Monday, February 4, 2013

Bindings

Knots and bindings... (1)
For those who practice witchcraft or ask the gods to perform acts for them, the idea of bindings is one that comes up frequently. Perhaps the only other spell mentioned more frequently would be love spells. But what of bindings? What is their purpose? Why would one use them?

There is a moral question that comes up when one discusses bindings.  You are, in the very nature of the binding itself, restricting the free will of another person. This is something that is heavily frowned on by many people. Like with all moral dilemnas, though, there is no single, easy answer. Nothing is clear cut.

Most often, on the moral high ground of the issue, the binding is used to stop abuse, pain, or hurt of some kind. It aims to stop or restrict an action or series of actions that impinge on the freedom of another person. An example would be binding someone to be unable to perform sexual acts with children. Such a binding would be considered acceptable by the vast majority of people in the world. The non-magical side of it would be chemical or physical castration, which we must remember cannot be forced on someone (though it can be coerced through restriction of other freedoms).

Restriction... (2)
Bindings are not something to do lightly. They are not easy, not comfortable, and they extract a price from the person doing it. The price might be light or heavy, but it will be there. Think of the Rule of Threes, that says what you put out tends to return to you multiplied. Bindings done out of compassion are no less held to the Rule of Threes.

Why would someone do a binding? As mentioned above, it is done to restrict someone from doing something. It might be a restriction on harming someone. It might be a restriction on someone going into a certain place. It might be a restriction on harming themselves. The reasons are as countless as the human imagination.

A binding should only be performed when all other avenues of solving the issue have been tried and exhausted. When nothing else has worked, when all other hope has passed, then a binding can be made. It can be simple or complex, wordy or silent.

When I perform a binding (and I have done so only three times in my adult life), I take something of the other person and use it as a focus. It could be a hair (hence why witches are sometimes famous for stealing hair), a photograph, a personal belonging... It doesn't really matter what the focus is, and it is not necessarily destroyed during the binding ritual.

Doing what is necessary... (3)
I like to use a candle, which I bless and anoint, then light. I will then take the focus item and hold it, centering all my attention on it. If it is a larger item I may physically bind it using thread or cord. A smaller item such as a hair can be burned in the candle flame or placed into a small container.

During meditation, the focus item's link to its owner is heightened and highlighted. This is a type of sympathetic magic, to use the technical terminology. I usually use a meditation technique that helps me create a visualization of the focus item being surrounded by mirrors pointing inward. In essence, I create a spiritual or psychic "egg" or sphere around the person.

The idea is that the Rule of Threes is enhanced, because whatever the person does is reflected back upon them and ricochets around the inside of their sphere. This can be good and it can be bad, but it is out of the hands of the person doing the binding. It puts the responsibility back in the lap of the bound individual. If they emotionally hurt someone, they find they are emotionally hurt. Like returns like, in one form or another.

The reason I prefer bindings done this way is that they basically dissolve on their own after their job is done. The person within the binding can, through both positive and negative reinforcement, learn to control themselves. When they do, the mirrored egg is no longer necessary and they basically "crack out" of it. It is not coercive, beyond teaching someone self control. It is not painful unless the person is causing pain to others. It provides continuous and constant feedback regarding every action they take. This allows them to educate themselves in fixing the problem.

There are many other ways to achieve a binding, if it is necessary. Have you ever been forced to bind someone?

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1) Image by solrac_gi_2nd / morgueFile
2) Image by imelenchon / morgueFile

3) Image by daisukerman / morgueFile
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