TWH – On Wednesday, March 2 at 7:33 p.m. EST, witches, pagans, and other practitioners of magick will unite remotely to Hex Putin – A global mass ritual to curse Vladimir Putin and protect Ukraine. The ritual will be performed as Russia continues its devastating attacks on the Eastern European nation and foments a full-scale humanitarian crisis.
Michael M. Hughes, author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Changecreated the Hex Putin ritual, providing potential participants with detailed instructions for the spell, such as using the correct candle and incense colors as well as the correct pronunciation of certain words in Russian. Hughes also touches on the magick of protection, encouraging practitioners to consider their own spiritual traditions before beginning. The ritual is unique, acting both as a curse on Putin and as a source of protection for the Ukrainian people.
“It makes sense to me to build a spell this way,” Hughes explained over email. “I always think about balance and need when building public rituals. In this case, the ritual supports two intertwined goals: to overthrow Putin while supporting the Ukrainian resistance. Putin’s malevolence and aggression are the causes of the invasion, the resistance needs support to repel the violence he has unleashed. I don’t see the need to separate magical workings into distinct components – surely we can work to achieve multiple goals with a well-constructed ritual, can we? »
This approach to spellwork is multi-layered by design and grounded in Hughes’ understanding of past magical precedent with similar goals.
“The ritual also calls on Russian soldiers to abandon their posts and the Russian people to rise up and overthrow Putin. If you look at historical curses, they’re often a shotgun approach versus laser-focused. Putin’s hex aims to bring a whole constellation of rebound effects on Putin while breaking the support of his soldiers and people and supporting Ukraine. The best goal imaginable is for Ukraine to repel Russian troops and for the Russian people to decide that they are done with Putin’s autocracy. That’s what we all want. So work magically to make this happen (and use all other non-magical means as well). »
This isn’t the first time Hughes has inspired a mass audience to use magic as a catalyst for change. He created the Spell to bind Donald Trump and all those who encourage himwhich quickly went viral in 2017. Other rituals developed by Hughes include Hands Off, Law Off: Hekate Invocation for Reproductive Rights (2018) and Blue Wave: A spell to save America (2018). Putin’s hex is arguably Hughes’ most important ritual to date, as it aims to stop a war while overthrowing a reviled world leader.
For many in the magical community, the spell may sound familiar in its elements and is a call to action in those terms. Those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the details of modern magic shouldn’t feel discouraged from joining Wednesday night’s virtual gathering, notes Hughes.
“As with the Trump binding spell, the Putin hex was designed to be flexible and ‘open source,’ meaning adaptable to any tradition or even no tradition at all,” Hughes said. “That’s why it’s simple and doesn’t require a lot of spell components – my goal was to give anyone the opportunity to join the effort. And one of the joys of bonding Trump was that she was engaging so many people who had never done magic before. It was humbling and rewarding to know that so many people were performing rituals for the very first time and finding power and maybe even a fore- a taste for their magical abilities, so the key was to make this ritual as inviting and simple as possible to appeal to non-wizards and non-magicians alike, while remaining adaptable and effective for seasoned practitioners.
Interestingly, the Hex Putin ritual may not be the first time magic has been used to stop a war. According to witchcraft lore, on the eve of Lammas in 1940, a group of British witches gathered in the woods of the town of Highcliffe-on-Sea and performed what became known as ” Operation Cone of Power” – a rite designed to stop German troops from crossing the English Channel. (Incidentally, Hitler made no attempt to cross the English Channel).
Gerald Gardner, the founder and “father” of Wicca, also claimed that similar rituals were used to prevent enemy forces from invading Britain twice: in 1588, when violent storms deterred the Spanish Armada, and again in 1805, when Napoleon abandoned his plans to invade.
If the story is helpful, tomorrow night’s mass ritual comes with both a sense of urgency and a fortuitous astrological alignment sign.
“The timing is mainly based on the crisis ahead of us. We can’t wait to do that, especially with an increasing number of lives being lost every day and Putin moving nuclear weapons to Belarus,” Hughes explained. “The New Moon is traditionally a time of Spells and Bindings and other restrictive magics, so there was no questioning the timing. I am very simple in the timing of my magic, and I do not use planetary times or other calculations when we have a worn and efficient moon phase system to work with. But if the circumstances had been different, we do what we must do regardless of the position of the moon. Defensive magick is essentially a reaction, and you can’t wait for a lunar cycle if you need to defend yourself against violence or evil.
In this vein, much has been said about Aleksandr Dugin, considered one of Putin’s most malicious and closest advisers. This Rasputin-like character deals in spirituality and political extremism, often combining the two in his attempts to influence the ruler and destiny of Russia. Will Dugin be the subject of a future hex ritual?
“Dugin is Putin’s grima worm tongue [an unsavory, fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Ring Trilogy], a racist, fascist, far-right mystic informing Putin’s ‘Holy Russia’ worldview,” Hughes said. “Although he would make a very good target, it is Putin who holds the levers of power, and if Putin falls – and I suspect he will, based on growing resistance in Russia and across the planet “Dugin will go down with the burning ship too. So we’re chasing the man who can push the big red nuclear button. When Putin is overthrown, the Russian people will want everything he stole from them: human rights.” , democracy and personal freedom.
Editor’s Note: For more on Aleksandr Dugin and his role in Russia and with Putin, see here and here.