Binding, Blessing and Changing   4 comments

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Depending on your media choices, you may have heard of the recent (Feb. 24) magical attempt to “bind Trump”. You can check out one version here. The more elaborate versions plan for similar recurring monthly rituals during the waning moon until the President has been removed from office. Sympathetic magic, but highly problematic.

The effort and its announcement set off predictable responses in many quarters, from Breitbart (“A group of witches is attempting to use black magic to neutralize U.S. President Donald Trump by casting a ‘binding spell’ to prevent him from governing”) to People Magazine (“organizers of the demonstration have vowed to cast binding spells on the 70-year-old on the midnight of every waning crescent moon until Trump is removed from office”). The National Catholic Register issued its own take here, highlighting from its perspective the negative (literally diabolical) energies powering such binding spells, and pointing out the dangers of such workings and also the ineffectiveness of curses on the faithful Christian. AM New York offers a suitably occult image to head its article. (I urge you to read this post and all its links with an eye alert to unintended ironies.)

Patheos blogger and Druid John Beckett posted a balanced, thoughtful and thorough assessment here: “Why I’m Not Participating in the Mass Binding of Donald Trump and What I’m Doing Instead”.

As some wiser heads have pointed out, it’s true magic can “grease the rails”. Used skilfully, it helps move energies along trajectories already established. Magic catalyzes change — it aids tendencies, and adds to existing momentum.

Try to magic your way through a strong headwind, however, whether physical, political or psychic, and your chances of success drop significantly. You’re going up against the flow of things. Planning a morning sail? With any sense, you check a barometer and weather reports before weighing anchor. You have a careful look at the skies yourself, taking into account local conditions and your own prior experience. If those signs are good, consider your crew, your boat, the tides. Watch the seabirds, the wind, the smell of the weather over water as you stand on the shore. Ponder those clouds on the horizon. In other words, to switch metaphors, magic can be part of the recipe, but neglect flour, water, eggs and sugar, and even the best magical yeast has nothing to work on.

Among several other cogent points, Beckett astutely sums up the issues with selecting Trump as an appropriate magical target: “Trump is a Symptom of a Deeper Problem, Not Its Cause. Blow up the Death Star, stake the head vampire, kill Hitler, and everything is all good and fine. Our popular culture tells us that if you remove the head, the body will die. Reality is rarely that simple”.

For my part, I prefer blessings, partly because I have to question my motives and the extent of my knowledge. Binding successfully asks a lot of the magical worker. In my experience, blessings, even low-level ones, practiced over time, transform consciousness more subtly but at least as effectively, and — significantly — without the conflict, coercion and energy blowback of most bindings.

“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me” isn’t bad as an initial practice, till you can see your way more clearly. In the interim, you may find peace isn’t actually what you wanted anyway. Clarify your motives and you’re already a step ahead of most who work for change, with or without magic.

magastickerTrump’s campaign slogan, widely mocked, is “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). As a positive if vague goal, it’s one to assist, while reinterpreting it more inclusively, regardless of whether its original formulation is some sort of white nationalist code. Reinterpreting — a form of steering — is something magic can do well.

druidessAnd as someone primed to look for signs, and work creatively with them, I’ll take that campaign slogan acronym MAGA and reinterpret it in Druidic terms — as a female magical energy: magus, mage or magician, and its feminine form, maga. What feminine magical energies are lacking in my own consciousness (to say nothing of those at work publicly  shaping one of our current realities)? Stopping’s harder than steering what’s already in motion. What energies can I manifest, starting in my own life, to find balance from which to act most effectively? And then how can I encourage those energies to flow outward from there?

For that is what we are: magical transformers, all of us. We distribute what we accept and create. Together, we make the worlds.

*Solwom wesutai syet. SOHL-wohm WEH-soo-tie syeht. “May it be for the good of the whole.” That’s where I strive to root my magic to begin, however often I may get blown off course. (And part of my own magical work is to find ways to let the winds pass by. Trees bend when they can, rather than break. Weak? Passive? How about “still around to make a difference”!)

Got questions? Dispute my assessments and conclusions? Doubt what I or other authors have asserted at the links provided? Try these things out for yourself. Then your opinion is founded on knowledge and personal experience, not supposition and untried assumptions. In the process, you’ll grow and understand your life better than before. That’s a good foundation for any magic.

/|\ /|\ /|\

Images: Gandalf; MAGA sticker; druid.

*reconstructed Indo-European.

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4 responses to “Binding, Blessing and Changing

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  1. “For that is what we are: magical transformers, all of us. We distribute what we accept and create. Together, we make the worlds.” I love this. We can create a peaceful, just world. I think focusing on our ability to create from within to without is a much more powerful way of combating the current political wave of Trump and hate. Great post!

    • Esoteric Moment, thanks for your comment. I’m less sure than you sound about our ability to create a peaceful, just world. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to, but as a previous post pointed out, that’s apparently not the purpose of this world. To build our compassion and wisdom, yes. To alter the syllabus of the school that teaches us these things, possibly not. The gods seems to have a say in what goes on here. There are, to the dismay of some, both gods and goddesses of war, just as there are of love. And even judging solely on the basis of recorded history, we haven’t yet achieved such a world in 5000+ years of trying. Worthy pockets and intervals here and there, yes. More is going on than meets the eye.

  2. Oh dear. Somehow I missed this news. Maybe because yours is one of only two pagan blogs I still read. Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry but it’s this sort of thing that has caused me to stop self-identifying as a pagan. Want to change directions? VOTE. Call your supposed representatives and remind them of their oath to represent ALL of their constituents. VOTE. Call them often. VOTE. Go to protests. VOTE. Sign petitions. VOTE. Start petitions. VOTE. Did I mention… Yeah, you know. We can make a difference but it requires getting off the sofa, especially on election day. No wands, badly rhymed poetry or candles required. Join people of conscience regardless of rheir religious persuasion. Show up. Speak up. And please, VOTE!

    Denise LeGendre
    • Denise, thanks for your comment. Vote? Yes, absolutely! But voting also delivered us to where we are now, so it’s not sufficient in itself, either. I prefer a both-and approach where possible, as you know from previous posts here. Though I heartily agree that the “wands, badly-rhymed poetry and candles” will cause their own set of problems. Magic has gone from a burnable offense to an armchair sport in a few hundred years. But much remains of value in it. As with any art, plenty of amateurs, and few greats.

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