1. At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, a small group gathered outside Trump Tower in New York to cast a spell of “magical resistance” on the president.
The mass spell, which was organized by self-identified magician Michael Hughes, is a binding spell — meaning it’s intended to restrain Trump’s power, rather than cause harm.
The group outside Trump Tower group was a varied one — some called themselves witches, some practiced spells and tarot but didn’t identify as witches, and a few had never cast a spell before.
Also, Lana Del Rey maybe participated, so there’s that.
2. One woman, who told BuzzFeed News she is a “Christian mystic” named Donna, shouted a counter-prayer while brandishing a mirror at the witches to “reflect” the spell back on them.
Donna told BuzzFeed News she thought the spell casters were “on the verge of evil.”
Multiple times, she called the binding spell “a slavery spell” because it’s meant to “overpower someone else’s will,” she said.
“These people have just been very hateful and nasty, and I wanted to reflect it back at them,” she said. “I hope to protect Donald Trump…and I hope they will repent.”
3. Donna wasn’t the only Christian who attempted to “protect” Trump from the witches — countless Christians have been tweeting anti-witch prayers and religious imagery after one Christian Nationalist website put out a call to action.
6. “We’re not wishing anyone harm, we’re trying to prevent it,” Kat (pictured left), a longtime studier of paganism and Wiccanism, a Catholic, and a lawyer, told BuzzFeed News.
Kat said she considered the spell “a form of peaceful resistance.”
“I think the idea of putting good energy out into the universe is something that is universal and should be respected, and that’s why I’m here,” she said.
Karen Irwin (right) is a Christian and does not identify as a witch. Still, she decided to give the spell a try out of sadness that people are “bastardizing [Christianity] in its entirety” as a tool for hate, she said.
7. And while Irwin wasn’t certain whether or not the spell — the first she ever cast — would have “real world effects,” she thought it was worth a shot.
“Does calling your congressman have a real world effect? Does journalism have real world effects anymore? Whatever the hell you can do, fuckin’ do it,” the actress, singer, and bartender said.
8. At one point following the spell, Irwin and Donna faced off, arguing and singing “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” at each other.
9. Katy Bohinc, a data scientist and poet who said she “regularly practices spells,” said she’s also been “resisting every way I possibly can without skipping work, but it may come to that.”
“Do I think there’s a direct scientific line that we could draw, that maybe Monday he’ll be impeached? Frankly, there’s realistic processes behind that, like Congress and the Senate,” she said. “But I do believe there are certain levels of energy in the universe and this definitely doesn’t hurt.”
And Bohinc said she doesn’t think witches and Christians are so different.
“If you believe in prayer, if you believe in energy, if you believe in the power of mental intention setting, then you could just as equally be a witch or a Christian,” she said.
10. Davy Ran, a domestic violence counselor, is Jewish and practices Kabbalah, as well as palm reading and tarot cards. She showed up too.
“I hope [the spell] will actually do something to stop Trump — bind him, stop him and all the horrible things he’s doing in his administration,” she said.
“I also just hope it’ll inspire people to get involved,” she said.
11. Many witches outside of New York joined in, too. One coven in Mississippi came together for the protest spell.
“We felt like we really needed to, and had to, given all the harm President Trump has caused since he took office,” a high school-aged witch who goes by Hazel told BuzzFeed News.
“We did it because we believe that our collective energies and voices can really make a difference.”
12. And most of the witches said they’ve been resisting in ~non-magical~ ways too. Brigette Thornes, an adjunct professor and novelist, said she’s been regularly calling her representatives.
And she doesn’t think the Christian naysayers understand what the spell was all about.
“There was no call for harm to come to Trump HIMSELF, but rather to his hateful policies. I’m not sure what’s Christian about supporting DAPL or privatized prisons, for example, but anyway,” she said.
13. And Bennett, an 18-year-old from Virginia who’s been practicing witchcraft since they were 10, has gone to protests and made lots of phone calls as well.
“I think something should be done, and while I have been protesting and contacting my representatives, this is something I felt very strongly about considering that witchcraft is one of the biggest parts of my life,” they said.
14. Even people outside America joined in, including Esme, a mother, student, and office worker in the UK.
“The idea is that if lots of witches do the same spell at the same time the combined energy would nudge the universe into action,” she said.
15. Lisa, a Seattle-based witch and community health clinic worker, said the spell made her feel “connected to something very powerful.”
“The binding spell is one way to counter the toxic energy seeping out of the White House,” she said.
“I believe that life is sacred and we must protect ourselves and each other from those who would defile and dehumanize us. Trans lives matter. Black lives matter. Humans are not illegal. No Muslim ban.”
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