The Three-Fold Law

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The Three-Fold Law is the belief and principle on which Magick is used. This law relates to the use of power and energy, for when used, power is returned to the sender, three times the level it was sent out.

Used in relation with the ethos, "Do what thy wilt, though it harm none" (as stated in the Wiccan Rede), witches take great care when preparing and casting spells that no harm should come to others because of it.


The nature of this three-fold return can perhaps be better understood when considering the cause and effect principle of a spell. Let's take an example: Someone comes to you in distress with a problem. You help by sending out positive energy and the problem is successfully resolved. This automatically makes you feel good about yourself and influences your thoughts; thus your state of consciousness is altered.

In turn your thoughts stir the emotions; which has a physical effect in the body by causing glandular secretions to enter into the blood stream. The resulting state of mind and body lifts your spirit, which is what makes you feel good. Thus, with the act of a single good deed you have been effected three times in mind, body, and spirit. This then is your three-fold response to the return of positive energy. Now consider your response had you sent out negative energy or something went drastically wrong.

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Mar 02, 2020
The Three Fold is a principle of Wicca, not magick.

Apr 12, 2020
Actually it does relate to magic in that it is for the practitioner to think about one's actions before casting a spell. It is also for those who join Witchcraft for the purpose of casting black magic spells, and the threefold law is to stir them away from that. I got this information from the Gardnerian Book of Shadows on Sacred

Apr 13, 2020
The Three-Fold Law is a Wiccan concept [it was coined by Gerald Gardner who founded Wicca, based on the Hindu concept of karma] Most Wiccans and non-Wiccans view it as what happens when you cast ''black magick'' when it's more how you live your life. Doing good will reward you threefold, doing bad will punish you threefold. Yes, many witches use the threefold law as a scare tactic for new members, but it isn't universally followed by all witches. There are those who only do ''black magick'' [which I would call ''magick that has the potential to cause harm to others'' since magick is intention and not colour] and never receive anything close to the threefold law because they work with magick differently than Wiccans. One is not better than the other, it's just a moral system and understanding of the craft. During my first couple of years as a witch, I followed the threefold law out of fear, not really understanding it, but after contemplating it and doing some soul searching, I realized two things. A. the idea of triple karma doesn't make sense, that instead, it affects our mind, body and spirit. and B. if you cleanse frequently, try to keep your energy balanced [more towards the positive] and don't overdo your spells, you won't see any negative effects, minus the occasional backfire or negative energy build up. [also ''Gardnerian'' is the path Gerald Gardner founded, also known as British Traditional Wicca, so your source is biased in favour of the threefold law. Nothing wrong with that, just you should read other sources and points of view, that's all. I try and read about other paths I have no interest in, just to better understand their view]

Feb 02, 2021
Basicly, three fold is Do what you want, just dont hurt anyone in the process

May 18, 2020
I have a nagging problem since I follow my own path the three-folds law is a little different than this definition.

May 26, 2020
This makes a great deal of since

Jul 16, 2021
Nice 🙂

Sep 19, 2021
This is very helpful. Thanks!!

Oct 31, 2021
not everyone believes in this ''law''.

Jan 10, 2022
yeah I think thats why witches/pagans are mostly are using spells for good purpose instead of using spells for bad purposes so it won't come back to us three times bad

Sep 24, 2023
Witches and pagans are not the same things, people get bad ‘karma’ because by using curses and hex they need to draw up a large amount of negative energy which then gives them bad effect, the three fold law is a Wicca concept, you can believe in it and it’s all up to personal belief

Apr 23, 2023
As usual, Nekoshima's Clarity and Insight are hard to beat. I, too, abhor the idea of this being used as a Scare tactic to keep Practitioners in line. Further, while I appreciate the overall Intent as Novices are easier to subject to Harmful repercussions from such Magick, I think that incorporating it in this way creates its own negative effects, in Triple Measure. The worst type of Foundation for Magick is Ignorance, and incorporating the Threefold Law as a fear-tactic is just that--Ignorance. Further, I believe that Magick that Harms has an equally valid place in a Practitioner's Repertoire and I also do not believe that there is a Karmic Effect, either in Magick, or in Life. People who do much Bad receive much Good-Fortune from their actions and people who do much Good receive much Ill-Fortune. While it is a bit more complicated than being reduced to the actions and effects of this life, overall, I believe that if Karmic Payback was a Universal Law, we would not see so much of what I have mentioned. I prefer to think of it more this way; the Threefold Law is a Feedback system. If you try to cram a 120 V power source into a 45 V conductor, you blow the conductor and you also receive the excess energy back in the form of Feedback, with it having no place to go but the next nearest conductor, usually the person who incorrectly used the power source to begin with. If we see this more as a Law of Nature than Karma, I believe it will create that sense of Caution teachers of Magick so strongly try to evoke when using the Threefold Law as a scare-tactic to begin with.

Aug 14, 2023

Ah yes, The Three-Fold Law, Wicca's most overhyped law. First, let me stress to you it is NOT a universal law. If you are not Wiccan, and it does not resonate with you, you do not have to follow it. It is exclusive to the Wiccan religion, and is not a rule of Witchcraft or Paganism. Anyone who forces this law on you as fact, is wrong. It is the same as insisting everyone follows The Ten Commandments when it is only part of the Abrahamic religions.

Now, The Three-Fold Law essentially states ''What you do, good or bad, will return times three.'' This is typically interpreted by newbie Wiccans as ''I push someone, I will get shoved down a flight of stairs, then hit by a car, and struck by lightning.'' Which is complete hogwash. What it actually refers to is how the energy will effect your mind, body and spirit. Doing good deeds brings positive energy and elevates our spiritual vibration, thus improving our body and mind. When we do bad deed, our energetic vibration drops and we feel low. Think about when you feel down, you slouch, your thoughts are sad, and you do not have energy to do much beyond lazing around. Negative energy is heavy and weighs us down. It is not a tick for tack rule. It builds over time.

Most Wiccans do not cast baneful spells because of this and The Rede. (Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An ye harm none, do what ye will) They work together, but many only follow The Three-Fold Law without The Wiccan Rede. Nothing wrong with that, but you should understand the origin. However, baneful spells are not always bad spells. Some Wiccans are fine with self defense. If someone has wronged you, a justice spell might cause the other person negative consequences, but they are negative consequences from their own actions. Curses can be cleansing. If someone is harassing you, and you are filled with rage, a curse would be you reclaiming your power and fighting back. Whether these instances are right or wrong are subjective. Only you can answer these questions for yourself. This is why you should read the explanation of The Three-Fold Law, then contemplate it. Reflect on how you feel about it. Think about what you feel is morally right or wrong. Question if The Three-Fold Law resonates with you and draw your own conclusions. Do not fear some ''Law'' will strike you down because you did something out of anger. You will learn from your mistakes and do better in future. Nobody is watching you planning your punishments at each misstep. If The Three-Fold Law was anything, it would be the equivalent of someone saying ''Don't go down that road, it's muddy'' and you ignore them. You might get stuck and you will be covered in mud. However, you did not die, you might have lost a shoe, but a quick shower and you know next time to take the other path. That is The Three-Fold Law. Granted, if you believe in it and insist on cursing people for fun over and over, the universe has a way of keeping balance and you might notice your life is not thriving. However, plenty of Witches focus on baneful Magik and live great lives. It comes down to knowing how to work with Magikal energy.

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