President Donald Trump has often referred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian subversion of the 2016 presidential election as a "witch hunt." He volleys the term at the special counsel so liberally, in fact, that he's significantly tested the patience of members of the witch community, who told The Daily Beast that they're tired of a president who often invokes the worst moment in their history to score political points with his base.
“Many are mad, and the rest are rolling their eyes,” said David Salisbury, a lead organizer at Washington-based witch community Firefly House.
Those who practice witchcraft say the president holds little regard for the many innocents who were murdered both in the American colonies and in Europe on suspicion of being witches themselves.
“To have him compare his situation to the worst period in our history is just infuriating,” says witchcraft author Kitty Randall, who uses the pseudonym "Amber K." for her writing. She adds that Trump's words have left a “traumatic emotional imprint” on modern-day witches.
The term "witch hunt" is a derogatory one, say numerous witches who view the president's statements as yet another example of his penchant for demonizing minority groups.
“It is particularly horrifying because many modern practitioners of witchcraft devote their lives to seeking compassion and justice,” Salisbury said. (Indeed, the witches who spoke to The Daily Beast say that the majority of modern-day witches are feminists and supporters of marginalized groups.)
Some witches have opted to take matters into their own hands, organizing on the internet to cast a monthly "binding" spell on the president.
A group of "resistance witches" calling themselves #MagicResistance totals at least 13,000 and includes, according to one report, "internet neo-pagans, Wiccans, solo practitioners who self-identify as “hedge witches,” longtime magical practitioners in various traditions, and committed activists."
The report notes:
The spell, a variant on a traditional “binding” spell found in many contemporary neo-pagan and other occult practices, involves channeling energy to limit Trump’s power, “so that he may fail utterly/that he may do no harm.” (Practitioners have the option to add, “You’re fired.”)
Most "resistance witches" also share "a passion for the collective aspect of their practice, allowing them to channel feelings of powerlessness about the current administration, while reviving a sense of community and ritual many report missing from their daily experience."
Most witches have chosen not to use magic against President Trump, says Kitty Randall.
“I don’t think we need to attack Trump with spells,” she says. “He’s in the middle of a process of self-destruction.” She adds: “Trump is safe from any ‘witch hunt’ because no self-respecting coven would have him."
The hexes and spell casting will stop, she notes, as soon as Trump stops comparing himself to the victims of actual witch hunts.
“If Mueller’s investigation were truly a ‘witch hunt,’ then Donald Trump would be hanging naked from chains in a cold barn somewhere, being tortured into admitting his pact with Satan, before being burned at the stake,” Randall said. “Instead he’s golfing at Mar-a-Lago.”
But will he?
This week alone, the president has used the term "witch hunt" to refer to his own situation no less than eight separate times, including here...
“It looks here as though General Flynn’s defenses are incidental to something larger which is for the prosecution t… https://t.co/isza8sQXNU— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1544992192.0
....a persecution of the President.” Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal. Thank you, people are starting to… https://t.co/Pl6CdGuMHD— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1544992637.0
Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just repo… https://t.co/KpxT8JjMwQ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1544892312.0
WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1544717296.0
When will it end?