Ye must live an' let live, fairly take and fairly give.

This time I will focus less on what Mark Ventimiglia says in his book, because this line I would like to interpret for myself. It may seem self-explanatory. To me it almost is, but my opinions do differ here from his. So below, this is all me.

"Ye must live." This line has several meanings in itself. The Rede urges us to live. Does it mean to let our lives go naturally, or to live life to the fullest? To me it is both. Realize that each day, you are alive. Your choices influence the world around you. One should strive to make positive contributions to the world as often as possible. Help a friend, show someone you care, do something to take the load off of someone else. These things can be small, but they build up to be something huge.

"An' let live." This is the other side to life; realizing that you are not the only person in the world. There are other people, other valid points of few, and an infinite number of things that deserve respect and acknowledgment. These three simple words bid us not to interfere with another life in a harmful way. Do not kill an animal just for the sake of killing it. Try to disturb as little of nature as possible. Perhaps this also goes into the "fairly take" part of the line as well. If you must disturb life, either harvesting plants or hunting animals, then take as much as you need but don't become greedy and wasteful.

"Fairly take." One should only take as much as they need, or what actually belongs to them. There is a morality here: do not steal, do not more of anything than you deserve.

"Fairly give." Greed is an ugly thing. There is a true pleasure in being able to share with others. You share love and happiness as well as good will. But there is a line in giving that one has to be aware of. These are covered much later in the two lines, "When ye have an' hold a need, hearken not to others' greed" and "With a fool no season spend, lest ye be counted as her friend." I will save these two for their own time, and only say here: do not let people abuse your good will. True friends will stay with you even if you have no wealth to share.

In all, this line of the Wiccan Rede teaches us to live our lives in balance. Recognize the importance of everything around you, and your own place in the world. Do not let greed get the best of you. If you have what you need, then everything else should flow. There is nothing wrong with enjoying some luxuries, but overindulgence takes the fun out of a treat. ;)

What do you think?
2 Responses
  1. Very true -- overindulgence really is so harmful in the long run (or even the short one!) You eat more than your stomach can hold and you hurt yourself. You take more than you need, and your house and heart become cluttered.


  2. Danielle Says:

    Yes, exactly. Plus, the more that you take the less that you leave for others to have. That's why it's better to let go of some things that you hang onto for no good reason. To someone else, they may be treasured.