It’s bad enough that Donald Trump has the Democrats arrayed against him, now he has to contend with Hell and all its legions.
At midnight on Friday, February 24, witches across the United States, either individually or in covens, cast what is called “a binding spell” on the president intended to prevent him “from harming people and nature,” as Steve Annear, a reporter for the Boston Globe, described it. A small group cast their spell outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City. You can watch the witches in action on YouTube.
According to Michael Hughes, who characterizes himself as “a magical thinker,” a binding spell is cast by taking a pin and carving onto an orange candle the name of the person the witches want bound. In the anti-Trump ritual, witches also carried the tarot card of the tower (for obvious reasons), and an unflattering photograph of Trump, which they burned.
The spell can be addressed to old pagan gods, the gods of Wicca, the spirits of the natural world, or all of these deities, beseeching them to “bind Donald J Trump, so that his malignant works may fail utterly… [that he] shall not break our polity, usurp our liberty, or fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair.” The witches also asked the spirits to silence the “malicious tongues” of Trump supporters.
The witches plan to repeat the binding spell ritual at midnight of every waning crescent moon until Trump leaves, or better yet, is driven from office.
Typically, witches conclude a spell with the phrase, “So mote it be.” Hughes has suggested that witches break with tradition and end the spell with the phrase, “You’re fired!” He may play footsie with the devil, but at least the man has a sense of humor.
A couple days ago, the Rev. Pat Robertson urged Christians to pray to God to defend Trump from the witches’ curse. Robertson’s co-host, Wendy Griffith, offered a guesstimate that “probably millions” of Christians have prayed and continue to pray to God for the “canceling out of those curses by the witches.”
In fairness, practitioners of witchcraft or the magic arts draw a distinction between a spell and a curse. A curse calls upon a supernatural power to harm a person. A binding spell invokes a supernatural power to stop a person from causing harm. Of course, an accursed person probably doesn’t want to be harmed, and a bound person doesn’t want his or her actions to be impeded, so this distinction may be slicing the eye of newt pretty thin.
Philip Kosloski and Elizabeth Scalia, writing on Aleteia.org, a Catholic news site, claim that a binding spell uses black magic, calling upon evil spirits (from a religious believer’s point of view) or positive spirits (from a witch/Wiccan/magic person’s point of view) to compel an individual to do something he—in this case, the president—does not intend to do and would not do of his own free will. To get political about this for a moment, the binding spell, assuming it kicks in, would also frustrate the intentions, the will, and the votes of the electorate who brought Trump into office.
I’m willing to cut the witches some slack and suppose that they are sincere in their unconventional approach to influencing the process of government. I feel for them, in the same way I once felt for those sad, silly ladies who went around trying convince people they were the Grand Duchess Anastasia. But since we’re on the subject of intentions, whether they intend to or not, the witches are playing with dark powers. I have no idea what goes through the mind of the Evil One, and I hope I never find out, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he, like his pal Lenin, regards these witches as useful idiots.