The #bindtrump movement harkens to the stories about the witches of Great Britain using magic to keep Hitler off their island. They, unlike those of us in the US, were pro-active – a significant advantage when working magic for home and country.
Mass magical actions are something I have wished to see in the United States since I started my own witchcraft practice in the late 1990s. I wanted to use spells to awaken people out of their apathy on my college campus. In the 20 years since that time I’ve performed many bindings – to shut down abusive people for others, to bind out negative influences on my own life, and on one occassion to stop a young man from doing something that would have definitely landed him in jail and ruined his life.
As happens with practice, my bindings now have some nuance to them, enough that workers that know me ask me for tips on how to do their own. When people started asking me about the Bind Trump campaign, it certainly caught my interest- people were doing something, yay! …maybe I should talk to them about how to mitigate the unintended consequences that come with works on this scale.
People have been asking me what to do magically about Trump since a good year before he was elected. At the time, I said what I still mean: put the energy towards what you do want not what you don’t. While it’s painful to say and to read, in many ways I feel that Trump’s opposition is the force that got him elected. When people were campaigning for Obama, it was on hope – they put all their energy towards what they did want, and the campaign managers kept it positive. The building hope spread. When Trump came around, what spread was fear – and fear is powerful, addictive, and easy to sink into. The slew of panicked Facebook and Twitter posts escalated steadily, true or false alike, as the election neared – and the people that didn’t want Trump in office put all their energy and thought into him, just as they had when Obama got elected. The Universe or what have you just saw where the energy was going; it helped that the energy heading towards the GOP was thick and consistent, not weak and fractionated like it was for the other parties. I kept telling people to put energy towards what they did want, but even the most ardent of Sanders voters seemed to come from a place of fear of Trump rather than from enthusiasm for Sanders.
I am among those guilty of not taking the Trump campaign seriously soon enough. Only after I sent in my vote by mail did I realize exactly how much trouble we were in. I started seeing how much energy and fear went into him both from those opposed but also for those that supported him. It did not help that the alternatives to Trump infought themselves down to matchsticks. When someone asked me if he could perhaps light 1000 candles to prevent Trump from being elected, I joked that it was a self-correcting problem, he’d self destruct or really anger the Secret Service somehow. So far, I was wrong.
So when someone mentioned the Bind Trump campaign to me around Pantheacon, I had a moment of … huh, followed by absolute pleasure that people were doing something magical as a response…followed by a “hmmm…” as I looked over the core ritual in light of my intuitions about the current Oval Office. I’m not opposed to binding Trump – I simply haven’t done it because I think he’s the wrong target.
What’s still going wrong
I’ve already stated that I believe directing energy towards an undesired target instead of a desired one is what got Trump elected. I think there is an additional problem still ongoing in the “____ would have/should have won!” camp. If your candidate didn’t win, it’s time to perform a ritual act of grief and release. Hilary, Bernie, Gary, and Jill didn’t win for more reasons than just Russian intervention. None of them inspired the most disenfranchised in our society to vote – and these are among the first people Trump is targetting, either as his base or as his scapegoats.
You can’t change the past but you can change the future. Rather than mourning for the leader you wished you had, start building a vision of how the leader you want to have should feel to you. The feelings produced matter much more than the day to day fulfillment of desires at this point.
None of the advice I offer here will make any difference until you write your own happy ending and work the magic towards it. Until the energy of a leader who leads for the good of all is crafted, much of this binding work will fall a bit short of creating a real change – and is at high risk of allowing something worse to enter. At this point, in addition to the bindings witches must work magic to create a leadership/government/executive branch that is truly working for the good of all.
What follows is intended as an embellishment rather than a critique of the core binding ritual created collectively and posted by Michael Hughes. [correction 7/20/2017: initially attributed to Cherry Wanders] Many practitioners performing this work have already added their own elements and variations in the repeated workings since February. These are my own recommended tweaks, things to add as new information comes to light, depending on your inclinations.
Make sure you’re hitting the right target
The phrasing of the #bindtrump spell title is to “bind Donald Trump and all those who abet him.” While this is not the exact phrase used within the ritual text itself, the spoken spell covers this nicely, first binding Trump and then adding a layer for his allies. At this point everyone on that list is likely entangled in their own underwear.
My question now is the same one I had when this first came about – is Trump really the correct central target for this working?
Trump is a delegator; it does not look to me like he is the boss of his presidency. It’s obvious he doesn’t really want the job. Since he’s taken office, it looks a lot like he’s holding the office for someone else.
This means that someone determined to alter the course we’re on needs to do heavy readings on Bannon, Pence, Ryan, Putin, or someone else. It’s fine to bind all those who abet Trump – but if he is the one doing the abetting, that leaves a loophole in the core spell text. [corrected from Breitbart to Bannon 7/10/2017]
The forces of nature that allow magic to happen are often literal and legalistic; how many fairytale witches were overcome because of a loophole in the conditions of a curse?
Look at What Protects Him/ the Presidency
A friend and sometime magical partner told me about riding his bike past Obama’s cavalcade when it came to San Francisco once. Out of curiosity, he peered with his third eye into what energy surrounded the caravan. He discovered entities looking right back at him.
Given the masonic symbols on the dollar bill and the interest of Benjamin Franklin in things occult, it is possible that there is a long-established practice of metaphysical protection on the presidency no matter who is in that office. In addition, each president may have allies of his/her/their own with the assigned job of protecting power even on metaphysical levels. This can complicate things for the average citizen performing a binding.
One of the risks to any spell, even one intended with positive influence, is kickback/conversion. While the rule of three and laws of karma and how they affect spells are up for debate, the laws of physics also apply to the energies we send metaphysically. If you send a spell to a person’s home and the person has wards up/secondary walls, that energy might bounce right off to you, ground, or get burned in a magical firewall. If a person knows someone is working magic on them on a regular basis, s/he/they, if in the know, will also alter their protection techniques. What bounces back one month might get collected for reuse as ammo another month.
Why do I bring this up? Because modern Euro-centric Pagans are not the only magic workers around and witchcraft is not the only magic to be had. We forget this far too easily. This leads me to say…
Take Spiritual Warfare Seriously
When the spiritual warfare movement started in the late 1990s, most of the Pagans I encountered on various mailing lists laughed it off. The common thought of the day was that prayer was weaker than magic, that the Christian belief system wasn’t real, and that because we were on the side of some amorphous force of good in the universe that good would protect us.
We were projecting.
We were arrogant.
We misundertood the universe and assumed it shared our view of good and bad.
Most of us assumed that what we did not believe or invest in could not touch us.
We were wrong.
Prayer is, in its way, another form of magic – it often has an intent, builds energy for a result, and has a built in release button – “Amen.” It’s common practice to light candles and incense while speaking prayers. This makes those prayers indistinguishable from spells.
Like Pagans, spiritual warfare people aren’t necessarily speaking to some whole force of the universe, but often individuated certain-branch-of-Christianity-approved spirits such as archangels that are not omniscient.
I found out recently that angels can be used for negative work, don’t automatically know when a Christian is praying with a repentant heart (Gabriel is still on my shitlist for that) and can indeed be lied to, or manipulated with a lie someone has convinced themselves is true.
Trump and company all have spiritual warfare practitioners behind them. If you do a search for #BindTrump on Facebook or Twitter and dig through the public posts, you will see people invoking archangels and angels, prophets and ancestors, to stop the witches doing the binding work from succeeding. Witches raised in the Christian sects that practice spiritual warfare can tell you firsthand how powerful those practices can be – and it is very likely countering some of the magic released.
Repeating the spell can definitely overcome some of the spiritual warfare counter magick, but not all of it. Just as witches are reworking those bindings every month, Spiritual Warfare practitioners are speaking their prayers daily. Most are, however, focused solely on Trump. This is the main reason to look at Trump’s supporters – or really, to look at the people leading Trump.
Look at his Allies very carefully
Right now the key players in the Trump saga are Putin, Bannon, Pence, and Ryan. If I were to pick one of them to bind immediately all by himself, or maybe even perform a breakup spell between him and his political allies, it would be Ryan. He has the least magical protection and the most visible arrogance. I would need to pull cards on him but my sense is that no one is watching him closely for good or ill.
Pence I am unsure of – if something happens to Trump, Pence is the most immediate negative consequence of any binding succeeding.
Putin not only would I want to do a reading on, I would perform an invisibility working before I did it. I’m not convinced he’s NOT Rasputin. Were they ever actually sure they killed that guy?
Bannon is the one that troubles me the most. Along with his whole Hitler reincarnated as an American blowhard schtick, he is functioning essentially as a shadow president. I’ve seen the photos of him in the press – he’s not an attractive man at all, and yet he has a charisma that cuts through the energy of a mass distributed photo. This is a huge Something Ain’t Right and it sets off many, many alarm bells for me. Invisibility, ward, and look hard. Whatever’s going on there is going to take more than a poppet and rope and the risks may well exceed the rewards. His energy is loud enough to fill any void left in leadership – so if that “what we really want” isn’t created, it’s going to be him plugging that hole.
As a Democratic Republic, most people seem to have no idea that participating in government on local levels has a huge impact on their own lives – and that the lack of local participation is what leads to nightmares on a federal level.
Georgia just had an election that wasn’t enough to alter the balance away from the current people in power. If there was a candidate someone favored, daily prayer or lighting a candle to send success to the person you wanted to win (and if in Georgia, showing up at the polls, showing up at the various public meetings, pushing for desired changes) would have more effect than sending the energy to the people voting. I think a lot of people directed their energy to the voters or the polls when anointing the desired candidates would have had a better impact.
Put some energy towards what you DO want
This is the refrain of this piece. When binding there’s been a lot of no, don’t, and stop. But the universe still abhorrs a vacuum, and if you bind out one energy the universe is going to find the next most similar energy to fill that void unless you supply it with something built beforehand to fill that hole.
A Small Spell Addendum
My suggestion? Create a list of what qualities you believe a good leader/good government would have. Write a letter of petition – possibly one you can reprint every month -that makes clear what actions you want to see in a leader/government and how you want to feel about how those people go about it. After you perform your binding, place a blue candle dressed with herbs and oils aligned for justice on top of the petition and allow it to burn all the way down. Prep the candle along with your binding materials every month – have something to fill the void of energy you are creating.
You may also consider sending energy to empower the women in Congress – a sunny yellow candle to put them in the spotlight and give them more strength, a petition to Athena to make their fights more successful, even healing work in the form of lit incense in front of their photos for rough days on the House or Senate floor.
As always, there is no one true way or one right way to practice magic in terms of differences between traditions. However, the physics of spells do follow the physics of physics. Like all art forms, tweaks and tricks can heighten results and hone certain skills. The above are just a few refinements to consider on the path to this particular shared ambition.
I am still abstaining from binding Trump himself – I am opting instead to share what I see and sense, and to share a little bit of my own experience about the way bindings can work. We can’t avoid putting ourselves into the magic we work – so when hundreds of people are putting bits of themselves into something, they create an overarching spirit. Whether that spirit creates chaos or order, negativity or positivity, relies entirely on the people working together taking the time to direct ALL of their energy.