Nди нахуй, Путин – Idi nakhuy – Translation: Go fuck yourself, Putin! Image courtesy of Michael M. Hughes
TWH – On Wednesday, March 2, at 7:33 pm (EST), Witches, Pagans, and other magical practitioners will unite remotely for 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 East European nation and foments a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale.
Michael M. Hughes, author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change, created the Hex Putin ritual, providing prospective participants detailed instructions for the spell, like using the correct candle colors and incense as well as the proper pronunciation of certain words in Russian. Hughes also addresses protection magic, encouraging practitioners to consider their own spiritual traditions before beginning. The ritual is unique, acting as both a curse on Putin and a source of protection for the people of Ukraine.
“It just makes sense to me to construct a spell that way,” Hughes explained via email. “I’m always thinking of balance and need when constructing public rituals. In this case, the ritual supports two entwined goals—to take down 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 unleashed. I don’t see the need to separate magical workings into discrete pieces—surely we can work to accomplish multiple goals with one well-constructed ritual, right?”
This approach to spell work is multilayered by design and grounded in Hughes’ understanding of past magical precedent with similar goals.
“The ritual also calls for the Russian soldiers to desert their posts and for the Russian people to rise up and overthrow Putin. If you look at historical curses, they’re often a shotgun approach vs. laser-focused. The Putin hex aims to bring a whole constellation of rebound effects on Putin while breaking the support of his soldiers and his people and supporting Ukraine. The best goal imaginable is Ukraine beating back Russian troops and the Russian people deciding they are done with Putin’s autocracy. That’s what we all want. So let’s work magically to make that 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 Abet Him, which quickly went viral in 2017. Among the other rituals Hughes has crafted are Hands Off, Law Off: Hekate Invocation for Reproductive Rights (2018) and Blue Wave: A Spell to Save America (2018). The Putin hex is undoubtedly Hughes’s weightiest ritual to date, as it aims to stop a war while also toppling a reviled world leader.
For many in the magical community, the spell may seem familiar in its elements and is a call to action on those terms. Those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the details of modern magic shouldn’t feel discouraged to join Wednesday night’s virtual gathering, Hughes notes.
“As with the Trump binding spell, the Putin hex was made to be flexible and ‘open source,’ i.e., adaptable to any tradition or even no tradition at all,” said Hughes. “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 in the effort. And one of the joys of the Trump binding was that it engaged so many people who hadn’t done any sort of magic before. It was humbling and gratifying to know that so many people performed rituals for the very first time and found power and perhaps even a taste of their magical abilities. So the key was to make this ritual just as inviting and simple so as to bring in non-witches and non-magicians, while still being adaptable and effective for seasoned practitioners.”
Hex Putin Sigil – courtesy of Michael M. Hughes
Interestingly, the Hex Putin ritual may not be the first time magic is being used to halt a war. According to Witchcraft lore, on the eve of Lammas in 1940, a coven of British Witches gathered in the woods in the town of Highcliffe-on-Sea and carried out what became known as “Operation Cone of Power” – a rite intended to stop German troops from crossing the English Channel. (Incidentally, Hitler made no attempts to cross the Channel).
Gerald Gardner, the founder and “father” of Wicca, also claimed that similar rituals had been used to stop enemy forces from invading Britain twice before: in 1588 when violent storms deterred the Spanish Armada, and again in 1805 when Napoleon abandoned his plans to invade.
If history is any help, tomorrow night’s mass ritual comes with both a sense of urgency and a nod of fortuitous astrological alignment.
“The timing is primarily based on the crisis in front of us. We can’t wait to do this—especially with a growing number of lives being lost every day and Putin moving nukes into Belarus,” Hughes explained. “The new moon is traditionally a time of hexing and binding and other restrictive magic, so there was no question about timing. I’m very straightforward in the timing of my magic, and I don’t use planetary hours or other calculations when we have a timeworn and effective system of the phases of the moon to work with. But if circumstances had been different, we do what we need to do regardless of the moon’s position. Defensive magic is essentially a reaction, and you can’t wait for a lunar cycle if you need to defend against violence or harm.”
Michael M. Hughes – courtesy
In that vein, much has been made of Aleksandr Dugin, said to be one of Putin’s most malevolent and closest advisors. This Rasputin-like character traffics in spirituality and political extremism, often combining both in his attempts to influence the leader and destiny of Russia. Will Dugin be the subject of a future hexing ritual?
“Dugin is Putin’s Grima Wormtongue [an unsavory, fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Ring Trilogy], a racist, fascist, hard-right mystic informing Putin’s ‘Holy Russia’ worldview,” Hughes said. “While he would make a very good target, it is Putin who holds the levers of power, and if Putin goes down – and I suspect he will, based on the growing resistance in Russia and across the Planet – Dugin will go down with the burning ship as well. So we go after the man who can push the big red nuclear button. When Putin is deposed, the Russian people will want everything he stole from them – human rights, democracy, and personal freedom.”
Editor’s note: For additional history on Aleksandr Dugin and the role he has played in Russia and with Putin, see here and here.