Due to this freedom, the life of a Witch is their sole responsibility. There is no divine scapegoat upon which to place the consequence of the decisions made throughout life. Ethical or unethical behavior belongs to the Witch alone, as does the impact that behavior has. It is popular amongst new Contemporary Pagans to often cite the Three-fold Law of Return (TLR) as a tenet of reward/punishment much like karma. This interpretation is not how the TLR is used in Traditional Wicca, where this piece of lore originates.
The TLR is about metaphysics. The individual’s actions impact the world around them, manifesting affect, and this reverberates some form of impact unto the person from which the original action began. It was best put by Sir Isaac Newton, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” In other words, the Witch acts and the world around them responds accordingly, albeit sometimes in complete opposition. How the world reacts is not a part of the freedom of the Witch, it is outside of our Being. However, the manner of response is and will be influenced by the manner of the action taken by the Witch; choosing to commit theft garnishes much different worldly responses than say making a donation to a local animal shelter. Both, however, illicit reactions. The various possibilities of existence’s actions and reactions manifest in one of three ways; mentally/emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Until something has been fated to the realm of the past, freedom is ours. I will also add, choosing no action is still the exercitation of a decision unto which we were free to make.
Taking into account the level of freedom that a Witch has over their lives, the Witch becomes the master of their path. Granted, there are some restrictions upon freedom. No matter how much a Witch may desire and might make the ridiculas yet conscious decision to grow wings, it just isn’t happening. Though the decision to write that last sentence, and this one, were mine; how the world responds is not. The writing of such will have some impact upon existence, and somehow, though not necessarily directly, the result of that impact will in turn affect me. The life of a Witch is the sum total of all of their decisions and actions. They may not be able to decide for existence but they can shape it, and the responsibility of doing so is theirs alone. A Witch pays their proverbial coin for all of their decisions.
The famous eight words from the Wiccan Rede, “An it harm none, do what ye will,” also originating in Traditional Wicca, is about freedom. The most common interpretation of the Rede is that it denounces any behavior that harms. I cannot speak for all of BTW, but I’m gonna anyway. The Rede traditionally is not taught this way. It grants freedom, recognizes responsibility, and does not confine. The Rede tells the Wicca not to worry about any action that does not harm, they are free to act. Beyond that, everything is for the Witch to decide. It is their responsibility to consider potentially harmful actions. Now, there is a lot of other lore that ties in here (such as being a proper person), but I’m not going there. The complete freedom to decide and make choices can cause anxiety as a result. The Rede acts as a buffer helping to alleviate some of that from forming by creating a framework upon which to weigh our freedom.
We are free.
"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."