The Threefold Law: Do I have to follow it?

In some Wiccan traditions, many practitioners operate around the law of correspondence within their beliefs. This law is called the Threefold Law, or the Law of Three, which states that the energy sent outward from an individual will return to them three times more powerful. There’s debate amongst Wiccans whether or not this law holds merit or if it’s part of an old tale used to hold witches accountable for their actions.

The origins of the Threefold Law likely stem from eastern religions that promote the idea of Karma, which states that all actions have a consequence. In 1949, the Threefold Law was introduced by Gerald Gardner. He published the novel High Magic’s Aid where he states that one must obey the rule of three and be mindful of the energy they send out as it will surely come back to them threefold. These beliefs were also a reinterpretation of the ideas of Raymond Buckland who also wrote about Wicca. He talks about ideas of Karma in his work but his teachings weren’t as concrete as The Threefold Law.

The Wiccan Rede Video
The Wiccan Rede Video

Should You Follow This Law?

Whether or not you follow the Threefold Law is up to you and your beliefs. One way to reflect on this idea is to think about any spells or magick you’ve created within your life. Maybe you’ve worked with protection, love, and abundance. These are all instances where you’ve sent out energy into the Universe. Did you reciprocate these energies? Did they become magnified in your life threefold?

This law can help empower you with positive outcomes and beneficial intentions. When you send out beneficial energy, it can be wonderful to receive that energy back into your life.

Christian Cross, Buddhist Lotus, and Wiccan Pentacle

In many belief systems and religions, there seems to be a standard practice used as a word of caution to prevent people from harming others or themselves. In Christianity, thou shall not sin. In Buddhism, there is Karma. In Wicca, there is the Threefold Law. Often, these laws are in place to prevent people from acting in ways that the belief system views as out of alignment with their purpose or goals. Truthfully, always operating by this law can prevent you from performing certain spells or rituals out of fear of them returning to you. The key is to focus on your intention.

For example, if you had a spell cast upon you by another witch causing you harm, the logical reaction would be to protect yourself. While you could perform a simple protection spell against negativity, this spell may not be powerful enough to protect you from their spellwork. Instead, you could cast a spell against them to weaken their attack. Now, sending out this spell could potentially harm the other witch, but is your intention solely to hurt this person due to ill will? No. Your intentions are still to protect yourself and overcome the challenges that you face with this person. This is the energy that will return to your life.

Return to Sender Spell Spell Chant
Return to Sender Spell

To experience anything, you must first be an energetic match to it. This is why witchcraft is so powerful. It utilizes your power and energy to create the link to your desire, drawing it into your life and opening up the doorway within yourself to receive it. The Threefold Law has holes within it because if we were to send out energy with goodwill and faith but it turned out to cause unintentional destruction, the law would state that you would receive this destruction. But that wasn’t the energy you sent out, was it?

There can be instances where being mindful of the Threefold Law can be beneficial, especially when you or someone you know isn’t in the right frame of mind, such as in deep anger or resentment. The energy they may desire to send out during these times would likely be very negative and destructive. Since they are already at that level and experiencing such negative energies within themselves, sending out that energy could potentially bring more into their life because they are currently an energetic match to it.

See also: Emotions and Power – Casting Spells When Upset?

Your Practice is Limitless

Whether you’re Wiccan, a witch, or anyone practicing energy work, it’s important to recognize your limitless potential with your abilities. While there are certain laws the Universe operates on, learning to move throughout and around them is possible with the right knowledge and course of action. If the Threefold Law doesn’t resonate with you, it may not be part of your journey. It’s not part of many Wiccans or Witches’ journeys either. You don’t have to limit yourself or restrict your magick for fear of something unwanted returning to your life. You are also your magnet, and your intentions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and actions can dictate much more of what you experience coming into your life than one simple spell.

The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction

The Threefold Law can help prevent destructive behavior, but it doesn’t have to dictate the path you take within your spellwork. You can create your own rules and standards to follow within your practice. Decide what you feel is right, get in tune with your integrity, and follow your path. Only you can decide what to believe.

Exploring Rules, Laws, and Ethics

Whether or not you believe in the law, it’s important to remember that there are always consequences to your actions. Any choice you make opens a doorway to a future experience. Be mindful of the choices you make and what action you take, as these are the building blocks of what lies ahead beyond the horizon.

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