If there’s one thing most religions can agree on, it’s the Ethic of Reciprocity (commonly known as “The Golden Rule”). In Wicca, it’s called the Wiccan Rede: As it harms none, do what you will.
This is the first of three posts discussing the forms, meaning, and history of the Wiccan Rede.
Inspired by mention of the Golden Rule Society in Edain McCoy‘s book Making Magick: What it is and how it works, I decided to collect each major religion’s equivalent to the Rede and display it here. My research led me to ReligiousTolerance.org, where I found someone had already done this exact thing. I’ll provide a condensed version below, and will refer those interested in the expanded passages and source documentation to the link above. I’ll endeavor to provide links to each religion listed below (listed alphabetically) for those curious.
Bahá’í Faith: “Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.”
Brahmanism: “Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.”
Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
Christianity: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
Hinduism: “Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”
Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
Jainism: “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.”
Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.”
Native American: “Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.” (Pima proverb)
Roman Paganism: “The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.”
Shinto: “The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.”
Sikhism: “Don’t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone.”
Sufism: “The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven’t the will to gladden someone’s heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone’s heart, for on our path, no sin exists but this.”
Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” Also, “recompense injury with kindness.”
Unitarianism: “We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Wicca: “As it harms none, do what you will.”
Yoruba (Nigeria): “One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.”