So I have recently addressed the issue surrounding the whole DC40 event, in which a small evangelical Christian group intends to bombard the Capitol with prayers in order to, well, I guess convert the Capitol, or something. And there are a bunch of pagans that are taking this as a legitimate magical attack and planning how they can work against it. I am not one of those, and I am fully convinced that the only impact this will have will be the direct result of the publicity and responses that arise from the pagan community. (I can’t think of a worse way to handle this than to recoil in fear and treat it as a legitimate attack — that’s the one thing that will make this particular group feel that what they are doing is having an actual impact.)
In my analysis, I was probably a little harsh in my treatment of pagan blogger Hecate, who announced her plans to ward Washington DC from the efforts of this group. I still believe that her plans are very naive and simplistic, and have little to no chance of actually warding the city (driving around the city every few days sprinkling herbs?), but I’ve been pondering this problem. How plausible would it be to ward an entire city, and how would you go about it?
First, a disclaimer: I am against magic for political ends. If you have to resort to magic to make your position popular or acceptable, chances are you might want to re-evaluate it or reconsider how you are presenting it. Ego magic to make yourself more charismatic would probably have a better result. That, and as petty and backbiting as the pagan community can be at times, I fear what will come of it if people are slinging spells over political disagreements. So warding a city against what is basically a political movement — especially is that city is the Capital — doesn’t seem quite right to me. So perhaps for our mental exercise here, we can pretend we are warding the city against a crime wave or something like that.
Here’s what I came up with.
1) This should be a group effort. This is for reasons of raising power and of logistics. I’m looking at magical work that will encompass an entire city, and in my mind that means that you’ll need people in different areas at or near the same time. So you’ll need a few people, or better yet, a few groups of people.
2) Geography and weather are important factors. Local climate can impact how wards will react and function, and geography is important for reason not just related to establishing a boundary. Where is the city center? Are there elevation differences that need to be accounted for? Waterways that might alter the flow of energy? Roads and highways that could do the same?
3) The wards to something as large and complex as a city must be permeable. People, vehicles, planes, radio and television signals, animals in the area, and other utilities are all going to pass through the boundary of the wards constantly. If the ward is not designed to accommodate this, it will be ripped to shreds.
4) Are there points of power? Washington DC in particular has several major monuments that function as places of power. Other cities may as well have certain monuments, locations, or geographical features that are famous or important, and which can serve as anchor points or power sources for such a ward system.
So, a few ways to do this:
What it sounds like. Get a few groups of people to congregate at the quarters around the city (with one in the center, I suppose) and perform a banishing ritual around it. I imagine a group at each point that calls each quarter, or something equivalent. Timing would be important, and technology might also be employed for the groups to stay in contact during the ritual. (“Someone call the Earth group and see if they’re ready!”)
A banishing ritual such as the LBRP might be adapted to something like this, given enough creativity. I’m not sure how long something like this would last, however, and it would have to be built up for several days (months?) to reach peak charge.
Relying on my idea of the points of power in a city, and possibly the city center or city hall, a ritual could be performed at these power points (either one at a time or all at the same time, depending on how many people you have) to establish the ward. Basically, instead of surrounding the city, you would be generating a protective field from withing the city, anchored to these various points of power. DC especially has plenty of places that could serve as suitable locations. This would probably be longer lasting and have a more immediate effect.
Create a sigil for your ward. Overlay the sigil on a map of the city. Put people or groups at the vertices of your design, and then have everyone charge the sigil at once. In this way, not only would everyone be focusing on the same sigil, but their physical locations would trace the sigil on the city itself. Work the previously mention points of power into the sigil for an added boost. (Again, this would work great in DC, with its monuments placed along pentagrams and whatnot.) Depending on how cooridinated the charging of the sigil goes, this could work quite well, although it too would need to be touched up every once in a while.
So this is what I came up with. I’d love to hear any thoughts regarding these ideas.