John J. Coughlin. I must admit I had hoped to find a simple and clean historical path for the Rede when I first began my research.
Chances are Doreen Valiente, who had edited much of Gardner's work, came up with the Rede using Gardner's material. I am
doubtful, however, that Gardner actually wrote the Rede himself. Although "harm none" is mentioned several times in the Craft Laws
released by Gardner around 1961, the only reason given is that any harm could be blamed on witches and thus encourage further
witch hunts. Click here for the rest of article.
Lady Gwynne Thompson (Sept 16, 1928 - May 22, 1986) primary teacher of 'New England Covens of Traditionalist Witches'. In
'Green Egg' magazine (entitled 'The Rede of the Wiccae', #69 Ostara 1975), Lady Gwen aka Lady Gwynne Thompson attributed
this version of the Rede to Adriana Porter, her paternal grandmother, who crossed over to the Summerland in 1946.
Although Thompson wrote that this version of the Rede was in its original form, this declaration is disputed for several reasons, but
primarily as the language of the poem refers to Wiccan concepts that are not known to have existed in her grandmother's lifetime. It
is sometime ascribed to Thompson herself. Mathiesen and Theitic concluded that 18 to 20 of the verses are lore which would be
common to the area of rural 17th to 19th century New England and compiled by the hand of someone who would have been born no
later that the late 19th century, and that at least six of the verses which are deemed “The Wiccan Verses” were compiled and added
by a second and later hand. Since Thompson was dispensing these 26 as a whole from around 1969 it is a reasonable assumption
that hers was that second hand. Another claim is that it is adapted from a speech given by Doreen Valiente at a dinner sponsored
by the Witchcraft Research Association and mentioned in volume one (1964) of the Pentagram, a United Kingdom pagan newsletter
then being published. Valiente did publish a similarly worded and entitled poem The Witches Creed in her 1978 book, "Witchcraft for
Click to go to reprint of the article in 'Green Egg' #69