The theory concerning one’s magic coming back to them, often referred to as the “three-fold law”, which was mentioned earlier in The Wiccan Rede is a common belief that negative or positive vibrations sent out while you perform Magic will come back to you in multiples of three or more. Wiccans generally accept that Magic will come back in multiple of three. Other branches of Witchcraft may believe the rule extends to six or nine times, while others do not accept the theory at all. For example, let’s say you curse Tom, according to the rule of three… or six, or nine… you would receive negativity back, but worse, and bad things would soon begin to happen to you. The same can be said for the opposite. If you work good magic, and perform multiple acts of healing, you may be rewarded very nicely.
This boomerang theory regarding your Magic coming back is another issue under debate by many in the Pagan communities, but my personal opinion is that it does exist. Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, I think we all endure the repercussions of our actions, regardless if our intentions are good or bad. Some people believe that your magic will come back to you nine times, but it is unlikely, judging from my own experience. Your Magic does in fact come back to you, but I don’t think the degree is accurately represented by most Pagans. From personal experience, I would say that it comes back to you in the same degree which you sent it out. I think you get back what you send out, just in a different package, but the same degree.
I would like to add, that I’ve performed Magic which I felt was very negative, and never received what I would consider the “Payback” of the 3X Rule. At the time, I certainly felt I was doing the world a favor by binding and causing minor destruction to this particular person. Perhaps my negative Magic was really goodness in disguise.
Maybe the rule of “X” is psychological, and if you believe you are doing evil, evil will then find its way to you. If you feel you’re doing good through performing negative magic, then maybe it’s not negative Magic, but good Magic after all. Perhaps the rule of 3X was a device created by earlier Pagans to attempt to instill a sense of morality, or more likely fear into people for wanting to perform potential negative Magic. Like an unwritten law or a rule of thumb to persuade others not to be bad. It’s also possible that a tiny bit of each of these possibilities comes into play when you perform Magic and the time comes for you to roll in the rewards or suffer the consequences. I strongly encourage students of Wicca to evaluate their motives and any possible repercussions when performing their Magic, especially when the Magic is negative and involves a 2nd or 3rd person. You should certainly ask yourself how your Magic will impact these other people, and how the repercussions will affect you. You and you alone know if what you’re doing is “right”.
I feel one of the biggest debates in the Pagan community at this time exists between sub-branches of Wicca. I’ve seen countless squabbles over what defines negative Magic, and let me tell you, the line between Good and Bad in the Wiccan world is very thin. I feel for anyone, to automatically classify a particular spell as improper or negative simply because it does not pertain to healing, is rather a naive and close-minded viewpoint. In order to completely understand whether a Magical act is negative or not, you would have to evaluate the motives of the person performing the Magic, the repercussions of the Magic performed, and the means by which the Magic was carried out.
A spell to bind a person, under most Wiccan regulations, would definitely be a “bad” Magical act; however, I believe that some people need cursing. For example, if a known rapist is stalking my daughter…. You can bet the bank I’m going to be doing some serious binding. Binding is prohibited under most Wiccan philosophies. I personally, would be willing to suffer the ill effects of the “Boomerang theory” or “Three-fold law” to magically deal with someone who may cause harm to my loved one. I would not see the Magical act as negative either. This is how I feel, but I certainly do not advocate or condone the use of Negative Magic, but admit that there may be a time and place for it, under dire circumstances. Magic should be used like a gun when dealing with questionable issues, use it for protection, and let your morals guide you.
The Spell Book of Wiccan Shadows