Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Just for kicks.

With the US Veterans Affairs Department's recent decision (after a ten-year struggle by pagans) to allow the pentacle on veterans' tombstones, I was curious as to where Canada stood, witch-wise.

I've been curious about this before. Often when my husband sees me doing a Tarot reading and I mention that I might like to "hang up my shingle", he teases me and says that according to the Criminal Code of Canada, it's illegal. So one day I was teaching Law, picked up the desk copy, and managed to find it.

Here it is from the on-line version:

Pretending to practise witchcraft, etc.

365. Every one who fraudulently

(a) pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration,

(b) undertakes, for a consideration, to tell fortunes, or

(c) pretends from his skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner anything that is supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found,

is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 323.

Interesting. Now, I'm no lawyer, but I'm guessing that the reason that you don't hear of people being convicted of this is because a) It's pretty archaic, b) it's kind of hard to prove the "pretending/fraudulently" part -- who's a real witch and who isn't (especially if there's no duck handy), and c) it definitely goes against Section 2a of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I have absolutely no intentions of becoming "the pagan people's spokeswitch". I was just curious so I looked it up. But someone else could have some serious fun with this.

And I can craft a witty response for Hubby. *grin*

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