Along with reincarnation go thoughts of Karma.
Karma is usually thought of as a reward-and-punishment system stretching throughout all lifetimes: if you do evil in one life you will have to pay for it in the next. However, it seems that there is always talk of “karmic debts” and “karmic punishments” but seldom of “karmic rewards”. The Witchcraft view seems to make more sense.
First of all there is a Wiccan belief in retribution within each life. In other words, rather than being rewarded and punished after death, for what you have done in life (the traditional Christian view), Witches believe that you get your rewards and punishments during this lifetime, according to how you live it. Do good and you will get back good. But do evil and evil
will return. More than that, though, it is a three-fold retribution. Do good and you will get back three times the good; do evil and you will receive three times the evil. Obviously there is here no inducement for you to ever harm anyone. Of course it is not a literal threefold return. If you were to punch someone in the eye, it does not mean that you will get punched in the eye yourself three times. No. But, sometime in the future, you may “just happen” to break a leg … something which might be considered three times as bad as being punched in the eye.
In the Witchcraft belief, then, one lifetime’s experiences are not dependent on the previous one’s. For example, if you suffer physical abuse in this life, it does not necessarily mean that you were an abuser in your previous life. It is possible you were, yes. But it is just as possible that you were not but are going to be in the next life. In other words, it is a case of experiencing all things—being both the abuser and the abusee, but one is not necessarily dependent on the other. Several lifetimes could even take place between the one experience and its apparent correlative.
Just because you have chosen a particular lifetime and are to undergo the set experiences does not mean that you can just sit back and say “Everything is preordained. I’m just along for the ride.” The God and the Goddess will make sure that you do get all the particular experiences but your job is to progress; to strive your hardest towards perfection. YOU CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY. Whatever you want, you can achieve. But always remember the Wiccan Rede: “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”
Whenever possible, help those less fortunate than yourself. By “help” I do not mean “interfere”. Help can be given by simply offering advice; by showing compassion; even, sometimes, by actually refusing direct assistance. For, in this latter case, it is sometimes of the greatest help and to the other’s benefit to make them give a little more effort: to make them think for
The length of time spent between lives may vary, depending on your study of the lessons learned and their integration with previous lessons; also on the necessary preparation for the next “semester”.
While between lives you might also become involved in helping some other spirit here on earth. Just as there is development and advancement in this life, so there is in “the between times”. You may have heard of such things as “Guardian Angels” and “Spirit Guides” and wondered if they really exist. In a sense they do. It means that a spirit is always watching over a less developed spirit here on earth. Since time does not exist in the between-times (it is a human-made concept, for the sake of reference only) then to watch over an earth-bound spirit for its whole earthly lifetime would not actually hinder the watcher’s progress. In fact, it would add to it in the sense of gaining “student-teacher” experience.
Witches always hope that they will be reborn in the next life with those they have known and loved in this one. From psychic experiences, etc., it seems that this is often the case. Many times a couple will stay together throughout a number of lifetimes, in different relationship
roles (e.g. lovers; husband-wife; brother-sister; mother-daughter).
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft