Spirituality & Canadian Criminal Code

Section 365 of the Canadian Criminal Code, R.S. 1985,c.C-46

“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.”

Section 361 defines a false pretence:

(1) “A false pretence is a representation of a matter of fact either present or past, made by words or otherwise, that is known by the person who makes it to be false and that is made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it.”

(2) “Exaggerated commendation or depreciation of the quality of anything is not a false pretence unless it is carried to such an extent that it amounts to a fraudulent misrepresentation of fact.

In order to understand where I am coming from as a Pagan and as a Druidic Shaman let me explain what Druidry and Celtic Shamanism is:


Druidry is not Wicca. It doesn’t have a connection to witchcraft, modern Druidry is also not a recreation of the practices performed by the ancient Druids. Modern Druidry draws inspiration from that source, but we know so little about the ancient Druids that recreating their ways is impossible. Modern Druidry is a philosophy, a community position, and learned art and a way of life.Following the spiritual path of the Druid is a way to gain insight into the world around you, while at the same time serving the land and your community. The Druidic path focuses on your responsilities – you have to serve the land, revere it, earn from it and give back to it.

Source: http://www.mookychick.co.uk/opinion/pagan/what_is_a_druid.php

Celtic Shamanism:

Shaman is a Turkic-Tungus word which literally means “one who knows”.

Shamans are “ walkers between worlds“. They journey out of their physical bodies into other worlds to gain understanding, knowing, knowledge, the ‘bigger picture’ … and return.

The Celtic Shaman’s cosmos, like that of other Shamanic universal views, consists of three ‘worlds;’ the Lower world, the Upper world, and the Middle world (where we live in ordinary reality.)

What differentiates the Celtic Shaman’s universal view from that of other Shamanic traditions, is that these worlds are all connected by the great tree of life. Rooted in the Lower realm, its trunk extends upwards, through the middle world and into the Upper world, where its branches hold the stars, the sun and the moon.

The Celtic Shaman traverses the realms by climbing the tree (also seen as a great ladder or pole) into the Upper world. This is the realm of stars, celetial beings, and is the dwelling place of many gods and spirits of the air, and of the great Mother Goddess herself.The lower world can be reached by descending the roots of the massive tree into the realm of the spirits of the earth and fire, where sits the stag-headed Lord of the Underworld, the horned one, protector of the animals. Here the Celtic Shaman can meet with helper power animals and spirit guides.

Thus all three worlds are linked by the great tree, and yet the tree itself and all of the universe are believed contained within the shell of a single hazelnut, lying next to the Well of Segais (the source of all wisdom.)

The word ‘Shaman,’ is actually a Tungus (Siberian) word for a spiritual practice that is as old as mankind, and is still practiced by indigenous people, as well as modern practitioners worldwide. Shamanism is not rooted in any organized religious tradition, but is instead a system of controlled visionary journeys into alternate realities (and back,) in order to contact spirit guides and gain their assistance in divination and healing.

Source: http://www.sacredfire.net/shaman.html

Now the bolded and underlined is the main issue according to the Canadian criminal code. divination requires tools such as scrying mirrors, tarot cards and can be defined as “fortune telling”. It’s also a problem in the eyes of the Canadian criminal code because of the specific terms to pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration, where does one draw the line in “knowing” if a person is “pretending” to exercise the use of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration. Am I breaking the law because I conjure the Life Tree within my own mind and travel it? Would my shape shifting meditations and astral travels be considered sorcery, enchantment or conjurations? My helping others in finding lost things or family members and friends because they come to me as a Shaman for help or their need for guidance in their own spirituality would be considered against the Canadian criminal code because of the definition that one 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.

If found guilty of this particular sub section of the criminal code in Canada, it is a summary conviction (our equivalent of a misdemeanor) and fined either probation or 500 dollar fine, and even both depending on the judge one receives in the criminal hearing. Since when, in a country, does my spiritual beliefs contend with rapists, people who commit fraud or thieves? Why am I suspect to being a criminal for what I believe in and what the Charter of Rights dictates is my freedom to my “religion” and spiritual beliefs?

I believe that this section of the criminal code is a forgotten piece of law that none of our government officials and agents of the government have thought to remove from our criminal code. It’s like that section of by laws for Toronto where is deems that one cannot drag a dead horse down Young Street on a Sunday; however, you can do so within the law on any other day of the week. Old, archaic laws from back when that should be thought to be stricken from the law books but are now forgotten and never talked about.


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