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An Ye Harm None: Magical Morality and Modern Ethics [Paperback]

Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch , Meredith MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every Wiccan Feb. 27 2005
Format:Paperback
After reading several introductory books on wicca and witchcraft, it's hard to find something new that will actually add to your understanding of what if means to follow this spiritual path. An Ye Harm None offers practical information for the modern pagan to help them make ethical choices in day-to-day life.
While any beginner of how-to book on wicca can set you on the path, An Ye Harm None really examines what it means to be on that path in our modern world. The book doesn't preach. For the most part, it simply lays out the facts and provides a guide for making the right decision.
The book is ideal for a serious student (or even teacher) of the pagan path. It addresses issues such as having or not having children, and raising children in a way that fits with pagan beliefs. These are hardly issues of interest to someone who is just curious about witchcraft.
Most of the issues are of a practical nature: money, environmentalism, relationships, health, charity, etc... But as the title indicates "magical morality" is also covered. Anyone who has read any serious books on Wicca has read that you should not use magic to influence the free will of another person. This book does not dwell on this topic very long, but it does expand on this point, as well as introduce a few other issues relevant to solitary and group rituals and magics.
It is also worth noting that the authors are Canadian and have tried to offer a balanced perspective of North America as a whole (offering parallel examples for both the US and Canada when appropriate) as well as including relevant information from other areas of the world. Often conditions in European countries are referenced to as a contrast to North American conditions.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every Wiccan Feb. 27 2005
By Katsurina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading several introductory books on wicca and witchcraft, it's hard to find something new that will actually add to your understanding of what if means to follow this spiritual path. An Ye Harm None offers practical information for the modern pagan to help them make ethical choices in day-to-day life.
While any beginner of how-to book on wicca can set you on the path, An Ye Harm None really examines what it means to be on that path in our modern world. The book doesn't preach. For the most part, it simply lays out the facts and provides a guide for making the right decision.
The book is ideal for a serious student (or even teacher) of the pagan path. It addresses issues such as having or not having children, and raising children in a way that fits with pagan beliefs. These are hardly issues of interest to someone who is just curious about witchcraft.
Most of the issues are of a practical nature: money, environmentalism, relationships, health, charity, etc... But as the title indicates "magical morality" is also covered. Anyone who has read any serious books on Wicca has read that you should not use magic to influence the free will of another person. This book does not dwell on this topic very long, but it does expand on this point, as well as introduce a few other issues relevant to solitary and group rituals and magics.
It is also worth noting that the authors are Canadian and have tried to offer a balanced perspective of North America as a whole (offering parallel examples for both the US and Canada when appropriate) as well as including relevant information from other areas of the world. Often conditions in European countries are referenced to as a contrast to North American conditions.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Now For Something Completely Different... Jan. 26 2005
By Patrice Bellavance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Once in a while, there comes a book that has a chance to stand out from the deluge of other books currently being published on Paganism and Wicca. Where there seems to be an overwhelming tendancy to keep on printing and reprinting books which seem to be 'how to guides' on everything from ritual to spellcraft, there never seems to be *any* book which will focus on how to live as a Pagan.

If you're someone who is tired with the 'same old' syndrome, then this book will feel like a breath of fresh air. This book really talks about everything relating to living a Pagan life in a mundane day-to-day world. It will talk about how to be better at being environmentally aware and offers tips and suggestions to help you. It deals about ethics from a practical stand point as opposed to just talking about the theory behind the ethics. It's simple, down to earth, and wonderfully enjoyable to read and a welcome addition in a subject that lacks and overlooks this kind of book.

I highly recommend the book to someone who considers themselves Pagan.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice coverage of pros and cons--usually July 18 2006
By Monarch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a good read, I found it to be well balance most of the time, and giving most pros and cons to the various issues at hand.

Chapter 1 is on the environment and covers fabrics, chemicals, flooring, recycling, power, septic tanks, yards, activism, gemstones, silver, and herbs.

The next chapter covers lifestyle and health using the issues of shopping, eating, nutrition, exercise, medicine, emotional health, guns, and military service.

Chapter 3 is on relationships with everyone from acquaintances to friends to spiritual relationships. Sexuality is covered, and magical relationships.

Chapter 4 covers child related issues, starting with the choice of whether or not to have them, and birth control. Although the previous reviewer found the authors to be a bit overbearing on the decision of having children, I did not come away with this impression. I think many people need to think more seriously about the choice of being a parent before running into it with "rose colored glasses." The chapter goes on to cover topics that many people are concerned with, such as breast vs. bottle, crib vs. co-sleeping, cloth diapers vs. disposable, back to work vs. stay at home, child discipline, toys & books, tv & movies, video games & the internet, and public vs. private vs. homeschool.

I found that Chapter 5, on money, was a little more biased and opinionated, maybe somewhat due to the fact that the authors are Canadian. The topics of earning money, spending money, saving money, and giving money are all covered. The authors seem very much into the idea of the government having a great deal of control in the social part of a country. Even going so far as to say that one should be cautious of giving to charities for the needy because it hides the "problem" of the government not supporting the needy well enough. This may be the case in places like Canada. Here, in the United States of America, it is more effective for people to exercise their freedom to give to charities to help the needy, rather than have the government take more of their money in taxes to help the needy--once it's gone through all of the bureaucracy of it. I am glad that places like Canada exist for people to live who are of that mindset; however, I am also glad that places like the USA exist for people who like a little more freedom, even if it comes with more responsibility (as all true freedom does).

Chapter 6 covers the many sides of "community." A few activist groups are discussed, foster parenting, adopting, mentoring, elders, urban planning, transportation, spiritual communities, virtual communities, and festivals.

Chapter 7 is where the real "magical morality" is covered. Topics include personal responsibility, gender in ritual, role of ritual, and where to have ritual.

Overall, I found the book to be a nice guide, and an asset to any modern Pagan.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfocused and preachy writing April 24 2006
By Katie Luther - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was excited to see this book, as I enjoy reading materials on Wicca that go more into the philosophical side of things. I read Amber Fisher's "Philosophy of Wicca" and found it to be a good start, and was hoping for something similar, but more narrowly focused on ethics, in this volume. If I had seen the back cover blurb in which we are informed that the author teaches the largest and most popular class on her campus (perhaps cynical from my own university experience I thought "oh she gives easy assignments and knows how to stir up controversy"), I might have continued with more trepidation--such arrogance becomes a theme in the book.

The book had the potential to be amazing. A variety of themes are included for consideration including food, the environment, childrearing, and sexuality. In each case the purpose is to see how Wiccan ethics might inform our choices in these areas. Unfortunately, this doesn't always seem to happen. It is more an exposition of the authors' opinions, with very little to back it coming from Wiccan sources. I guess because they are Wiccan and have ethics, their opinions are thus to be taken as the gospel on Wiccan ethics. Now I have no problem with authors holding forth with pure personal opinion, but it helps when they own up to the fact that this is what they are doing. Every once in a while there will be a vague reference to the "law of three" or "the rede" but other than that, it's pretty much just random facts and opinions hanging out there.

I found the judgemental attitude offputting at times, as when the authors declare that if you're not comfortable raising children completely alone in a vacuum, you shouldn't ever reproduce. Sure crap happens, people lose partners and family networks, but I don't think it's realistic to say that it's somehow un-Wiccan to have kids if you're really reliant on your personal network of family and friends. Also, there was the usual liberal doomsaying--and don't get me wrong, I'm a liberal too!--where NOTHING anyone does is ever good enough. Polyester kills with pollution, cotton requires pesticides, wool hurts the sheep...ACK! Buying meat from the store is evil, but soybeans require gallons of petroleum and clearly the only way to be good enough is to farm your own radishes, but, don't take up too much land and they better be organic radishes! It gets so tiresome and you end up thinking, "wait, why was I trying to be ethical again? Maybe I should just go out and have a factory farmed hamburger and cruise around in an SUV for a few hours..."

If there had been more examination of oh, say, how it's impossible to literalistically apply "harm none" and "threefold return" to things like what kind of diapers to get your kid and where to work, it would have been a more stimulating and productive read. I recommend Kaatryn MacMorgan's "Wicca 333" as a better read on Wiccan ethics.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Feb. 26 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book . I have been very happy with it and would be happy to recommend this dook to mt friends
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