It appears as though a growing legion of self-proclaimed witches from across the country are entering the political battlefield, and finding their own way to stand up to President Trump.
It doesn’t involve protests or marches. They plan to cast a spell.
If these instructions for a “mass ritual” circulating online are to be believed, some practicing witches will be casting a collective spell Friday at midnight — and every waning crescent moon until Trump is out of office — to keep the president from harming people and nature.
“Please join us in a binding ritual this evening with many other covens and private practitioners,” W.I.T.C.H. Boston, one of the participating groups, wrote on Instagram. “Create your own binding in accordance to your beliefs and power centers, or follow us as we practice a version of the binding that has been passed throughout the community.”
W.I.T.C.H. Boston, which asked that its members remain anonymous, posted a video to YouTube that apparently shows the group practicing the craft for Friday’s midnight gathering.
A binding spell is defined as a restraining form of magic, explained Michael M. Hughes, a practicing magician who posted the spell to be used on Trump online.
Hughes clarified that the spell, which involves an orange candle, a pin, a tarot card, and an unflattering photograph of Trump to be burned, is not a hex or curse and it’s not meant to physically harm anyone — it’s to keep them from doing harm.
“It’s the magic equivalent of being slapped down by the courts and to stop the damage that he’s doing,” he said in a telephone interview. “This is kind of an atonement to say, ‘We are going to try all means necessary, even if it sounds kooky.’”
Erica Feldmann, owner of Hauswitch Home and Healing, a feminist witch store in Salem, said she does not practice binding spells, but has heard about this latest development. She said she supports any movement that is “for toppling the patriarchy.”
“It’s the kind of thing individual people are going to be doing in their homes,” she said.
Ana, a practicing witch who lives and works in Salem, who did not want to give her last name, said she has also seen the spell circulating online, and knows that people within the community have committed to doing it.
“In general, people who are witchcraft practitioners tend to be on the more liberal side of the spectrum,” said Ana, who is not participating in this specific spell. “It is a female-centric religious practice for women who are passionately feministic.”
She said while she doesn’t know much about this ritual, there have been groups doing similar rituals for the protection of protesters at Standing Rock, feminine empowerment, and movements trying to dismantle the patriarchy, to make sure women’s voices don’t get lost.
Meghan Kalgren, who works at Artemisia Botanicals in Salem, where books, ritual tools, herbs, and candles are sold to the “more magically inclined,” said at least one person arrived at the shop Friday to purchase an orange candle that’s called for in the spell.
“She said it was to bind Donald Trump and his antics, or something,” Kalgren said.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.