Neopagan versus New Age Magic

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  • Title: Neopagan versus New Age Magic: Two Diverse Approaches to the Election of Trump
  • Author(s): Misha Hoo
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
  • Keywords: New Age, Neopagan, Magic, Meditation, Trump, Binding, Elevate the Vote, Religion
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2154-8633 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8641 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v09i03/33-44
  • Citation: Hoo, Misha . 2019. "Neopagan versus New Age Magic: Two Diverse Approaches to the Election of Trump." The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 9 (3): 33-44. doi:10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v09i03/33-44.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

The United States presidential election of 2016 elicited significant response from the Neopagan and New Age communities both in the United States and abroad, in the form of two large-scale public displays of ritual magic. Of these two events, the one most readily discernible as magic occurred on February 2017, after the inauguration of President Trump, in the form of a mass “binding spell” intended to limit the power of the president-elect. Instigated by Neopagan Michael M. Hughes, the Bind Trump event initiated an ongoing “magical resistance” movement that continues to be active today. The other large-scale public ritual organized in response to the election was a global meditation activity called Elevate the Vote, which occurred on the election day itself: November 8, 2016. Orchestrated by the New Age group Unify, this event was directed toward influencing the consciousness of the voters and consisted of a guided meditation broadcast via livestream, along with organized meditation groups at polling stations throughout the United States. This article presents a comparative analysis of these two public events and argues that New Age meditation activities such as Elevate the Vote constitute a form of ritual magic previously overlooked in New Age studies. Through a detailed analysis of the published works associated with these two events, including audio, video, and textual material, this article finds that despite broad similarities in their practices of ritual magic, the Neopagan and New Age communities examined here exhibit remarkably different attitudes to the use of magical power.