Melanie Hexen of Iowa and the other 12 witches in her coven are outraged at the lenient sentence – six months, though the New York Post reports that has already been reduced to four – given to rapist Brock Turner. Turner was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault including sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.
Hexen, who is also a belly dancer and a midwife, put out a call to the pagan community through Facebook to join her on June 7 with cursing not only Brock Turner, but his father, Dan Turner, and Judge Aaron Persky. She said participants could even join in from their homes, using only photographs of the targets of the curse, a black candle scratched with 13 X’s, and black string. She also suggested that the candle be anointed “with urine and/or menstrual blood and/or a hexing oil.”
She offered suggested phrasing for the working: “You will be impotent. You will know constant pain of pine needles in your guts. Food will bring you no sustenance. In water, your lungs will fail you. Sleep will only bring nightmares. Shame will be your mantle. You will meet justice.”
With this collective spell, Hexen hoped to “raise awareness of not only this particular case, but of this rape culture we live in,” she said. Another witch, Larasa Firefox Allen, said she’d participate because, “We need to fight for justice with all we have. Magick is a tool we can, and must, wield to bring down the patriarchy. Brick by brick.”
Witch and participant Pamela Jones is part of a group called Social Justice Warrior Witchcraft whose goal is to bring together practitioners from various traditions “to effect social change in the world.” They periodically focus on cases like this in their magick anyway; their first collective working was held on February 13th, 2016, against Boko Haram.
Not all witches believe in wishing ill will with dark magick, however. Some pagans, such as Jeanine Hazelwood, don’t agree with putting negative energy into the world with with spells. She stated, “If I am going to put precious energy into a working, it’s going to be to help change the culture that creates asses like these men and helps empower the women they damage. Hexing these idiots may ‘feel good’ but in the end it doesn’t help the victims or prevent this from happening again to someone else.”
A photo posted by Melanie (Hexen) (@midwifemelanie) on
Hexen isn’t concerned that any negative energy she put out into the world will come back to her, despite many witches believing that bad vibes can return to one threefold. She told U.S. News & World Report that even though the collective power of perhaps thousands of witches joined forces to wish ill on their targets, “There was also very much healing and love poured out amongst the women in the group … and much love and healing poured out to Brock Turner’s victim.”
So mote it be.
Main image: “Die drei Hexen,” 1783, by Henry Fuseli, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons