Over the last few years, I have been progressing along a self studied path of spiritual and magickal exploration. In this time, I have been focusing my energies on understanding the reach of my influence as well as the potential pros and cons of setting things in motion via ritual and intention. I have spoken a number of times here about the scope of influence that we all have the most power over. Despite our desire at times to bend others to our will, our most influential power is really only exerted over ourselves.
The vast majority of my ritual practice and magickal work has been focused on just this; creating within myself the kind of person that I want to be and establishing the proper and most beneficial responses to the environment around me. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is not always the solution or the most effective way to solve a problem. Sometimes it seems as though focusing so much on creating a stronger protective barrier around myself only leads to more attacks. It is as though my efforts to build a better me through passive internal methods are only inviting more vigorous and poisonous attacks on who I am and who I seek to be. Maybe there is a time and place for properly executed defense measures aimed at inhibiting the attacks from happening in the first place instead of just trying to block them.
This type of act is often referred to as a binding spell. Seen by some as magickal self defense and by others as an action that inhibits the free will of others, these spells should be utilized with caution and intentions that are pure. Binding spells are some of the oldest known rituals and have been recorded throughout the centuries in ancient Egypt, Greece, Cetic Europe and more. This type of spell has been used for more than just defense against those who seek to do harm. Variations of the spells can be used to bind two or more things together in love, harmony and peace. The progressive, growth oriented, use of binding spells can be to bring a team together at work for a common goal, to unite lovers in a bond that goes deeper than any physical or mental connection can provide, or to draw in and bind to something that you hold dear or are longing for.
Used in a collaborative and heart centered manner, these bonds can be unbreakable through lifetimes. Used in a deceitful and ego centered manner, they can be damaging to both parties as the free will of the second party is often infringed upon and the attraction may not be in their highest good. The fabled “Love Potion No. 9″ is a great example of this as the purchaser of the potion is typically seen as acting out of desperation and ego driven desire to win or find love. Acting from this place of self centered thought, the consequences are very different than expected and the user finds themselves bound to nearly everyone except his original intended target. It is important to recognize that when we infringe on the free will of another and the intention is rejected by that person, the Universe will often still work to fulfill our request. The problem is that the fulfillment will typically be wrought with unintended and potentially undesirable outcomes.
When it comes to the idea of using binding spells for self defense, the ego and heart play an even more important role. In this case our possible infringement on free will must be considered very carefully. Let’s consider a scenario. Bill has been working at his company for a number of years now. John has just started a few months ago and has been enjoying his job so far. However, throughout the last few weeks, John has noticed that Bill is increasingly critical of his work. Bill has repeatedly reported John to management and now John is feeling as though Bill has something against him and is trying to get John fired. John decides that he is going to perform a binding spell on Bill that night to prevent any further attacks.
On the surface, it is very hard to say whose best interest is at stake here with John’s spell. Is John acting out of revenge for getting called out on being a bad employee? Is Bill jealous of how hard John is working and is creating drama gossip to try and take him down? It is very hard to say from just the basic outline we have so far. Here in lies the challenge that must be faced with all magick and especially with binding. The magician must be willing to look objectively at the situation and gauge what is actually happening. Let’s look at the situation from perspective of John being in the right first.
What we didn’t know about Bill at first was that he is a marginal employee. Always doing the bare minimum to get by and never one to go above and beyond. With a tendency towards gossip, Bill seems to always find himself embroiled in the latest drama and is often seen as a “snitch” to the bosses. John, though a new employee, has shown to be dependable and competent. John is aware of Bill’s gossip about him but he has tried to simply shrug it off as lies. Despite Bill’s attempts to report him to management for various perceived issues, the bosses have corrected Bill and asked him to mind his own job and keep his nose out of where is doesn’t belong. After the latest incident where John finds out about more gossip that Bill is spreading, he decides to take action and magickally bind him to prevent any further attacks.
In this case, there is a very high probability that John’s spell will be effective and Bill will back off. John has tried to simply shield himself from the negativity, but the attacks just kept coming. In an effort to give him a chance to breathe and refocus himself, John has sought to energetically wrap up Bill so that he cannot lash out anymore. John’s actions were heart centered and seeking to ward off a constant barrage of negativity. In this light, the Universe often works the hardest with us to achieve the desired outcome. But let’s look at it from the perspective of Bill being in the right.
In this perspective, let’s say that Bill is actually the good employee. Hard working and observant, he has been promoted to supervisory status by management. John, however, has just not been able to get his act together since he started. Bill has counselled him regularly and has reported back to the bosses when discipline is needed. John has not seen it like this though and is convinced that everyone is just out to get him. Despite being counselled for his behavior, John is certain that he is in the right and that he just needs to get Bill off his back. John goes home that night and performs a binding ritual on Bill.
While there will certainly be an effect on the situation from this spell, I highly doubt that it will be what John intended. Digging into the ego and deriving his power from there, will likely find John in a situation that he was not prepared for or intending. Bill may end up bound, but at a time when John needs his help. More likely, John may find himself bound in his own negativity with no one believing him when he tries to defend himself.
The idea and practice of binding is not to be taken lightly. One must consider all the reasons behind the intent as well as the possible outcomes that may result from it. It is true that each individual has the right to their own free will. Those that are attacking do have the right to make that choice. We also have a right to our own self protection. If your free will attack inhibits my growth and light, I will take steps to abate that. I shall seek to do you no harm, but I will not allow you to continue to harm me.
To help you all with your own protection, I will share a visual that I use when I find myself being attacked energetically, emotionally or verbally. Envision the attacker with all of their energetic cords swinging about and trying to connect to you. If there are any cords connected already, tear them from you and toss them back to the attacker. See in your mind the cords beginning to wrap around the person who is offending you. Visualize these cords wrapping tighter and tighter around them until they are unable to move. Free to breathe and free of pain, but unable to move, speak or attack. Remember, this is not retaliation, this is protection. Tell this person in your mind that you are binding them in their own energy. The binding is to stop and prevent all attacks against you. Tell them that when they agree to stop the attacks, you will release them completely. At this point, you must own your power and go about your business with no fear or trepidation of their further actions. As they stop the negativity, it is important that you hold your end of the bargain and release the cords as well.
Your power and strength lies in being able to control the situation, not the actual people.