In the course of your magical studies, you may at some point hear someone use the word "binding" in reference to a spell or working. Typically, a magical binding is simply a spell or working that restrains someone metaphysically, preventing them from doing something. It is often used to keep the individual from causing harm to themselves or to others. Some popular methods of binding include, but are not limited to:
- Use of a poppet in the person's likeness, wrapped with string or cord
- A spell tablet, restricting the individual from performing harmful actions
- A candle inscribed with the person's name on it
- A specific rune charged with restraining the person
Binding should not be confused with banishing, which is to send a person or thing away using magical methods.
It's also important to note that binding can be a positive act, depending on the intent involved. For instance, in a handfasting ceremony, two people are bound together magically through the use of a symbolic cord.
Some magical traditions have injunctions against manipulative magic, and binding would certainly fall into that category. However, many other belief systems have no such restriction. If you're unsure whether you should perform a binding spell, follow the guidelines of your tradition.
Examples: Willow was concerned that her friend might harm himself during his bout of depression, so she performed a binding ritual on his behalf.