if" in Love's Labour's Lost would be tautology. The sentence is "Nay then two treyes, an if you grow so nice Methegline, Wort, and Malmsey; well runne dice". Here "an if you grow so nice" means "and if you are becoming so picky".
I'd rather resolve this than have an edit war, so I won't yet restore my footnote, but unless you come up with some evidence that this is wrong, I will. Don't mistake me, the "ye olde" language of the poem is blatantly "fake", but this kind of archaism was quite common throughout the twentieth century. The point is that the repeated abbreviation of "and" as "an'" does not proove that the last line predated the others. I believe it did, but we have to present the arguments fairly. Paul B 13:20, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
For proof, focus on the all-important apostrophe. When "an" is used with the function of "if", as in Shakespeare, it is presented exactly as such, sans apostrophe; the modern contraction, with the apostrophe standing for a missing "d", is what is found (quite anachronistically) in non-Valiente parts of the Thomson Rede, and most importantly in the Valiente couplet as it appears in the Thomson Rede. Since Valiente's use of the term was not apostrophised (any more than it is in Shakespeare), the addition of the apostrophe and subsequent proliferation of imitative "an'"s can only be a later addition.
As I pointed out, where "an" is followed by an apostrophe in Shakespeare, it is the initial vowel of the following word that is missing, as in "an't please". The apostrophe is not used to signify a missing "d" in "and", but a missing "i" in "it". (Have now changed initial paragraph of article, which implied that this was the case.) See also "for't" ("and hang for't afterward") and "in't" ("O brave new world, that has such people in't!").
Bear in mind also that "an" is only ever used in Shakespeare et al in that conditional role, and never as a mere substitute for "and". Using "an" in such a manner, apostrophised or not, is a blatant anachronism, and nobody who had sufficient understanding of archaic English to come up with "an it harm none" would produce this.
So, we can say with confidence that Valiente's line is a well constructed archaism, while the Thomson rewrite (and addition of extra lines) is a poorly constructed one. It's all in the tacked-on apostrophe, and subsequent proliferation of "an'"s, as if the idea was to suggest that witches always contract "and" to "an'".Cavalorn 13:56, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, I don't think you have proved anything. The addition of the apostrophe is just a matter of choice regarding the printing of the text. For example, many editions of Shakepeare update spelling for ease of reading. Some editions of LLL even add the "d" on the end of "an" in the passage I cited.[2] An apostrophe would be another option. I don't know why you keep repeating the point that the apostrophe in "an't" marks the abbreviation of "it". I know that. It's irrelevant. And the first paragraph of the article never implied anthing else either.
Using an apostrophe for abbreviations of "and" as "an" is just a copy-editing decision. Given that "an" is a contraction of "and" it's quite a legitimate one. Of course, no-one doubts that the poem does misuse archaisms, but since there is no dispute that it is modern, demonstrations of the fact are an irrelevance. The debate is whether it was written in the 1920-40s or the 1960s-70s. You are arguing that "an it harm none" demonstrates a degree of familiarity with early modern English that is not evidenced in the rest of the poem. I accept that you have a point, but this evidence is far too thin to say that one can "prove" or say "with confidence" that the rest of the poem is an extrapolation from the last line. You say that "nobody who had sufficient understanding of archaic English to come up with 'an it harm none' would produce this [abbreviation of "and"]". How do you know? The "an it" expression is common in Shakespeare. Any educated person would have read it often enough. Use of "an'" as an abbreviation of "and" was also common in a number of published texts by the late 19th century (the OED gives "an" and "an'" as synonymous for the relevant definition). It's quite possible that both could have been used by the same writer in the early 20th century. I don't think it's likely, but we have to give a fair account of both sides. Oh, and the NECTW has published a booklet, in collaboration with an historian, one that presumably defends Thompson's claims regarding the origin of the poem. I doubt it will be convincing, but I have ordered it. Its arguments should be presented. Paul B 11:50, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Why would the author of the Thomson Rede write "an' the werewolf howls" for "and the werewolf howls"? That is surely the question to ask - why anyone would think that this was appropriate or convincing. Why would anyone think that witches habitually dropped the Ds off their "and"s? Where would they learn that?
I can only conclude that this was someone's conclusion after reading a text, which they believed to be authoritative, in which the D was dropped off the end of an "and". The use of 'an it harm none' can be attributed to familiarity with Shakespeare, but the persistent, forced use of "an'" for "and" cannot.
You say that "nobody who had sufficient understanding of archaic English to come up with 'an it harm none' would produce this [abbreviation of "and"]". How do you know? - Because there is no precedent in archaic English for using that kind of abbreviation of "and" as a conjunction, so why use it on virtually every single occasion? (Shakespeare does not write of "the slings an' arrows of outrageous fortune" or "tomorrow an' tommorow an' tomorrow".
Whoever wrote all those "an'"s in the Thomson Rede was trying to emulate something. In order to use that form in the belief that it was archaic, the writer must first have read it (or something they had mistaken for it) in a context that they believed was archaic. When people fake a style, they do it by using what they have already seen. So, someone who writes "an'" for "and" in an attempt to sound witchy must have picked up the idea, from somewhere, that Olde Worlde Wytches write "an'" when they mean "and". Given that the Valiente line appeared twenty years before the Thomson Rede, and that no other text associated with witchcraft uses this odd apostrophised abbreviation of "and" throughout, it seems obvious to me that Gwen Thomson simply inferred from reading Valiente that saying "an'" instead of "and" was stylistically witchy.
To put it another way, show me a document other than the Thomson Rede that a) pretends to antiquity and b) uses "an'" for "and" almost every time in the same way that the Rede does. It's not that it's fake Olde Worlde language, it's misinformed fake Olde Worlde language, which requires the author to have gotten the wrong end of a very specific stick.
Also, there are other alterations to the original Valiente line that appear in the Thomson rede and are replicated there. Valiente's line was "Eight words the witches' rede fulfil", which is changed in the Thomson rede to "Eight words ye witches' rede..." To use "ye" for "the" is, as you almost certainly know, a classic pseudo-archaism. Given that the same pseudo-archaism appears again in the Thomson Rede - "Elder be ye Lady's tree" - the evidence suggests that the same person who wrote the Thomson Rede also put that "ye" in the Valiente line, also changing "an" to "an'" to fit in with all the other "an'"s. Since the error-introducing alterations occurred between the first appearance of the (archaically correct) Valiente line and the (badly pseudo-archaic) Thomson Rede, I don't see how there can be any doubt that the former came before the latter, nor that it was authored by a different person.
The only other explanation would be to suggest that the Thomson Rede, pseudo-archaisms, abundant "an'"s and all, was around in the 1920s-40s, and that Doreen Valiente 'cleaned up' the pseudo-archaic Rede for public consumption, changing the "ye" back to a "the" and the "an'" into an authentically Shakespearian "an", only for Thomson to put the pseudo-archaisms back again in 1975. Even that would not, however, explain where all those bizarre and idiosyncratic "an'"s came from in the first place.
Can you suggest any other explanation for why the "and"s were shortened to "an'"s almost without exception, when that's not a feature of archaic or even pseudo-archaic texts? Misparsing of the Doreen Valiente line on Gwen Thomson's part seems to me to be the only explanation for this.Cavalorn 16:56, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay in replying. You say "Can you suggest any other explanation for why the "and"s were shortened to "an'"s almost without exception, when that's not a feature of archaic or even pseudo-archaic texts?" Well yes, I can. As I've already said, the an' abbreviation was well-established at the beginning of the 20th century. It was common in published "ballad" poetry, which was very popular at the time. Here's an example from Kipling:

For the wine was old and the night is cold,
An' the best we may go wrong,
So, 'fore 'e gits to the sentry-box,
You pass the word along. (The Shut-Eye Sentry).

Of course, in this case it's intended to represent colloquial speech, along with the other abbreviated words. But the central point is that it was commonplace by this date. More important, however, is the fact that it is also found by the same date in popular editions of Middle English and Early Modern texts, as for example in David Laing Purves' edition of Chaucer:

A worm to nighe near my flow'r than thou."
"And why, Sir," quoth I, "an' it liketh you?"

So there is good evidence that Bott is wrong to say that this convention could not have been used by Porter. Adding an apostrophe is a copy-editing decision. It tells us very little about the age of the text. As I've already said, I think the proliferation of "an'" suggests that the poem is an extrapolation from the last line, but is not proof because the "an'" abbreviation of "and" was very common in ballad poetry by the 1900s. Porter could - conceivably - have read Laing Purves or some other popular poetry-book of the era along with ballads of the day and have conflated the two usages of "an'". It is the same word, after all. So there's no problem with the apostrophe. It's just a spelling choice in published form. As for the "ye", one could adopt the same explanation. If the text was transmitted verbally, it could be written down in many variant forms. The Porter-Thompson poem itself now exists with variant and added lines, as you know. Both Valiente and Thompson, after all, were claiming to have inherited oral tradition.

I'll repeat that I don't actually believe that Porter, or anyone else, wrote the poem before 1964. I'm just responding to the arguments that have been put forward. I think they are far from watertight. These were the points I attempted to make in the sentence that I added at the end of the summary of Bott's argument and in footnote, both of which you deleted. I can still see no good reason why this evidence should have been removed. Paul B 14:53, 17 November 2005 (UTC)


As I've already said, the an' abbreviation was well-established at the beginning of the 20th century. Well, yes - but by that stage, the use of "an" in the conditional sense was long OUT of circulation. The an' abbreviation was well-established, yes, but as a colloquialism, not as an archaism.

No. I have already pointed out that the an’ spelling was used for the archaism, which was (rightly) construed as an abbreviation. That was the whole point of including a reference to the 1870 edition of Chaucer in which the archaic an with the function of “if” is published with an apostrophe. There's even a footnote in the original edition, right next to the apostrophe, explaining its meaning as "if". Since you seemed to be preoccupied by the “all important apostrophe” in your earlier posts it seemed necessary to point this out. You wrote, "When "an" is used with the function of "if", as in Shakespeare, it is presented exactly as such, sans apostrophe." My reference shows that that statement is not accurate. Bott also thinks that the apostrophe is important as evidence of a mistake on the poet's part. Paul B 14:41, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

The fact of there being precedent for the colloquial "an'" in print doesn't explain why on earth someone trying to sound archaic would have used it, any more than they would have used "ain't" or "crikey"! The Chaucerian example you suggest is just another example of the conditional "an" by the way - "an it liketh".

Yes. I know the Chaucer use was an example of the conditional "an". That’s why I included it. I was showing that the same spelling (with apostrophe) was used for both usages in published texts.

I don’t need to explain the abbreviated an', I only need to show that it’s possible. The an’ spelling for the archaism was used from the late nineteenth century, and the an’ abbreviation for the ordinary usage of “and” was also commonplace. The author of the poem liked to use Olde Englysh language; she throws in other gratuitous “poetic” archaisms (such as the bizarre “enow” derived from Fitzgerald). There’s nothing implausible about the idea that an unscholarly writer who likes to add as many archaisms as she can might have conflated the two uses of an', given that, as I have already said, the Chaucer/Shakespeare usage is an abbreviation of "and", and that its abbreviated nature and its meaning as "if" were explained in annotated editions like Purves's. She may have thought that such abreviations were authentially archaic, or at least that they sounded so — not surprising of we are talking about a writer with a head full of late-19th and early-20th century poetry — Kipling, Fitzgerald, Purves' version of Chaucer etc. Paul B 14:41, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

You say "an'" was common in ballads - where does this information come from?

It comes from the fact that I've read a lot of ballad-poetry of the time. It was a popular genre. It also appears in song lyrics of the era and in dramatic monologues. All this is readily availible in published texts. Paul B 14:48, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

When you write of Porter using "this convention", you're actually conflating two seperate conventions. One is the use of a shortened "and" in the conditional sense - "an it liketh" - while the other is the shortening of "and" in the colloquial sense - salt an' vinegar. (Kipling was writing down the speech patterns of soldiers in the British Army!)

You have an interesting capacity to inform me of my own statements as though you are contradicting them! Yes, I wrote that the author may have "conflated the two usages of "an'"", having carefully pointed out that they were distinct conventions ("Of course, in this case [Kipling] it's intended to represent colloquial speech"). But they are not so distinct that they could not be conflated. Both legitimately represent abbreviated "and"s. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

The point I'm driving at is that the author of the Thomson Rede clearly doesn't know the difference between the two. Valiente, on the other hand, had a very sharp eye for pseudo-archaisms.

That's why it's reasonably to say that the proliferation of an's throughout the poem suggests that it was an extapolation from the last line. But it is also important to point out the factual errors in Bott's own argument in order to be fair. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Porter could - conceivably - have read Laing Purves or some other popular poetry-book of the era along with ballads of the day and have conflated the two usages of "an'". - I don't think that's plausible, because in order to have formulated "an it harm none" correctly in the first place, she'd have to have understood its conditional meaning. If you understand "an" without apostrophe as conditional, you're hardly likely to introduce a whole pile of contracted colloquial "and"s, are you? I can accept that she saw "an" used conditionally in the Valiente couplet and tried to emulate it, but I cannot accept that she used "an" as adroitly as Valiente would have done and then went on to conflate it with the colloquial shortening of "and", adding a host of "ye"s into the bargain. There are clearly two levels of competence here.

Well, if the "Wiccan Rede: A Historical Journey" website correctly reproduces early published versions of the couplet, it seems that it was published with the apostrophe and with "ye" well before Thompson, but I don't have acccess to the original published forms, so maybe the website has altered the spellings. Of course, the ye is a legitimate, if pointless, archaism for "you", not for "the" in these instances, something that it would be worth pointing out in the article.

You write 'If you understand "an" without apostrophe as conditional, you're hardly likely to introduce a whole pile of contracted colloquial "and"s, are you?' Well, yes you are if you are familiar with both the conditional form as in Purves and the colloquial form as in Kipling, both spelled the same, both common in published verse. You may think that that's the proper "poetic" way of writing. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

To sum up:
1. The author of the Thomson Rede was evidently trying to sound archaic, as we see from the proliferation of 'ye's and formulations such as 'Elder be ye lady's tree'. The use of 'ye' for 'thee', as well as the general tone of the couplets, strongly suggest that the author does not have any command of genuinely archaic language. Doreen Valiente is known to have been extremely good at writing archaic English, and was also competent at detecting pseudo-archaisms, as when she challenged Gardner over his made-up pseudo-archaic Laws of the Craft.

As far as I know no-one is suggesting that Valiente wrote the poem. She doesn't even claim to have written the couplet. So I don't understand why her faux-archaism antenna is relevant. "Ye" already seems to appear in pre-Thompson versions. In any case, as Bott says himself, its a spelling convention. We are talking about a written text here. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

2. The author of the Thomson Rede included a stylistically modern contraction of 'and' in many places. Though this was commonplace in print by the beginning of the 20th century, it was not archaic. "An'" when it appeared in print simnply represented the speech patterns of people who shortened their "and"s.

Yes, but it does not tell us that the poem was written after the 1960s. And an' (with apostrophe) also represented the archaism. Anyway, it's just a published version of a poem that's supposed to have been orally transmitted. There's lots or room for orthographic variation. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

3. The only explanation for the presence of this incongruous modernism in a text which is striving to look archaic is a misunderstanding on the author's part. The author must have gotten the idea that it WAS archaic.

Yes, but that's only one explanation. Others might be that the publisher/editor shortened the ands for publication because it seemed more archaic that way, or the original poet felt that "an'" just sounded archaic. The evidence suggests that the latter possibility existed from around 1900 on. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

4. Is there anything which the author could have misconstrued as a sanction for the use of the colloquial, modern "an'" as an archaism, especially in the context of witchcraft? Yes - the Valiente couplet.

Yes, that's possible, of course. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

5. Since the same author could not plausibly have used a term appropriately in one sentence and then gone on to misconstrue it for 19 other sentences, the Valiente couplet MUST be the work of an earlier author.

No, it's not misconstrued in the other sentences. It is correctly construed in both cases. In the last line it is both a contraction of "and" and it means "if", just as Purves states in 1870. The contraction of other more commonplace usages of "and" is consistent with it, and with existing conventions at the turn of the century. The sources of the two contractions differ (unless you take the LLL example as source for the straight abbreviation), but they do not contradict eachother. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

The reason for deleting the initial comment about "an't" was that it seemed to me to be arguing for a false literary precedent of "an'" as conditional, when the apostrophe stood for a missing vowel and not a missing "d". This could have given the impression that "an'" was the common archaic form of the conditional "an", which it was not.

As I've said before, the addition of an apostrophe in the archaic "an'" is just a publishing convention. It proves nothing. That apostrophe does stand for a missing "d" in these publications, just as it does in Loves Labour's Lost, in which case, BTW, there is a clear case of an Early Modern abbreviation of the normal use of "and". Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

The statement that the argument can be challenged by reference to the OED misses the main point, which is that the author of the Thomson Rede mixed up two sorts of abbreviation of 'and' willy-nilly. The point is not that the Shakespearian "an" is an abbreviation of "and", but that the "an"s of "an it please thee" and "four shillings an' sixpence, guv'nor" are completely different usages, seperated by centuries of history and muddled up by the Thomson Rede's author.

You have forgotten the LLL example. That's a clear abbreviation of the normal use of "and". So no, they are not completely different usages. Anyway, the sheer commonness of the Kiplingesque abbreviation is evidence that it might be in the mind of an early 20th century author. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Nobody who was sufficiently well versed in archaisms to compose 'An it harm none, do what you will' would confuse the two, much less would they write 'ye' for 'the'. The only way to argue that the same person wrote 'An it harm none, do what you will' and 'Elder be ye lady's tree' is to maintain that the elegantly composed archaism of the Valiente line (which, let's not forget, appears in a mangled form in Thomson) is a happy accident, for which the author was temporarily gifted with superior powers of composition.

I'm not sure that it was "mangled" by Thompson, if the transcriptions on the "Wiccan Rede" website are correct. I've already answered the other points. I want to stress once again that I am not trying to prove that the poem predates Thompson, I just want to have the fullest and fairest discussion. That includes a summary of the good arguments for post-65 authorship, but also an acknowledgment that those arguments are not conclusive, and that Bott does in fact make a few erroneous assertions. Paul B 16:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Rede of the Wiccae Book[edit]

I have now obtained and read the Mathiesen/Theitic book on Thompson and Porter. The book's claim is that Porter probably wrote much - most - of the poem, which was later adapted and supplemented by Thompson. Anyway, I propose to add material relating to this and restore and supplement the critical notes relating to Bott that have been deleted. Paul B 00:40, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Added passage[edit]

I'm moving this here because I dont understand it:

Contrary to this, some argue that this interpretation is based upon the law of Thelema and while the wording of one may have inspired the other, the interpretation of the two do not necessarily coincide so. In particular, the injunction "An it harm none" is arguably redundant when it comes to matters of "true will", as knowledge of ones true will should be sufficient to result in ethical behaviour.

I don't understand:

1. Why being based on the law of Thelema "contradicts" other interpretations. 2. What is meant by "while the wording of one may have inspired the other, the interpretation of the two do not necessarily coincide so." 3. On what basis other than assertion is it claimed that "ones true will" necessarily will not involve harm to others, thus somehow making the "an it harm none" component redundant.

I assume this is a Crowleyite criticism of Wicca, but I think it needs some clarification. Paul B 01:55, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

an it harm none vs an harm ye none[edit]

I'm not going to get into a long long debate about the use of the apostrophe, unless I see a facsimile of the original article "Wiccan Pagan Potpourri" from Green Egg. However, someone at 24.222.134.200 keeps trying to change the wording of the end phrase. Now it may or not make much difference, that change. But the wording, as quoted by Nemed Cuculatii in Wiccan Pagan Potpourri TRANSCRIPT, is An it harm none not An harm ye none.--Vidkun 01:32, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, the original published form of the wording is from a report on Valiente's 1964 speech, not from the Green Egg magazine - which is not even the original published form of the long poem, so we can't be absolutist about the "correct" phrasing. Nevertheless, all published accounts that I know of agree with your version. Paul B 08:04, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
What is the first published version of the long form of the Rede of the Wiccae? I'll be mightily confused until I get my copy of Mathieson's and Theitic's book.--Vidkun 14:16, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I'll add it here when I get the time. It's very similar to Porter's. I made a mistake above, since all versions are not identical. The reported Valiente version has "the Wiccan rede fulfill". Porter's version has "ye Wiccan rede fulfill". Paul B 16:31, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Earth Religion News version[edit]

Here's the ERN version. As you can see, there are many relatively minor differences. Intriguingly, the last line has "an ye harm none", but has "the" in the first half. So no early published version agrees with the anonymous editor's version, but every one of them has at least one "ye" in one of the places s/he added them, and all the places are "yeified" in one or other of the versions. Paul B 22:48, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

paste of entirety of work removed, not licensed for Wikipedia use Jkelly (talk) 23:49, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Reversion of wikilinks[edit]

I've twice reverted the addition of links to the 'see also section'. The first time both were red, the second time one was to a piece of copyvio text which was immediately changed to a redirect to Doreen Valiente. Anyone following either link to The Witches Creed or The Witches Lament would currently be puzzled by where they ended up. May I suggest that if anyone wants to wikilink that they first prepare an appopriate article, and only link to it once it is stably in place and has meaningful content? Kim Dent-Brown (Talk to me) 12:43, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Can someone please put some explanation as to how the word "rede" should be pronounced? An IPA spelling could be nice. Thanks, Tamuz (Talk) 13:49, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Done (pronunciation is "reed") but I don't know how to format this in IPA. Anyone else? Kim Dent-Brown (Talk to me) 12:09, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

The and Ye[edit]

There is a lot of confusion about the use of "the" and "ye", and the article does not help much. The confusion has arisen due to orthography. "The" has been the English definite article since Anglo-Saxon times, but Anglo-Saxon did not use the exact same alphabet we now use, but was more phonetic. It had, instead of our digraph "th" (which we confusingly use to represent both the dental/lingual fricative sound corresponding to the Greek "theta" (θ), as in "think", and as the more guttural sonant corresponding to the English and Icelandic "edth", as in "this") two different letters. The former, "theta"-sounding "th" was represented in Anglo-Saxon by the letter "thorn" (because it began the word "thorn"), which looked somewhat like a "Y" with the triangle at the top closed off (like a thorn from a rose stem facing downward, and derived from ancient runic script).

So when we see "Ye Olde Booke Shoppe" on cutsie-poo mock-archaic signs and such, we should read it as "The Old Book Shop", the "Y" representing the letter "thorn", not the imported Greek "Y" symbol. The "ye" of "An ye harm none, do what ye will" is standard orthography, the "ye" being the second person plural nominative pronoun, as in the phrase "As ye sow, so shall ye also reap" from the Authorized ("King James") Version of the Bible of 1611. Writtenright 10:46, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Interesting point, but I'm not to clear myself. As I understand it 'ye' can be the plural second person or a transcription of 'thorn', standing for 'the'. What do you think should be changed? Paul B 10:58, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
What exactly is the point of continually tinkering with your original comment without making any positive suggestions about how the article should be changed, if at all? Paul B 12:01, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikisource deletion discussion[edit]

s:The Wiccan Rede is being discussed as a possible copyright violation. Please lend a hand in helping us sort through the history of this work. John Vandenberg (talk) 05:25, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Recent additions[edit]

There have been a ton of edits made in the last few days, and there are quite a number of them with which I have issues. Too many to list, really, but the first one to jump out at me is the use of AC Aldag as a source. It's a self published article, with no peer review, and not a reliable source. A number of issues regarding derivation of the rede in re Crowley were discussed here.--Vidkun (talk) 20:24, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

RE: Recent additions[edit]

Please feel free to make changes or comment about other issues you might have "issues" with. I found the original document to be choppy source-wise and incredibly biased and, well, downright incorrect. My goal was to make the Rede section as credible, or nearly as credible (and as nice) as that of the Bible and Qur'an, which have received extensive attention. Ours has not. I have changed those things which I know and which could be researched, and removed original entries that had no sources and for which I could not find sources. AC Aldag and his comment about the source of the Credo has been removed. I agree with you about the problem of him being a self-published author, when it comes to credibility in the scholarly sense of the word. Please keep in mind, however, that much of the Neo-Pagan movement is based on personal interpretations and personal things, and whether or not the author is a scholar, they have probably done some research on the topic or are otherwise intimately familiar with the practices and the Rede. I would not discount them entirely, save to question how in depth their research has gone. Your additional comments are appreciated, as are those of the rest of the Wiki community. I do not profess to know everything; it still needs a lot of work. :) Dec. 28, 2007.

Aldag additions[edit]

I've still got problems with the AC Aldag stuff, from a reference point of view. Who is AC Aldag, has their stuff been peer reviewed, does this writer have any sort of degree? In short, is AC Aldag a reliable source? Or is it simply self published internet opinion pieces? I ask, because in the various places on Witchvox that AC Aldag posted the "What's really old, and what likely ain't?" stuff, Aldag ALSO says this: You decide! Please Google everything I've written, in various forms, such as "Pentacle", "Pentagram", "Pentangle". Read Gerald Gardner's work, read authors who've studied Pagan history, look at images online. Read Gardner's detractors and supporters. Read other authors who disagree with the "experts". Look up some museum sites. Read the books mentioned in these articles. Have fun! leaving us with no indication of any of their sources, no citation, pulls information seemingly out of thin air. I believe Aldag's work has good sourcing, but the problem is - we don't get to see it! Aldag takes copyleft for their own work, but won't tell us where any specific statements are referenced from. I think it's intellectually dishonest to claim copyleft without citing your own sources.--Vidkun (talk) 14:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I've no idea who Aldag is. According to his website "A.C. Aldag is one of the founders of Caer na Donia y Llew, a legal Pagan church located near beautiful Lake Michigan. Our family practices a Cymri (Welsh, Celtic) folk magic tradition, and I also have a background in Alexandrian Wicca and Welsh Witchcraft". In other words, he does not appear to be an accredited scholar, but a practicing Wiccan. I simply reworded the section today because the foototes and quotation had become hopelessly confused. It wasn't clear exactly who was saying what. I can have a look at what Ronald Hutton or Robert Mathiesen say. Paul B (talk) 14:24, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I think AC Fisher Aldag is a woman. I actually used the witchvox link to ask her how she could claim copyleft, but in at least one of her articles say she wasn't going to list sources for fear or infringement lawsuit. I got back a very nasty email saying "go read my sources, I listed them in the article!!!"--Vidkun (talk) 14:27, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
OK. I don't think there's any problem with the info, as you say, but sourcing could be better.. Paul B (talk) 14:44, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Here's the quote from one of her articles: Several people wanted to learn my sources, or gain additional material on the subject matter. Well, I’m sorry, but in the interest of not being sued for unintentional copyright infringement, I leave it up to the reader to discover my sources for him or herself. There are pointers about how to do this, listed below. Other readers requested that I rate the accuracy of some of the references I used. This also seems to be begging for trouble. Because I’m just one amateur historian, who is not backed by a university with deep pockets (financed by taxpayers’ money!) , then I can’t afford to cite a source who might feel that I used their material illegally. Or drag me into court for defamation of character, if I think their pet theory might not hold water.--Vidkun (talk) 16:37, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Very odd comments! Citing of sources does not infringe copyright - unless they are quoted verbatim and at length. Expressing opinions about them are unlikely to landf anyone in court. Paul B (talk) 15:22, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and, to me, it shows a certain lack of reliability of the source, AC Aldag. It suggests to me that we shouldn't even use her as a source in this article, or anywhere in wikipedia.--Vidkun (talk) 15:26, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The Long Rede[edit]

The wording of this section is clumsy; it currently reads "This poem was shortly followed by another, slightly different, version, entitled the "Rede Of The Wiccae", which was published in Green Egg magazine by Lady Gwen Thompson. She ascribed it to her grandmother Adriana Porter, and claimed that the earlier published text was distorted from "its original form". The poem has since been very widely circulated and has appeared in other versions and layouts, with additional or variant passages. It is commonly known as the "Long Rede"." and then goes in to the poem.
A quick reading leads one to believe that the version posted in the article as "The Long Rede" is the version published by Thompson in her Green Egg article; it is not. It doesn't make clear that the version on the page is one of those "other versions and layouts, with additional or variant passages." That version also needs a source; I'm trying to track down a first publication of it, but having no real luck at the moment, although a 2008 posting indicates that it **may** have been published by Silver Ravenwolf in one of her books.
Also, FWIW, Thompson did not state that Porter was her grandmother in the text of the article; that information that was added post-publication via an internet posting by myself after Thompson's death in 1986. HR Mitchell 03:16, 9 January 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Moondancer (talkcontribs)

This is simply due the fact that editors come along and change words here and there over time, so that the text gets, as it were, corrupted. We should use the same version published by Thompson. The Thompson version is published on this website. The variants are published in the book The Rede of the Wiccae: Adriana Porter, Gwen Thompson and the Birth of a Tradition of Witchcraft, of which I own a copy. The Earth Religion News version can be seen in this diff. Paul B (talk) 19:16, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Moved Text[edit]

I haven't had much to do with this article since its inception; however as I read it tonight, I could not help but think the following text ought to be removed, and thus I have placed it here: " Documented ideas similar to the Rede reach as far back as the fourth century theologian Saint Augustine of Hippo. In Homily 7 on the First Epistle of John, Augustine wrote Dilige, et quod vis fac[not in citation given ([[{{{talk page}}}|See discussion.]])] meaning Love, and do what you will,[1] Augustine was commenting on 1 John 4:4-12, which talks about love at length. Certain versions of the Bible translate Romans 13:10 as "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."[2] It has also been argued that similar concepts exist among Native Americans.[3]:"

I am uncertain whether the above text is necessary. Secondarily, I think that St. Augustine was most likely referring to that passage speaking of "the fulfillment of the law" as in the context of Scriptural (perhaps Biblical or Papal or both) Law... not as Crowley would have as in the sense of "Moral Obligation." On the surface these two ideas seem related; though, and perhaps I'm wrong, but St. Augustine would most likely be referring to Law that was already written. Again I may be wrong, but I think that Crowley would have been referring to an unseen trait within the individual. In short I think this is comparing apples to oranges, though I welcome other opinions. Thanks. 162.234.97.208 (talk) 04:44, 10 March 2014 (UTC) (formerly Crimson Peaceful Wolf)

It's not really about what you or I think, but what sources have said. In this case the Augustine passage is cited to the original source, so the editor who added it has apparently made the connection, which is "original research" in wiki-speak. The claim about Native Americans is cited to a source, though I don't know how reliable it is (not very, it would seem). Personally I suspect it's likely to be a New Age fantasy that this has anything to do with "Native American" cultures, but of course there are many of them, so it would hardly be surprising if something a bit similar was to be found somewhere. The claim, however, is very vague, and it is of dubious notability. Better out than in, I'd say. Paul B (talk) 11:37, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't see why we should care what Ventimiglia thinks. We'd need something more impressive and specific. And the Augustine bit is indeed OR. Dougweller (talk) 12:51, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Attempting to separate myself from personal bias..., Many things are verifiable and not OR, but that doesn't mean that verifiability alone and secondary or tertiary sources are sufficient for inclusion in any given article. My argument [case?] is not precisely about OR [I don't know whether or not this qualifies as OR , although it does appear (to me?) that it does contain OR.], but rather about the necessity of inclusion in "this" article. --"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social enviroment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions." --Albert Einstein 162.234.97.208 (talk) 15:11, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/170207.htm
  2. ^ Romans 13:10 NKJV, which may be referenced at [3] and versions also compared at [4]
  3. ^ Ventimiglia, Mark. Harm None. "The Wiccan Rede: Couplets of the Laws, Teachings, and Enchantments." Citadel Press: Kensington, 2003. 186-87.