Threefold Law

Threefold Law

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In Wicca the Threefold Law—also known as the Law of Three—is the law of return. The concept of karma in Witchcraft is to do good and good will be returned, either three times or at three times the intensity. But do evil, and that too will return threefold. These returns will be within the current lifetime. There is no "putting off" rewards or punishments, as in Christianity; they come about in the present life. With this belief there is no inducement for a Witch to do evil. It is, therefore, a corollary of the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what thou wilt." By consciously harming none as you live your life, you will not invoke any negative return upon yourself.

Some Witches believe that the return is not threefold, simply like for like. Others hold to a sevenfold return. Charles Godfrey Leland's Aradia, Gospel of the Witches refers to a double return. The majority of Witches, however, believe in the Threefold Law. Karma is the Sanskrit word for "action" with no implication of reward or punishment.

The Threefold Law has become a cornerstone principle at the heart of Wicca, yet there was no mention of it in print until Raymond Buckland's book, Witchcraft Ancient and Modern. Buckland was a disciple of Gerald Gardner and introduced Gardnerian Wicca into the United States in the early 1960s. Gardner founded Gardnerian Witchcraft and taught the Threefold Law as part of that tradition.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Threefold Law: Any good or harm that a person does to another returns to themselves, magnified three times
Witches live by what is known as "The Threefold Law".
"In general, however, most witches believe in reincarnation and the Threefold Law - anything you do comes back to you threefold.