Literary Hub

10 Literary Witches To Hex Trump

In case you hadn’t heard, witches across America—including Lana Del Rey—are uniting to take down Trump via a binding spell, which calls on the spirits to keep the President from doing harm (it already seems to be working). Covens, communities, and solo practitioners will perform the spell in tandem at the stroke of midnight on each crescent moon until Trump is removed—the upcoming dates are March 26 (that’s this Sunday), April 24, and May 23. Here is one version of the ritual, with a list of necessary ingredients (including an “unflattering photo of Trump,” which should not be hard to find) in case you’d like to participate. Needless to say, some on the right are in something of a tizzy, but there’s not much harm in a spell like this—unlike the spells that some of these literary witches might cast on our current overlord. So to inspire your magic rituals (or merely fuel your dark daydreams), find some witches who would, if real, easily deliver us from you-know-who below.

The Weyward Sisters, Macbeth, William Shakespeare

The trio that launched a thousand covens, and prophesied to Macbeth that he would be king are never actually called “witches” in Shakespeare’s play—but who are we kidding? Plus, they’re buddies with Hecate, an ancient goddess often associated with witchcraft. The sisters were inspired in part by the “three women in strange and wild apparell, resembling creatures of elder world” in Raphael Holinshed’s The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which informed quite a bit of Macbeth. But the best thing about them is their famous, lusciously-worded spellwork:

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Circe, The Odyssey, Homer

Ah, Circe—often described as a witch, but technically also a demigoddess (half-sun god, half-sea nymph) who lives on a wooded island surrounded, William Randolph Hearst-style, with a bunch of drugged exotic animals and men changed into beasts by fine food and drink. Of course, Odysseus was tipped off to the tricks of the witch-goddess and figured out how to escape her spell, except not really because he wound up staying with her on the island for a year. Then she gives him directions and sent him off to Ithaca. The only problem with Circe is that if she transformed Trump into a pig, it’s highly possible that no one would notice.

Julia Wicker, The Magicians Trilogy, Lev Grossman

Julia’s probably the most interesting character in Grossman’s trilogy—elsewhere, Choire Sicha argues beautifully and hilariously that the books are really about Julia, not stupid Quentin—in part because she isn’t afforded all the privileges of magic school and has to scrap and barter and sell herself to become the badass Hedgewitch—and, spoiler, demigoddess—she winds up being. Anyway, I think her rage and skill would do just fine against a partially-deflated orange sponge.

Morwen, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Patricia C. Wrede

Written above the door of Morwen’s home in the Enchanted Forest is a warning—but not the warning you might expect on a witch’s cottage. It reads: None of This Nonsense, Please! The exceedingly practical, independently-minded Morwen is possibly the best character from what is possibly my favorite children’s book series of all time. She has a great garden and nine cats, all of whom are fairly snarky, none of whom are black. She has enchanted her sleeves so that they hold an almost unlimited amount of stuff. She sometimes lends out her crepe pan to dragons. She can’t even be killed in the normal way that witches are killed in these books (soapy water and lemon) because she’s simply too clean to allow it. I honestly can’t imagine Trump standing up to her for a single second.

Jadis, the White Witch, The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis

The White Witch is beautiful, cruel and super evil. A powerful magician, she plunged Narnia into eternal winter, has a secret police force made up of wolves, and turns anyone she doesn’t like into stone. She also kills Jesus Aslan (before he kills her back, and better). As a child and aspiring Ice Queen, I used to secretly kind of love the White Witch, but it’s hard to find joy in an evil overlord right now. At least if she were around she’d immediately turn Trump into stone for talking back to her.

Granny Weatherwax, Discworld, Terry Pratchett

There are many witches on the Discworld, but Granny Weatherwax (I’d argue) is the best—very powerful, supremely confident (so confident that it makes her reliably look taller) and possessed of a small wooden box that may or may not have a little universe inside of it. Like all the best good witches, she always does Right, but not necessarily Nice. (That is, she gives people what they need, not what they want.) Unlike many, however, she eschews using magic whenever possible, and instead relies often on “headology,” which is a sort of psychological trickery based on suggestion. It is very possible that she would be able to save us.

The witches, The Witches, Roald Dahl

Here is how to recognize a witch when you see one. A REAL WITCH will always be wearing gloves, even in the summer. That’s because witches don’t have fingernails, but rather “thin curvy claws, like a cat.” A REAL WITCH is always “bald as a boiled egg,” but possessed of a “first-class wig”—but of course the wig rather bothers the bald head, something witches describe as “wig-rash.” Their nose-holes are pink and large, for smelling children (“an absolutely clean child gives off the most ghastly scent to a witch”). Their eyes flash in many colors. They have no toes, but still squeeze into fancy pointed shoes. Their saliva is blue as ink, and they use it to write with—they simply lick the nib. They aim to exterminate children.

They can also, I’ve heard, turn fat children into mice. And there is one fat child who really should be turned into a mouse, and then perhaps left out on the street for any old cat to find.

The sea witch, The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen

Unlike the Ursula we all know and love, Andersen’s sea witch makes no bones about the deal she makes with our doomed “heroine. (“”I know what you want,” said the sea witch; “it is very stupid of you, but you shall have your way, and it will bring you to sorrow, my pretty princess.””) In this story, she is neither good nor evil—though she has a number of evil-ish markers—but merely someone that can make things happen, for a price. A good lesson in believing people when they tell you exactly what they’re going to do.

The coven, Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin

Whatever crabby-NYC-neighbor horror story you’ve got, Ira Levin’s is worse. After all, imagine moving into a new building to find out that your neighbors are in a Satanic coven (either that or, as Rosemary put it, “maniacs who think they have magic power, who think they’re real storybook witches, who perform all sorts of crazy rituals and practices because they’re—sick and crazy maniacs!”) who want to steal your baby. Perhaps their considerable powers could be directed elsewhere—after all, no true New Yorker wants Trump in their city.

Susan Bones, Harry Potter and the etc., J.K. Rowling

I’m just saying that pretty much any random Hufflepuff should be able to hex Trump into a tailspin.

Originally published in Literary Hub.

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