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Binding(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
The central theme of an initiation is the palingenesis, or symbolical death and rebirth. This is a universal theme found in initiation and puberty rites in many civilizations and among primitive peoples alike. In many such rituals the novitiate is, at some point, bound and often also blindfolded. This binding and blinding symbolize the darkness and restriction of the womb prior to birth.
Mystery religions, of which Witchcraft is one, magical orders and secret societies, follow the same general pattern of blindfolding and binding the candidate at or before his or her initial entrance to the temple. There is a challenge and an exchange of passwords, then the proselyte is brought into the circle. At some point the blindfold and cords are removed, signaling the rebirth, and "new knowledge" is imparted.
In Wicca, the form of binding is important. The cord is first tied with a single square (or "reef') knot around the left wrist. The arms are brought together, crossing over one another, behind the Initiate's back, forming the base of a triangle with the back of the head. The cord is then tied again, once, around the upper right wrist. The two ends of the cord are taken up, one on either side of the neck. They are brought around, crossing the front of the neck, then back to be tied in a loose bow, known as a "cable tow," on the side of the neck with the ends of the cord hanging down. A similar binding is found in Freemasonry and in many forms of ritual and ceremonial magic.
Binding is necessary in some forms of Wiccan magic. In the Gardnerian tradition, for example, the High Priestess is bound, as described above, and then kneels before the altar. She is then ritually scourged, to course the blood through her body, which is believed to help generate magical power. She remains bound throughout the working of the magic.
Binding spells are used to prevent someone from divulging secrets, especially Craft or magical secrets. Witches may not perform negative magic, but binding spells are generally viewed as being in a "gray area," in which the person at whom the spell is directed is neither helped nor harmed. Most such binding spells involve the use of a poppet, to represent the subject although they can be done with no more than a photograph or even a brief example of the persons handwriting. If a poppet is used, it may be of wax, cloth, clay, or similar material. The figure is named for the person in a consecration ritual and it is stated that whatever is done to the figure will be done to the person it represents. The poppet is then bound with silk thread of a relevant color and, if necessary, the mouth may be sewed shut. No physical harm comes to the subject, but specific words and/or actions are restricted.
In ceremonial magic a spirit is said to be "bound" when subdued by the use of words and symbols sufficient to prove the superiority of the magician.
See, also, Gray Magic and Knot Magic.
in a narrow sense, the fastening of signatures; in a broad sense, the processes of preparing printed sheets in the production of bound pamphlets, journals, and books.
Binding includes cutting signatures (if this is not done by the printing machine) and folding them. Separately printed illustrations, tables, and so forth are tipped in, inserted, or outlined on the signatures. After this, the unbound book is completed: the signatures are put in proper order by hand or on gathering machines, and gathering-sewing machines. The signatures gathered into unbound books are sewn together with thread or wire on sewing machines or glued (the non-sewing method of fastening), after which the cover is glued on and the book is trimmed on three sides. If the pages are being prepared for hard cover, binding ends after the fastening of the signatures, gluing of the cover, and trimming of the book on three sides. The first continuous binding-covering operation lines in the world for issuing hard-cover books were established in 1949. For processing many printings of pamphlets and journals, high-production assembly lines combining the gathering, sewing, and cutting processes and the stacking, sewing, covering, and trimming processes are used.