TWH – Over the weekend Michael M. Hughes, author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change and the creator of the Official Bind Trump Facebook group released an updated version of his 2018 political resistance working titled Blue Wave 2.0.
Hughes spoke with TWH and to answer some questions about the updated Blue Wave spell and why he feels the need for the work he has been encouraging.
Hughes started the Bind Trump group on Facebook in February of 2017 and encouraged members of the group to participate in the monthly ritual of “binding Trump and those abet him” from doing harm.
In 2018, Hughes created the Blue Wave Spell which was focused on propelling Democrats running for office into winning seats. Hughes said that while the number of people who participated and chose to implement the working in one way or another was likely less than those for Bind Trump workings, he estimated numbers likely in the thousands.
The Official Bind Trump Facebook group currently has 5,900 members and has continued to coordinate a binding ritual each dark moon since its inception in 2017. Members of the group often post pictures of their workings after each binding. Their next binding is scheduled for October 14 at 11.59 pm (EDT).
Hughes said about the coming election, “This one [election] is so enormously important that we win… our country is hanging by a thread.”
He also expressed his doubts that our democracy could survive another four years under the current administration, characterizing the upcoming election as a “do or die moment.” He added that if Trump wins and Republicans manage to maintain control of the senate Hughes said, “I don’t know if I will even be able to recognize our country.”
Hughes explained his reasoning for creating and updating the Blue Wave working focused on political activism. “I felt like this, as a probability enhancer is working on many levels, and is using every tool in our toolbox.”
He went on to say that he designed the working to be, ecumenical, simple and straightforward, and easy to use and that it can be adapted for anyone to use. “The binding ritual showed that there was a thirst for ritual.”
Hughes’ goal to reach as many people as possible has necessitated the need for the working to be broad and flexible. The Blue Wave spell can be done as a prayer, a meditation, or even an affirmation for those who are agnostic or follow an atheistic path. He fervently believes, whether others believe or not, that “concentrated energy” with a specific focus, can “push the needle” in the direction desired.
Anytime magic and spirituality and politics cross streams there are inevitably individuals who object or show concern over the potential combination of religion and governance.
Hughes said, “Look, magic has always been political. The idea of there being a wall between magic and governance… There has always been an overlap since magic has long been the tool of oppressed.”
Hughes continued, “Politics has always mixed with religion,” citing other examples, like anti-Vietnam protests, and the political actions of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Spirituality has always been at the front of politics.”
From a legal standpoint, just to clarify the point when it comes to separation of church and state, TWH spoke HecateDemeter, a retired attorney. The establishment clause of the First Amendment really only applies to the government:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
In other words, as defined by Cornell Law School: “The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion.’ This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.”
There is certainly no law against praying for or against someone or something. There is, however, the Johnson Amendment of 1954 which was added into the tax code restrictions for non-profits like churches using their platforms to directly endorse or promote candidates.
Paragraph (3) of subsection (c) within section 501 of Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code) of the U.S. Code (U.S.C.) describes organizations which may be exempt from U.S. Federal income tax. 501(c)(3) is written as follows:
(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
None of which applies to individuals or advocacy groups that are not non-profits or hold a 501(c)3 status.
On the ethics of using magic to influence politics, HecateDemeter pointed out that magic is really no different from writing letters, protesting, or any other form of advocacy. And how many magical practitioners infuse letters written to representatives with a little extra magical something to ensure it even makes its way into the hands it is supposed to or gets read at all?
In fact, she highlighted that there is a long tradition of magic being used to combat tyranny. Dionne Fortune’s work during WWII which began with coordinating members of her order to influence the war and prevent Hitler from gaining a foothold on British soil, and ended up with many participants who had little or no background in magical practices joining in the workings. The details of Fortune’s work are contained in The Magical Battle of Britain.
HecateDemeter did say, “If someone feels this type of work is wrong, then they should not do it.”
Hughes is very clear on the use of magic. “The idea [is] that magic is not just for Witches and Pagans, it is our birthright as humans and magical thinking creatures — some people try to make that a negative.
“My goal is to make magic broadly available, even if you don’t believe in its efficacy. Magic rituals can have a positive effect. The Blue Wave template is accessible to all, not just magical practitioners, anyone can do it.”
Hughes went on to say that he has always believed that ritual and magic enrich a person’s life on an inner level. “When you direct intention ritualistically, you can alter the trajectory of whatever the object of your focus is.”
He believes that “This election is bigger than politics and partisan bickering. It is an existential crisis at the core — the ideals that have held the country together have faults, but there is still lots of goodness.”
Hughes sees everything as hanging in the balance, and that the country is dangerously tipping towards fascism, demagoguery, and authoritarianism. He pointed out that if everyone who this resonates with commits to doing some type of ritual work, in whatever form, can help to affirm the commitment to justice, and equality.
As for the future of the Bind Trump group, Hughes said even if Biden wins and Trump is out of office, there will still be plenty of work to do. First, he intends to celebrate the accomplishments of the group. There has even been talk of having a Bind-Con where everyone from the Facebook group would come together. Obviously, that can’t happen in-person until the pandemic is past.
“The group has energized a lot of people, which has coalesced into a spiritual movement that is unique, and that birthed the idea at the right time,” Hughes said. He is also deeply humbled by the support and work being done by the group.
He outlined the amount of work that yet needs to be done to fix the flawed systems that the current pandemic has been highlighting: Making the social safety network better, and repairing or replacing the broken systems that revolve around healthcare, food, and education.
While Hughes stated he does not believe that Trumpism or the regressive factions he sees supporting it are just going to go away, he does believe they can be combated with more socially liberal policies and that magical activism can be a very effective tool.
“We can use magic progressivism to advocate for the policies that can change the world and our country. Spiritual practices can be used to combat despair and reinforce the principles of morality and ethics.”