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I see another story about witches acting against the Trump Administration today, specifically planning to “hex” Brett Kavanaugh publicly on October 20. There have been several other such stories since Trump got elected in November of 2016. I would like to suggest doing a bit of counter-magic, although I would use a very different term for it: prayer.
Ricochet is an interesting place. We have many religious folks. We have many hard-headed atheists and some agnostics, many of whom are engineers. We also have others who have had a wide range of experiences. One of our members was once a 900-number telephone psychic, for instance. I’m not sure how many here have ever studied any forms of traditional magic beyond the “I read Harry Potter” level. Trying to explain why this is important in a way or ways that make sense for everyone on Ricochet, across our vast array of backgrounds and knowledge sets, is not easy, but I’m going to give it a go.
If you just want to skip the sordid tales of my youth, I suggest jumping down to the Suggested Remedy section.
Let’s start with some simple definitions:
White Magic—Any attempt to influence the world through magical means that is neutral or intended for good. Some would include positive prayers in this.
Black Magic—Any attempt to influence the world through magical means that is intended to harm or for personal gain. Curses and hexes against public officials would fall into this category. Some would include prayers that call for G-d to do something against someone or against a people into this category.
Prayer—Active thoughts to try to use divine influence on either the world around us or on our perspectives to align us with the divine. As mentioned above, some would consider prayer a sub-category of magic, especially when trying to influence the world around us. Besides positive and negative, there are at least three categories of prayer: emotional, verbal, and visual. I’ll get back to this later.
A Religious View
From the perspective of Abrahamic religions, we are taught to love G-d with all that we are and love our neighbors as ourselves. When one thinks about it clearly, any form of black magic or cursing through prayers does not meet these two commandments. It certainly is not loving towards our neighbors (in other words, those being cursed). As for loving G-d, can we really love G-d if we’re so busy hating our neighbors? I would go further and say that attempting such things, or even thinking them, is creating new gods to worship. One is loving Vengeance more than G-d. One is loving Retribution more than G-d.
Positive prayers, on the other hand, are to be encouraged. Praying for one another is certainly part of loving one’s neighbor.
While in some Pagan religions, cursing others may be just fine, in Christianity, at least, it is considered sinning (missing the mark). Our Jewish and Muslim friends here can speak for themselves on the matter.
A Religion-Free View
A true materialist view would generally dismiss that these prancing fools with their silly rituals could have any effect on anything other than media coverage.
On the other hand, I suspect that we all have had incidents that seemed to indicate a greater connection at times. Oh, sure, we might dismiss them as purely coincidence, like that time I left my car lights on when parking on a foggy morning at college. I went to class, went to the library, and was studying with my friends when suddenly I realized I had left the lights on. They said things like, “Your battery would be dead by now. Don’t worry about it.” Or “You probably turned them off; you’re imagining it.” Still, the feeling was strong, so I ran all the way to the other side of the college to where my car was parked, and there was my brother with one of the campus cops trying to break into the car to turn off the lights. Pure coincidence that I just happened to realize that I had not turned off my lights at that moment.
So, I’m not saying that there is anything like that, but what if there were? Just from a physics perspective, we know that thoughts must take some energy to think them. There are brain scans showing extra electrical activity depending on the type of thoughts. What if it were possible to somehow direct some of that energy for good or ill to produce some sort of psionic effect? Again, not saying there is such a thing, but can we be sure that there is not? As @misthiocracy said in a science fiction thread to explain such:
“Quantum mechanics. Psions are entangled quantum particles in people’s brains.”
Even if it is a very small amount of energy, perhaps it works chaotically like the Butterfly Effect. When we get down into Quantum physics and sub-atomic particles, things do get pretty weird.
And here again, we come back to anecdotal experience because these witches are trying to do a lot more with Judge Kavanaugh than communicate that he left his lights on. I must admit that I have successfully used black magic. In my defense, I was quite young at the time, perhaps five or six, and the neighbor girl, who was two years younger was a real pain in parts south of the small of the back. (Really not her fault, she was her parents’ creation, and you should have seen them.) There were a lot of bits about voodoo dolls in shows around that time, the late ’60s and early ’70s and beyond. Shows like Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch had episodes with such things. There was a witch doctor in The World’s Greatest Athlete. Growing up at that time, we were bombarded with that kind of stuff. So, one day when the neighbor girl had been particularly obnoxious, I went back to my room, rolled up a pair of socks to use as a voodoo doll, and stuck a pin in them. The neighbor girl was suddenly in pain for no apparent reason. Her parents were upset, other neighbors were upset, they were about to take her to the hospital … and then my brother ratted me out and my mother made me take the pin out and the girl was just fine. I also received quite a talking to about using the dark arts, let me assure you.
In my case, that is hardly my only experience with things that Newtonian physics aren’t explaining. Like Winston Zeddmore, I have seen (stuff) that will turn you white.
My best guess on how this could work physically is through a focused energy projection, although I am certainly no expert, and we didn’t cover psi phenomena in my college engineering physics courses. (I know some of you are saying, “I’m sure you didn’t because there was nothing to cover!”) Still, things do happen, and there must be an explanation. Just ask @rightangles about her mother.
Anyway, the point is that while such things are hard to believe and while science has not come up with a satisfactory proof, explanation, or method, especially a reproducible one, one can imagine that there might be ways such things could work, and it might be good to have some techniques on hand as counter-measures. Just as we create anti-malware software for malware that has not been discovered in the wild, we might want to have shielding methods from psychic attack, even if we don’t believe such things exist. Yeah, I know, odd logic, but it worked for Pascal in Pascal’s Wager.
Suggested Remedy: Thoughts and Prayers
So, those who are not of a religious or a spiritual bent, I would like to suggest a thought exercise to help defend Kavanaugh, his family, and the Trump Administration. For those who are religious or spiritual, it’s the same exercise focused on action by G-d. You all knew that this was a set-up so that I could say “thoughts and prayers,” right?
Whether one is coming from the physical energy projection hypothesis or the G-d-exists-and-is-helping-us hypothesis, it is best if we can amp up the thought and prayer wattage. One way to do that is to engage more of the mind. The more that we actively engage ourselves in the task, the more energy our brains generate as they fire off those neurons. The more senses we engage, the better. It’s true of learning, too. I mentioned at least three types of prayer earlier: emotional, verbal, and visual. Let’s look at those and any others I think of while writing this.
Emotion does tend to put a powerful oomph behind thoughts and prayers. I’m sure we all have emotions that we might direct towards those on the other side of our national debates. I’ve seen quite strong emotions come out on Ricochet among friends. But, negative emotions tend to be bad for the emoter. One of the problems with our Progressive friends is that they think emotion trumps all, and look what it does to them.
They’re for any emotion, even if it kills them. So, we want positive emotions to power our thoughts and prayers. Let’s power our thoughts and prayers with love for our country, for its institutions, and the people who are willing to step forward and serve us instead of themselves.
Engaging senses helps also to put more steam and oomph behind our thoughts and prayers. First, let us form the words to protect those to serve us, form them very specifically in the mind, and then speak them aloud. Why? Because there is a feedback loop. We feel the vibrations as we speak. We hear the words as we speak them. It’s added energy. (Literally. You’re moving stuff around: air, eardrums.)
I shall not give specific words here, because we all react differently to words. Some like long prayers, others like them short. My minister will come up with affirmations six blocks long. I know that’s not for me. My most frequent affirmation is “G-d is and I am.” I can remember five words.
But, if you really need something, perhaps something like, “No harm can come to (Justice Kavanaugh/Other Justice/Administration Official/Congress Critter). The light of (G-d/our energy) protects him/her/them from all attacks.”
Visual: Light and the Mirror
Again, engaging more senses, picture Justice Kavanaugh and others in the Administration or on the Supreme Court as surrounded. Surrounded by what, you ask? Well, it sort of depends on whether religious or non-religious as to interpretation, but the basics are the same. First is surrounded by white light. This can be the light of G-d or just light that brings a lot of energy. And then outside the sphere of light, visualize a mirror all around the protected individuals. It can be a one-way mirror reflecting anything that is coming towards the protectee back towards those who sent it his way. Or, maybe you would prefer a two-way mirror to keep the light in and around the person we are sending our thoughts and prayers. The mirror is a very important tool.
@she has mentioned her father more than once, and the fourth paragraph here is interesting. Why would a witch doctor’s spell rebound? Perhaps somebody else was visualizing a mirror of protection? We can’t know, but I suspect that those practicing such black arts deserve to have their package of thoughts and curses returned to them as a package unopened.
Feeling silly, yet? If not, this should do the trick. Remember, part of the idea is to put as much energy as we can into protecting our people from attack, and to impart that energy, we are trying to fully engage our brains and get them firing on high. What’s another way we can engage? Through movement. Yes, I am speaking of interpretive dance prayers!
When visualizing the light and mirror of protection, we can also engage our bodies, perhaps using our arms to inscribe a great circle to reinforce the mirrored sphere of our thoughts and prayers.
If one thinks about it, the rituals, the smells and bells, the recitations, that one finds in various religious ceremonies are all trying to engage the worshipers more fully through the senses. The goal is to bring them to a higher state of consciousness where the cares and distractions of the day are let go and the worshiper is engaged with G-d or their gods. That is what we are trying to do is fully engage and focus our minds on sending our thoughts and prayers of protection.
Have a Friend Join You
If you’re going to do this, why do it alone? Bring together friends for a prayer/thought projection session for protecting our Federal employees and appointees. The witches how are “hexing” Kavanaugh are doing it as a group. Why? Again, more engaging. It’s also a more public commitment. And can’t you see all your friends and family making that big circle with their arms while building the mirror of protection in their minds?
Can you think of other ways to engage your senses while sending thoughts and prayers of protection for Justice Kavanaugh and others?
And for our atheist and agnostic friends, remember Pascal’s wager.Published in