John Horvat II is the Vice President of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and the author of the recent book Return to Order.
The religious right has often been looked down upon by many Americans involved in the political scene. For them, it shouldn’t exist. According to the secular liberal tradition, the public square is supposed to be value-neutral. Any religious intrusion into political matters is to be discouraged.
The secular left is especially fearful of mixing politics and religion. Its activists are ever ready to find theocracy behind any Christian leader who opines about public affairs. Leftists become enraged at the sight of those who fight abortion with rosaries and prayers. All political appeals to God and spiritual things are customarily dismissed as hopelessly backward and superstitious.
Changes on the Religious Left
However, something dramatic is changing this sterile secular perspective. Suddenly spiritual things are entering into the cutting edge of the political realm. And the agents of this change are on the left.
The left has always tried to carve out a space in Christianity. Its social justice warriors and liberation theology rabble rousers never seem to get it right. Their cries to change the world usually do not get beyond a tepid chorus of Kumbaya for ordinary Christians in the pew. More often than not, religious liberals dress up Christian teachings in Marxist clothes, which looks fake. They pay the consequences with their dwindling congregations. It is not a winning proposition. That is why the new leftist religious upswing is so surprising. However, its activists are not found on any point in the Christian spectrum; they occupy the dark regions of the occult.
Sympathy for the Devil
For left-leaning millennials without any religious tradition, the occult represents an empowering way to express their leftist class-struggle political views directly. There is no need to dress up religious figures to revolt against hierarchy and order. Occult characters are the real thing—Satan defied God and his rule.
Perhaps taking a page from the religious right, the left is starting to realize that religious convictions are much more lasting and dynamic than secular prattle. Religion reaches the deepest regions of the soul that the secular left used to deny existed. Religion satisfies human yearnings for purpose, meaning, ritual, and community. It is a sign of strange times. A generation that has grown up without organized religions which it deemed “outdated” is now filling the void with hopelessly ancient pagan deities. Those who will not call upon a personal and loving God to do good, sense their powerlessness and now conjure up dark spirits to do evil to their opponents.
The occult is not occult or hidden anymore. Everything is out in the open. Witches emerge from their dark covens and into the mainstream without apology or makeup. They seamlessly meld into feminist pro-abortion marches, socialist protests or ecological climate change rallies.
The Rise of Magic Activism
For those millennials on the progressive religious left, the fight is no longer about Obama-era grassroots community organizing. That is so passé. These new activists up the ante by appropriating dark imagery, rituals, and rites to dispute the public square. Black magic is part of their toolkit for change.
At the Kavanaugh hearings, for example, Brooklyn witches publicly hexed the conservative candidate to the Supreme Court. It was also known that a “Magic Resistance” to President Trump took the form of thousands of witches—13,000 strong—asking dark powers to bind the president’s actions after his inauguration.
The Trump victory has ignited an explosion of witchcraft manuals for political action with titles that do not mask their preternatural purpose. In 2018, Michael Hughes, for example, wrote Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change. David Salisbury has written his 2019 Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance (Includes Spells for Social Justice, Civil Rights, the Environment, and More). He even calls upon readers to invoke the Greek god Hermes to give letters to legislators greater effect. Revolutionary Witchcraft: A Guide to Magical Activism by Sarah Lyons will soon be released to a sympathetic target audience.
No Quarter Given
On the darker side of the spectrum, the Satanic Temple minces no words on its political positions. The group and its often black-clad members were featured in a 2019 documentary titled Hail Satan? by Penny Lane that is playing in theaters nationwide. It was deliberately launched on Good Friday. The “nontheistic” group has gained notoriety by challenging laws and monuments that reflect Christian inspiration. The group’s co-founder, Lucien Greaves, makes no secret of the fact that the “Homosexual Agenda is but one front in the Satanic Revolution.” He takes a no-quarter-given attitude toward Christians, ranting that “In celebrating Pride, the LGBTQ community and its allies should make no apologies and no concessions, offer no conciliation nor comfort to those who claim indignation on behalf of their superstition.”
A Witch Culture
Thus, a “witch culture” is taking root among left-leaning millennials that filters down throughout society. Its manifestations can range from full devil worship to queer-friendly Tarot cards to the recently released astrological birth charts of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While this culture is not yet dominated, it has entered into the mainstream and infiltrated the secular left. Its advocates have no problem breaching the “wall” between church and state to make the occult a component in their political activism. This witch culture places itself in the middle of two important dialectic struggles—one political and the other profoundly religious.
A Struggle Made Eternal
The political struggle inserts the Satan figure inside the Marxist identity-politics narrative. The fallen angel can represent any favored “oppressed” group—whether it be minorities, women, homosexuals, or any other. The imaginary Trumpian oppressor is white, patriarchal, and Christian.
Using Satan as an archetype allows the left to make the struggle eternal without limiting it to the historical context. The brutal representation of Satanic imagery only serves to reinforce the intensity of the struggle. “Symbols and images of the uncanny, the demonic, and even the diabolical are recast as icons of the falsely accused, the wrongly blamed, the scapegoated,” writes Tara Isabella Burton in the American Interest. For this reason, the national debate has taken on a chaotic, uncivil, irrational and even violent character that underscores the eternal enmity between the two sides that will admit no compromise. Public discourse is marked by a hatred that has rarely been seen in American politics.
Secular observers, who do not believe in the devil, mistakenly see this new development as no more than a war of metaphors and powerful imagery. The political left will welcome Satanic allies and exploit their symbols to advance its goals. However, such a simplification is an illusion. The Satanic Revolution represents something much more powerful and sinister.
Changing the Game
The second dialectical struggle is the religious one. It involves those on both sides who truly believe in God and the devil. They believe the powerful forces involved are real, not imaginary. This is a struggle between good and evil. In this context, the open appearance of Satanism takes on major importance, especially in light of the debate over the future of the secular liberal model that had excluded the supernatural from reality.
With the entrance of the occult and witchcraft into politics, the game has changed. The political establishment used to dismiss religious activity as inconsequential. By ignoring spiritual issues, modern politicians made material progress their only program. The result of this crass materialism has been the spiritual devastation of society. Now progressive occultism with all its witches, shamans, and demons puts the spiritual back into the heart of the debate. With this change, the debate has ironically shifted to an area in which the Church has always acted effectively throughout history.
The Real War and Fatima
Indeed, for Catholics, the battle for souls and society has always been the real war. The Church teaches that God acts in history and that prayers, efforts, and sacrifices can influence the course of events. Likewise, the evil actions of those attached to the devil have their effects on earthly affairs. Humanity’s existential quest for meaning always passes through religious realms before resting in political applications. This was something the religious right has always sensed and affirmed. The progressive occultists now make this true vision of history their own.
The message of Our Lady at Fatima revolves around this real war. Catholics were warned about the action of the Evil One over souls and society which would bring humanity to ruin. The faithful were enjoined to practice acts of penance, prayer, and personal amendment to avoid God’s chastisement. The open appearance of Satan onto the scene seems to indicate that the real war is entering a new phase. The left is having open recourse to the occult to aid it in this most important part of its struggle. In opposition, Catholics can expect singular graces and heavenly aid as they fight for what they know will be Our Lady’s final triumph.