In February, Lana Del Rey decided to put a hex on the president.
This was a month before she debuted the trailer for her album Lust for Life — a two-and-a-half-minute short film about how she recedes into her home (in the middle of the H in the Hollywood sign) to practice witchcraft and figure out what her “contribution to the world should be in these dark times.” Fans on Tumblr had long considered Lana a witch, mostly just based on her general aesthetic and some garden-variety pop-culture conspiracy theories. But she spent the early part of the year embracing the idea, and being welcomed with open arms.
In July, Pitchfork dubbed her “the pagan pop star,” and when NME asked her if she really followed through with her plan to hex Trump, she said, “Yeah, I did it. Why not? Look, I do a lot of shit.” She explained her interest in witchcraft in vague, poetic terms: “Your thoughts are very powerful things, and they become words, and words become actions, and actions lead to physical changes. I really do believe that words are one of the last forms of magic, and I’m a bit of a mystic at heart.” The event blew up on Tumblr, where witchcraft enthusiasts GIF’d her alongside other famous witches, proclaimed her “the new Supreme,” and churned out a stream of original artwork. One fan posted instructions for combining quartz, rose water, and agate stones to rejuvenate the skin and appear as magical as Lana herself.
2017 was a huge year for internet witches, even outside this brush with the entertainment news cycle. The witchcraft community, or “witchblr,” was ranked the 11th…