Sunday, 16 June 2013

PBP- L is for Law of Return

One aspect of Wicca that has never sat quite right with me is the 'threefold law'. This is the idea that whatever you send out returns to you three times; so for example if you do good you get three times as much good back, and the same if you do bad. Added to the Rede's 'harm none' it appears to be a moral statement, one that encourages good/bad behaviour by promising reward/punishment.

I am not going to touch the concept of 'harm none' at this point for two reasons; 1) I am not Wiccan and it is therefore not a part of my own path and 2) I think it needs more unpicking than I am willing to give space to in this post. As for the threefold law, I personally prefer to view it as the Law of Return/Attraction (or more generally 'what goes around, comes around'). Three just seems to me to be a random number which could just as easily have been seven or nine or any other number.

I do believe that all our actions have consequences and that the world works on a natural system of cause and effect. It is not about being rewarded or punished, it just is. If I constantly surround myself with negative people, I approach every situation with a negative perspective and I see the worst in everyone I will draw more negativity into my life. I have lived this, I have seen it play out in reality. I attract the type of energy I put out. I have recently changed my friends, changed my attitude and attempted to see the best in people, and my life has become a more positive one.

And so there you have it, if we all think positively all the time only good things will happen to us. Conversely, if bad things happen to us we only have ourselves to blame...... Umm, nope! That's some victim blaming bs if ever I saw some. The truth is, shit sometimes happens. Bad things can, and do, happen to good people, and vice versa. And this is why I struggled, and still struggle, with the law of return/threefold law. If it were a universal law it would be, well, universal. On the one hand I can point to my own life and confirm the existence of it with examples, but on the other it doesn't always play out the way you would expect it to. How do those who incorporate this concept into their own path reconcile this?


  1. Tricky topic :) I like the description of the threefold law described as your actions impacting you on three levels - in the material (intrapersonal), in the interpersonal world, and on the astral. That makes a lot of sense to me in terms of reconciling with a term which I think is tricky to unpick.

    1. Interesting. I have heard of the idea that threefold relates to the physical, emotional and spiritual but I am not sure if that is similar to what you are talking about? If it is I have to agree that it makes more sense than some other definitions I have seen. If it isn't, do you have any websites/articles you could point me to that would explain this in more detail?