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Fire in my Bones, with J. Lee Grady
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
How America's Witches Are Stirring the Political Cauldron

(iStock/Getty Images Plus/Shaiith)
A woman named Astrea writes a blog called "Starlight Witch." Describing herself as a "polytheistic pagan," she offers her followers detailed instructions about how to cast spells on President Donald Trump.

She makes her incantations at the stroke of midnight, Eastern Standard Time, when the moon is just a tiny crescent. First she calls on several of her favorite "warrior goddesses," and then lights a candle.

Then she declares: "I beseech thee in my name and in the name of all who walk, crawl, swim, or fly; in the name of all the trees, the forests, streams, deserts, rivers and seas; in the name of Justice and Liberty and Love and Equality and Peace! Bind them in chains. Bind their tongues! Bind their works! Bind their wickedness!"

Astrea claims that more than 30,000 witches and pagans engage in this ritual monthly. It may seem far-fetched, but witchcraft has become a political movement in this country, fueled by fear and—in some cases—feminist anger.
  • An organization called Witch the Vote seeks to mobilize pagans to become political activists. On its website, which offers "Witch the Vote" pins, buttons and tote bags, it urges followers to vote for the most "progressive" candidates—and includes in its list of favorites Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kelly Fryer (who is described by Witch the Vote as "a true witch"), Texas Democrat Collin Allred and numerous congressional candidates from New York and Massachusetts.

  • Last month, author Michael M. Hughes released a book called Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change. Reviewers describe it as "a fascinating look at how the occult arts can be used to promote progressive politics and social change."

  • A group known as The Magic Resistance encourages regular gatherings to cast spells on President Trump. Through their Facebook page, they recently encouraged similar "hexing" of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process. Those who participated were asked to light a white candle, place a justice tarot card on an altar and then wrap black thread around a paper doll—symbolizing Kavanaugh. A pagan bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, also hosted a recent "Hex Kavanaugh" event to stop the nominee from winning confirmation.

  • An article published this month in Vox magazine says modern-day witches are using rituals not only to influence elections but also to bring healing to themselves if they are discouraged by the current political scene. One Wiccan group prescribed a "gratitude spell" for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual abuse during his confirmation hearings. The spell involves pouring salt in the hand, writing "I believe you" on a sheet of paper, pouring the salt on the paper and then picturing Ford reading the note.

  • Katelan Foisy, a Native American artist, told Vox that she engages in a ritual that involves the Deer Woman, a female spirit that is common in Native legends. The Deer woman, she explained, was raped and left for dead—but she returned to drive her attackers insane and to eventually kill them. "I call on Deer Woman to aid in these times," Foisy said. "I call on my ancestors to rise up and expose the truth."

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