LESSONS IN MAGICK: The Unethical Practice of Spirit Binding

André Varela

Image: André Varela

“The risks involved in the pursuit of magic are–put simply–either getting frightened by unpleasant perceptions or becoming deluded. Unfortunately, it is possible to suffer from both symptoms at the same time.”

Philip Carr-Gomm

I am not sure how this piece is going to be received but I have to write about this topic because it keeps coming up; I don’t know if this is because I am in the business of online sales now, so I see what the Pagan/Witch community has to offer, or if I was just completely ignorant to this common practice, in any case, it’s wrong.

I am referring to the sale of Bound Vessels.

NOTE: This piece is about *unethical* Spirit binding. Do I think the practice in general in unethical? Yeah, kinda. But, I am aware that in some traditions Spirit binding is a Sacred act done with respect; if you can’t understand the difference, then you’re reading this blog wrong.

Carrying on…

I am not necessarily angry at the sale, I am angry that the practice of binding Spirits to objects for entertainment even exists.

I am going to tell you my story, and speak from my experience and why this has me so upset.

Let us go back to about 2 months ago when a friend encountered a large group of Spirits that she could not identify.

She is not new to the Craft and she is most certainly not stupid when it comes to identifying entities, or their origins; confused as she was, she came to myself and a fellow Witch for assistance.

What I saw horrified me.

There were hundreds of human Souls that had this thick, black oily substance all over them, and energy signatures of Angels, Daemons and Gods alike.

It was chaotic and swirling all around them.

The sound of them mumbling “I don’t know who I am. We don’t know who we are.” is something that was not only deafening, but I will never forget it.

My Soul is forever haunted by what I saw that day.

Slowly my Sister Witch was able to heal them, and send them on their way but we never could place why Human Souls had energy overlapping their own.

Any Practitioner knows that even in death the human Soul has free Will.

Remember this story, I will tie it in at the end.


This same Sister Witch is very active among the Polytheist community and because of this she has quite the following, and friend list.

You see, personally, I like to lay low in regards to my Facebook page; I mean, people know who I am because I receive messages, and followers but no friend requests anymore because for the most part they know to keep their distance. I would prefer to be contacted via the blog, you know?

It’s just a thing I have, a safety blanket, maybe—a barrier, even. Definitely a layer of protection.

I just feel like I give so much through my writing that I need to be able to keep something to myself; even if it is as stupid, arbitrary and mundane as a Facebook page.

To be honest I would still only be known as Noir, and not as Jaclyn Cherie if it weren’t for people stealing my work, Copyright purposes and the fact that I started my Shop.

The gist of it, I am a private person.

Back to the Sister Witch; she always posts fun things, interesting things, and people are quick to comment.

So, being the nosey, stalker that I am I always read the comments.

This one day a name hit me like a 2 x 4 to the face, and I took note that she had no Soul.

“We all have Souls” I can hear you folks now.

I’m telling you, she had no Soul.

The Soul that once belonged to her was claimed by *so many* entities, and in so many fragments that I don’t even know how she is alive.

I have seen humans with no Soul (we can debate later) but not a human who had a Soul and essentially lost it (sacrificed it through poor choices and actions).

This Woman was tormented beyond anything I have ever seen, and it was all self-imposed.

I was fascinated!

But, as badly as I wanted to “look” further, I did not because my sense told me *DANGER*.

Not that I was in danger, but that the situation, the Woman, just me picking up the scent of what was happening was dangerous and sent my guides into a bitch fit; they made sure I knew that I was not to go digging anymore.

They should know me better by now, though.

That same day about 5 hours later I received a message from a fellow Witch of a screenshot.

It was a picture of a piece of jewelry for sale by that Woman! (The story I told you to remember).

Mind you, I told no one about how my intuition made me feel regarding this Woman.

I was so freaked out by the synchronicity that I had to put my phone down and collect myself.

A few minutes later I pick up my phone back up, and re-open the message.

This Woman sells Bound Vessels and has been doing so for years. Years, I tell you! Apparently, she is known as a “great Conjurer”. *insert eyeroll*

Because she traps Spirts to vessels and sells them, she is a great Conjurer?

Don’t fucking insult the art of Conjuring by comparing it to this Woman.

I had to go look and see for myself how deep this went and what I found made my blood boil, my hands shake and rage blind me.

Before I continue on with what happened next, and how it ties into the Souls I mentioned in the beginning let me say that I do not believe, at any point in time that a Spirit needs to be Bound to a Vessel.

This is my personal opinion. You’re entitled to yours.

I have found myself needing to do so when working with Djinn, and after the bidding was done, they were rewarded and released.

I would NEVER in my mind think to bind Spirits to trinkets, Art or pieces of jewelry and sell it to people claiming that it will bring them protection, luck, love, etc. etc.

Enchanting personal jewelry with a Deity’s Essence is an entirely different practice.

This is about ethics, people.


I think the entire thing (ie. Binding for sale) is absolutely disgusting, and I believe that those who partake in this sort of *unethical* practice will be served the retribution they deserve.

It’s exploiting not only the Spirit but the individual purchasing this vessel in hopes it will help them.

Spirits are not our play toys, and in my entire life of practice I have yet to encounter a Spirit who wishes to be bound to a vessel.

I am not saying it doesn’t happen, but how common can it really be if I, nor anyone in my immediate Witch circle (I even consulted Crones) have encountered this (other than with Djinn)?

If this is so common, why are the Witches I confided in as appalled as I am that this even exists?

I try not to judge another and how they practice or what they feel is morally or ethically okay; I am sure I do things that make people raise their eyebrows but this is an entire new level of insanity, and disrespect for Spirits.

No matter who or what our Soul is, we are in human form, and we must never forget how fragile the human body and psyche can be–well, is.

How pathetic to feed off of another’s need to fit in, or their paranoia by selling them (at really high prices mind you) objects that are supposed to have a Spirit attached.

We should be guiding these individuals to their personal power and how to work with Spirits through Evocation, not encouraging them to rely on an object.

A Witch needs to do their own basic defensive, and protective Magick. It’s okay to ask for help, but the foundation must be laid by you.


If a Witch cannot conjure and banish a particular energy, then perhaps that Witch needs to think again about dealing with said energy. What do I always say about cursing and curing?

You should be proficient in both; same goes for conjuring and banishing.

The most common, and most fatal mishaps in Magick occur when a practitioner pisses off Spirits or does not correctly xast their intentions and it backfires on the Witch directly (had it happen to me multiple times as a budding Witchling).

Back to the story…

Curiosity got the best of me, I finally went to this Woman’s page and found an album, along with several posts of Bound Vessels. She promised people that there was a portal in one, a “high Watcher” in another, and it just carried on, and on, and on.

I remember making a status on my personal page about it all, when this first happened and I said, “I don’t know what is worse, selling these Vessels or buying them”.

I still don’t know that answer.

As the days went by I came to find out through a series of dreams, and two divination sittings that this Woman was responsible for those human Souls I mentioned earlier. My guides confirmed it for me.

Apparently, she would promise these human Souls who were trapped in the “in-between” whatever their heart most desired, then she would put a different energy signature over their own.

I don’t even know how she did that part, I have my theories and I don’t think it would be too difficult but I can’t imagine that the human Soul or the energy that she tapped into for the signature (Azazel, Ba’al and Queen Mauve (Fae Court) being a few) is or was too happy about this; her deteriorating physical and mental health are proof of that.

Tsk. Tsk. Silly Witch.

And trust me, I know how this all sounds.


I let that battle go and decided to just move on because I have faith that she will be dealt with; that good ol’ retribution I mentioned earlier.

It all came back this morning though when I was added to a group on Facebook, and I noticed several people selling Bound Vessels!

What I found most disturbing is that this group is for gemstone jewelry (over four thousand members) and most of the Vessels ARE jewelry.

Yes, they are described as being a Spirit Vessel or what have you, but you cannot tell me that every single person is going to understand what that means.

You cannot tell me that someone doesn’t (or hasn’t) come along and said, “Oh, look, what a beautiful citrine pendant!” and bought it, only to have this wretched streak of misfortune because the energy in the piece is angry.

I thought that Witch Wars were the lowest our community could go, surely we could not descend any further, and now we have this.

I am truly disappointed in the people who partake in this type of practice.

We not only owe it to those whom we are helping, teaching and/or healing to give them our all, but we owe it to the Spirits we work with.

Half assed attempts of Conjuring along with fake bindings are not giving them your all; it’s making a mockery of the Ancient Ways, and I hope the Old Gods fucking devour you.

About the Author

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Jaclyn Cherie is a Word Alchemist, Witch, Herbalist, Shaivite Hindu, and Torchbearer with her roots planted in New York. © Jaclyn Cherie, Creatrix & Owner of The Nephilim Rising LLC (2014-2023)


Lessons in Magick


I’m not too sure this individual is nothing more than a gimmic…

But giving her the benefit of the doubt…my question remains…

What would happen to the wearer or purchaser of these Vessels if the Vessel was to some how open up and release a very angry Spirit?

I agree that she and many like her are a gimmic, however, I’ve seen some of these Vessels and they have *something* inside. I guess I just didn’t realize how common this was. One person even said these Vessels are sold on Etsy!

To answer your question, it depends on what/who the Spirit is. I would think that most would seek retribution or justice if you will against whomever bound them, more so than the wearer.

I am actually concerned about the Vessels in general because even if the Spirit isn’t released; say it stays in the jewelry, the wearer could then be influenced by the Spirit. Which can be far worse than a Spirit running amok. At least, that’s how I look at it.

I have an Etsy shop myself so I know something of their policies. Somewhat recently they made some changes to the rules, regarding witchcraft. To illustrate those rules I’ll tell you about myself. I make and sell blank journals, artisan grimoires, which do display occult symbols, but I do not sell “magical books of shadow, blessed in the venusian hour and imbued with lustful magics”. Under these new policies, one can sell objects used for magic, but they can not sell magic — they can’t sell spells, and they can not sell spirits. So, it matters a lot how a shop is marketing. If this person is selling their items on the premise that these things are imbued with anything more than arts and crafts you may be able to file a complaint and have those items or their shop taken down.

When these changes of policy occurred on Etsy it was a big deal. There was a petition to fight the policy. A lot of noise was made about the establishment attacking witchcraft. I did not sign that petition because, frankly, reasons exactly like you wrote about. But I think it says something that there was such a huge backlash against that policy. It makes me wonder just how many people are selling items like you’ve mentioned.

Witchcraft is capable of so much, it’s such a shame to see it being used so despicably. Thank you for putting this article out. I reblogged it on my tumblr, here – https://waywyrdmay.tumblr.com/

Morgan, I remember Etsy changing their policies, and I was thinking about if I should or not start a shop. I didn’t sign the petition either because I knew why Etsy cracked down.

Then I read an article by the Divine, Sarah Anne Lawless and she basically said if you don’t want to get in trouble with Etsy or your clients, don’t sell Magick, sell actual goods or start your own site. I agreed with her.

I’m also, personally, very old fashioned and I will not charge for my Magickal servies, then again I would never think to sell bound vessels or spells.

On Facebook alone I have found over 80 “Conjurers” doing this and on Etsy, it’s almost too many to count. It’s quite disturbing both ethically for our community but in the Spirit World as well.

Someone tried to leave a comment under this piece calling me “delusional, and an egocentric megalomaniac”. They must have been one of the people I spoke of in this piece. They also called me a “misguided fluffbunny”. 😂

Apparently they don’t know me and/or my work.

Moral of the story and my comment, don’t be a douchebag and sell Bound Vessels.

P.s I would love to see your shop. 😆

I cannot really describe what I saw. Some had energy traces or signatures, like I mentioned in my post. But there have been some that I have seen on Etsy and other groups on Fb that have enchantments on them, but also something trapped inside. I will try and find some free time to find one of the listings so that you can see for yourself. I am not saying that the Vessels carry Azazel portals, High Watchers, Pegasus and all the other non-sense I have seen but they DO carry something. To put it bluntly, it is fucking irritating and infuriating as a practitioner. I am all for working with deities, and I practice the Dark Arts, so my moral compass is often questioned by other people but this, this is completely unethical for multiple reasons.

I have a great deal of remorse and regret for some foolish things I did along these lines as a young man. I did them in ignorance of the hurt and consequences. I caused a great deal of suffering. Despite my crimes, I was shown mercy by a servant of the Old Gods, a spirit I’d sought to imprison. It didn’t just beat me. It eviscerated me before dragging me pointedly to the very edge of oblivion. It then transported me to a bound spirit vessel owned by Papa Doc. I understood what the artifact was, but I didn’t understand why we were there until it forced me to see it. The spirit showed me the object through his own perceptions. He wanted me to understand where that path led. I was 15, and that was twenty years ago – but I will never forget the horror and torment of those poor souls. The hopeless anguish. I can see it now like it happened a few seconds ago. I will likely spend an hour or more reconstructing the shield I’ve placed around that memory, because I am, right now, a grown man bawling just from the memory of it as I type this. But I needed to revisit it, to try to help anyone who might read this to see: You don’t do these things, people. You don’t even think about doing this, and if you find it, you unwind it if you are able and call for intercession if you are not.

I’ve just come across this site. I like the name ‘The Nephilim Rising’, and well done for making a stand against ill-treatment of spirits of any kind. I remember a forum discussion I was involved in once about Creepyhollows in which I and several other people said that attaching a spirit or a jinn to something is the slave trade,and very evil. Maybe you could check out Creepyhollows as well if you want to rescue victims. (Although some people said that one was a scam and the spirits were not real.)

I will check it out, and yes there are plenty of fakes out there, but there are plenty that are not. Again, not saying that what they are described as is true but they definitely have some kind of energy signature in them (some of them). I find it disturbing that so many people are involved in the creation, sale and purchase of these objects. I will say I work with Djinn, and I do bind them to a ring because that is really the easiest, safest and best way to benefit from their energy. Once the bidding is accomplished, I reward them, and release them. They are never forced to be bound, and never stay bound more than a few hours.

As someone who walks with, talks with, works with, and lives with spits and demons of all caliber…..this infuriates me and my own. It would be in the beat interest ofany spirits of you would kindly direct us to who you know that commits these atrocities.

If you go to the “contact us” portion of the page, send me a message and I will give you all you wish to see. It is insane.

I have a lot to say on this.
Being a medium like the rest of my family, we’ve seen stuff that is hard to even fathom.
I’ve made it a goal of mine to release the ones i come across.
This gal, like other soulless humans I’ve met or came across unfortunately doesn’t feel like we do, literally no feelings except memories of how feelings should feel. Anyways, thank you for sharing this publicly.

Reblogged this on A View from the Other Side and commented:
I posted about this a while back, but here’s another reminder that we’re not your slaves, and why it’s not just wrong, it’s straight up evil, to try and bind anybody… human, angel, spirit, or whatever. It does not end well.

I bought a pendant-wand from a witchy shop a few years ago. When I got home I discovered there was a Spirit/Demi-God attached to it. It was not sold as a “bound vessel” tho. And the entity attached to it doesn’t seem to be bothered, although when I asked and received its name it is a very powerful (ancient) Egyptian deity; whom I felt could not be completely bound to the jewelry, but somehow it is connected or attached.

Anyhow, I have tried several things to cleanse this necklace without success. I’ve even tried to give it away! No one wants it and it WON’T leave me! Bad/sour things do not happen as long as I keep it in a silver box (literally). However, if I take it out the box and do not pair it with other “high vibrational” crystals then slowly but surely heavy “dark” energies present themselves, yet nothing I haven’t been able to handle. Also I have not been able to find ANYTHING comparable to replacing it, so what do I do? What does this mean? Am I stuck with this pendant-wand? Do I just keep it “safe” in this silver box and maybe throw it in a river? Do I take a hammer and smash it to smitherines? The Demi-God/ Entity is Set. The Egyptian Set. And he poses no threat to me, but the piece does attract dense energies. I have a toddler at home, otherwise I would probably love to keep it around. Suggestions?

I would personally keep it safe inside the silver box, maybe add some of the higher vibrational stones that keep away the dark energy you speak of; include any stones you know Set likes, too. Adding salt to, or around the box will aid in keeping it contained.

I do not believe smashing it will be effective, and in fact, it might backfire in your face. I also don’t know if throwing it in the river could/would work; clearly this piece has energy attached to it, and it is not causing harm, and doesn’t seem to be angry. Throwing it in the river, could make it angry and whoever finds it, whenever they find it, could be in danger.

I am always cautious when children are involved but you have had it this long, and for some reason it appears as though the wand has things to teach you; it also seems like the wand chose you.

I don’t know if I would get rid of it, but I would take precautions.

Out of curiosity, what happened when you tried to give it away?

The 3 people I have tried to give it to (all men), comment on its beauty, side-eye me, then get very distant and slowly just stop speaking to me. I’ve tried to take it back to the shop and exchange it, and suddenly my schedule gets so busy I haven’t
been able to make it over there in close to a year… even tho I work less than 5 miles from the shop!

Like you mentioned, I thought about the pendant-wand having something to teach me or having chose to be with me. I originally bought it for psychic protection and third eye magick. Its black obsidian, has the chakra stones going up the center (except where a traditional blue throat chakra stone would sit there is a rainbow moonstone instead), a clear quartz point on the bottom, and topped with a quartz crystal ball. It’s about 3 inches long and has a bail on the back that allows you to wear it as a necklace. The only thing that made logic to me was that this piece had a previous owner. I had never considered any type of spirit binding until reading this article. Now I’m wonder if its not that either! Just something along the lines of what you mentioned previously. Thanks.

i agree with you wholeheartedly. i did not realize the extend of this trapping; i knew it had happened locally using what i call a “ghost house” (a birdhouse painted to look like a house from the 1850s…an area where you ask the spirits to accept as a contact point and where we share incense, coffee etc with them. they are free to come and go as they please). I briefly had a wizard’s consultancy there and had created the place so the local spirits knew they were being honored. when i left another woman took over but after she left someone else turned it into a trap. I had to take it back from the center while asking my Dragon friends to help free everyone. i had to recently free an earth spirit that was trapped by a local religious guardian into being a spy and carrying it places.

I have seen people without souls, with only fragments of souls plus people with elementals inside instead of “human” so you are not alone in that belief. Grandmaster Hatsumi, Soke of the Bujinkan Ninja, in one of his books talked about people were being born with soul fragments and even soulless. that is where i first saw this openly discussed.

Keep up the good work, when i am online i will do my best to see what you are writing. Good fortune and dance with dragons ::) Annora E McDougall

I have bought a lot of gemstone jewelry offline, I love stones all the beautiful colorscolors and energy. I wouldn’t buy it under these bound terms, no way!, I wouldn’t want that kinda karma, and those poor souls 😢😢

Interesting read, thanks. There are loads of youtube videos about binding spirits but how come no onetalks about binding human souls. That’s what unnerves me the most as it should everyone. Someone must have tried it…..it’s just a step up from ‘otherworld’ entities and demons etc. It’s all unethical as far as I am concerned, and kind of on a power trip having life forms slave for you.

My mother started teaching my witchcraft at a very young age I was about 6 or 7 when I first started to learn herbalism, and the basics of charms and wards. But I was always drawn to spirit energies which was strictly forbidden by my mother.

So I started to practice it in secret, it started with calling wandering spirits, and slowly worked its way into conjuring across the hedge, or veil depending on your school of thought. I see it now more as like the surface of still water, most of us are bugs who can’t cross into the water but could rest against it.

At 18 I joined a coven, Conjuring came natural to me, and even though I didn’t have the experience of some of my Sisters, I did have the talent.

When I was 22 my coven became the target of a Witch War and it was decided that the best course of action was a god powered defense, specifically a reflective spell put in place by a god. We decided that Mór-Ríoghain would be the best choice so 9 if us would perform the ceremony. The first 3 set the protection circles, entwined them, then the second group, my group began the evocation, I was the anchor. And the third group was to seal the hedge after contact was made til we worked out a deal. The entwined spells worked perfectly until the hedge was sealed.

The three Sisters casting the seal all died of brain hemorrhages, the three casting the protection circle were bound and are no longer able to work with even the most basic magicks. The three of us casting the evocation were warned against binding again. She absolutely destroyed six of us for a misunderstanding. Ultimately she denied our request trying to block her way back to the spirit world was a huge insult.

We had to go with some lesser powered reflective spells, but chose not to take an offensive position against the other coven.

Its been 9 years since I met Mór-Ríoghain and I’m still a conjurer and now regularly conjure gods and have actually become quite close to her, though after understanding their power I don’t bother with the protection circle it won’t even slow them down, and I don’t ever seal the hedge or attempt to bind.

But in my time since I have come across that black oily substance on human souls, and I have asked Mór-Ríoghain about this, it seems to be linked to forcefully being removed from the spirit realm against their will, basically its from the forceful abduction of the spirit, through a form of necromancy I will not explain in case anyone gets any ideas.

So the woman is either abducting souls for her trinkets, which would totally explain fragments left of hers, or deceiving neglected abducted souls and binding a small part to her trinkets, likely because she herself shattered her own soul and can’t bind a complete soul anymore. Had she bound the complete soul you wouldn’t come across it like you did without physical access to the item it was bound to.

I try to give people the benefit of doubt and always assume the best in people, it will probably be my fatal downfall someday, but it is always possible she’s been working with a trickster god and doesn’t fully understand what she’s doing, a trickster god can mimic the energies of other spirits and gods. And unless you’re particularly close to the other spirit it could be very difficult to tell them apart. But if she’s not retribution is coming, if not from Ba’al, Azazel or Queen Mauve it is coming from Mór-Ríoghain.

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