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What is Harm None?

What does the term "Harm None" mean in reference to Pagans? It came up in a Rel. Debate question, and I am completely uneducated.


Asked by KateDinVA at 5:48 PM on May. 17, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 20 (9,473 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Harm none is a small portion of the Wiccan Rede which provides the "key moral system" for Wiccan Religions. Depending on the belief system the "Harm None" rule can be taken as a "magickal rule" or as a simple rule to live by. While I am Pagan, and not Wiccan, I tend to follw this rule as well. Obviously it's impossible to live a life where you never harm anything - unless you live in a cave that is, but it's a general idea meant to remind everyone that love and kindness will serve us better than hate and harm ever will! In many ways it's similar to the "Golden Rule" you find within Christian religions...


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:41 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Wiccan Rede ... Do what you will and Harm none ... It means do no harm to others.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 5:50 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • I believe it's part of a larger phrase usually - An it harm none, do what ye will.

    Basically, as long as what you're doing doesn't harm anyone, have fun. Or, more simply stated, common sense.

    Answer by bishopblack at 5:50 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • What they said ^

    Here's an example of a long version of it. It's part of the Wiccan Rede. I think some other neo-pagans (but not all) follow some kind of Harm None idea as well.

    Wiccan Rede

    Answer by pam19 at 6:05 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • So, when the answer was (paraphrasing) "people think all pagans practice harm none", I am still a little unclear.

    At first it seems that means "harm some", but I just feel in my gut that is not what you mean :-)


    I'm not sure without looking back through questions I missed what the context was, but in general I know that many traditions get lumped together in the 'pagan' umbrella. Just like you can't assume one Christian is the same as another (or two Buddhists, two atheists, etc), you can't assume that one pagan follows the same traditions as another pagan. They probably have their own traditions and moral codes to follow, but it may not be that specific one. I think that's all it means, but I'm just guessing since I didn't see the original answer.

    Answer by pam19 at 6:08 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Oh that was me who said
    and Pam put it the best... Pagan is an umbrella term... for many different paths... not every path has the same rules

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 7:06 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Harm has been said it depends on the person and their path whether they follow that or not.

    Basically, do what you feel is right or good as long as it does not bring harm to yourself or others. The harm none rule also means not to harm yourself(which I didnt see any of the other ladies say so thought I should add that in).

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 7:50 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Not all religions that get lumped in as Pagan have rules with regards to being nice to everyone or the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you). It's a common generalization, but mine, specifically, and Kaelansmom's specifically, have very different rules regarding behavior and honor. I'll let her explain more about hers if she chooses, but in mine, doing no harm is not compatible with a system of honor that places little respect with forgiveness and far more with repaying debt.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:00 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • Like NotPanicking, repaying debt is the order, with mine, you can harm, but not kill.

    We can kill. Or, theoretically, we can. We (most of us) still tend to obey civil law for the sake of common sense, but before that was a factor, all bets were off.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:04 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • As I've always stated, I'm a Heathen. If you want to be specific it's Universalist Reconstructionist Germanic Heathen. It's similar to Asatru, but not as restricted, as Asatru, like Theodism, are specific to very narrow territories, while Germanic Heathenry is applicable to all the areas in between England (Theodism) and Asatru (the Scandanavian beliefs exported to Iceland where they flourished as their European counterparts were slaughtered).


    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:41 PM on May. 18, 2011