In an attempt to "bind" a person's will or behavior, a binding spell ("magical formula") is sometimes used. Some of the most common of binding spells includes those of love and the desire to silence an enemy. Binding spells also deal with any other type of magic that is intended to force or restrain the action of another. Symbolic restraints also serve as binding spells, as seen in the use of knots and pins. If you have a chance to take a look at an older spell, you will note that it is ghosts and other spirits that are "bound" in a symbolic manner until they are able to complete the wishes of the person who has cast a spell.
When it comes to one of the oldest types of magic that humans are aware of, the binding spell is top on the list. There have been many examples of binding spells that have appeared across the globe. This kind of magic was highly embraced during the classical time periods of Greece and Rome. Additional versions to appear throughout history include the Celts in Europe, as well as ancient Egyptians. Most times, deities and other spirits were "called upon" to make sure the requests of a spell caster were met.
An example of a binding spell is seen in the Egyptian habit of creating small figurines that they inserted pins into the body. A long Greek spell was also used in order to gain the attention of spirits and deities, which were meant to bring about fidelity and love. This was quite the popular method of spell binding that often took place about the 4th century.
The type of victims that succumbed to binding spells ranged from the unfaithful spouse to the politician whose opponent would stop at nothing in order to ensure a victory. Additional men and women who became associated with this type of magic include business competition, future lovers, and menacing neighbors. "Love magic" was commonly seen in men of an underclass status, who pined over a woman who they did not have enough social status to become one with. Sometimes this use of the magical spell was known as "erotic magic" or "sex magic."
Binding spells were also seen when a woman did not have a proper dowry and was in need of acquiring social status. During the Greco-Roman times, a woman could bind a lover into a relationship just as a Greco Roman man may bind his potential lovers. At that time, no Greek or Roman male citizen needed binding spells to gain a wife or possess a long-standing lover, but was considered about to bring a woman to his side through erotic magic. On the other hand, the woman would need the use of binding spells to gain social position within the community and obtain assistance in regards to getting married (or through love magic).
It is important to note that using a binding spell did not guarantee results for the both the man and the woman. Additionally, love was not always a motive when it came to casting these spells. Sometimes, business matters were addressed, as well as attempts to heal a person. At that time, it was also becoming quite popular to have a professional artist or writer create the materials that would be used during the binding spells procedure.