A Brief Guide to Hexing

A Witch’s Dilemma

When Ronald Reagan got elected, my mother—who was never too happy about my being a Witch—nonetheless kept urging me to hex him. I kept trying to tell her that what you send out returns to you three times over, that there were other ways to work, but she wasn’t buying it. 

“What’s the good of having a daughter who’s a Witch if you won’t hex Reagan!” she lamented. In the end, she got her friends together and they named a pincushion Ronald and stuck pins in it. 

His poll numbers dropped that week.

Now we have someone in high office who makes Reagan look like the soul of compassion and integrity, and from time to time the question comes up among Witches—should we hex him?

To Hex or Not to Hex

Despite what I told my mother, there is good magical precedent for political hexing. Aradia, Goddess of the Italian Witches, was purportedly sent to earth by her mother Diana the moon to teach poor people Witchcraft so they would have some power against their overlords. When outward power is stacked against us, using magic to redress the imbalance seems like a reasonable thing to do.

And personally, it’s always a temptation to hex someone who does you wrong. The lover who dumps you, the boss who makes unreasonable demands, the predatory lawyer—when you wake up fuming in the middle of the night, it’s only human to want to make them not just go away, but hurt like they are hurting you. 

It’s human—but probably not advisable. 

There are other ways to proceed that are less likely to have undesired blowback.

The Rule of Three

To work magic, you must call up in yourself the energies, emotions and forces you are working with. If those energies are destructive, you risk becoming a target of those same forces. Rage, resentment and the lust for revenge do not bring out the best in us, nor do they attract good things to us. Hence the old saying that what you send returns on you, amplified three times over. 

Binding—preventing someone from doing harm—is an alternative to outright hexing. But bindings are notoriously tricky to do.  The reason is that a binding creates an energy stasis, and magical energies naturally want to move. It’s hard to pour out emotion, passion, and energy to achieve a static state.

But sometimes we do need protection, and justice. Those are energies we can safely call on. 

Surrounding yourself or others with protection, asking the help of spirits and deities for those menaced by unjust power, calling on Justice, and her even scarier sister, Consequence, all feed positive forces.

And hexing a thing, as opposed to a person, can be done without so many potential unintended consequences. 

Harpies to the Rescue!

Suppose, for example, that I wanted to stop the Republican tax scam from being made into law. First, I need to decide what magical and spiritual allies to work with. Having recently had a Nyquil-induced dream, during a bad bout of bronchitis, in which I sent Harpies to shred the tax bill, I might work with them. 

Harpies are creatures with women’s faces and bird’s talons. 

In Greek mythology, they carried wrongdoers off to the Erinyes, the Furies, who punished those who offended the natural order—including perjurers.  In even more ancient times, before patriarchy, the Great Goddess herself was often seen in bird form, representing transformation and regeneration. The Harpies may be an example of how one culture’s gods becomes another’s monsters when the original power and meaning is suppressed. 

Harpies may be what we need to shred patriarchy and bring us to a time when we can again experience the egg-bearing Goddess of Renewal.

Crafting A Ceremony for Justice

With the Harpies as my allies, I might choose a time—perhaps Monday night, December 18, the new moon right before the scheduled vote. I might take a big piece of paper or cardboard, write “Republican Tax Bill” on it, create sacred space, ask the Harpies for their help, ring a loud bell and tear it to pieces. 

All the while, I could chant:

“Harpies, harpies, wing and claw,

Only justice becomes law!

Now the warning bell is rung,

Shred the tax bill into dung!”

Then, ringing the bell, I might call on the forces of true integrity, and call the Republicans into the integrity that surely must lie somewhere in the depths of even their souls. I could focus on a few in particular, on call in Integrity in general.  To do so, I’d have to get in touch with my own, and follow up (or precede the spell) by calling or writing my own representatives or those I hope to influence. Then I’d thank my allies, and open the circle.

Am I suggesting we do this?  I plan on it. As for you, that’s up to you—if you feel called to it.  (If you’re reading this long after the fate of the tax bill has been settled, I’m sure there will be other ill-advised pieces of legislation to which this may apply.) 

The spell works by calling forth integrity—so that is the energy it may call into your own life. Of course, that too could have unintended consequences. It may open up opportunities to walk your talk, or new challenges. If you regularly lie, cheat and steal, or act for your own self-interest against your ideals, you may not want to do this spell. 

Image: “Harpy” by Сергей Панасенко-Михалкин CC BY-SA 3.0

Will it work? 

It’s an experiment, carefully crafted so it can’t hurt, and might help to turn the tide.

In our greater Reclaiming community we had much discussion of these issues during and after the last elections. I was originally all for binding Trump, but was persuaded by my friend Oak that doing a binding risks binding us to its object. Instead, we decided to focus on spells and rituals to reinforce the power of truth, to bring the truth out into the light and to help it have impact. We continue to work that magic. 

At our big, Bay Area Spiral Dance ritual this past Samhain, we worked with the Norns, the Nordic fates, to unravel the tangles web of lies and weave a future of justice, balance and compassion.

Truth is definitely coming out—but in a climate where there is so much disinformation and outright lying going on, it’s not always possible to tell what the truth is, or to get people to believe it. 

All I Want for Solstice is… JUSTICE! 

Now, I think, we need Justice—truth made manifest. So for the greater magical work of Solstice itself (Solstice Eve is Wednesday, December 20), when Mother Night labors to bring to birth the New Year, I intend to focus on midwifing more justice into the world, and to extend protection for all who serve the cause of justice.

Hexing or binding out of anger or a thirst for revenge aligns us with negative forces, even if our ultimate intentions are good.  Working with integrity, justice, protection and truth, we draw more of those energies into the world and challenge ourselves to embody them more fully. 

That type of magic is sorely needed in the world right now!

Political spells aside, and regardless of your political opinions and orientation, if you feel drawn to join me in some personal Solstice magic, and collective spiritual work for justice, I am hosting a live, online Winter Solstice Ceremony on Tuesday Dec 19th.
The focus of this ritual will not be this spell-casting, but going into the dark womb of possibility to release our personal wounds from this past year, and draw out our own spark of creativity and potential. Our collective magic will focus on lighting the spark of justice. You can learn more HERE…

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