A binding spell is a spell that symbolically ties the target up restricting his, her or its actions or keeping him or her (or it) tied to another individual, object, place or situation.
Types of Binding Spells
A positive binding spell joins two things together. For example, if you were particularly fond of a ring, you might bind it to you so that it wouldn’t get lost or would always return to you. You could bind a pet to you, to be a familiar or just a lifelong companion. Or you could bind a spirit to an object (like a genie in a lamp). You could bind yourself to a place so that you will always return there or you could bind yourself to your job so that you do not lose it. Two people can be bound together as well. One form of this is known as handfasting.
A negative binding spell is one that takes something away, usually someone’s ability to do something. Someone may cast a binding spell on someone who is hurting or harassing them to make them stop. You may cast a binding spell on yourself to help you break a bad habit, to stop calling that guy who is just using you, to stop going to the bar, to stop biting your nails.
It is important to note that not all bound situations are the result of spellwork. A person can bind themselves with their own fears, loves, obsessions. Individuals who spend a great deal of time together can become bound without any outside manipulation. You can be bound by guilt, by obligation, by fear, by love, by a promise. There are many ways binding can happen, naturally, accidentally or on purpose; the result is the same.
The Ethics of Binding Spells
Binding spells have ethical implications. They always involve restricting or controlling someone’s actions but in some cases, everyone involved has consented and in other cases, an individual may be deemed dangerous enough that restricting his or her actions is a necessary evil. Some traditions forbid binding spells altogether while others embrace them wholeheartedly, but most make the assessment on a case by case basis.
Binding spells usually involve symbolic action of binding, wrapping, tying or otherwise containing a representative object. In handfasting rituals, the hands of the two individuals to be bound are usually literally tied together with a cord or ribbon. The freezer spell involves placing a taglock or representative image of the target in the freezer to “freeze” their actions. Other spells involve nailing or pinning a representative image or taglock to a surface, sealing it inside a container or wrapping it around with cords. Spirits are usually bound to a container that is symbolically sealed with wax or wrapped around with a cord.
Some binding spells, those which bind two individuals together, involve the exchange of body fluids. A kiss, braiding together locks of hair, smearing blood on an object you wish to bind to you, etc.
Many witches create protective binding spells with an “off” switch to end the spell when the danger has passed, but some spells are meant to be permanent and these can be trickier. Unbinding often involves a physical reversal of the action of the binding spell, untying or cutting the cords, removing the symbolic object from the container it was placed in, etc. If the spell involved an exchange of body fluids, it may be more difficult to undo the binding. If an object was involved (rings, locks of hair braided together, etc.) this object can be destroyed to undo the binding. These should be followed up with a generalized cleansing.
If the spell object is not available or if the binding has come about from some method other than via a spell, a more involved cleansing or banishing spell may be necessary. An astral exercise involving the cutting of the energetic bonds can be effective for those who have the skill and ritual baths are also useful here. A combination of methods may be required over a period of time to achieve full relief from a bound condition.
Binding Spells at Everything Under the Moon
Unbinding Spells & Rituals: Breaking Invisible Ties at Art of the Root
How and When to Use a Binding Spell at Wicca and Witchcraft at Exemplore
Cutting the Ties that Bind (Binding Removal Magick) at Shadows Magick Place
Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World by John G. Gager (Amazon)
Protection and Reversal Magick (Beyond 101) by Jason Miller (Amazon)
Banishing, Binding, Cursing & Hexing: Beginner’s Guide by E.M. Fairchild (Amazon)