Threefold Law as Wiccan Moral Compass, Not a Mental Straitjacket

Threefold Law: An Overview

The Threefold Law, also known as the Rule of Three,  is similar to the concept of karma and is mentioned in the Wiccan Rede. Essentially, the Threefold Law states that whatever you do will come back to you, times three. In other words, the effect is tripled. This boomerang effect may not happen right away, but rest assured that it will happen, usually at the best possible time–for good actions–or at the worst possible time–for bad actions.

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Threefold Law: Some Examples in Literature

An example of the Threefold Law at work in literature, with  “good” karma, appears in J. R. R. Tolkien’s  The Lord of the Rings trilogy, when Gandalf and Frodo are discussing Gollum and the role that pity plays. Frodo cannot bring himself to kill Gollum; his pity works out in the end, as Gollum, filled with greed, falls into the molten lava, destroying himself as well as the ring. Only in this way can the ring, and its evil, be annihilated and Frodo’s quest end successfully.

An example of  the Threefold Law at work in literature, with “bad” karma,  appears in Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Sweat,” where the antagonist, Sykes, torments his wife Delia, particularly with snakes. He boasts that he can control any snake, yet toward the end of the story, after he has released a rattlesnake in the home in hopes of killing Delia, the snake turns on him and ends up killing him.

Threefold Law

The Threefold Law: A Symbolic Representation

Of course, these are just some literary examples. In real life, the Threefold Law can take the form of  an act of kindness or of cruelty repaying the giver. The overall message here is that if whatever you do comes back to you in triplicate, make sure that whatever you do is honorable and generous. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

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