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Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Bind That Ties
Article ID: 11879
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,607
Times Read: 3,241
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Author: Chirotus Infinitum [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 2nd. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,241
Many assume that bindings are preferable to other magical actions against potentially dangerous individuals because they do not cause harm to the target. I believe that this assumption is not accurate, and that binding spells have the potential to harm not only the target but also the person casting the binding. In most cases, such harm can come unintentionally and unexpectedly, which can prove even more dangerous and difficult to work with than an explicit assault.
I should begin by stating my theory on how binding spells work. It is my belief that bindings work by creating a bond between two people – the binder and the target. The target’s actions are controlled by this link to the binder, who now becomes partially responsible for his actions. Unfortunately, like any magical connection, the link can flow both ways.
If the binder is “stronger” than the target, then the effect most likely won’t be immediate, but over time a kind of “magical backwash” may result. If, however, the target is stronger than the binder, the whole effort can backfire, and the person intending to limit the actions of another may find his own actions limited.
Of course, as with any magical theory it is difficult to provide evidence to support this theory. The actual mechanics behind magic are unknown, and very little headway is being made into discovering them. Like many in my position who seek to avoid New Age pseudoscience and complex theoretical physics, I will share the personal experience that led to the development of this theory.
It all started with a particularly charismatic friend of mine, whom I shall refer to as “Pete.” Pete had managed to enthrall a small group of naive (and ultimately unintelligent) people, and developed what most people would probably refer to as a cult. The specifics of how he entrapped these people are unimportant, as are his motivations in doing so.
What is important is that Pete began exerting a great deal of influence over these people, making even small personal decisions for them. Once I found out that he was sexually exploiting some of the female members of the group, I started considering my options for intervening.
One of the girls in question, whom I shall refer to as Adrianna, approached me at about this time. She was breaking off contact with Pete and his “followers, ” as Pete had interfered with and dissolved her relationship with another member of the group. I contacted some others who also had issue with Pete’s actions, and as we hoped to salvage Pete and not harm him, we agreed that a binding spell was appropriate.
Ultimately, no one else was really in a position to help me, so I performed the binding myself. I acquired a magical object of Pete’s and used it as a focal point for the spell. Shortly after, Pete’s little group fell apart, and the people involved went their separate ways.
Pete eventually decided that he no longer had the inclination toward leading cults, as micro-managing the lives of gullible people proved too taxing for him. He gave up his aspirations toward godhood and became interested in participating in his community. His charisma became more refined, and he developed social skills that enabled him to interact with people without controlling them. It seemed that the binding had been a success.
It was not until several years later that I noticed that there had been significant changes in my priorities and behaviors, which started soon after I bound Pete. Some of these were positive changes, such as my desire to attend college. Some of these changes were not so positive, however.
My work ethic declined, and I began to use attending school full-time as an excuse to avoid holding a job, whereas previously I frequently worked overtime in any available job in an effort to get ahead. I found myself more ready to manipulate others to achieve my goals, and less likely to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. In fact, my ability to empathize with others, and to identify and express my own emotions, appeared to diminish. My ability to socialize with others, especially with regard to establishing romantic relationships, also suffered.
Physical changes began to manifest as well. I gained weight at an accelerated rate, despite a lack of lifestyle changes. I began to experience joint problems that had not been previously evident, and my mobility began to suffer, a problem that doctors could not readily explain. My digestion suffered as well, leading to several uncomfortable – not to mention embarrassing – health problems, which again had no apparent causes and followed no discernible changes in diet or activity.
Pete showed changes in behavior as well (beyond those intended by the binding). Where he had previously pursued higher education, he became complacent with what he had achieved, and did not aspire to higher educational goals. Instead, he focused on his occupation, settling in a decent and stable position. His habit of manipulating others decreased significantly, and his ability to empathize with others showed substantial improvement. He demonstrated an increased ability to express his emotions, and managed to establish a stable long-term relationship.
In short, our behaviors seemed to influence each other. Pete began to exhibit traits that I had previously shown, and vice versa. In addition, our life experiences seemed to be complimentary in many respects. For example, I was unable to establish a relationship, whereas Pete was – women I spoke with often described me as sending of a “vibe” that I was “taken.” I felt little inspiration to hold a job, but was motivated to attend college – Pete no longer pursued his education, yet worked steadily.
My empathic abilities declined, while Pete’s increased. Sure, it may have all been coincidental, but it appeared that we were living our lives as if they were connected, with the areas one of us showed strength in being neglected by the other, as if it had already been taken care of.
Conditions in both of our lives, however, tended toward limitation and blockage. Pete’s relationship was limiting in many respects, and in a way my lack of a relationship prevented me from moving past certain things in my own life. Pete settled in to a stable job that offered little chance of advancement, and I settled in to an academic lifestyle that resulted in severe financial restrictions. Many of my physical problems were also expressions of blockage or limitation of mobility.
At this point, I did a divination in an effort to determine the underlying influences of some of the problems in my life. All indications pointed to a force that was holding me back, and the binding that I had placed upon Pete – which I had not thought about for several years – immediately came to mind. Not sure why the binding would be related, I consulted a mentor of mine and reconsidered the nature of magical bindings.
As stated above, I came to the conclusion that rather than simply restricting the target, magical bindings create a link between the person performing the binding and the person being bound. In essence, by binding Pete, I had bound him to me. The negative traits that I hoped to curb in Pete seem to have been tempered not by some mystical or divine influence, but by the influence of complementary traits that I possessed.
Over time, the link began to work both ways, and some of Pete’s more negative traits began to express themselves through my behavior. In essence, it appeared that my energy was being expended to limit Pete’s actions, and Pete’s energy was being grounded through me. Both of us found ourselves feeling inexplicable effects of limitation, even beyond the intended effects of the initial binding.
It seemed that this binding had unintentionally proven less harmless than initially hoped, to me as well as Pete.
I decided that in order to move on with my life – and to allow Pete to move on with his – I needed to formally sever the binding. I managed to locate a copy of the original spell I had preformed, and constructed a ritual to counter-act it. Humbling myself before that very spirits that I had initially justified the binding to, I performed the ritual and waited.
Within a week Pete broke up with his girlfriend, and in doing so he removed a significant limitation to his decisions and actions. He has since established a relationship with a much more compatible – and less co-dependent – woman. He re-evaluated his goals in life and returned to college.
My health problems cleared up in a few weeks, with little medical interventions. Employment became a higher concern to me, and I made major progress in life by moving out of my parents’ house, where I had been living for some time. I found myself better able to relate to people, and finally succeeded in developing a serious romantic relationship. My empathic abilities returned, and I was able to express my emotions more easily.
In the end, things seem to have worked out. The binding seems to have held back some of Pete’s impulses long enough that he could grow beyond them, so that once the bind was removed he was less inclined to revert to his former mayhem. Hindsight, however, requires me to ask whether the apparent cost was worth it. True, Pete seems to have grown much more conscientious and responsible, but who is to say that he would not have done so anyway, and possible as a more rapid pace without my intervention?
Perhaps a direct confrontation would have had more immediate results that the action I did take. Looking at the stagnation that occurred in Pete’s life, it could easily be argued that I put him through a period of hardship that was just as bad as most curses I could have flung his way, not to mention the effects that I experienced as well.
I’m not going to advocate cursing or hexing, nor am I going to totally condemn binding spells. My point here is that bindings are not nearly as harmful as many are led to believe, and they are not always the most appropriate action to take when dealing with a potentially dangerous magical opponent.
Bindings can be just as harmful as full curses can, and can cause that harm in unintentional and unforeseen ways, to all parties involved. The full consequences of any magical action must be investigated and foreseen as thoroughly as possible, and care must be given to investigate repercussions that may not come to mind right away.
Magic should be used with great care, and the practitioner should be sure not only of what the possible results could be, but that he can live with worst case scenarios that he may bring about.
Copyright: Copyright 2007 Chirotus Infinitum. No reproduction without permission from the author.
Location: Shawnee Mission, Kansas
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