Witches vs. Christians: it's a rivalry that dates back centuries, spanning from King Arthur's court to Salem, Massachusetts. And now the latest battle between the two will begin this Friday night, over President Donald Trump's soul.
At midnight on February 24th, witches around the world plan to cast a binding spell on Trump "and all who abet him" to stunt his power to do damage. And the Christian Nationalist Alliance, a right-wing group that believes America to be a Christian nation "founded by Christian men upon Christian tenets," will try to out-magic the witches with a day of prayer.
The instructions to participate in the witches' spell call for a "tiny stub of an orange candle" to represent Trump, and an optional piece of fool's gold. (Nobody can say that witches don't have a sense of humor.) Over candles and a Tower tarot card (representing "the end," "destruction," and "having plans disrupted" – and also perhaps a nod to the president's signature building), participants are to call on spirits to "Bind [Trump] so that he shall not […] fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair," among other things.
The spell will be cast on every following waning moon (symbolic of something diminishing, weakening, or disappearing) until Trump leaves office. There's a Facebook page, where witches and well-wishers can suggest alternative versions of the spell, and spread the word. (Apparently Lana Del Ray is on board, according a cryptic tweet the singer sent out on Thursday.)
This isn't the first attempt to magically intervene against Trump – back in September 2015, a group Brooklyn women put together a spell (and accompanying video titled "Brujas Hex Trump") to block his early campaign efforts. Then in October 2016, a group in Vermont called "Feminists Against Trump" held a "witch in" where they called for a "mass hexing" to "cast magical spells of love and feminism to destroy the Great Orange One and the racism, xenophobia and sexism he feeds on." And just this month, another group of witches cast a spell, focusing their energy all at once at snapping an artery known as "the widowmaker" in Trump's heart. The call to participate, put out on Facebook by a Pittsburgh-based artist, explained, "We don't wanna kill him, we just wanna break his heart."
The particular kind of spell called for here, known as a binding spell, is specifically focused on preventing the subject from doing harm to others – as opposed to a hex, which calls for harm to come to the subject, in particular. Think Glenda the Good Witch reversing the Wicked Witch's magic by waking up Dorothy and her companions with a surprise snow.
"This is not the equivalent of magically punching a Nazi," Michael M. Hughes, the self-proclaimed "magical thinker" and novelist wrote in the Medium post where he shared the spell instructions. "Rather, it is ripping the bullhorn from his hands, smashing his phone so he can't tweet, tying him up, and throwing him in a dark basement where he can't hurt anyone."
Hughes pointed out that parallels could be drawn to the 1967 exorcism and levitation of the pentagon, which was more performance art than a genuine attempt to perform magic. There, 50,000 anti-war protestors (including Abbie Hoffman and Alan Ginsberg), tried to rid the pentagon of war-hungry evil through exorcism, and to use their collective power to levitate it. The pentagon did not levitate, and the war continued for eight more years.
But, Hughes noted, "many are clearly taking it very seriously." That group apparently includes the Christian Nationalist Alliance, who called for the day of prayer to "counter" the "ritualistic curse," which they've referred to as "a declaration of spiritual war."
"We beseech all Christian soldiers," they posted on their site, "to join us in praying for the strength of our nation, our elected representatives and for the souls of the lost who would take up Satanic arms against us."
In another article on their anti-Islam, pro-life site, the CNA claims that the Holy War actually started a few weeks ago, when Melania Trump's recited the Lord's Prayer at her husband's Florida rally. Whenever the supposed Holy War was declared, the CNA calls it "a fight [they] have been waiting for."
It's probably safe to say that spells or prayer won't have any impact on Trump or his administration's ambitious plans. But it's clear that his opponents are willing to try anything at this point – they couldn't stop him with an election, even though he received fewer votes. They can't change his supporters' minds, no matter how many time's his lies are called out. He even seems unfazed by the legislative and judicial branches that exist to keep his power in check – so maybe a little witchcraft isn't such a bad idea, after all?