Pagan Community Notes: Pagans for Trump, Starry Nights, conference season and more!

trump protection

Trump protection spell [Lori Lyttle]

UNITED STATES — After the widespread attention given to a binding spell action against President Donald Trump, members the Facebook-based group Pagans for Trump began talking about doing a counter-spell. At the same time, it was reported in various media outlets that a group of Christians were planning to “pray the hex away.”

In describing her own work to counter the binding, Lori Lyttle, a member of Pagans for Trump said, “It’s a blocking and protection spell.” She used black and white candles, incense, and “many, many gems,” which were all laid out on her altar.

Trump supporter Katie Roberts was also planning to work against the mass binding spell. She said, “The collective spell [to bind Trump] will literally be a huge mess. Not to mention they are also attempting to do the same to ‘all who abet him.’ That would be anyone who supports or helps the President.”

“That’s an awful lot of people,” Roberts added. “Their spell has a massive chance of going awry and backfiring.”

A video posted to The Daily Mail caught this politically-driven spell conflict unfolding in front of New York City’s Trump Tower. As the binders start their work, a Witch brandishing a mirror begins chanting to reflect it back upon them. Later in the same video and rife throughout its Facebook comments, devout Christians invoke the power of their own god.

Within the greater Pagan community, this entire episode has revived conversations about the ethics of binding, hexing, and other similar magical work. The Wild Hunt highlighted the various arguments in the article President Trump attracts magical ire.

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13902831_1013686345411220_894801844649231546_nCANADA —  Author and astronomer Charles Ennis, known to many as Kerr Cuhulain, is featured in a new film short called Starry Nights. The film joins Cuhulain, who is the president of the Sunshine Coast RASC, in an exploration of the night sky, reminding us to turn out the lights and look up. The film’s description reads, “Since time began, humans have had a connection to the stars. The heavens shaped our art, philosophy, religion and culture, and gave us a sense of place in the universe.”

The film offers an introduction to astronomy through the eyes of Cuhulain, who ties nature and the stars to his own Pagan spirituality. Starry Night‘s director is Wild Hunt journalist Dodie Graham McKay. She said, “Many thanks to all of the amateur astronomers who we met along the way, for letting us peek through their telescopes.”

Starry Nights is now available for viewing via the BravoFact website if you live in Canada, and available internationally on YouTube.

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TWH – The U.S. Pagan community is currently in the heart of convention season. PantheaCon, Feast of Lights, the Conference on Current Pagan Studies, and ConVocation are now finished for the year. The next two big conferences to be held are Sacred Space and Paganicon.

Sacred Space is hosted by the Sacred Space Foundation and is held each year in the D.C. region. Organizers describe the event as an “annual esoteric conference […] for intermediate to advanced practitioners.” They add that the conference specifically features teachers “who offer a wide variety of workshops and rituals developed for a more advanced audience.” Some of this year’s instructors include: Apetha, Rev. Patrick McCollum, and Judika Illes. Sacred Space will be held Mar. 9-12 in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

The following week, Paganicon opens its doors in Minnesota. Hosted by Twin Cities Pagan Pride, Paganicon is now in its seventh year. As we reported in December, this year’s conference will play host to two special guests: Arvol Looking Horse and Sharon Day. The two speakers will help to guide conversations concerning indigenous rights, the conflict at Standing Rock, and other similar topics. Additionally, Paganicon will be welcoming Laura Tempest Zakroff, Michelle Belanger, the Nathaniel Johnstone Band, and Wendy Rule. Paganicon runs Mar. 17-19 in St. Louis Park, near Minneapolis.

In other news

  • The Firefly House, located in the District of Columbia, is inviting people to celebrate what they have named Margot Adler Day. A journalist, priestess, and author, Adler penned the famous book Drawing Down the Moon, published in 1979, and was an instrumental force in the the growing Pagan community from the 1970s on. Adler died in July 2014 after a long battle with cancer. In spring 2015, Firefly House first proposed the celebration of Margot Adler Day to be held on her birthday, Apr. 16. Organizers saw it as a way of honoring her global contributions to the movement. The group has been encouraging the celebration ever since through Facebook and local events.
  • Two submission deadlines are coming up on Mar. 1 for those people interested in presenting at 2017 conferences. The Pagan Studies Unit of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) is looking for paper proposals for its upcoming fall meeting in Boston. This year the topic is focused on witch hunts “rhetorical, historical, and contemporary.” Similarly, the Mystic South conference to be held in Atlanta is looking for presenters for its non-academic programming track. Organizers say that they are looking for all types of workshops and presentations. The new Atlanta-based conference, which is scheduled for July, just announced the presenters for PAPERS, its dedicated academic track. Those names can be found on its website. Both Mystic South and AAR will accept new submissions through March 1, and both groups say that extensions will not be accepted.
  • Popular Pagan singer and songwriter Mama Gina is back in the studio again with a brand new 10-song CD. After a brief break during which she found herself in the hospital and losing a toe, Mama Gina became inspired and has since birthed a muse called Nine Toes the Bard. The new album tells her story. On her crowdfunding campaign site, Mama Gina writes, “[Nine Toes’] world is amazing, her companions are genuinely strong and humorous, the music is astounding!  We are quite healthy now, and as I’ve toured this year, Nine Toes has taken the stage … and she’s ready for her very own first full length CD.” The album will be released in spring, and the crowd funding is helping to pay for its production.
  • Author and blogger Angus McMahan will be publishing a series of recaps of PantheaCon 2017. He writes in part one, “On Thursday the early birds of Pantheacon shared the Doubletree hotel with the San Jose Police Departments Awards Dinner.” He recalls one encounter in the elevator, saying “I shared an elevator with eight men, all 5’5” to 5’10”, all bald or balding, all in good shape and all wearing dress shirts and open suit jackets. I remarked ‘You guys should have called each other – you all wore the same thing.’ and they all laughed at once. Just once.” McMahan has already published two parts of his 2017 experience to date.
  • Lastly, tomorrow is Mardi Gras. For those readers that are celebrating: Laissez les bons temps rouler.
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23 thoughts on “Pagan Community Notes: Pagans for Trump, Starry Nights, conference season and more!

  1. Ah, swell! A magical war within Paganism over President Trump. Just what we need to showcase our sterling spiritual qualities.I say the following as fact without condemning it or supporting it: Donald Trump governs, in part, by keeping the country stirred up. Whichever side you are on in this war, be assured that in fighting it you are doing what Trump wants, and so are your opponents.

      • I checked out the numbers in the pagans for Trump groups… though numbers don’t mean it all… they are less than 250 all tolled. Now, it struck me… how can a neopagan or pagan be devoted to such a cause? And to each their own. I publicly, respectfully dissented on the binding yet, I was astounded that nearly 8000 witches committed publicly to a binding ritual. — Now, here’s something exotic; the next morning I went to work at my bench (I make aromatherapy products through the lens of tradition / culture) and I was imbuing an energetic standard into my White Sage sprays. I drew down light, resourced it cosmically, and when I fully filtered through my chakras into the Mother… the most amazing upside down cone shaped circle of white light spirals popped up! Never had that experience… and if 28 years of working with simple white light energy can’t account for it ever before… something Shifted. Also, I noticed that 45 is having more pile up on himself and his notorious cohorts with haste. I mean, damn, last night Maddow laid out whopper of connection between him and that Russian fellow. So, what up wit dat? I do agree with B Dreamstalker…. the tools of division and lies has played on since ___ since the beginning.

        This community, I find generally, has a greater understanding of what is unfolding… the death of a decrepit old godform, patriarchy. And the chaos we are in … well, imo, this is the ‘ascension’ / paradigm shift / OPPORTUNITY to evolve and heal Mother Earth, or ? Parish a gen or two up the stream. I do think it’s proper to take a #Stand. Each to their own heart.

        • I’m not a Trump supporter. I didn’t vote for him, I don’t like him, I don’t trust him, and I think he threatens freedom.

          With that being said, most of what Trump has been accused of so far is the same thing that every President does. You really should take a look at what Obama did (and who he talked to) using the Office of the President-Elect. Then there are the flat out lies (mobilizing the National Guard to enforce immigration, etc).

          What bothers me most about this is that the things that Obama was cheered for are the things that Trump is being blamed for.

          I keep telling people if you don’t like what Trump is doing, the real problem is the size, scope, and power of government. Give government power to control someone else today and you will be controlled tomorrow. You can’t sacrifice someone else’s freedom without paying with your own.

          Every president divides the country and every president plays one against the others. So does every other politico. We enable that game every single time we expect government to “give” us something. Government has nothing that we didn’t give it.

          Sometimes we have to take it back.

          • What bothers me most about this is that the things that Obama was cheered for are the things that Trump is being blamed for.Could you unpack that a bit?

          • You mean other than deporting illegal immigrants, the treatment of women, and governing by regulation?

            Democrats aren’t all saints and Republicans aren’t all sinners. Politicos don’t care about you UNLESS it lets them keep or get more power.

          • deporting illegal immigrantsObama deported illegals who were convicted threats to society. Trump has expanded that to include those charged but not convicted, and anyone else ICE runs into on the way who might be an illegal. Not the same thing, and the scale is bigger.treatment of womenObama never bragged on tape about grabbing celebrity women by the pussy.governing by regulationIt’s the different content of Trump’s regulations that evoke a different response.Frankly, I expected deeper examples from you.

          • I’ve had these same “discussions” so many times in the last seven months that I don’t particularly care what people expect.

            I am not defending Trump.

            But I won’t pretend that Obama is a good person or was a good President. I won’t pretend that Democrats are somehow morally superior. I won’t pretend that government action is beneficial or at least neutral.

            So for probably the last time here, I will back up what I say.

            Illegal immigrants. Emphasis on the word illegal. They broke the law. It may be a stupid law. It may be an unjust law. It may be a discriminatory law. But it is the law and has been for more than fifty years. If you don’t like it, repeal the law. That’s the debate we’re not allowed. Long ago the Democrat elite decided that illegals were the only way they would win in the long term. You should think about that. Hard.

            Treatment of women. You might start with the pay inequities of the Obama White House staff. Then you might take a closer look at Rick Warren and Larry Summers. Then you might look at how both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were treated by the 2008 Obama campaign. Granted, you have to look harder for Obama’s misogyny, the current narrative is that Obama was just so much better that much of the press still covers for him.

            Governing by regulation. The content doesn’t make any difference, it’s still wrong. Not to mention that Obama’s signature legislation was so unworkable that the only way it could function was by repeated regulatory modifications.

            Not only am I tired of the hypocrisy, but all this noise drowns out legitimate criticism of Trump. I know that because it happened with Bush the Younger. We got two terms of him and a set of wars that still hasn’t ended. Meanwhile, as Robert Reich points out, the Democrat party is the worse off than it has been since the 1920s. And Barak Obama is still undercutting the official party structure.

            You guys want to cut off your nose and ears to spite your face, be my guest.

          • You certainly have a point about Obama White House staff and women. The criticism of Trump on this matter is afaik that his Cabinet so far is so white, so male and so military. But if that’s the worst thing people were saying about him he’d be flying.I definitely don’t agree that legitimate criticism of Trump is being drowned out. His use of “alternative facts,” his inflammatory tweets that his staff has to spend the rest of the news cycle walking back, his constant reference to the motives of his critics (“paid protesters”) instead of engaging with the substance of their criticism — I’ve seen these front and center in substantial coverage.

          • Pardon, but you’re getting trapped in the game. The question isn’t which politico is better. The question is why we’re allowing ourselves to be manipulated into believing that government and Our Elected Officials™ know what’s best and will serve us.

            Politicos lie. It’s what they do. The mistake is believing that one “flavor” is somehow morally better.

            Obama lied regularly. It was a rare Friday during his term that there wasn’t at least one major “correction” issued. There are reasons why great swaths of people didn’t trust him. If anything, his skin color kept him in office because no one wanted to “go after” the first African-American President. Blazes, even Congress gave him a free ride when they said he’d never be impeached. Of course he abused his power after that.

    • I would not worry to much about either side in this case as I doubt either side of this campaign has either the knowledge or the determination to do much of anything.

      Both sides sound like a lot of posers. Anyone serious wold not be announcing their intentions on the Internet, and would know it is going to take a lot more than one ceremony to accomplish anything.

      Also, as anyone, with experience within the Pagan community, knows our biggest danger always comes from inside the Pagan community, not from the outside. A few nutty Pagans, or criminal ones, do us far more damage than any outsider could possibly do to us.

      • From what I’ve heard of the promotion of this, the intention’s really an act of protest more than seriously talking about throwing heat or something.

    • Trump pretty much has everyone dancing on his string, both supporters and opponents. He has us collectively exactly where he needs us to be. And he always will, so long as we play the game on his terms and take his bait.

  2. Pingback: Interesting times | True Pagan Warrior

  3. I don’t care either way if others feel compelled to work magick, either publicly or privately. However, magick isn’t a substitute for practical, physical world action. It enhances, not replaces. How many participating in the binding are also taking real action? Continually contacting their representatives, participating in town halls, running for local offices, volunteering and/or donating to organizations, supporting their media outlets, etc.? It’s fine to heed a call to magical action but it would be more effective to do so in tandem with other calls to action that directly bring about change.

  4. I was taught that spellwork is best done in secret, and I tend to agree.

  5. Having reviewed the terms of the binding, it looks like they’re calling for President Cheeto to be bound by a set of requirements that no country’s leader could ever possibly abide by. That being the case, they want him to break the terms and call down punishment upon himself, they’re just trying to curse him (and half of the country) in an especially disingenuous, passive-aggressive way, like that will make any difference. Did I abet him by voting third party? I guess so, because lots of people are saying third-party voters and people who didn’t vote for the mummified alternative are the reason he won.

    Aside from that, this school of thought reeks of magickal extrajudiciary punishment (aka mob justice). Which doesn’t bode well… First people were calling for Brock Turner’s blood and now Trump. Well, what do you do if you don’t get the justice you want? Has Brock Turner been dealt enough justice? Will Trump be? Who should we punish next? Slippery slope, y’all, because there are a bunch of hysterical people out there willing to enact physical violence against people who don’t think the same way they do, and they’re the ones holding protests and riots. Its a modern day witch hunt, and which side are these binding witches really on?

    • Whether you abetted him by your third-party vote depends on whom your state supported. If Clinton: no, it made no difference; if Trump: yes, you helped elect him. But do not lose sight of the fact that your vote added to this cycle’s effort of your third party to reach support benchmarks that would make ballot access far easier. I speak as someone who voted third party in 1968 and 1980, and learned better (sort of).People who voted twice for Obama out of excitement at a viable Black candidate, and stayed home for Clinton, definitely helped elect Trump.

      • I can’t really get angry at Bernie supporters or third party voters who didn’t get behind Hillary. We have spent decades in a race to the bottom in which presidential candidates have offered us nothing but low expectations and fear. “If you don’t vote for me (fill in the name) will get in, and he/she will be far worse.” That’s a death spiral for a democracy over the long term.

        In terms of day to day policies, the main establishment of both parties work exclusively for the Wall Street and Fortune 500 class who bought their office for them. Oh, there is some difference around environmental and financial regulation, but at the end of the day neither side will ever seriously inconvenience their pay masters or question the assumptions of a capitalist system in which virtually all ordinary people are utterly dispensable.

        Each party attempts to mollify it’s proletariat base by feeding it “red meat” of social issues – LGBT rights for progressives, guns, Christian fundamentalism and anti-abortion for conservatives. Nowhere has there been any realistic engagement of the reality that most of us have half the standard of living of our parents, and most of our offspring will probably see tin-shack poverty by mid century, all in a country generating staggering corporate profits.

        Many Democrats and liberals understandably said “I’m not doing this sh**t anymore.” The only way to get different results out of systems impervious to incremental reform is to break those systems. Trump understood that. He offered a real vision. Hillary’s pitch was virtue signalling and “At least I’m not Trump.” Trump’s vision of authoritarian populism, nativism and backward looking economic plans (seriously, coal?) are going to make things much much worse for a while. Whether or not Hillary won office in November, there was ultimately going to be no way forward but through Trump. What the rest of us need to decide, and pretty quickly, is whether we’re going to start demanding real and bold leadership from our candidates or whether we’re going to be a permanent opposition in a single party state.