Religion | Pagan

The Threefold Law

An introduction to 'The Threefold Law': a belief that is part of some modern religions of the earth.


  The Threefold law is the belief that everything that a human does in this world, comes back to them three times as hard. For instance, if you gossip about an individual, you will receive three times this negative energy back in some way. Alternatively, the planting of a tree will result in nature returning this good energy to you threefold.

  The Threefold law is part of modern religions of the earth. These religions often assume that there is an intangible, powerful force which strongly enriches the tangible earth. This force gives us the seasons, nourishes earth's ecosystem and can determine fate.

  In Paulo Coelho's book By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept he talks about earth religion. In one of the passages, he presents a ritual, which, in my understanding, introduces earth religion quite rightly:

'Oh mirror of the Earth Goddess,' Brida was saying, her eyes closed. 'Teach us about our power and make men understand us'. Rising, gleaming, waning and reviving in the heavens, you show us the cycle of the seed and the fruit.' She stretched her arms toward the night sky and held this position for some time...

... 'I needed to do that,' she said, after her long adoration of the moon, 'so that the Goddess would protect us.'

~ Page 14 of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, written by Paulo Coelho.

  Coelho's passage hints towards the aforementioned 'great force' that is all around us, yet intangible. Paradoxically, followers of earth religion typically seek to get in touch with this intangible force. In the passage, Brida does this by superstitiously pointing her hands to the moon - as such seeking to come in touch with its powers. In other rituals, a pagan like Brida might hug a tree or spread her arms while feeling the grass.


  The Threefold law can be found in several pagan movements and has several variations between those movements. For instance, believers may disagree upon the level of agency that a human has. In other words, they may question if and to what extent you as an individual can have a say in your own fate.

  The Threefold law can also be used in considerations about the direction of history. For one, it may help believers to consider whether there is a 'line of history', where the earth is always progressing towards something 'better'. Followers of earth religions may consider if a line of history even exists at all (in essential terms) or that the earth manifests positive and negative energy just like the eb and flow of the ocean.

Philosophy of Life

  If we áre to talk about a 'line in history' we may assume that followers of earth religions believe that there is an esoteric force that can give certain people, cities or societies power and others less so. So, while there is not a progressive line in history, there may be a hidden force that helps to explain earth's 'retaliations' with the recent increase in natural disasters across the globe.

  If I understand the common denominator of earth religions correctly, it is as Brida from Paulo Coelho's book manifested: she reached out to nature and tried to come in tune with its hidden energy.

  Whether we believe in such a power or not, we may learn something from earth religion:

  1). Anti-reductionist Instead of being dead-set on explaining everything, we may sometimes have to understand an occurence as an unpredictable, passionate 'expression of life'. For instance, why does a whale's jump háve to be explainable?

  2). Nature's influence on history and fate When talking about estoric traditions, one must not neglect the influence of nature and geography on people. For instance, Europe's dense population and cold weather has undoubtedly affected history for millenia.