On Halloween, the moon will likely be full, and blue. Thousands of witches and different magic practitioners will collect—on social media and in particular person—to solid spells below its glow. They will deliver candles, the justice tarot card, a map of the United States, and paint. They will name on the spirits of the components and their ancestors to “raise a mighty blue wave … to wash away the corruption and injustice and wickedness of Donald Trump and the Republican Party in a peaceful transition of power.” Then they’ll paint their maps totally blue to make sure Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. To members of the Magic Resistance, this ritual, which you’ll find in full on Medium, is a spell to save lots of America. So mote it’s.
President Trump places American residents in a magical type of temper. The semi-ironic Cult of Kek, a bunch of Pepe the Frog-obsessed edgelords native to 4chan, claims to have used “meme magic” to buoy him into workplace. The 2017 Women’s March shortly after his inauguration noticed the return of protest witches, carrying indicators with slogans like “we are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn.” Since then (and for a wide range of causes) witchcraft and different types of occultism have elevated in visibility on the web, discovering on-line havens inside mainstream social media platforms like Tumblr, Facebook, and, extra not too long ago, TikTookay.
Much of the magic you’ll discover on WitchTookay and elsewhere has nothing to do with politics. In reality, it’s typically virtually indistinguishable from cottagecore, an web aesthetic that celebrates conventional crafts and girls carrying lengthy attire in fields, however as a substitute of drying flowers for tea or potpourri, TikTookay’s witch neighborhood is packing them into tiny jars with crystals and powders and sealing them with candle wax to solid spells. While there’s at all times somebody involved about Satan worship in the feedback, most of the conjurations solid on TikTookay are extra like self-care rituals.
Over the previous couple of months, although, spells of political defiance have been transferring to the fore. “The reason magic resistance and WitchTok have become such a force is because of two intersecting trends in culture,” says Michael Hughes, a magician and writer of a number of viral anti-Trump spells, together with the blue wave incantation. “Young people are moving away from traditional religion, and toward being more open and compassionate and inclusive of marginalized communities.” Meanwhile, these new conjurers are being met with pro-Trump countermagics, too—although normally from folks far older and fewer pagan.
Political magic isn’t an web age phenomenon, particularly when you don’t make a significant distinction between magic and faith. Romans would ply gods with choices in trade for offing their political rivals. British occultists labored magic designed to forestall their nation’s invasion throughout World War II. Yippies marched on Washington to levitate the Pentagon. So when Hughes and the remainder of the Magic Resistance Facebook group, which is about 6,000 folks, try to bind President Trump to forestall him from doing hurt to himself or others every month, they’re actually collaborating in a long-running custom. And though Trump doesn’t look like sure, they really feel their efforts haven’t been in useless. “We did the blue wave spell first for the midterm elections, and I consider that a rousing success,” Hughes says. “If we hadn’t taken back the House, the president wouldn’t have been impeached.”
Throughout Trump’s first time period, they’ve been joined by many casual networks of magical practitioners in attempting to halt the president by any magical means vital. All summer season TikTokers solid spells of safety for Black Lives Matter protesters, and hexed white supremacists. Now the 2020 election has the full consideration of their magical on-line activism. Trump has been sure, hexed, cursed, exorcised. People have sicced Ancient Greek Gods like Apollo on him.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has worn on, folks have solely gotten extra comfy collaborating in collective on-line rituals. “Magic creates communities and political coalitions in a digital age,” Sabina Maglioccio, an anthropologist who research magic, stated at a University of British Columbia symposium on faith and the 2020 presidential election this week. Witches aren’t simply lighting some incense and calling democracy saved, although. “Participants are also heavily engaged politically,” Maglioccio added. “They’re actively involved in voter registration, postcard writing campaigns, canvassing for Democratic candidates, and donating to Democratic and anti-racist causes.” Hughes thinks of magic rituals as fueling the tanks of extra typical, earthly political resistance—a non secular companion to calling one’s Senator, not a substitute for it.