Court allows ‘warlock’ to break curfew on full moon nights to perform Wicca ritual

A male witch who was put under an overnight curfew for carrying a knife he claimed was for religious purposes will be allowed to break the curfew on nights when there is a full moon, a court in England has ruled.

Cerwyn Jones, who says he is a warlock who worships the goddess of the moon, was sentenced to four months of staying indoors between the hours of 7pm and 7am, the Daily Mail writes.

But magistrates agreed to suspend the order on four nights after hearing he needed to go out during a full moon to practise his Wicca faith, the paper says.

The Daily Mail explains:

Wicca — or white witchcraft — is a neo-pagan religion which saw a resurgence in popularity in the 20th century.

Its followers believe the whole cosmos is alive and as such the waxing, waning and full moon are extremely important.

During the full moon, ‘magic’ ceremonies are performed and the gods and goddesses of Wicca are honoured. These ceremonies may be officiated by a chosen warlock and most groups meet at least once a month, timing celebrations to coincide with the full moon.

The BBC reports that

Jones was jailed over firearms and threats to kill charges in 2003.

Julie Jones, prosecuting, said Jones was imprisoned for six years in 2003 for the charges and was released in September 2005.

The Daily Mail says Cerwyn Jones explained that he had turned to Wicca after coming out of prison:

At full moon he walks with a staff he has carved from holly wood, dressed in pilgrim’s clothing, into the mountains around Llangollen.

He said he conjured up spirits by casting a circle using his staff or an ‘athamac’, the ritual bladed instrument which he was arrested carrying. […]

Jones said he also interprets dreams and claims he predicted the outcome of his court case.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday March 11, 2011.
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