President Trump attracts magical ire; binding spells planned

UNITED STATES — President Donald Trump continues to raise hackles among progressives — as well as some conservatives — during these first hundred days of his term in office. Some of his opponents in the Pagan and polytheist communities are working magic against the 45th president, and in the tradition of hexing Brock Turner, some of that work is being done very publicly.

[Wikimedia Commons]

Witch’s Bottle [Wikimedia Commons]

Gala Darling broadcast a “bind Trump” ritual on President’s Day, capitalizing on the holiday to focus energy on the effort. Based on the participant locations she rattled off, the effort was an international one.

Binding is a form of magic that is less ethically problematic for practitioners who subscribe to the threefold law or similar injunctions against manipulative magic. “Binding spells are traditionally used to prevent someone else’s energy from interfering with yours,” she wrote on her site, “and when there’s a dangerous narcissist dictating the direction of the USA, I think it’s high time to employ a powerful binding spell.”

Last Monday was not the only opportunity to get involved in such a public effort, however. Another binding spell is scheduled to take place on Feb. 24, the start of the waning crescent moon.

It’s been popularized by author Michael M. Hughes, who wrote, “It was allegedly created by a member of a private magical order who wishes to remain anonymous. I make no claims about its efficacy, and several people have noted it can be viewed as more of a mass art/consciousness-raising project . . . . but many are clearly taking it very seriously.”

Both of those binding spells are broadly intended to keep the current president from doing harm, and they share components, such as thread, candles, and pins. Where Darling’s spell provides only general guidelines regarding the casters’ intentions, the spell shared by Hughes is quite specific, including such details as:

Bind him so that he shall not break our polity
Usurp our liberty
Or fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair
And bind, too,
All those who enable his wickedness
And those whose mouths speak his poisonous lies

There are witches, root workers, and other magical practitioners who don’t believe that a binding is the only alternative. A trend to refer to Trump simply as “45” to undermine his perceived ego has more extensive magical expression in a hex of obsolescence, for example.

However, many of the online examples were written before the election, which is itself may be a commentary on their effectiveness.

What many of these spells offered do have in common is a rich variety of symbolism. Carrots and orange candles are used to evoke Trump’s hair. The fact that tarot decks have a trump called the Tower is too tempting to ignore. And, in the tradition of political advertising, unflattering pictures of the president are sometimes incorporated.

The result of decades of self-branding provides a wide variety of icons and images for use in such magical work targeting him, including delivering written intentions to Trump Tower.

The hurling of curses at the so-called leader of the free world does raise ethical questions separate from the political ones. As noted previously, adherents to the threefold law of return and similar edicts are mindful that what they work will revisit them in turn. The Wiccan Rede, “an it harm none do as you will,” also stands as warning against working negative magic.

That doesn’t sit well for people who agree with Witch and shaman Mat Auryn, who last month wrote, “As we continue down on our path, many of us start seeing the flaw of fulfilling the Rede as we meditate upon it. The act of existence is harmful by nature. The act of eating kills something, regardless of our dietary choices. The body itself tends to be constantly breaking down and destroying life as it exists.”

To help place the ethical issues in context, we turned to author Ivo Dominguez, Jr., who has written a number of books on the practice of magic.

The Wild Hunt: What’s your ethical position on doing this kind of magical work in general?

Ivo Dominguez, Jr.: I believe that it is ethical to perform operative workings if they adhere to the same ethical and moral framework that you would apply in any other arena of life. I apply the same guidelines and codes to whatever change that I want to make in the world whether I use words, deeds, or wands. The larger the potential impact on myself or others, the more carefully I review my intentions, methods, and possible outcomes. The powers raised by passion and will are essential in powerful workings, but a strong container and focus of action is just as essential. In this regard ethics, morals, and careful consideration of the possibility of unintended outcomes is just as important as good magickal tech and ritual-craft.

TWH: Whether or not you’d do something like that yourself, are there pitfalls that you think people who work such magic commonly overlook? Unintended consequences, that sort of thing?

ID: The most common pitfall is failure, which wastes time, energy, and can be demoralizing. In a way similar to rituals that work well for a handful of people but fall apart when offered as a large group ritual, political magick requires different approaches. The spell that works well for quelling angry gossip in the workplace, or keeping obnoxious neighbors at bay, etc. does not often provide a useful template for political workings. For operative magick to be effective when applied at this scale, modifications must be made to both the planning and to the execution of the workings. The methods for analysis and implementation need to be a mixture of mundane practices in combination with low, middle, and high magick.

There have been successful workings in the past such as the witches and magicians that fought against Hitler in World War II, the practitioners of Vodou that started the Haitian Revolution, Maria Soliña and her coven who defeated an attack by the Turkish fleet against Spain in the Middle Ages, and many more. I personally know of numerous instances in the last several decades where magick worked to bring criminals and political figures to justice. These efforts often involved, many well-trained and talented people in close, coordinated, and cohesive groups. Although there is great potential for mass workings arranged through social media, more often than not it is like a gargantuan orchestra with no conductor and works about as well.

TWH: For binding specifically, is there one piece of advice you’d give to avoid disaster or improve the chances of a positive outcome?

ID: Often there is little or no blow-back from many of these efforts because the magick never hits take-off velocity or falls apart against the large and powerful shields created by the hopes and adoration of a public figure’s supporters. When the working is powerful but poorly designed and hastily implemented, there is a greater possibility for blowback. I have taught a nine-part series on operative magick, each part a day-long class, and still just scratched the surface. It is hard to give a single piece of advice other than pick something that matches the scale of your resources and knowledge.

Those supporters of the president that Dominguez referenced do include Pagans and polytheists, as we noted after the election, some of whom may be trying to bolster the commander-in-chief magically. The situation could be likened to nuns praying for their favorite team to win, except that polytheists pray to many gods if they pray at all.

Despite his skepticism that mass spells such as these will succeed, Dominguez said, “There is often a valuable emotional and psychological boost that comes from doing magick against oppressors, wrongdoers, and the like even if the magick does not work.” For his part, though, “I am more excited about doing workings to strengthen and support our people so that we can change the world in lasting ways. That said, there are times when direct opposition is necessary.”

For those who don’t wish to join the fray on the magical plane, there remain many other ways to support favorite causes, including volunteering and making donations to them; just ask Mike Pence.

*  *  *
The work of journalist Terence P. Ward was made possible by the generous underwriting donation from Hecate Demeter, writer, ecofeminist, witch and Priestess of the Great Mother Earth.

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44 thoughts on “President Trump attracts magical ire; binding spells planned

  1. I’m sure the right-wing Christians (Dominionists, Christian Identity, etc.) are convinced that they’re prayers have been answered by god.

    • I’m sure of it. I’ve seen comments to that effect by the most extreme right wingers of the fundamentalist Christian traditions.

  2. As far as doing binding magic, I am reminded of the quote from Master Kan of the Kung Fu TV Series which introduced America to Buddhist philosophy: “Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.” Seems we might be at the “check, rather than hurt” phase.

  3. When they can come up with something that can get around psionics let me know. This will fail.

  4. I am ashamed of my fellow pagans. He’s done nothing wrong. The negativity isn’t coming from Trump,it is coming from YOU

    • The negativity is coming from Trump, with his prejudice against immigrants, his contempt for women, and his refusal to mention the Jewish people on Holocaust Remembrance Day. He is supported by the KKK and the American Nazi Party. He is a disgrace to our country, and to our species.

      • LIES LIES and MORE LIES. He has nothing against immigrants, his wife is an immigrant. ILLEGAL immigrants are an issue. As for supporting the KKK and Nazi party, total and complete nonsense spewed by CNN and the likes.

        • The KKK, Nazis and the Alt-Right openly and loudly support Trump. That has nothing to do with CNN or the likes. They have stated many times that Trump is the voice to their vision. CNN did not make him say he wants a “muslim ban” over and over on the campaign trail. CNN did not make him fill his cabinets with people with strong histories and connections to racist organizations. CNN did not make Trump reluctant to denounce David Duke but quick to denounce Civil Rights leaders. CNN did not make him say anything. He is gaslighting the whole country, it’s basic psychological manipulation. You know who else calls the media “fake” and “lying” and “the enemy”? Dictators. Historically, its always dictators that try to destroy the credibility of the press so that they can be the only source of their alternate and official version of the truth (ie. “Alternative Facts”). Hitler called the free press “Lugenpresse” which means the lying press. It’s a classic dictator move.

      • Armenians are very used to having their genocide ignored by the US president. Although at least Trump didn’t make empty promises to recognize the genocide on the campaign trail only to not actually do it on the remembrance day, like most presidential candidates seem to. Highly doubt Trump will recognize it himself of course. The Holocaust is a very unique case, perhaps the only genocide that ever got an ounce of justice afterwards.

        As for the Trump negativity thing, he is but a symptom of a much larger problem, namely the corporate owned two party alleged democracy the US has become. Better to focus ones energy against that. When a democrat president does the same things as Trump is doing, the silence is deafening. They are two sides of the same coin.

    • You are ashamed of your fellow pagans, are you? My, my, now, that is very interesting. How about you focus on your own path and your own interpretation of 45, and let the rest of us follow our own path?

    • trump is a corporate Neo/Nazi. He is a fascist and a destroyer backed up by his handpicked White Supremacist , vile, staff members. His goal is to bleed this country dry while lining his pockets and the pockets of his fellow billionaire pals that think like he does. He is deregulating the National Parks in order to open them up to mining and drilling for shale oil. He neglects to mention that the mining and drilling rights are being sold to foreign concerns. He says this will bring in 28,000 jobs. These jobs are temporary and he does not mention what is going to happen to the 22,000 permanent Park Service jobs when they start ripping apart the land. Native Americans have sacred places in our Federal Parks and hunting and fishing rights that we do not have. He has already shown what level of esteem he holds our indigenous brothers and sisters in and it is not high. Will he violate their rights yet again? He has removed the protections from our waterways and has said that he wishes to increase our dependency on oil. He plans to mine for uranium in the Grand Canyon. Can you imagine this? He has stated that he is going to revive the coal industry and that the future of energy in this country is “clean” coal. He wants to do away with the endangered species act and has given the go ahead to begin gassing wolf and bear cubs in their dens while killing their parents from the safety of helicopters. He has defunded the Earth Sciences just when we need them the most. This idiot has repeatedly said that he thinks he knows more about science than the actual men and women who have studied and worked in their fields for years. It would not surprise me if this moron fracked the Yellowstone Caldera because it is so rich in minerals.
      Around day 3 of his term in office he defunded the agency that helps battered women. He is selling our educational and health systems to corporations and oh, so, so much more. You say,” you are ashamed of your fellow Pagans and that he has done nothing wrong”. When our water ways are choked with coal sludge, oil, and dispersal chemicals, when our air is filthy with smoke from coal, when the earth is ripped to shreds as they mine for metals and minerals, as the earth shakes and rumbles from fracking, and the animals and our children die, I wonder if you will still say that? Seriously, can’t you feel this in the very depths of your being? I have to wonder if you are Pagan at all.

      • Best. Smackdown. EVER. Bravo!!! And what said IS the truth, and you sugar-coated it because it IS that bad. We and our descendants are in for a rough ride.

      • I love the claim that Trump is a nazi. His daughter converted to Judaism and is raising his grandson as Jewish. And Trump’s biggest supporter internationally is the prime minister of Israel.

        That’s a crappy Nazi if you ask me.

    • You obvious are in denial. You are entitled to your opinion. But so are the rest of us. We need neither your approval, nor permission.

      In the Marine Corps, though I was nonreligious at the time, some 50 years ago, I gave an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States, from all enemies foreign, and domestic. I intend to keep my oath.

      Ironically it is the exact same one that is taken by Congress, and the President, but then soon forgotten in their rush to enrich themselves, at the taxpayer’s expense. However, they do not take their oath so seriously.

      Note, the oath says nothing about protecting politicians, not even the President, nor Congress, nor our flag, nor our system, just the basis for all of our basic rights, the Constitution of the United States. Our forefathers knew more about what was important then modern Americans.

      The symbols are not what is sacred, but the ideas behind those symbols. It was said in the past, “That when Tyranny would come it would be dressed in the Flag, and the Cross”, and so it has.

      Our ancestors didn’t stand for it under British Rule of King George III, and neither will we.

    • Trump is deeply unpleasant and has malign intentions, but he plainly also has serious mental health issues. He needs treatment, not to be enabled to this ridiculous extent. The people around him who are to some extent using him as a glove puppet have intentions which are very, very far from good.

    • Says someone who will never be hurt by any of his policies. That is the epitomy of white privilege. If people are telling you he is hurting THEM, believe them. You do not know their lives. As for how he is hurting you, he has appointed someone who intends to weaken laws that protect your air and your water. He wants to appoint a SCOTUS judge that considers the “right to privacy” to be something not supported by the Constitution. He has appointed to the Dept of Education someone who wants to undermine the availability of public education. He wants someone who wants to eliminate the Dept of Energy to run that dept and this harms you because the Dept. of Energy directs the storage of nuclear wastes. He wants to sell off your public lands. I could go on but, like most “conservatives” I talk to, I’m sure, by now, you are referencing mindless tripe like “settled law” or “misrepresenting issues”. Honey, you are the reason I send thousands of dollars to the Sierra Club and the ACLU, to protect you from your voting habits.

  5. I will never contribute to any public spell work, it makes us look stupid and attracts the wrong kind of attention, what I do in my own sphere of privacy, is of course my own business.

  6. The Tower tarot card is quite appropriate to use as a focal point. Aside from the association with Trump Tower or his tendency to elevate himself, The Tower can not only symbolize destruction but *necessary* destruction – like clearing away what is not useful to build something that is.

    As I do with all my spellwork, I will include wording that allows the Universe to decide what is appropriate. If as some have expressed in their opinions here Trump and those around him neither intend harm nor will cause harm, the binding will not go into effect because there will be nothing harmful to bind. But if he and those who work around, with, and through him intend to cause harm or by their words and actions will cause harm, they will be bound from causing harm.

    So I say to those who think this is an attempt to take down a man and an administration that has been misjudged: It’s not about judging; it’s about protecting our country, our people, and the planet.

    • “As I do with all my spellwork, I will include wording that allows the Universe to decide what is appropriate.”


        • This bit I don’t implies ‘the universe’ is some single conscious entity. It is a void, vacuum, it doesnt give a shit about a single protozoan on backwater droplet. If you want action, get your act together and DO IT. None of this ethical get out card by offloading responsibility to ‘the universe’

          • Notice that the Verity used universe with a capital U. The universe as you describe is a different thing. If we believe in a God, or a Goddess, or many of them, or One Source of All, etc…..then “Universe with a capital U” is the most generic and inclusive way it can be depicted. At least, this is what it means to me. Verity would have to say for him/her self what s/he meant by it.

          • Noname2u, You grasped it well. I don’t subscribe to an actual belief in a supernatural entity or entities such as gods per se, but I do believe that there is a collective consciousness, if you will. When I say I leave the details up to the Universe, I am saying that I as an individual don’t presume to know exactly what is best for the whole. But as an individual I also do not avoid responsibility for myself, and I do not rely solely on spellwork to solve my problems, as I explain in another post here.

            Linguliformean, I also don’t presume to tell others what they should and should not believe, whether their beliefs or how they view the world is right or wrong. I find such statements rather arrogant.

      • Hardly. The universe takes it’s own sweet time in deciding. We won’t know what it decides until this is all over.

    • Thank you. That is indeed the goal of this working—self-defense. When a toddler is waving a handgun, the only appropriate response is to take it away immediately.

  7. While I don’t see binding spells as inherently unethical, they are deeply problematic from a metaphysical standpoint, and I’m deeply skeptical of this campaign against Trump for a variety of other reasons. Having come up as Wiccan, I’m well familiar with the Threefold Law. I believe it’s bunk insofar as energy is conserved in the magickal realm as well as the mundane world. I also don’t believe the Law of Return works in the sense of a grand karmic payback loop.

    The problem with binding work in particular, and all magick in general, has to do with entrainment – the linkages you form between yourself and the target of your will and projected energy. Binding magick can easily put you in the same position as a U.S. Marshal shackled to his prisoner or the proverbial tiger you catch by the tail. Who has who bound? A second problem is that binding magick breaks against the barrier of strong will. Even assuming that could be overcome, there is the problem of intent versus unintended consequences. What does it mean if you successfully bind someone like Donald Trump, if only fleetingly? Does it mean you prevent him from some particular evil action he had contemplated that day? Or did you just stop him from saying or doing the one outrage that might have to his impeachment? It’s tricky business, trying to manipulate history.

    Aggressive forms of magick also pose a unique set of problems in the context of a target like Trump. He thrives on negative energy and chaos. He has no training nor likely any belief in the theory of spellwork, and he lacks the mental discipline required of the best spell workers, but he is quite probably the most gifted natural left handed energy worker on the planet today. He took control of an empire against the will of a majority of its citizens, by doing nothing else by gathering outrage and redirecting attacks against him. Attacking Trump with negative energy is roughly akin to deploying napalm and white phosphorous against a balrog.

    • I would mostly be concerned about the linkages between myself and the target.

      As noted by Verity, above, I think that can be avoided by the caveat of wording that allows the Universal powers to decide what is appropriate. It has worked for me in the past with personal issues, and I’d hope that it would work with this one. But as you point out, 45 is a strong target. Much to contemplate before deciding to tackle that one.

      • I think an even bigger concern of mine is that spellwork too often becomes a substitute for hard work which needs to be done at the mundane level and which gets 98% of everything done on this plane of existence. I have found that spell worth only produces worthwhile results when you have everything else pulling in the right direction. It’s like the “11” on Nigel Tufnel’s amplifier 🙂

        When every other force is applied, the spell, IF you pull it off well and direct it at the right pivot point, can nudge the course of fate the few degrees to change an outcome. I don’t think we’re doing even 5% of what we need to be doing to engage Trump on the mundane level, and until we do so, I think spell work is generally going to be urinating into a headwind, at best. It’s rather like too many of the Pagans I’ve known who are forever doing money spells but won’t look for a job because they’re too busy doing money spells and smoking weed and doing bead work that they’re going to vend at festivals and on Etsy…someday.

        If people want to do this sort of binding work, more power to them. I wish them the best, but I feel like we’d all get more bang for the buck if we all gave $20 or $50 a month to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, turned up at legislative town hall meetings and wrote them letters -not re-Tweets or the billionth online petition of the month, but actual personal letters and calls. We would also do well to try to appeal to whatever sense and empathy remains among Trump voters to help them understand that they deserve far better than what they got. When it comes to tripping up someone like Trump, the best thing you can do is let him be him. He’ll bring down his own presidency before the Democrats or local wizard’s guild ever gets out of first gear.

        • “It’s rather like too many of the Pagans I’ve known who are forever doing money spells but won’t look for a job because they’re too busy doing money spells and smoking weed and doing bead work that they’re going to vend at festivals and on Etsy…someday.”

          THIS. Glad to hear someone else say this out loud.

  8. Pingback: President Trump attracts magical ire | The Wild Hunt | Tenders of the Earth Temple

  9. When I encountered the Iliad and other key ancient Pagan texts, they seemed quite different from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. In the Bibles, the Sky God was always on the side of His People.

    In the polytheistic texts, the gods did not take sides in a Good Guys/Bad Guys way. They had their own reasons. Aphrodite broke up a marriage and started the Trojan War in order to keep a promise, for example.

    So before you demand what You want, you might give some thought to what They want.

    Another thing: one of the four sides of the “Magician’s Pyramid” is “to keep silence.” But a lot of magic-workers want to boast on social media. That is just virtue-signaling. “Look at me, I’m doing political magic.”

    • Chas Clifton is 100% right on this. This whole thing is nothing but virtue signaling, a way of saying you’re more virtuous than your peers. I also agree, the Gods don’t serve a tribe or political movement, and leave us to decide our own politics.

      Beyond the virtue signaling, there are two other problems I see:

      Firstly, it treats the practice of paganism agnostically. Pagans don’t feel like they should “check in” with their Gods, if they even honor Gods to begin with. Instead they appeal to their own egos and treat the Gods as simply archetypes and projections of their own consciousness. Magic is just a technology to many.

      Secondly, it treats the Gods as spiritual servants, who *must* agree with the petitioner and grant them the power to defeat their enemy. This is far more troubling, because it puts the dedicant and her agenda first in the God/dedicant relationship. This becomes solipsistic very quickly. The divine appears to agree with the dedicant because the dedicant never bothers to ask. She just “knows” because her Gods oversee this or that, They *must* support the dedicant’s political stance. A rather circular path of rationalization follows, and it becomes especially dangerous if the dedicant is in a place to dictate messages from her Gods.

      Note, I’m not discussing Trump and policy at all. We’ve become so wrapped up in the issue that we can’t see the danger of mixing politics and religion.

      • For those who follow deities, there is certainly nothing wrong with asking them for their help on a personal or tribal matter. Depending on the strength of your relationship with them, and their own priorities, they may well help. Often that help comes not in the form of doing the work you want, but in inspiration and help in completing the task yourself. I wouldn’t presume that our gods and goddesses are deeply invested in political partisanship in the United States. On the other hand, it seems entirely possible that they don’t look too favorably on the rise of a Christian dominionist agenda either. They’ve probably had a belly full of that over the last 16 centuries or so.

      • Nonsense. Attacks on air and water are existential issues. An administration intent on denying the human impact on climate is a threat to all of us.

  10. I agree with kenofken wholeheartedly that depending solely on spellwork to solve any problem is often worse than useless. Spellwork should always go hand in hand with tangible effort. When someone tries to focus on one without the other, the Universe tends to figuratively slap them until they get the message – and some never do. I’m reminded of a friend who repeatedly asked me to read his tarot and his query was always: when will love enter my life? Yet the cards that came up every time were about his finances and job. Finally I refused to read for him anymore on the subject of his love life, telling him again what should have always been clear; the cards were telling him to get his career and finances in order, and only then could love enter his life. He got the answer he sought but lacked the physical action required to partner the magic.

    I don’t do bindings lightly. The possibilities of taking on energies from the subject of the binding do bear reflection. I do believe though that a binding done in the appropriate frame of mind does not bind free will any more than required for protection; if someone holds a gun on me I have no problem interfering with their free will to protect myself. I would certainly seek other means to protect myself as well (starting getting the hell away from them if possible!), but would not discard any means in my arsenal including binding.

    Unfortunately, we cannot get away from Donald Trump. In some ways I wonder if this is what America needs, the firm kick in the arse that finally outrages us enough to stand up and work for real change. I do believe in giving him enough rope to hang himself – which he seems to have a tremendous talent for – and it would behoove anyone doing a binding to keep this in mind, to focus energy on binding harm that would be irreversible.

    As we see, there are many pitfalls and things that require careful thought. A binding should never be done on the fly, especially one such as this. But it can be a very effective tool and should not be discarded because its execution can be complex. Any worthwhile enterprise usually is. If I discarded every bit of spellwork that involved risk, I’d never cast at all.

  11. Pingback: Metaphysical gauntlet thrown down | True Pagan Warrior

  12. I am not Wiccan, I practice an older arte. I will participate in the binding, only because the more people that do the same thing at the same time gives that more power, and I think it’s a good place to start.

    But immediately following the binding, I’m going to go a step further, and although the formula will take longer to make, if anyone has a fire philtre, and wishes to join me, at 12:04 or shortly thereafter, to make an Hour of Mars, use Geomancy sigils for PUER and declare your intent in Bats Blood Ink on paper, “Donald Trump’s presidency ends, his administration crumbles as it is removed from office this year.”
    Suffumigation to use: Dragon’s Blood, if possible combine with Black Pepper
    Coloufs: Red, secondary colour: Green, auxiliary colour: black
    Dab the philtre on your paper and let it air dry before declaring your intent. Use incantation from Liber Noctis, “Hear me O element fire for this charge…etc” burn in a cauldron atop either vesta powder or black arts incense (if BAI, let the incense burn out as it will outdoors or out a window, don’t let that energy in your home, send it instead to the White House.

  13. I see no harm in binding someone who’s actions will affect you or your life in any way negatively.