When I worked in ending violence against women our cardinal rule was not to replicate the abuser. We tried to correct power imbalances by all the staff doing menial work and never telling women what they should do. I consider binding (where you bind or prevent an offender from doing harm) to be a tool of the oppressor and don’t use it. Still, I recognize it is a privilege to have lived a life without experiencing oppression so extreme that I felt binding was my only means of protection. I do not judge others. Everyone must come to their own conclusions and I realize I could find myself in different circumstances and decisions. I do think it is unethical to do bindings in rituals without everyone knowing the consequences. We can not invoke magic without it coming back at us 3 fold or 9 fold. We need to be aware of what that means to make an informed decision. I have however created thresholds to prevent certain kinds of energies to cross. Everyone must make their own choices of what is ethical and what consequences they are willing to pay.
Perhaps the most famous instance of magical activism working to end oppression was the Magical Battle of Britain led by Dion Fortune to protect Britain from the Nazis and win the war. She wrote letters to her Fraternity of Magical Light with visualizations to formulate “seed ideas in the group mind of the race” , and worked with angelic beings. I have the feeling that we really should be doing this now when the world feels so precarious.
When a beloved member of our community was being harassed by white surpremists I feared for his safety and wanted to do something. I put out the call and people were interested, even some witches from other communities did magic. I checked in with him and he asked that it not be specific to him but to protect all people of colour. We came together and after setting sacred space put some runes in a crystal bowl of water which we stirred our prayers, wishes and spells into. We stirred in protection for people of colour, we stirred in a change of heart for white supremacists. We stirred and we stirred. This stirring of water is my favorite magical working that I learned from Josephine McCarthy. The next day the water was taken and poured into the ocean.
I also called people together to do a spell for Dandelion to hold everyone in saying the hard things, listening with open hearts and understanding, and the possibility of change. Only Pasha came, but others did magic in other locations. We drank dandelion tea and painted the sigil that Teri Parsley shared. We listened to Pat Mc Cabe ( (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining) is a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, activist, artist, writer, ceremonial leader, and international speaker and a voice for global peace,) prayer.
Jan Byers shared her work in the Authentic Leadership Path. at BC Witch Camp. We prayed into the water and placed it outside to evaporate.
My friend Jan Kinsey from the Fairy Congress says, “A witch is someone who has the courage to show up and is willing to act on the behalf of the community. As witches, we have perceptions and skills we can lend. One of the ways he does it is when he sees oppression he follows the threads back to the roots and unties them.