A binding is perhaps one of the oldest forms of magic, dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks, and possibly even the ancient Egyptians.
Binding spells in antiquity were used for the following three general areas;
1.) The binding of a person to make them love the spell caster, or the person who is employing the spell caster. See Thrall.
2.) The binding of a person as a means of cursing them.
3.) The binding of a god or spirit as a means of temporarily restraining their influence or to prevent a beneficial god or spirit from leaving or withdrawing it's power or influence.
These binding spells were performed with either images or effigies of the person, god, or spirit, similar to modern notions of a voodoo doll, or else took the form of spoken and written incantations, spells, or curses, written on tablets or votive offerings. Bindings done in order to curse an enemy were usually inscribed upon sheets of lead which were either deposited in wells or buried deep underground to be closer to the cthonic deities of the underworld who would be invoked to help grant the request of the spell caster.
In the types of spells involving effigies or poppets, such were usually bound with string, sinew, or leather.
All three examples above could be described as black magic, but it should be noted that such practices were considered normal for their time period.
In more modern times, a binding has come to take on a different interpretation as put forth by practitioners of the Wiccan faith.
Bindings have increased in popularity, mostly due to the 1996 movie, The Craft, in which the character of Sarah performs a binding spell on the character of Nancy. Unlike binding spells of the past, this modern version is done not as a curse but to rather restrain Nancy from doing harm to other people, as well as herself. However, it should be noted that some in the Wiccan community frown upon using such binding spells as they do interfere with the person's free will. Instead, such Wiccans would usually advise the use of a reversal spell, a spell designed to send evil and negativity back to the person who sent it.
Binding spells of all sorts continue to be used today. They range from the traditional method of making a specific person love the spell caster to the binding of bad habits such as spell casters who wish to quit smoking or lose weight. There are even practitioners who still use binding as a form of cursing an enemy, though the Wiccan crowd vehemently opposes such use.
For more information on bindings and examples of bindings, click the links below. Perform any spells at your own risk.
Ancient Greek Love Magic – Spells for Attraction
Construction and Use of Ancient Greek Poppets
Knotweed (Ladies Thumb) (Also can be used to bind bad habits, like smoking and for weight loss.)