The Magic of Unfriending, Blocking, and Banning on Social Media

The Magic of Unfriending, Blocking, and Banning on Social Media August 12, 2020

I am a huge fan of unfriending, blocking, and banning on social media for intentional statements and behavior which are racist, bigoted, transphobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, ableist, or otherwise discriminatory, prejudiced, or derogatory of any group of humans based on inherent traits or ancestry.  There are lots of reasons different people curate their spaces, but those are the reasons I am focusing on in this article.

I am a fan of unfriending, blocking, and banning for intentionally discriminatory behavior and comments. Image by https://megapixel.click – CC0 photos for free from Pixabay

No, I have no fear that I am going to end up living in an echo chamber.  I also have no fear that I am being “intolerant”, or any of the other similar gaslighting tactics used by hateful individuals to validate and push their discriminatory agendas.

Yes, curating your social media does have magical application for both social justice and personal wellbeing, both of which are easy to do.

This is going to get lengthy, but the incantations near the bottom of this article are useless without doing the real-life actions that they reinforce.  Just giving you incantations would skip the really important stuff – why you are justified in aggressively curating your online and social spaces, and how to go about doing that.

Achieving balance in your online interactions is more complex than following one single set of steps at all times.  It takes awareness and thoughtful consideration, before, during, and after each and every interaction.  You must know your capabilities, your boundaries, and your priorities, as well as critically evaluating what the likely benefits or blowback of each encounter are likely to be.  Exactly what that means is going to be unique to each person.  I can offer advice or suggestions, but at the end of the day it is up to you to decide the best way for you to proceed.

First off, let us establish exactly why you are fully justified to shut hateful people out of your social media spaces and your life.  To do that, we must address some of the most common gaslighting justifications given by hateful people, which might be causing you anxiety when you think about hitting that unfriend, block, or ban button.

If you do decide to keep such people in your social media, it will also help you be clear with yourself about why you are doing so, so that you control the situation.

Puppy does not want to deal with it either, but consciously curated spaces causes less stress. Image by Ella_87 from Pixabay

No, it is Not a Difference of Opinion

It is a difference of moral and ethical framework.

Whether or not certain groups of human beings deserve a basic level of respect, equal opportunity, and ability to live their lives undisturbed is NOT a difference of opinion.  Differences of opinions are for things like which celebrities you admire/dislike, what your favorite color is, what is a great place to visit, or your favorite flavor of ice cream.  Opinions are the things that illustrate our diversity and individuality, and do not hurt a single soul.

When someone advocates for the oppression of a group of people just for existing, that is not an “opinion”.  It is a moral failing to take actions that are deliberately and maliciously harmful to other people.  It does not matter what excuses, propaganda, falsehoods, stereotypes, and deceptive half-truths are concocted to justify it.  Acting on prejudice is deliberately harmful and malicious, for the worst possible reasons.

We are all human, and we are all individuals, with our individual strengths and flaws.  We are all more than the sum of our visible and invisible inherent traits.  We are part of our communities and the various labels which define us, but we are more than that.  It is a gross miscarriage of ethics to judge people based on who they inherently are, especially when that state of being harms no one.

As far as I am concerned, it is always morally and ethically correct to side with equality and against prejudice.  It is always morally and ethically corrupt to advocate for prejudice, and the oppression of other people just for existing.  Every single human has just as much right to exist and go about their lives in peace as anyone else.

Every single human being is inherently worthy of dignity and respect. Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

No, it is Not a Political Issue

Politics are things like whether or not to raise taxes and in what ways, where to spend taxes, and how to manage municipal resources.  These are topics which have benefits and drawbacks, and it is perfectly reasonable for different people to have different opinions about which of those benefits and drawbacks should carry weight in decision-making.

People of different colors exist.  Period.  People of different genders and sexualities exist.  Period.  People of different religions exist.  Period.  People of different nationalities exist.  Period.  People with disabilities exist.  Period.  Neurodiverse people exist.  Period.  These people are all part of our societies.  Period.

You can debate whether or not to create a new tax, but you cannot debate whether or not varieties of human beings exist. (OK, some people do try to “debate” that, but let’s face it, they are either lying or delusional.)

It is common to see “politics” used to describe the visible existence or ability of certain humans to do normal things.  When people do this, they are drawing the conclusion that the very existence of those human beings is up for debate, with the most important details being the “benefits” and “drawbacks” of that person’s existence for society as a whole.  This is a gross moral and ethical failing on the part of the person declaring “politics”, because they are saying that those groups of people do not have value and rights as individuals and citizens.  They are saying that those politicized people only have value in how they can be used to benefit the privileged few.

Declaring “politics” is declaring that those lives do not have intrinsic value, and do not deserve basic human rights.

Laws based on prejudice are inherently flawed, and should be struck down. Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

Issues of racism, bigotry, and so on are only “political” in that racists, bigots, and so on, have enshrined their hate in law, and actively work to enforce it.  They eagerly seek to punish the targets of their hate simply for existing.  The history of the United States and other nations are littered with the bodies of marginalized people who have been sacrificed for the benefit of the few, under the guise of “law”.

It is not “political” to acknowledge that law enforcement in the United States needs serious reform due to ongoing and egregious abuses and brutality.  It is political to debate exactly how to restructure social services so that the police are not the primary or sole respondent to every problem, and to allow for more effective service to our communities.

Issues of racism, bigotry, and so on, are “political” in that they are part of our laws and society, and must be dismantled in order to achieve equality.  However, I usually think of this as corruption, because those laws were put in place by the selfish motivations of people who wished to benefit from the oppression of other groups of people within their own society.

Such behavior is morally bankrupt.  A fair and moral society will always seek to treat all people as individuals.  It will not pre-judge them based on inherent traits or arbitrarily facilitate their oppression for the benefit of other members of the society.

We can do better, and we need to. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

No, There is No Middle Ground

Civilized society is built on common ground, and common ground is always going to be somewhere between the various extremes of opinions held by the particular individuals in that society.  Therefore, it is the best practice to look for the middle ground when you are seeking to build a peaceful, cooperative community or society.

The problem is, for that to work everyone needs to be willing to find that common ground.  When you are talking about issues of prejudice, especially willful, proud prejudice which is carried like a badge of honor, there IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.  That kind of person sees themselves as being wholly and completely correct, end of story.  They are not going to budge unless forced to, any more than I am going to budge about believing in equality.

Beyond that, though, when the “debate” is between “please don’t kill me” and “you don’t deserve basic human rights,” the “middle ground” is still somewhere in the realm of not having basic human rights.  That may be how the United States has functioned since before it was founded, but it is simply not acceptable.

By refusing to tolerate intolerance, I most definitely do not live in an echo chamber. Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

No, I Do Not Live in an Echo Chamber

If anything, my social circles are becoming more diverse than ever, with a beautiful variety of people of assorted ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexualities, skills, careers, economic statuses, backgrounds, and religions.  They all have their own needs and desires, loves, passions, dislikes, perspectives, and yes, opinions on a huge variety of subjects, including politics.

By refusing to allow space for those who spew hate, I have fostered spaces which are pleasant and welcoming for not only myself, but for all people who want to go about their lives with dignity and respect for everyone.

The Paradox of Refusing to Tolerate Intolerance

If you want peace and equality, you must be willing to fight for it.  Those who want to undermine or remove equality will ALWAYS be willing to fight, and they carry that fight with them like a poisonous stench at all times.  If you allow them into your spaces in the name of “tolerance”, their intolerance will drive away or remove everyone they hate.  Eventually, you will find yourself surrounded by the intolerant, peace and equality nothing but a dream.

In the end, your tolerance of their intolerance is the only action that will matter.  No amount of platitudes will change the fact that the intolerant dominate the spaces they occupy, to the detriment of those they hate.

Now THAT is an echo chamber.

Do not tolerate intolerance, but also be compassionate about mistakes, while resolving that mistakes will not be repeated. Image by succo from Pixabay

No One is Perfect, and We All Make Mistakes

I have made, and will make mistakes.  So do you.  So does everyone else.

We have all been raised in societies with baseline behaviors which are prejudiced.  It is part of our formative learning, and the background of our lives.  This can make it incredibly difficult to notice when we, ourselves, behave in prejudiced ways or say prejudiced things, especially microaggressions and other subtle forms of prejudice.

That difficulty necessitates recognizing and taking ownership of our implicit biases and prejudices, including the ones we do not yet know about.  It necessitates making the decision to listen to those who are harmed by our words and actions, and to recognize problems when they are brought to our attention.  It requires constant dedication to changing how we do things so that over time we can become less prejudiced in word and action.

We WILL all make mistakes.  It is very important to be forgiving of ourselves and each other when we make mistakes, and seek to educate or be educated so we don’t make the same mistakes again.  When necessary and possible, make amends for your mistakes.

The thing about a mistake, though, is that a person who makes a mistake will own up to the mistake AND change the behavior in the future.  If the person refuses to do either (or both), then for them it is NOT a mistake.  It is a deliberate action, and it should be given no quarter until the person decides it was a mistake after all, and takes tangible action to make amends.

Diplomacy requires that all parties involved want to arrive at an acceptable solution for everyone. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Time for Diplomacy

Diplomacy is a two-way street.  It requires that all parties involved are invested in mutual understanding and arriving at a solution which is acceptable to everyone involved.  The problem here is that willfully prejudiced people have NO interest in recognizing the problem, or in finding a solution which is acceptable to everyone.  For them, the only acceptable outcome is oppression and prejudice.  If you try to be diplomatic with someone who will not yield ground, it is an exercise in futility, frustration, and failure.

Save your real efforts at diplomacy for those who want to understand, do better, and be more respectful of their fellow human beings.  It will do more good, and you are far less likely to walk away angry and drained.

Odds are that genuine opportunities for diplomacy and understanding are not going to happen when you call out behavior online, or at the dinner table during a family gathering.  It might happen, but it is not likely.  Odds are, such opportunities will happen when someone who respects you reaches out and says they want to better understand why you feel the way you do about these issues.

This is when to be at your most empathetic and diplomatic.  Resist the temptation to unload any anger and frustration you might be feeling, and instead to try to be understanding of the influences which are behind problematic views.  Those problematic views are THE cultural conditioning for a staggering number of people, and those views are continually reinforced by propaganda and social and political rhetoric.  The perspective from inside those systems is that prejudiced behaviors are perfectly reasonable and justified.  This can make it incredibly difficult to sort out exactly what is wrong, even if you want to.

If you have the opportunity to educate someone, muster all the compassion you can. Image by John Hain from Pixabay

It is critical to understand that not all people are starting in the same place, but we can all work to do better.  Some people are raised with principles of equality.  Some people, like me, are raised with a contradictory soup of incredibly problematic behavior and platitudes about equality.  Some people are raised fully immersed in proud prejudice, with little to no exposure to other ideas.  If when we become adults, we stay in the same familiar circles we were raised in, then those immersive perspectives will remain the same.

Reaching out and learning different points of view is how you grow as a person, but that can be frightening if you have never or rarely done it before.  If someone gets their hand bit when they reach out for help in understanding, it is not surprising that they are likely to retreat back into their comfortably familiar problematic behaviors and never look back.

The most important thing is that a person has decided to take the step to better understand issues of prejudice and how learned behaviors can be problematic and hurtful.  Each and every person who takes that step matters.  If you can meet them in the middle and be compassionate and understanding about their starting point (never be patronizing or antagonistic), this allows for you to better explain in ways that can be well received and understood.

Save your ire and frustration for those who revel in their prejudices, rather than dishing it out on the convenient target who wants to learn and grow.  Let their past behaviors become mistakes, so they can join us in working towards equality.

It is important to remain clear headed even when the situation gets combative. Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Calling Out Bad Behavior

It is still important to call out other people for bad behavior, and diplomatic phrasing can be quite helpful in these situations.  There might be a chance the person you are calling out did not realize their mistake and will take it as a learning moment.  Just as important, though, when you call out bad behavior, the willfully prejudiced and anyone else who is listening or watching are reminded that prejudiced and hurtful behavior is unacceptable.  It reminds them that what is happening is wrong, and that there can and should be consequences.

The trick here is to go into it with conscious awareness of your own boundaries, because calling someone out usually leads to battle, especially on social media.  Are you one of those people who can go toe-to-toe with a willfully prejudiced person and their friends for an extended period of time?  If you are, I lift my chalice to you.  That is no trifling thing, and many such exchange has been immortalized in meme form, shared to help demonstrate very important and educational points.

Pick your fights.  Whenever possible, do not let the fight pick you.  Most of us do not have the emotional stamina for a protracted fight, and others of us will have the stamina for it sometimes, but not every time.  Before you call out, decide how much conflict you can feasibly manage without it affecting your health and wellbeing.  When you hit that limit, walk away.  If you are not in a space to handle the callout at all, save your effort for another day.  There is no shame in recognizing your personal limits, or avoiding conflicts that will do more harm than good.

You might walk away after a single callout comment, or it might be after enough interactions to confirm that the person is willfully prejudiced and unreachable.  It might be when you start to feel overwhelmed, or when the blood rings in your ears.  It might be when they start flinging personal insults, or doubling down on the original problematic behavior.  It might be when you have stated your peace, regardless of how it is received.  It might be something else entirely.  It most likely will not be when the interaction has reached a natural conclusion, or someone “wins”.  Online conflicts have a way of continuing until someone taps out.

When you reach your boundary, call it, turn off notifications, and walk away.  You need to protect your mental and emotional wellbeing in order to have the ability to continue being there for others.  Allowing yourself to get beat down, drained, or burned out endlessly engaging in conflicts with no good outcome is a recipe for disaster.  If those listening/reading are receptive, they will choose to do something with it.  If they are not, then they will not, not matter how much energy you expend reasoning, arguing, or begging them to be decent people.

When someone willfully ignores prejudice, it can be particularly frustrating. Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Claims of Ignorance

It IS possible for people to be ignorant of specific events or the full extent of societal prejudice.  It is NOT possible to be genuinely ignorant that prejudice exists.  Issues of prejudice are certainly getting a great deal of prime exposure of late, but these issues and awareness of them are nothing new.  Most claims of ignorance stem from a refusal to acknowledge that prejudice is wrong or how that person contributes to prejudice, not actual ignorance of the fact that prejudice exists.

I was a child in the 80’s, and grew up in an era and environment where it was expected to hate on “political correctness”.  The things that were labeled “politically correct” inevitably translated to “treating other human beings with respect and dignity”.  In other words, anti- politically correct rhetoric primed my generation to consider basic dignity and respect, belief in the intrinsic value of human life, and by extension anti-prejudiced behavior, as a political issue that any “decent” and “intelligent” person would avoid.

My Boomer generation father was well aware those issues existed.  He was a youth during the height of the civil rights movement, after all.  However, he had a habit of shoving his fingers in his ears, declaring he “saw no color”, and decrying the evils of “political correctness”.  He encouraged all three of his children to do the same, to the point of ridiculing us when we did not.

No one is ignorant.  They are ignoring it.

The difference between the two is huge and profoundly important.

Ignorance can be helped.  Ignoring it cannot.  Each person has to decide to stop ignoring it before they can do better, and no one can force them to do that.  You can point out facts and figures, give stories and links, appeal to compassion, and badger or beg them to pay attention, but if they do not want to stop ignoring it, ultimately your efforts will fail.

Try to discern when you are dealing with someone who is ignorant vs. ignoring it.  Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference, but doing so will help you to better allocate your personal efforts and recognize when it is best to walk away.

The world is a happier place when we all respect our fellow human beings. Be part of that solution, not part of the problem. Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

Respect for Fellow Human Beings

It is ideal for strangers to treat each other with a basic level of respect and dignity (that is something I strongly advocate for), but that is not going to happen every time.  With a stranger you typically have the option of never seeing or interacting with them again, especially online.

When you have an established relationship with someone, respect and dignity should be part of the established foundation of that relationship.  If there is not dignity and respect between all people involved, then the relationship is very likely to be abusive, one-sided, and toxic.

“I will respect you when you prove you are worthy of respect,” is abusive.  It teaches the recipient that if they bend over far enough, navigate enough obstacles, and endure enough pain, they can, maybe, just maybe, “earn” their way into being worthy of respect.  Until then, they are deserving of all the abuse and manipulation and neglect which the abuser can dish out.

“I will respect you until you prove you are not worthy of respect,” is a much healthier approach.  It assumes that all human beings are inherently deserving of dignity and respect.  It is by our problematic or hurtful actions that we prove we do not have respect for others, and therefor do not deserve respect in return.

We should all work to uplift others, but the standards are even higher with longer or closer relationships. Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

But They are a Family Member/Childhood Friend/etc….

Blood ties and long-term relationships are not a valid justification for bad behavior.

Your family member, childhood friend, admired cohort, community leader, and so on, should have MORE respect for you and your moral standards, not less.  Theoretically, these people care about you and your wellbeing, and in caring about you, they should be receptive to criticism about problematic and hurtful behavior.

I know it causes me distress when I see someone I respected engage in problematic behavior (a certain transphobic author, for example).  The person engaging in problematic behavior caused the problem.  If they respect me, they have an obligation to listen and do their best to understand and correct the problem they caused.  If, instead of owning it, they choose to take offense, excuse or defend their problematic behavior, or play the victim, then they are proving they either have no respect for me, or their “respect” is conditional on being allowed to hurt me and disregard that fact.

That is not respect.  If that happens to you in a close personal, familial, or romantic relationship, it is definitely not love.  If respect and love are only flowing one direction, or in neither direction, the only possible outcome is hurt.

I am not talking about the inevitable disagreements or arguments that are a normal part of any relationship.  I am talking about repeated patterns of harm that do not stop.

You deserve better than that.

We all deserve better than that.

Realizing that someone you cared about fundamentally disrespects or seeks to harm you is incredibly painful and difficult. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Anyone is fully justified in not allowing blood relation or length or kind of relationship to be used as an excuse to justify toxic or hurtful behavior and language.  It might be more painful to cut ties with family than with a casual acquaintance on social media, but from personal experience I can assure you that it is a huge relief to know that it will no longer be necessary to endure repeated harmful interactions.

If you are not emotionally ready to cut all ties (I did this more than a decade later than I should have, and such delays are typical), decide where you need to place boundaries with those people, and KEEP THOSE BOUNDARIES.  This is, frankly, even more difficult than cutting ties because it becomes an ongoing and exhausting struggle.  Part of deciding where to place those boundaries is going to be in deciding how to minimize the energy you spend struggling against them, while still maintaining self-respect.

One of the potential pitfalls of this approach is that if you allow anyone to make discriminatory statements in your online spaces, and you do not do anything about it, you are allowing the creation of a hostile environment for yourself and any friends you have who are the target of the discrimination, or simply care about being anti-discriminatory.

At a minimum, I highly recommend monitoring your posts and either calling out problematic comments or deleting such comments as soon as possible.  Other options include using a mute or ignore feature on their account so you don’t see their posts, specifying your audience so they do not see what you post, or arming yourself for battle and fully engaging every time they do or say something hurtful.  What will work best depends upon your personal limits, and the specifics of who is causing problems, and in what way.

When you consistently demand respect for yourself and others, it becomes harder and harder to excuse bad behavior.  If another person willfully continues to create harm, it often becomes much easier to say enough is enough and walk away.

Respect yourself, and you will gravitate to people and spaces which respect you as well. Image by thearkoftestamentofgod from Pixabay

Communal Spaces on Social Media

Most of us do not solely exist in our own personal profiles on social media.  We interact with other people on their accounts, frequent hashtags, or participate in variously structured groups based around common interests.

If you participate in a group, it can be heartbreaking when prejudiced people infiltrate and spread their hate like feces all over the walls.  It is a praise-worthy goal to want all versions of your communities to be completely free from prejudice, but that is not realistically going to happen.  Every community has deplorable individuals in it, even paganism and witchcraft.  Some communities have more of a problem with it than others, but even when we see it infrequently it still exists.  It is vitally important to be aware and prepared.

In communal spaces, I place the blame for prejudiced behavior on the owners and moderators.  Part of their job is to take action to support a welcoming and friendly environment for all members of the community.  If they ignore prejudiced posts and comments, they are supporting those sentiments and the hostility they create.  The owners and moderators become as guilty of the prejudice as if they had made those posts and comments themselves.  Their silence is approval.

Doing nothing is a choice that always sides with the oppressor. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It is ridiculous to expect that every post and comment will be noticed by admins immediately.  However, if prejudice stands for a day or more, and especially if it has caused a heated exchange between members, those who manage the space are demonstrating support for the prejudiced viewpoint.  Remember, there is no middle ground, and you cannot tolerate intolerance without allowing it to take over like a disease.

If you manage a communal space, it is your responsibility to deal with these incidents whenever they happen.  By taking decisive actions, you can deter an infestation of prejudice, and create fertile ground for a community which is welcoming to everyone.

When you see prejudice in communal spaces and you do not have managerial authority, you must decide how deeply you want to engage, or whether you want to engage at all.  Take the time to consider what good engaging is likely to do, based on the audience in the group.  Will your efforts be supported by the moderators?  Do you want to find out exactly where the moderators stand on these issues?  Is this particular community worth fighting for, or would engaging be an exercise in futility and frustration?  If the moderators support prejudice, are you better off leaving quietly, or do you want to go down in a banned blaze of glory?

Refusing to tolerate prejudice means that it is a matter of when, not if you will need to block, ban, or unfriend. Image by melodiustenor from Pixabay

When it is Time to Unfriend, Block, or Ban in Social Media

So, you have reached that point with someone and you no longer want to allow their toxicity in your online spaces.  Now what?

Unfriending, blocking, banning, and similar actions are a real-world act of banishment and cleansing.  Depending upon the platform and setting, those three options can have different quantifiable effects, or one or more of those may not even be an option.

Choose the available option that best protects your space and meets your needs.  Blocking and banning between personal accounts usually means that neither you nor the other person will be able to see each other’s comments or posts.  Magically, this results in an emphasis on not only banishment, but cleansing, because all the interactions you had are effectively gone and irretrievable.

If you want to be able to review the interactions later, or you want the other person to be able to see your responses, go with the least severe option.  This will be something along the lines of unfriending.  This works like a straight banishment, creating a situation where the other person must go to special effort in order to have further interactions with you.  If they do seek out further conflict, turn to trolling, or otherwise escalate their behavior, blocking or banning may become necessary.  Consider taking screen caps or making transcriptions of any interactions you may want or need later, before you block or ban them.

In other words, if someone is making your online space unpleasant, send them packing.  Real world action is always your most effective magic.  With just this kind of effort, you can curate and create online spaces for yourself which are free of individuals who actively promote discrimination and prejudice.

It is important to clarify your intent before doing your spellwork. Image by Benjamin Balazs from Pixabay

Magical Intent

It is not necessary to add magical intent to your physical banishing.  Do not feel like you must do so, but it is an option for those who  want to put in the extra effort.

When adding magical intent to an online banishment or cleansing, you can be as simple or as complex as you wish.  If it makes sense to you, your practice, and what you want to get out of the working, you can do a full circle or ritual with all the bells and whistles, and incorporate doing the online banishment into the ceremony itself.  At the other end of the spectrum, you can apply your focused magical intent or prayer when you click the link or button, and be done with it.

The act of hitting that button or link is a powerful sympathetic link for any magical working relating to the person you are banishing, future encounters with such individuals, the specific kinds of discrimination at issue, or the overall social justice issues at play.

You can use that sympathetic link, and the action of the online banishment and cleansing, as the focus for any related magical working.  You can even incorporate it into an ongoing working.

Do keep in mind that general banishments or wards against future encounters can help to reduce the frequency and severity of those encounters, but it will not eliminate them entirely.  There are simply too many willfully prejudiced people and outright trolls.  It is like trying to use a banishing spell to keep ants out of your home.  It can help, but you will still need to break out with the ant bait and vinegar from time to time to keep your space clean and free of infestation.  When they enter your space, no amount of spellwork alone will make them leave.  Real world actions will always be most effective.

What follows are a few specific incantations related to online banishment and cleansing, but these are nowhere near all the possible options.  Adapt and change them as much or as little as you like, follow your heart, and do what feels right for you and your practice.

What intentions do you have besides simply making them leave? Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

What do You Intend?  What Outcome do You Want to Achieve?

The first step you must take before doing any working is to figure out what your intent is.  What do you want to accomplish with your magic?  Do you want this person and others like them to leave you alone forever?  Do you want this person to leave everyone alone and stop spouting harmful things?  Do you want this person to regret the harm they are causing and do better, even though you could not get through to them?  Do you want to foster awareness of these problems?  Do you want to curse all those who willfully engage in harmful rhetoric and behavior? Do you want to dismantle the systems which support discrimination and harm?  Do you want something else?  Do you want more than one of these things?

Be clear about your intent, and be clear about how that intent directly relates to the person you are banishing, the specific things they said or did, or the situation which prompted the banishment.  The closer those connections, the more powerful the sympathetic link will be for your working.

It is always a good idea to use wards and shields to help maintain peace and dignity in your life and spaces. Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Adding Magical Oomph (Gentle Touch Edition)

These incantations and mini-spells are designed for those who would prefer to focus solely on protection, personal growth, awareness, and banishment.  They are offered as suggestions, and may be altered or combined as you see fit.

Fully and Forever Banish and Cleanse

I banish thee!
I banish thee!
I banish thee!

Do your real world banishment

May no trace of your hate be left where my eye can see!
Be gone forever from my life and my spaces!
So mote it be!

Banish and Encourage a Future Awakening

I see your hate, but keep my eyes open.
I hear your hate, but keep my ears open.
You spew your hate while keeping your heart closed.

No more.  No more.  No more.

Do your real world banishment

Take your hate and be gone from here!
But take heed!
For you this is not over,
And never shall it be,
For the seeds of understanding and compassion
Are taking root within your heart,
That one day they may blossom,
And lead you to better ways.

Banish and Shield Others

As you cause harm,
So does my shield raise and block your way,
That you may no longer cause harm to me,
Or to anyone else!

Do your real world banishment

I banish thee from my life!
I banish thee from my spaces!
I banish thee!
Forever and so mote it be!

Banish and Ward Against Future Encounters

I see your actions and recognize your hate.
I see that it is not unique.
For there are more where you came from.

Do your real world banishment

Be gone, never to return!
Your ilk shall never freely trespass!
For none who act as you act
Are welcome here!

This kind of baneful magic is a form of warrior witchcraft, fighting for justice and equality using magical tools. Image by Mark Frost from Pixabay

Adding Magical Oomph (Warrior Witch Edition)

These incantations and mini-spells are designed for those who would prefer to engage in hexing, cursing, baneful, or other combat-oriented workings.  For my part, I usually prefer to leave the specifics of a curse up to the Fates, as They know far better than I what punishment is fitting.  If you prefer, you are welcome to replace any reference to the Fates with a specific curse of your own devising.

I am going to neither recommend nor discourage anyone from engaging in baneful magic, as magic is simply a tool, neither “good” nor “evil”.  I do strongly recommend that if you are going to engage in baneful magic, you do so thoughtfully and deliberately.  As with any combative option, it definitely has its dangers, but can also be an incredibly effective approach.  Just keep in mind that baneful magic is the magic equivalent of punching the other person in the face, so make sure that is actually what you want to do.

As with any incantations, rituals, or spells I post, you are welcome to alter or combine them to suit your practice and needs.

It is important to be deliberate about how you construct baneful magic. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Banish and Demand a Future Awakening

I have specifically worded this to emphasize that there is an out to the curse, and that out is abandoning and regretting hateful behavior, and working to do better.  They are being cursed for such behavior, so if they truly amend their ways the curse should lift.

I see your hate, but keep my eyes open.
I hear your hate, but keep my ears open.
You spew your hate while keeping your heart closed.

No more.  No more.  No more.

Do your real world banishment

Take your hate and be forever gone from here!
But take heed!
For you this is not over,
And never shall it be,
For all the days you carry hate in your heart.

May the Fates see your thread,
And see the hate
You have woven into your own heart.
May the Fates re-weave your thread,
To see the retribution
Your actions deserve
Either until your dying day,
Or when your heart opens wide,
Lets go the hate it held so dear,
And fills instead with compassion and love
And regret for the deeds that you have done!

Binding others from doing harm is a way to protect yourself and others from malicious intent and bad deeds. Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay

Banish and Bind From Doing Harm

This incantation may appear to lack an out clause, but it is structured such that it only comes into play if the individual is actively doing harm.  Should they amend their ways, they will no longer be doing anything that would trigger the binding.

As you cause harm,
So does my shield raise and block your way,
That you may no longer cause harm to me,
Or to anyone else!

I bind thee!
I bind thee from doing harm!

Should you try,
May your fingers fail to type!
May your internet connection fail!
May your computer glitch and crash!
May your phone fall from your hand and break!
May your hard drive die an ignoble death!

May your words find no purchase!
May your posts be deleted!
May your accounts be suspended!
May your accounts be closed!
May you be banned and blocked at every turn!

May the Fates see fit to turn their eyes upon you
And re-weave for you in this life
Just retribution for the harm and pain you cause!

I bind thee from doing harm,
Until the end of your days!

Do your real world banishment

I banish thee from my life!
I banish thee from my spaces!
I banish thee from all spaces!
That you may do no further harm!
Forever and so mote it be!

This is the most aggressive of these three incantations, since it works towards permanent destruction. Image by freestocks-photos from Pixabay

Banish and Erode Unjust Institutions

In this case you are using the individual banishing as a sympathetic link to magically reach societal systems of prejudice and hate.  This incantation does not include an out clause, because the focus is the utter destruction of the systems which support and perpetuate prejudice.  If those systems and institutions were to stop being prejudiced, they would no longer be the same systems, which would accomplish the goal of the spell.

I recommend using a red or black, or anointed candle as a focus for this incantation, in addition to the real world banishment.

Focus on the candle as the vessel for the poisonous hate.

This night I gather the poisonous hate <name>
brought with him/her/them into my space,
Deposited at my feet,
With intent to harm and intimidate.

This night I take this poison from <name>
And turn it back on him/her/them and his/her/their allies,
And all the institutions which breed this poison of mal-intent.
<feel free to name specifically related institutions and social systems, or leave the curse generalized>

Light the candle.

As this candle represents this hateful poison,
So this flame represents the full force of justice,
For the pain this poison has, does, and will inflict
On all those who have been unjustly attacked.

As this flame burns this wax,
So too does it reduce and transform this poison,
Transmuting it from a force for harm,
To become a force for just change.

May the pain of those who have been harmed
Find their strength in unity
And bear this flame back to those who made this poison
And those who spread it!

May that flame find fuel in the poison
Within the hearts which birthed it.
May that flame burn for justice,
Transforming the fuel of hate
And consuming them wholly,
As they had intended it to consume,
Those who simply exist as what they hate.

For they are the ones who create the poison,
And bathe in it daily,
With glee and disregard,
Until it consumes them wholly,
And all the hate for which they stand.

Do the real world banishment

As I remove this poison and this stain from my life,
I know that justice will be served,
For what we reap is what we sow,
And a diet of hate breeds only hate and self-destruction.

So mote it be.

Allow the candle to burn out completely.

Your life will be more manageable if you maintain personal boundaries. Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

When a Problematic Person Unfriends, Blocks, or Bans You on Social Media

Personally, I think it is lovely when the trash takes itself out, but this kind of situation is a little harder to use as a sympathetic link.  It doesn’t have the dramatic impact of being able to click a link or button, and see an immediate tangible effect.

This situation can still be applied to any of the intents above, but the focus is more on your awareness of the deeds, and not on the clicking of the link.  Workings which are done off-the-cuff with pure intent are probably best accomplished at the time, or shortly after you realize the unfriending, blocking, or banning has occurred.  Ritualized workings can proceed just as they would if you were basing it on an in-person interaction in your recent past.

It might be prudent to use their action of banishing to create a banishment of your own, much like a mirror spell.  Their actions clearly stated that they do not wish to have interactions with you, or on the topics of conflict.  Thus, their banishing energy can be amplified and turned towards banishing them, and optionally binding them from further harmful interactions.  After all, it clearly caused them distress to be confronted about their behavior, so maybe for their sanity they just should not be awful where anyone can see it.

Everyone makes their own choices, you choose what chances you want to take or give, and you can create real change in your environment. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In Conclusion

Please understand that if my words upset you enough that you are willing to die on the opposing hill fighting for the ability to discriminate and harm, I am fine with that.  You can die angry, but you will have to do it over there.  There is no room for you here, or in any of my spaces, and I will continue to advocate for other people to do the same.

This is a natural consequence of understanding the intrinsic value of all human life.

  • Not all “opinions” are valid.
  • My existence and human rights, and those of other people are not “political” points up for valid debate.
  • There is no middle ground between discrimination and equality – that is still discrimination.
  • Excluding hate and prejudice does not mean people live in an “echo chamber”.
  • Fighting intolerance is a necessity, not a hypocrisy.
  • Genuine mistakes are forgivable and should be forgiven.
  • Diplomacy is for when all parties want better understanding.
  • Calling people out is exhausting, so understand and maintain your personal boundaries.
  • Family and authority figures should be held to higher standards, not lower ones.
  • Not all groups and communities are redeemable, but some are.
  • You are always justified in removing toxic, hateful, and problematic people from your social circles and spaces.

I will not judge anyone based on their inherent and inherited traits.  I judge people based on the actions and words they choose for themselves.  I find no value in people who willfully and deliberately engage in racist, bigoted, transphobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, ableist or other discriminatory behavior.  Because of their choice to be prejudiced, they will find no safe haven with me, just as I would deny safe haven to any rapist or pedophile.  Those who deliberately, repeatedly, and unapologetically harm others are not worthy of my respect.

In choosing to arbitrarily devalue and harm the lives of others simply for existing, they become morally bankrupt, and that bankruptcy marks the value of their own lives.

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