The cultural divide in the 2016 presidential election was laid bare on Friday when a group of supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) held a "Wiccan prayer circle" in Portland, Oregon, on his campaign's behalf.
According to media reports, the leader of the small group, Leigha Lafleur, called it a "Feeling the Bern ritual." The witchcraft she then attempted to perform was meant to provide an "amplification of positive energy of Bernie Sanders and the progressive movement."
According to the Los Angeles Times newspaper:
Lafleur, a patent agent, has already hosted "Beanies for Bernie" knitting parties and helped out at the senator's rallies. But she had never performed a Wiccan ritual for Sanders before, and if it was going to happen somewhere, it would be here in Portland, a place she described as a much more welcoming community than where she grew up in Michigan.
She advertised the event on a Sanders volunteer website, calling on Wiccans, pagans, goddess worshippers, atheists or anyone who is spiritually open-minded to "engage with a community of like minded individuals." Participants were asked to bring a canned good for the Oregon Food Bank.
In all, according to a video of the event, six people—one a mother who carried her toddler in her arms—participated in the event. At the end, the Sanders supporters chanted "Be the Bern" over and over.
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