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Putin Hexing Ritual Puts My Anger Into Action

As I wrote previously, I've been feeling hopelessness related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Much of it involves my theology around prayer and how different it is from most folks I know including some Pagans. From a Christian viewpoint, I don't understand the constant command to prayer about the same things over and over again. What's the point? If God hears you and is all-knowing, doesn't he hear you the first time? Or does he forget about it over time and need reminding? Also, some Christians hold a belief that the more folks you have praying for you, the better the odds of you getting what you want or God answering in your favor. This actually sounds super Pagan because what they're really talking about is raising enough energy to manifest something. That might work, but it isn't traditionally Christian. Again, if God hears even the prayer of just 1 person, does he need 400 more to take action? Does he say, "Well Cindy, you only had 352 prayer warriors pray for your heart attack recovery, and that just isn't enough. I'm sorry, my dear, but it's lights out for you!" What is this--a stupid video game?

First, my concept of deity is different than most Christians. As a polytheist, I believe in many spirits, some stronger than others, some with different concerns, etc. There isn't 1 catch-all god who is super powerful and does everything. I also don't really pray for things, at least not in the way I see most people pray. I don't pray for miraculous healings or windfalls of cash or for others to see things my way and change their behavior. Instead, for example, I pray for myself, that I'll have the courage to face something or wisdom in making decisions. I typically light a candle, pray once, let the candle burn down and forget it. And I don't expect everything to go my way. I simply hope. And if things do go my way, I make an offering to whichever spirit was involved. My 5-month-old great-nephew recently had open-heart surgery, and yes, I prayed for him. I lit a candle for the Ghede, the Vodou spirits of the dead who also watch over children with critical health problems. Fortunately, my nephew's surgery went well, and to show my appreciation, I made a special offering to the Ghede.

Currently we have all these memes and statements basically saying, "prayers for Ukraine!" That's fine, but is it working? Is God listening? Ukraine is still being attacked, and people are dying. Their electricity, heating and communications are being destroyed, putting some in danger and isolating them from the rest of the world. Is the Christian God asleep? How much reminding does he need that Ukraine is in danger? Maybe we haven't assembled the right amount of "prayer warriors" yet. When you figure out the magick number, please let me know. I do believe people are sincere, and I'm sure most of them feel as helpless as I do but don't know where else to turn in this crisis. For me, though, I like a bit less talk and more action.

I was delighted to find Michael Hughes' global mass ritual to hex Vladimir Putin, which took place for the first time this past Saturday evening. The photo shown above is of my own ritual. It's a creative Pagan ritual that aims to hex Putin and liberate Ukraine--at one point, the liturgy even includes a cathartic "Go fuck yourself, Putin!" and "Go burn!" Hughes even includes the Russian pronunciations for flair. I even added my own elements. Hughes suggests praying to St. Michael the Archangel, but that felt too disconnected. It turns out that the patron saint of Ukraine is St. Olga, a princess who lived in Kyiv and took terrible vengeance on the men who murdered her husband. She also led the conversion to Christianity (that's may sound a little problematic for a Pagan ritual, but that's a post for another time). I think if any spirit is ready to help Ukrainians, it's this bad bitch!

So why was this ritual/prayer different for me? I don't know if it'll work, but it certainly can't hurt. Mainly rituals give me something to do. I can channel my anger and rage into the candle flames, into the sigil Hughes provided and into his liturgy. I relished these words in particular:

I call upon you

To bring ruin and destruction

Onto Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

Warmaker, murderer, and despot

So that the wickedness, pain, and death he unleashes

Shall return to him tenfold

I also enjoyed setting the photo of Putin ablaze, watching it burn and then flushing the ashes down my toilet. And because I'm Pagan, I appreciate the idea of many people worldwide performing this ritual together at the same time. There's a similar concept in Vodou, and it even carries over into how ordinary people can be elevated to lwa status, like Marie Laveau. I don't view spirits as omnipotent like the Christian God, so yes, St. Olga may need to be roused into action. Yes, perhaps we have a role in combining our individual energies along with hers or that of other helpful spirits into pushing back against Russia.

Will it work? I don't know. We'll see. In the meantime, Hughes suggests doing this ritual as often as possible, every Saturday evening or every new moon until Russia backs down and Ukraine is at peace. In the end, maybe this ritual isn't really any different from the Christian prayer warriors out there. It just makes more sense to me. Until then, "Go fuck yourself, Putin!"

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