Reversing a Soul Binding


I have a difficult situation.  My ex who is Wiccan was showing me various types of rituals and spells throughout our relationship.  One of which was a “soul binding” spell which was intermixed with a handfasting.  He explained it in brief to me and I was open to learning more about his religion, but after our relationship ended on what he would consider a rocky note, odd things have been occuring.  Now I was raised Catholic and identify Christian but also have a strong base in spirituality, so I am not sure if I am just paranoid about the odd things happening or if it is real.  From what I understand, what he performed is not “breakable” and tied his and my soul together possibly for eternity.  Anyways, on to the weird things.  I thought that I was completely over him, but of recent I have been thinking about him frequently as well has having dreams about him and a strong desire to be with him (even though he supposedly moved across the country from me and has since disconnected his phone so there is no way that I or even his family (from what I know) can get a hold of him).  I talked to him just before he left nearly two months ago, he was wishy washy about wanting to stop by and say goodbye, which he didn’t do and left the last conversation saying “I have too much to do” and hung up.  He did say that he can never be around me again because he “doesn’t trust himself” around me (as to not wanting more physically or emotionally) and had said that he was going to come back in a few years after he got done with this education program he apparently enrolled in and wanted me and my children to uproot and move with him where ever he was (NOT going to happen).  I’ve known him since we were young kids and am close to his family, so this is especially hard to have him completely shut me out of his life, but up until recently I was just fine with it and had moved on.

 A friend of mine who is Wiccian confirmed everything he had told me in reguards to this soul binding, but explained further that you cannot undo it and that you will forever be tied to that person, feel what they feel, have a part of them tied into you forever.  This frightens me because as I later found out he has some serious problems mentally/emotionally.  I just want this to go away.  Is there anything I can do?

Something to keep in mind – if the two of you have known each other for most of your lives, and were close for a good bit of that time, as friends and then later romantically, it is very natural (and normal) for you to think about him – even if it seems random or out of the blue. When we have known someone for such a long period of time, odds are you will continue to “love” them in a way, even if you are no longer “in love with them” , or even want to have any type of relationship with them. The fact is that they have been there through a large part of your life, and that doesn’t just go away just because you split up and one party has since moved far away, or lost contact. You will likely continue to think about him off and on for many years to come – regardless of any ritual that was performed.

As to said ritual… I’ll be honest, the person who came up with the idea of a “soul binding” ritual should be beat with a stick (at the very least). It sounds perfectly romantic when you are reveling in the joys of new lover bliss – the idea of being with the one you love for all eternity. But the actual fact of the matter, is that keeping any sort of committed relationship (marriage or otherwise) together for the long-term, even within one lifetime, is difficult at best and takes a lot of hard work. So the idea of binding oneself on an energetic level to someone else through multiple lifetimes, when the odds aren’t even in favor of you sticking it out in this one, is folly. Inevitably the bliss wears off, and you are stuck (in a manner of speaking) with this person that – even when you part from them for perfectly good reasons, in theory you are now potentially going to be miserable for the rest of this life, and into the next when you aren’t with them. So even if you meet someone else who is perfectly wonderful and compatible with you, because of this ritual you may always find yourself feeling as if a part of you is missing – when in reality (if you hadn’t done the ritual), you might have been truly happy. It’s worth noting too, that for him to do this sort of ritual with you, without properly explaining the consequences of doing such a thing, is pretty reprehensible.

I’m not even sure I’d consider a “soul binding” on my deathbed, even if I’d been deliriously happily married to the same person for 50+ years. While the idea is nice, it seems that if someone was truly meant to be my soulmate, then we would already be bound – so there is no need to manually force the issue. Even if we aren’t together in every lifetime, odds are we will meet up again and again throughout our incarnations. Besides the alternative is much worse – being stuck with someone who you have later determined is not “the one”. Potentially as well, just because we are happy in this life, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other happy opportunities to come in future ones with other people, and doing such a ritual, would change those coming experiences.

Having said all that, your best bet would be a parting ritual of sorts. It may not completely sever the ties, especially since you have no way for him to participate with you, but it should help to minimize some of the effects of the original ritual.

The following is a really simple and to the point “Parting Ways” ritual that you can do. Ideally you would want him to do the ritual with you, but as that’s not possible, if you have an item that represents him that should be fine. Also if you have a picture of the two of you together (that you don’t mind cutting up), that would be good as well – or any other symbol of the two of you together (that can be cut in half).

  •  Normally you would do an “ending” spell with the waning moon, however as this one is focused more on starting fresh, you could do it with either. Other than that it’s fairly simple – just say it like you mean it.

our paths diverged
new lives to start
what once was merged
here now must part
with blessings bright
we’ll start anew
the time is right
we know it’s true

  • While chanting the words, focus on the image or item that symbolizes the two of you being bound together – visualize each of you going your separate ways, and then physically cut the image/item in half – literally cutting the ties that bind you together. Chanting is a good way to raise energy, so if you want to you, can say the chant several times as you cut (helps to reinforce and gives added focus). Three times is always been a sort of magical number, or you can correspond it to the number of years the two of you were together (since you did the original ritual), whatever feels right. Once you are finished you can either bury the leftover pieces of the picture/item, or burn them – again whatever works best for you.

I also would suggest checking out this previous post on Dissolving a Handfasting, which while not quite the same situation, there are some correlations, and the information and example rituals there might be useful to you.

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Vows: Dissolving a Handfasting


My ex and I were handfast 4 years ago. The relationship changed this year. I would like to have a handparting to bring closure and move on. My ex says she performed a ceremony that released us from the handfast. I requested a 2 person ceremony, but she does not want to participate in it. The wording in our handfast document does not have the words “for a year and a day or as long as love shall last” . It  has stronger language “that lasts a lifetime”, through all the years, and “all your tomorrows”…

Any advice? She has moved on. I want to move on as well, but feel in limbo without a closure. I want to release her from the handfast with a similar ceremony as the original handfast
Thanks

So… the following is based on the original email that I received. I’ll add a bit more at the bottom, regarding the additional details that were sent as well.

This is probably the number one reason why I advise that any sort of oaths or vows made should be very carefully considered before they are undertaken. Also to be extremely careful with exactly how they are worded, because while certain things may sound romantic, or dedicated and make for a lovely ceremony – the implications are far reaching and we will generally be required to carry out what we’ve pledged. Having to later go back and break our word, or beg the Gods to release us, can definitely get a bit tricky. Even if you do manage to find that release, there will, in many cases still be some lingering energy between the two (or more) parties involved, even if it is diminished.

Obviously having a parting ceremony together would be the most ideal. However as that is not possible, if you can find out from your ex, the exact ritual she used – the next best thing would be for you to follow that in the same way, saying the same words, so that you are both on the exact same page as far as words and deeds. At the very least try to find out the wording she used, for dissolving the union, not that you can’t use your own if absolutely necessary, but it would be a good reinforcement if you are echoing what has already been said.

If you end up having to write your own parting ritual from scratch, be sure to acknowledge the original words that you spoke. You may find it easier to change the nature of the vow – from romantic love to the love of friendship, rather than attempting to break the bond entirely. You can find some good advice for how to structure your own ceremony here, as well as a sample ritual here (though it would obviously need to be modified for solitary use). The key thing is to symbolically part ways – either by cutting or burning the cord that was used in your handfasting (if there was one), or other symbols of your time together. Being sure to release any residual negative feelings (as much as possible), and allow yourself to know that the time has come to move on. Something to keep in mind as well, if any Gods were called on to bless the original handfasting, you will need to petition them in your ritual as well, asking that they release you from any vows made before them. It would likely be a good idea to make sure that you have some sort of offerings for them, to make that part go a little smoother.

Overall, let this serve as a reminder to us all, to always have a care with our words. Even though we may have absolute faith that we can keep such vows at the time that they are made (obviously we wouldn’t consider making them if we didn’t think we could), the truth is that the universe is ever changing, and everyone in it has to change and grow with it (or choose not to as those around us change and grow) – in either case what was true 5 years ago, may not be true today, or even 10 years down the road. So when we do magical workings, especially anything that involves binding or joining, or dedicating ourselves to a person, or a God, or any other entity or spirit – we need to make sure that we aren’t committing ourselves to something that we will later find ourselves in a position of having to back out of. There are reasons why handfastings use the phrase “or a year and a day or as long as love shall last” – it’s the out clause, that keeps one from being in the position of being an oathbreaker.

From the additional details that you provided…

You did mention that there was a “year and a day” intent in your original ceremony… this is really good. While it’s definitely still worth having a parting ceremony, there is a lot less “baggage” than as would be if it had not contained that intention. Basically even with the other stronger wording that you mentioned originally, by adding in the renewal clause (as it were), you both are free to not exercise your option to renew – which is what has occurred. So in this case rather than having to make a high pressured “sales pitch” to the universe and/or Gods in hopes they will release you from a seemingly unbreakable bond – it’s more a matter of just formally stating your intent to end the relationship, working through and letting go of any harsh feelings, and allowing yourself to look positively to the future.

Taking the Next Step – Planning Rituals


Hi, I’ve been studying paganism for about 3 years now gathering as much information I can on the subject. I would say I identify as being very eclectic, interested in witchcraft and very nature based, but what next? I feel like I’m stuck in a beginners rut, most of the information I find is aimed at beginners and I’m not progressing. I’m also having trouble putting what I’ve learnt into practice, I want to try ritual but I don’t know where to start, plus moneys an issue for supplies (although I would try where possible to use materials I find out and about) any advice would be greatly appreciated, love and light.

It can be hard taking that next step, but everyone has to start somewhere. We’ve touched previously on some Beyond the 101 tips, which cover the basics. Other than that, and more specifically to your question, I would suggest the book “The Elements of Ritual” by Deborah Lipp. It is very detailed, not only on the “how to” in relation to ritual, but more importantly the “why do we do that” which so many other books leave out. It had several sample rituals as well, that you can try out, so really just start small and go for it.

Another great resource for planning your own ritual is the Ritual Planning Worksheet. Once you have decided on a particular goal/theme for your ritual, you can use the worksheet to plan out the details. You don’t have to include everything that is mentioned, but when you are just starting out, it’s a good way to make sure that you are prepared and have everything you need to make your ritual go smoothly. Keep in mind though that rituals can be as formal or informal as you like. So while the above worksheet is nice, your own ritual does not have to be some sort of lengthy ceremony, full of flowery speech, and particular actions – I mean it can be (and that’s fine), but simple can be just as effective. That’s the beauty of it – if you aren’t in a particular tradition, you can do what works best for you (though if you are working with a specific deity, it’s good to know what sort of things are appropriate for that deity).

I would also suggest the following, if at all possible – find out if there are any groups in your local area that have rituals that are open to the public, and attend at least one. Even if you don’t end up joining the group on a long-term basis, it can really help one’s practice to participate in a ritual with others. If nothing else you can get a general idea of how things flow, and what components you might want to add. Though again, just because they do something one way, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do it that way.

As to tools and supplies – while the “bells and whistles” are really nice to have, they are primarily just ways of helping one focus, so in a pinch you can do without if necessary. For tools (such as a ritual blade, or other items for one’s altar), definitely look to what you might already have, or can get relatively inexpensively. You can always save up for something fancier later if you want, but in most cases it’s not about “how cool” something looks, but whether or not it serves the purpose it’s intended for.  For ritual or crafting supplies, while there may be some generally accepted correspondences, in many cases (if you are unable to obtain those particular items) you can substitute for what you might already have on hand, or are more easily able to obtain. If you examine the properties of the item that you are in need of, and consider the purpose for which it is being used – it’s a matter of finding another item that will serve a similar capacity.

On the surface being Eclectic seems easy, but in truth it is one of the hardest paths to do properly. Where someone who is working with a Coven or within a specific Tradition has direct one-on-one guidance, those who are solitary have to rely on their own interpretation of the materials they are given, and are basically left to “figure it out” on their own. But it can be done, and in most cases it’s a matter of just going ahead and jumping in. Start small, and take baby-steps, but as with anything… the more often you practice, the easier it will get. If there is a sample ritual in one of your books that you’ve been interested in trying – go for it. If it’s relative to your path the Fall Equinox is about a week away, you could try putting together a ritual for that, and the Full Moon on the 29th if that is something you are interested in holding a ritual for – or really whatever else you may feel called to. The key is to just go ahead and do it!

Sacred Moments #8


Happy Full Moon!!

Circle Round

Dance now the circle round
to the spiral never ending.

Joyful now feet on ground
to the beat our bodies bending.

Centered now on the sound
to our mother we are sending.

Peace now love we have found
to a heart in need of mending.

Dance now the circle round
to the spiral never ending.

by Sephira

 

Norse Paganism


Anonymous asked: I’ve been interested in Norse mythology for a long time, and feel that Norse paganism may be the path for me, but I have no clue where to start. Is it anything like Wicca, or is it completely different and if so where do I find more information on it?

Completely different! It’s polytheistic rather than ditheistic, its rituals are much more simple and centre around the sharing of offerings (often in the form of alcohol such as mead), and there’s a much greater cultural depth to it* because it is a religion with a historical basis – although even the most hard reconstructionist forms of it will necessarily be different from the palaeo-Paganisms.

We recommend the books “Essential Asatru” by Diana S Paxson and “True Hearth” by James Allen Chisholm to start with, and “Our Troth” I and II if Heathenry looks like the thing for you. Also the books of Hilda Ellis Davidson, particularly “Gods and Myths of Northern Europe”.

Most of all there are the Eddas and Sagas, many of which you can read in older translations online. The ethical system is mostly related to what one might consider the honourable action to take, and based on the advice of the Havamal. (Some Heathens shorten it down to “the Nine Noble Virtues” – but not all of this list of virtues are particularly stressed in the Havamal, and some particularly important ones are left out… not to mention such a list is not particularly “reconstructionist” so many Heathens don’t have much time for it and just use the Havamal and so forth as their guide when they need it.)

Here are some more links for you:

Viking Answer Lady

Ravenbok

DIY Ritual Kit

That’s all for now, but this may be edited later to add a little more. Good luck!

*Not to say Wicca doesn’t have depth – it does, but it’s less cultural and more related to its ritual and Mysteries.