The Wiccan Rede: A Historical Journey

Part 7: Commentary # 2

by John J. Coughlin

This letter was sent by Moondancer, a Georgian Tradition and NECTW Elder, and offers some important leads to earlier mention of the Porter/Thompson Rede, which became well known after its publication in Green Egg magazine in 1975.

From: "Moondancer" ( 
Subject: Rede of the Wiccae 
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 

I stumbled across your website on Wiccan Ethics, in particular, the
section on the history of the Rede, by accident looking for something
somewhat unrelated via a search.

I would like to mention that the Georgian Tradition received the
Adrianna Porter/Gwen Thompson version of the Rede poem (numbered lines
and all) within a few months of its formation in December 1970, which
predates the publication in Green Egg #69 by at least 4 years.

In the Thompson article in Green Egg, she makes mention that "Many
different traditions have different redes. That is understandable,
considering the time involved from Alpha to Omega- Our own particular
Rede, however, has appeared within the past year in a perverted form.
That is to say, the wording has been changed." I believe this may be a
reference to an issue of the Earth Religion News, published by Herman
Slater and Ed Buczynski (which I no longer have copies of due to
flooding in 1976). Alternately, it may be a reference to "The Quest" by
"Rhuddlwm Gawr" (William Wheeler), which (if my memory is correct - my
copy is currently in storage) has a version in which couplet #7 reads
"Widdershins go by the Waning Moon, Chanting out the baneful rune." 

In addition, the Porter/Thompson version is the only one I have ever
seen of that date which includes comments similar to that quoted in
Glass' "Witchcraft the 6th Sense and You": "REDE OF THE WICCAE (Being
knowne as the counsel of the Wise Ones)" [From the Green Egg article
"Wiccan Pagan Potpourri" as scanned in].

Also, Ed Buczynski had studied with Thompson prior to his move to the
NYC area and creation of the "Welsh Tradition" circa 1971, and Leo
Martello had guested with her coven in New England several times.

Georgian Tradition Elder
NECTW Elder 
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