Witches cast 'mass spell' against Donald Trump
- 25 February 2017
- From the section US & Canada
Most of Donald Trump's opponents believe they will have to wait four more years to see him leave the White House.
But America's witches are more optimistic.
At the stroke of midnight on Friday, followers of witchcraft across the US performed a mass spell designed to stop the president doing harm.
A Facebook group devoted to the ritual has attracted over 10,500 likes, and coined the hashtag #magicresistance.
The development has sparked fury among Christian conservatives, who have accused the witches of "declaring spiritual war".
Writer Michael Hughes, who describes himself as a "magical thinker" posted a version of the spell online, saying he had seen multiple versions on private witchcraft groups.
In it, he suggests using a stubby orange candle, an unflattering picture of Mr Trump, and a Tower tarot card.
Followers of magic are told to carve the president's name into the candle using a pin, recite an incantation, and then burn his picture in the flame.
The words of the spell include a plea to the Wiccan deities to "bind Donald J Trump, so that his malignant works may fail utterly" and so that he "shall not break our polity, usurp our liberty, or fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair".
Mr Trump's supporters don't escape either, as the spell asks that their "malicious tongues" be curbed too.
Mr Hughes suggests that instead of the normal closing line, "So mote it be!", witches could burn the former Apprentice host's image with the words, "You're fired!"
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The writer said he published details of the spell because he felt "it would be very welcome to a lot of people".
Under the tenets of witchcraft, a "binding spell" does not wish harm on its target, but aims to stop them from doing harm themselves.
"This is not the equivalent of magically punching a Nazi," Mr Hughes wrote. "Rather, it is ripping the bullhorn from his hands, smashing his phone so he can't tweet, tying him up, and throwing him in a dark basement where he can't hurt anyone."
MaryPat Azevedo, who took part in the ritual in Arizona, said she saw the ritual as "a unity prayer".
She told the BBC: "A true witch would never cast a spell on anyone without their permission. This prayer is for wellbeing and peace for all beings."
Ms Azevedo said she hopes to see "physical, emotional, and spiritual changes in Donald Trump and American politics".
Participating witches plan to repeat the spell on days when there is a waning crescent moon, until Mr Trump leaves the Oval Office. The next ritual is set for 26 March.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the president's followers are less than thrilled.
Joshua Feuerstein, an evangelical pastor who has previously condemned Starbucks for taking Christmas symbols off its seasonal red cups, issued an "urgent warning", saying "millions of witches" were trying to curse the president.
"Their bippity-boppity-boo isn't more powerful than the name of Jesus!" he declared in an online video.
The Christian Nationalist Alliance, a conservative religious group, named 24 February a "day of prayer" to counter the magical fraternity.
In a post online, it called the witches "occultists" who want to summon dark spirits against Mr Trump.
The group said it will urge people to pray every time the spell-casters reach for their candles.
Thus far, Mr Trump has failed to comment on the battle between Bible and broomstick.