We have been warning our readers for some time about the increasing and open embrace of preternatural evil in the 21st century world. From a catalog of recent satanic events in culture and public life to undisguised occult imagery in pop culture to the role of “spirit cooking” in the 2016 US presidential election to reports that even Pope Francis finds the Enneagram acceptable, these stories serve as individual data points in an aggregate of occurrences that paint a disturbing picture.
The most recent such story is set to take place today, Friday, February 24, 2017. A group of self-professed witches have organized a mass spell against US President Donald Trump and his administration. A Facebook page has been created to help would-be participants gather materials and the text of the spell itself. The page, which we will not link to here, has over 8,000 followers – about two thousand more than they did earlier today when we first began assembling research for this article. They have generated interest in major publications across the spectrum of political beliefs, from news organizations to lifestyle publications like ELLE. A Google news search as of this writing for “Trump binding spell” turns up over 15,000 results.
The spell was publicized by Michael M. Hughes, who told ELLE.com that it was tweaked from multiple spells he saw going around private witchcraft groups. He published it on Extra News Feed because he felt “it would be very welcome to a lot of people.” It quickly spread, with events being formed around the country and support on social media.
Hughes explained that he chose a binding spell because “we’re not wishing harm on anyone, we’re just trying to stop the harm they’re doing. It’s not the equivalent of punching a Nazi in the face, it’s the equivalent of tying him up and taking his bullhorn away.”
The ritual itself is pretty standard magic working, binding Trump from doing harm to others and to himself, rather than asking any forces to do harm to him. There are objects to represent the elements and to represent Trump himself. The tarot card of the Tower represents ambitions built on lies, which are struck down by a lightning flash of truth. For those who believe in witchcraft, it looks to be an effective spell.
Whatever one thinks of President Trump, to resort to calling upon preternatural forces in an attempt to thwart his agenda is deeply foolish – and dangerous. It is a spiritual assault that invokes the aid of beings that do not need further encouragement to involve themselves in the affairs of men.
I reached out to a diocesan priest who does work with exorcisms and the deliverance ministry to ask him what he thought of the “mass spell”. Due to the nature of his work, he was only willing to be quoted on condition of anonymity. He writes:
The ‘mass spell’ should neither be taken lightly nor should it be overly feared. Witches are real (there are fake ones too) and their spells, hexes, etc. are actually curses that rely on demons for their potency. I would suggest that everyone pray the St. Michael Prayer for President Trump and all of his supporters this evening to countermand the demonic attack that is being invoked by the ‘witches.’ Furthermore, all the faithful could pray Father Amorth’s Prayer against Malefice (evil spells, curses, sorcery etc.) for President Trump and his supporters.
The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say about witchcraft:
It is not easy to draw a clear distinction between magic and witchcraft. Both are concerned with the producing of effects beyond the natural powers of man by agencies other than the Divine (cf. OCCULT ART, OCCULTISM). But in witchcraft, as commonly understood, there is involved the idea of a diabolical pact or at least an appeal to the intervention of the spirits of evil. In such cases this supernatural aid is usually invoked either to compass the death of some obnoxious person, or to awaken the passion of love in those who are the objects of desire, or to call up the dead, or to bring calamity or impotence upon enemies, rivals, and fancied oppressors. This is not an exhaustive enumeration, but these represent some of the principal purposes that witchcraft has been made to serve at nearly all periods of the world’s history.
In the traditional belief, not only of the dark ages, but of post-Reformation times, the witches or wizards addicted to such practices entered into a compact with Satan, abjured Christ and the Sacraments, observed “the witches’ sabbath” — performing infernal rites which often took the shape of a parody of the Mass or the offices of the Church — paid Divine honour to the Prince of Darkness, and in return received from him preternatural powers, such as those of riding through the air on a broomstick, assuming different shapes at will, and tormenting their chosen victims, while an imp or “familiar spirit” was placed at their disposal, able and willing to perform any service that might be needed to further their nefarious purposes.
In the Holy Scripture references to witchcraft are frequent, and the strong condemnations of such practices which we read there do not seem to be based so much upon the supposition of fraud as upon the “abomination” of the magic in itself. (See Deuteronomy 18:11-12; Exodus 22:18, “wizards thou shalt not suffer to live” — A.V. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”.) The whole narrative of Saul’s visit to the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28) implies the reality of the witch’s evocation of the shade of Samuel; and from Leviticus 20:27: “A man or woman in whom there is a pythonical or divining spirit, dying let them die: they shall stone them: Their blood be upon them”, we should naturally infer that the divining spirit was not a mere imposture. The prohibitions of sorcery in the New Testament leave the same impression (Galatians 5:20, compared with Apocalypse 21:8; 22:15; and Acts 8:9; 13:6). Supposing that the belief in witchcraft were an idle superstition, it would be strange that the suggestion should nowhere be made that the evil of these practices only lay in the pretending to the possession of powers which did not really exist.
In modern times, there are a large number of people who believe in the practice of so-called “White witchcraft,” thinking that by staying away from the darker aspects of the occult, they will steer clear, too, of the dangers. A conversation with any convert who engaged in such practices — or even diversions that appeared as little more than entertainment, like a Ouija Board — quickly puts to rest any idea that such practices are harmless. The current Catechism of the Catholic Church, therefore, retains prohibitions against “divination and magic”:
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.
In his response to my inquiry, Father also included a version of the “Prayer against Malefice” tailored specifically for this occasion:
Prayer against Malefice
God, our Lord, King of ages, All-powerful and Almighty, you who made everything and who transform everything simply by your will; you who changed into dew the flames of the seven-times hotter furnace and protected and saved your three holy children.
You are the doctor and physician of my soul. You are the salvation of those who turn to you. I beseech you to make powerless, banish, and drive out every diabolic power and presence; every evil influence, malefice or evil eye and all evil actions aimed against me, and against President Trump and all of his supporters.
Where there is envy and malice, give us an abundance of goodness, endurance, victory and charity. O Lord, you who love man, I beg you to reach out your powerful hands and your most high and mighty arms and come to our aid.
Send your angel of peace over us, to protect our bodies and souls. May he keep at bay and vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against me, and against President Trump and his supporters by corrupt and envious people: especially, protect us from the evil being sent against us by any Witches and Warlocks seeking our harm.
Then under the protection of your authority may I sing with gratitude, “The Lord is my salvation; whom should I fear?” I will not fear evil because you are with me, my God, my strength, my powerful Lord, Lord of peace, Father of all ages. Amen.
It almost strains belief that we have returned to such a primitive time that open spiritual combat against pagan, demonic practices is necessary. It raises the question of how much of this has been going on for years beneath the surface, and why now is the time where these people feel comfortable coming out into the open. It calls to mind the story of St. Patrick, and his very public battle with King Lóegaire’s druids and their demonic magic, as well as his famous “breastplate” prayer. The latter reads, in part:
I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
There is no question we live in dark times. This is but one of many examples of an escalating war that has taken on a dark aspect. Please pray tonight for the protection of our country and its leaders, the conversion of those involved in the occult, and the freedom of those afflicted by demons as a result of dabbling in things that should not be indulged.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.