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Many people at one point hear about a "binding" as a term in magick or ritual work. Usually, a magick binding is simply a spell or ritual that binds someone energetically, making them do, or do not do anything. A binding is often used to prevent someone from injuring himself or the other.

Some known, but not all, bindings are:
  •  A doll to someone’s appearance, wrapped or not in rope or tread.
  •  A spell table to prevent anyone from doing harm.
  •  A candle with someone’s name carved into it.
  •  A specific loaded rune to stop somebody doing something.

A binding should not be confused with a banishing. The first ties something or someone, the second sends something or someone away.

Bindings in Folk Magick

Magick regarding bindings, banishings, curses, and hexen often scare people. Many people believe that their effects will come back in a negative way, either at a later stage or at the time the other is hit by the magick. Others find that if someone has hurt you or your loved ones in a very bad way, such as a theft, assault, attack, physical or mental damage, you have all the right to return a magick spell. "You reap what you sow" that idea.

However, not all bindings are heavily loaded material. For example, think of a handfasting connecting, where the pair are bound with eachothers hands by means of a magick rope.

Bindings in the ancient world

Believe it or not, despite all modern movies and series, bindings are not very new. In ancient Greek times, bonds were called "catadesmos." When someone caused the other damage, it was considered acceptable to make a spell tablet, or a curse tablet as part of a binding spell.

A famous example of a binding, which went completely wrong, is the story of Deianeira, who gave Hercules a cloak, baptized in poisoned centaur blood, with the idea that her husband would remain faithful to her forever. Known bindings in ancient times are the bindings, or curses, which were written on a piece of leather or paper. Then it was rolled up into a bundle. Often the packages were pierced. Sometimes erotic tinted figurines were used, which were pierced or wind up with wire or rope.

The Greeks often called guides and spirits as part of the magick binding. A well-known example of this are the magickal paraphernalia of Apuleius's witch. These magick paraphernalia contain tablets that are inscribed with strange characters, but also with the names of the victims.

Archaeologists have found hundreds of these tablets. The Greeks called them "curses that bind". In Latin, they mean "curses that fix or fix someone." To make such a spell, one wrote the victim's name and a spell on a lead tablet. Often a nail is used here. The tablet was buried in a well or fountain, which were seen as the world of spirits and deities. Certain spirits and deities were asked to strengthen the spell.

To Bind or Not to Bind?

Some magick traditions have an aversion to manipulative magick, and bindings will certainly fall into that category. However, many magick traditions do not know such limitations. The use of binding magick is not new, and some very strong spells are part of our magickal history. In 1941 a group of witches made a commitment to stop Adolf Hitler. They wanted to prevent the German army from invading Britain.

To bind or not to bind? Follow the way of your tradition, or the way of your intuition. Magick has no color, it's what it is and it's up to the witch or Folk Magician to make the right choices and to take the right steps to reach the end result you want. Sometimes with as few pain as possible. The Law of Ethics would be a better description.

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