BY LISA MARIE BASILE
There's admittedly something so powerful, so pleasing in its irony, about having a group of women (and a few men) cast a hex on Brock Turner. Women have been killed for years – for being perceived as magical, for being hysterical, for being accused of witchcraft. Where we once (and still, in some countries) burn at the metaphorical or physical stake, we're now taking back the power of intention.
If the 'witchy' trend has left you more annoyed than anything – Urban Outfitters' home decor section comes to mind with its crystals and moon-y goodies – I can't blame you. The turbulent history of the Craft is oft-misunderstood as it gathers its modern-day steam in tropes. But there is some relevance today, and that is this: community. While practicing in any belief system – organized religion, meditation, secular spirituality – can be solitudinous, there's a real power in community, and I think Witchcraft is where we see a strong example of this.
For years, the image of gathering women has endured, inspired and even frightened. In a political and social climate like ours, we need that. We need to come together, to make noise, to cast our intentions with a high fucking vibration so that real change happens.
But I'm not sure using negativity – or hexes in this case – is the appropriate response. Sure, we're angry. I'm angry. I spend a lot of my time thinking of the many, many hideous crimes committed against marginalized groups on the regular. I get myself sick over it, and I'm human, so there's no pretending that I'm above those nasty, murderous thoughts. I'm not over it. I'm mad as hell and my daydreams are all very disturbing. But my higher brain wants to use intention and magic in a powerful, healing way.
I want 600 women and men – witches, everyday people – to get together to heal the victims of rape, to bring enlightenment to society, to give energy to the voices against crime. I don't know if fighting fire with fire is ever or could ever be the answer. In fact, I'm sure of it. And as much as I'd like to think about Brock Turner's entitled little body filling with pine needles and shameful dread as night descends upon him, I'm not sure if that's the answer to the problem at large.
Maybe we can just cast a huge DON'T RAPE spell instead? Then again, does it really take magic to teach morals? The bible tried that already. Clearly didn't work.
But I think we're onto something big here. I think this group of witches shows something real – the potential of the collective, the energy of compassion. We're stepping outside the law and using the power the Universe has instilled in us – the innate ability to push thoughts into matter, and to visualize and actualize, to make dialogue and to say "no."
Lisa Marie Basile is a NYC-based poet, editor, and writer. She’s the founding editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine, and her work has appeared in Bust, Bustle, The Establishment, Hello Giggles, The Gloss, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and The Huffington Post, among other sites. She is the author of Apocryphal (Noctuary Press, Uni of Buffalo) and a few chapbooks. Her work as a poet and editor have been featured in BuzzFeed, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, The New York Daily News, Best American Poetry, and The Rumpus, among others. She currently works for Hearst Digital Media, where she edits for The Mix, their contributor network.