Binding spells are a special kind of love spell. Whereas regular love spells are used to make one person fall in love with another, a binding spell is usually used when two people are already together and one of them wants to make sure things stay that way.
That's the theory anyway, but what about in practice? Do binding spells really work? Before I can start to answer that, let's look at a case from the archives where this question came up.
When Charlie first came to me she wanted a binding spell. "I didn't just want my boyfriend back," she says. "I wanted him back for good. He was a womanizer. Always had been. I put up with it but that doesn't mean I liked it. In the end his wandering eye got the better of him and he went off with another girl. Got himself a younger model."
That's when Charlie asked for a love spell to get him back. At the same time she asked me for a binding spell to keep him around.
"I wanted to put an end to it, to stop him looking at other women. I wanted him to have eyes only for me."
Charlie's situation is very common, and her request for a binding spell was not at all unusual. So was I able to help her?
The Basis For All Love Spells
To answer that question, first it's important to understand two things: how love spells work, and how free will fits into the equation.
All genuine love spells work in the same underlying way. They cause the person they are being cast on to feel love for the person who is doing casting or who is having it done for them. For the sake of simplicity we'll call the person the spell is being cast on the target (a term I dislike because it makes them sound like a victim, which is far from the case). We'll call the person the spell is being cast for the desirous — they are not necessarily the person casting the spell, they may be requesting it from a professional spell caster like myself.
When the spell has been cast, the love that the target feels for the desirous is a real emotion. It's exactly the same way they would feel if they had fallen in love with the desirous 'naturally' (I put that in quotes because biologically there is no difference — the chemical processes in the brain are identical however the love comes about). Eventually the love the target experiences becomes so strong that they feel compelled to act on it. They simply have to do something about it. Which of course means approaching the desirous.
And that's the crucial point here. It is the target who takes the decision to approach the desirous. The spell doesn't force them to do it, it's their own choice. In other words they act of their own volition. Their actions are entirely of their own free will.
This is really important. You see, spells cannot affect a person's free will. Sure, we've all seen Harry Potter and the various curses that make another person carry out one's bidding. But that's fiction. Reality is somewhat different to the books and the movies. Free will is sacred, it cannot be manipulated by magical means.
Imagine what the world would look like if such a thing was possible. We'd have spell casters of dubious morals controlling innocent people and sending them out to do all sorts of mischievous things, or worse.
Spell casting is closer to hypnosis than it is to the magical world of Potter. If you've ever been hypnotized you'll know what I mean.
Hypnosis places suggestions in the mind. Stage hypnotists will choose subjects who they think are particularly susceptible to suggestion. But when they command their subject to bark like a dog or to believe they are eating a delicious apple when they bite into an onion, it's always the subject who makes the choice to play along. They're fully aware of what they're doing, and they know full well they can refuse. Their free will remains their own.
The hypnotist is not controlling them, they are placing a desire to please the hypnotist in the mind of the subject. The subject may feel compelled to act on that desire, just as a target feels compelled to act on the love created by a spell, but that final action is always their choice, nobody else's.
Where Does This Leave Binding Spells?
The whole premise of a binding spell is that it forces the target to remain with the desirous. If the desirous feels the need to use a spell, it is presumably because they have reason to believe that the target wishes to stray from them, or may wish to in the future, as was the case with Charlie. She feared that once her boyfriend was back, his wandering eye, his natural desire to look at other women, would cause him to leave her again.
For a binding spell to work then, it would have to force the target to remain with the desirous against their free will. But free will cannot be manipulated. Therefore binding spells in the sense we normally think of them, cannot work. We can't control another person, so we can't inhibit their actions.
All Is Not Lost
This might sound like bad news for Charlie, and for anyone else who ever wanted a binding spell. However, it doesn't mean spells can't be used to help to keep two people together.
Here's Charlie again. "After your spell, he came back. He was full of apologies, said he loved me, had made a stupid mistake, all the kinds of things I wanted him to say. He promised it wouldn't happen again, but I knew what he was like. It was bound to happen sooner or later."
About a year later, Charlie got in touch with me again.
"He got interested in this girl at the gym. I recognized the signs. To be fair, he had made an effort up until then and had lasted longer than I expected. But a leopard can't change it's spots, and he couldn't change the fact he got turned on by other women. He started spending more and more time at the gym, and one time when I went to pick him up I saw him chatting to her, and saw him totally check out her butt when she turned away. I'd seen that look before. I figured it wouldn't be long before he'd be in bed with her."
That's when Charlie asked for my help. She knew there was no such thing as a binding spell, but that didn't matter.
"I asked if you could give him a bit of extra love, like a booster jab!"
Keeping The Love Alive
I was happy to help. The kind of love spell Charlie was asking for is actually quite quick and easy to cast. Because there's already love there, and because they were already a couple, I didn't need to spend 24-hours casting a full love spell. Instead I just gave her boyfriend a quick shot — like an espresso in the morning to wake him up.
"It worked a treat," she told me later. "The effect was almost instant. He stopped going to the gym for a month and started paying me loads of attention. I didn't say anything, but it was obvious he was feeling guilty and trying to make up for it."
No binding spell was necessary. Giving him an extra dose of love reminded Charlie's boyfriend of what he felt for Charlie. It gave him a little nudge in the right direction. Like a hypnotic suggestion carefully placed in his mind, the love he felt pushed him to do the right thing. And he did it of his own free will.
By using repeated small love spell castings like this, it's possible to keep a relationship alive almost indefinitely. It's like a course of drugs administered on a regular basis. It might not be a cure, but it keeps everything working.
In Charlie's case, one more booster spell was necessary. Since then she's not asked for any more.
Not everyone finds themself in that situation. Sometimes a spell is necessary almost every month. In these cases it is wise to ask the question is this relationship really the best for both parties? After all, a normal loving relationship should be able to survive without continued assistance from magic love spells.
Whether or not it's right to keep using boosters as a kind of pseudo-binding spell is not a question I can answer though, it is a question for the desirous.