Guidance on Carrying Ceremonial Blades

There has been a lot of discussion recently on the legality of carrying ceremonial blades. This includes athames, bolines, spears, sickles and axes for ritual purposes.

Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 created an offence of possession of a bladed or pointed article in a public place.

139(1) Subject to the defences listed below, any person who has an article to which this section applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.

1.It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having an article with him in a public place.
2.It shall also be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him -
(a)for use at work;
(b) for religious reasons; OR
(c)as part of any national costume

Also see The Knives Act 1997

The PF advises that any blades or pointed instruments should be carried within baggage and not worn conspicuously en route to a celebration or ritual.

A PF working party is busy compiling information/documentation about why Pagans carry blades and will send this to the Home Office.


The Carrying and Use of Ritual Tools in Public Places

The guidance in the above downloadable document has been reproduced with kind permission of The Druid Network.

N.B. Bear in mind that the above advice refers to the legal system of England & Wales. While the legal situation in Scotland is roughly similar, it is maintained by different laws and a different court system.

See also Police info on Offensive Weapons

Download this file (TDN-CarryingRitualTools.pdf)Carrying Ritual Tools[Information on Carrying Ritual Tools]61 kB

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