I have mentioned bindings many times, and even made a few posts about them in covens, in the past. After seeing a few people misunderstand the concept I thought I would further explain them, some of their uses, and examples of them.
Bindings are a form of sympathetic magic. You are tying, knotting, cementing (or any other way you wish to word it) two or more things together. In essence, you are linking them. People see it as a permanent thing but in reality it is not. All ties can be broken if you truly desire to do so. However, in doing them you create a strong bond between the things you are binding. They have so many applications there is no way I could write examples of everything. So if you know a good one, feel free to add it :D
Many only see them as a means to "bind someone from harm", bind two people together, and things similar. I have also seen many people complain about free will. Bindings do not have to go against will. They can be done with acknowledgement and acceptance as well. They are also not all about love or creating a form of block on someone. Their use really depends on what you wish to accomplish, and the way the practitioner wishes to do them.
Bindings can be done to enhance a working. You can use them to boost a relationship. You could bind yourself or someone to a thought, feeling, goal, place, aspect of the individual. They are nearly limitless in application.
As a side note, bindings should be done with a clear mind and the ability to really focus. If something else is bothering you or on your mind don't jump to do one. Just like with any other working, you want to keep it free of other influences. Otherwise you could bind yourself to it, or bind something that will not be helpful to what you wish to accomplish.
With bindings you can make them as simple or as complex as you desire. The first binding I was taught was just a simple wrapped chord. I wanted to bind myself to the aspects of my ancestral willow. Taking a branch from the tree (with permission) I wrapped it in a green silk scrap from my moms fabric bin. While doing so, I visualized myself taking on all its wonderful qualities. Flexibility, adaptability, being able to bend whichever way the wind blows yet bounce back easily, healing, and nurturing. I pushed out all doubts, believing fully that I would take on these aspects. I thanked my willow, and my ancestors for their aid. It took a while, but I slowly noticed myself take on these qualities.
Some would argue that it is a placebo effect, but keep your doubts to yourself please ;) Lets go over an example of a few types of bindings, and an example way to do them.
Binding two people together in love/friendship: Take a picture of each person preferably one they look happy in. "Glue" the two facing together. This can be done with actual glue, or honey to add a touch of sweetness. Wrap with a piece of chord, focusing on drawing these two individuals together. You can add herbs for love or whatever purpose you have, and wrap with a string or chord if it helps you focus. Place in a baggie or other container and out of sight, or bury for protection. You could ask a god(ess) such as Aphrodite to help, or any other that suit it if you choose.
Binding someone to an aspect of themselves: This has a variety of applications. You could bind them to a happy memory to help aid depression, bind them to their own negativity should you choose to be nasty. Any aspect you see in them that you wish to enhance. For example, take an object of the person you wish to bind. Something they wear often like a piece of jewelry or favorite hat works well. You can also use a picture of them if you do not have access to an item of theirs. While holding it in your hand, focus on the aspect you wish to bind to them. Visualize this taking over them completely (less so if you do not wish to shock them with it). See them taking on this emotion or personality aspect and acting it out. You can also visualize people reacting to them a certain way, and it effecting that person in return.
Binding two people apart: This one works wonders on destructive/unhealthy relationships. However I feel it does not work so well if the people need to be together to learn something spiritually.
Take a rock, brick or piece of wood and a picture of each of them. Stick the pictures at opposite ends with the picture side facing out. Do not wrap with string. Use tape or glue for this. Focus on seeing the two drawn apart, happy to be out of each others lives, doing better for themselves. If it seems they need more force you can see them fighting and splitting up. However this can cause other negative effects depending on the personalities of the individuals so a healthy friendly split is a bit better.
You can also use this to help rid someone of an aspect of themselves. instead of using two pictures, focus on a picture of the individual, or an item that would connect you to them. Visualize this aspect no longer being a part of them. For example a friend of mine had issues with always being negative. She was very unhappy and wanted things to change. However if you tried to point out what was wrong she would deny it. To help her I used a necklace I made her. Held it every day for a week, visualizing each time that she was happy. That things did not bother her and she responded in a positive manner to life's troubles. For a boost I burned lavender and chamomile while doing this to add a calming effect.
Binding someone from harming others: They actually got something right in the movies for once! Just like in the movie "The Craft" you can bind someone. It is not as dramatic as they make it. Take a picture of the person or an item of theirs and wrap it in chord. Visualize them being bound from the feet up with chains or rope. See them unable to struggle free, unable to effect others. Think of whatever harm they caused stopping. You can add a chant or mantra if it helps you focus.
You can bind yourself to a working as well. By doing so you are creating a link to it with your energy, as a means of boosting it and making it a part of you. I find this to be very helpful when doing any that are meant as a means of self work. For example, you are doing a cut and draw ritual (not meaning actual cutting yourself) to rid yourself of bad habits and bring in good ones. You could utilize blood magic as a means of binding yourself to that spell. Add a few drops of blood onto the candle, while focusing on accomplishing your goals.
Just a reminder! These are simplified examples of bindings I have learned over the years. Every person, system, experience is different. They can be altered to suit your practice, and added to. However, if you do not fully understand what you are doing, you should not be doing a binding. Learn first, then experiment. Some may disagree with this but without fully knowing how it could work and how to go about things properly you not only have less chance of success, but more chance of it working differently than you are hoping for.
Hope someone finds this helpful :)