HOODOO HELL NAWL: 4 Reasons Why "Binding" A Lover to Yourself is Not Smart

BINDING: A binding work is a work that spiritually ties a target up, restricting his, her or its actions or keeping him or her (or it) tied to another individual.

It’s a professional conjurers worse nightmare; a client comes to you, tearful, broken and breathless. Being able to effectively manage extreme emotions is a basic requirement for a good conjurer, so it’s not unusual. But as you help gather their root-chakra from off of the floor and prepare to inquire more, an Ancestral warning flashes before your mind’s eye in big red marquee:  “HELL TO THE NAW, TO THE NAW NAW NAW. DON’T DO IT”, it reads.

Then, comes the Conjurer’s proverbial nails on a chalkboard. “I need you to bind my man to me, make him stop cheating, and only want me. Forever”.


To a certain extent, we understand this desire. Everyone wants and deserves love, commitment, and reciprocity. But I’m here to tell you, if you think the only option you have to is to “bind yourself” to someone via spiritual force, you’re taking the easy road to a hard, disastrous relationship.


Now, if this were the 1920’s or 1930’s, we may have been able to entertain this conversation. Black women in the early part of the century were often completely financially dependent on their male counterparts for food, shelter, money, and a certain amount of protection. If I were Madam AfroMystic in those days, my judgment may have noted that without keeping this husband nestled in the comforts of Maybel’s crotch, he may decide that philandering is more profitable for him than marriage -- and would leave poor Maybel without a porch or pot to piss in. Maybe I would have made her a “naycha sack” to keep him comin’ back, or sprinked something special in the corners of his mistresses’ house to make sure love brought his ass home that night. I may have had her put some of her blood in his food or some...“sweat” in his rice.

But, it’s not the 1920’s anymore, boo, and relationships today have a lot more nuance to them. Although the black woman’s dollar is a mere .61 cents to dwightmans dollar for the same work, it’s clear that there are more opportunities for Black women to stand on their own financial feet than before, independent of a cheating' ass partner.

Unfortunately, the patriarchy-borne obsession with “binding oneself to” a man with rootwork is still pervasive within Hoodoo culture (and especially emphasized  in the culturally appropriated non-black versions of Hoodoo literature). And as a Hoodoo Woman with knowledge of the root, I have a backstage look into just how pervasive it is.

In a time where we have more access to potential partners than ever,  the idea that the best way to maintain a long-standing relationship with a someone is to force them through spiritual pressure, regardless of the means or ends, is ridiculous.




In a natural healthy bond, you will always find reciprocity: of love, attention, adoration, and  support. “Trauma Bonding” however is defined as “a strong emotional attachment between an abused person and his or her abuser, formed as a result of the cycle of violence”. You may not realize it (or admit it), but having a partner that continuously cheats on you, belittles you, or threatens to leave you constantly, is violence. Here are a list of questions to ask yourself before submitting a request for a “binding spell” for these types of partners:

  • Do you find yourself in painful repetitive fights with this person, with no common ground at the end?
  • Do you believe there’s nothing you can do about your partner’s own destructive behaviors and have learned to accept them?
  • Are you actively dedicating *your* own time and energy to stop *them* from acting up? (i.e. check his phone for other girls, stalk her social media, lie to stop them from getting upset or jealous?)
  • Can’t leave, even though you can’t stand them? Love/Hate relationship (think Lauryn Hill’s “Ex Factor”)?
  • Does the thought of leaving this person or being left makes you physically sick or emotionally incapacitated?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, Dear, you should NOT bind yourself to this person. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. You are setting yourself up for a sad, harsh, dreary life with no love available for yourself, from either of you (see #2).


Recently, the #Blitches and I had a conversation with a woman who claimed to have bound her perfectly perfect husband to herself with a “binding spell”. She claimed that he’s been the perfectly perfect man since the moment they got together, but she decided to do a “freezer” spell to keep him...well...perfectly perfect (freezer binding is ridiculous, y'all btw). This felt off, so I asked her what the initial fear was, that made her want to bind a perfectly perfect man to her if he was so perfectly perfect? She claimed there was none, she was never scared. After a few more questions and some probing, she admitted that she was worried about “these Instagram thots” and needed to “protect her family” from them, because well…”he is still a man”. Shouldn’t a perfectly perfect man who is committed to their perfectly perfect relationship be able to avoid the draw of IG hoze?

Yes, he should. A perfectly perfect relationship should not require a binding work. But her unwillingness to realize that her insecurity and fear of abandonment (or possibly gut feeling about him cheating) is the main unaddressed problem that leads to these obsessive binding requests. IT'S NOT THE INSTAGRAM HOZE, BOO. IT'S YOU. 

Suppose that “binding spells” weren’t a thing on the internet, and the only way to keep someone from leaving were to physically pin them down and stop them from walking out of the door. Would you do it? Would you physically lock them up in a room 24/7 just to have them for yourself? Would you drain yourself with that task? If so, you’re an abuser. But doing it via spiritual means is but another way to abuse someone else while ignoring the insecurities and abandonment issues you’re carrying.

Read some self-help books. Address these fears with a licensed therapist, or a wise elder or spiritual teacher. Taking them out on your partner via binding could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, or even worse...


Y'all niggas seen Teen Witch. And we’ve all heard the stories about people putting a root of some sort on a significant other, and ending up with a clingy possessive partner that becomes unexpectedly terrifying, or even physically dangerous. 

For one reference, here’s one particularly disturbing account posted by Siete Saudades on Facebook.

Even my #Blitches have shared numerous cautionary tales of their own trial and error. These issues range from the binding simply not working, to turning a boyfriend into an abusive stalker, causing a car crash, and receiving retribution for their own ancestral spirits for playing silly in the roots. If you don’t know what you’re doing or you think you know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you DO know what you’re doing, then you should know damn well better than to do it.


Also, don't think you can just put anyone's sister or nephew under your eternal thumb without thinking about the potential repercussions from the forces of opposition. Other people can have spiritual knowledge, protective guides, and a whole lot of ancestral power behind them, boo. If you think you can bind someone to you (especially if they’re married or part of a spiritually fortified family), be careful. You might find yourself in a dark woods somewhere, rocking back and forth, out'cho damn mind.

Folks know how to find out if you’ve been scheming on their loved ones, and trust me, they ask during divination. And I tell them the truth, and what to do about it.

Ask yourself, how would you feel if someone was putting their menstrual blood in your husband or son's food? How would you feel if you found out your daughter’s no-good boyfriend was burning candles and slipping powder in her panties to keep her obsessed with him? Exactly.



Do not waste your time trying to keep one who can’t be or doesn’t want to be kept by you. It’s a waste of Juju, bad for your health, and a death sentence for your self-esteem (or maybe an actual death sentence). There are at least 6 billion potential partners in the world for you, and a percentage of them will treat you how you deserved to be treated, I promise.

Damn, the rich guy you wanted to date is slipping away? SO WHAT! Let's set you up to find a higher-paid, more emotionally mature partner who's ready for a healthy commitment (you have to understand that there is one, first). Dry ass Marriage falling apart and feel like spiritual assistance is needed? RELAX. Contact a trusted Rootworker to see what can be done about this, before trying to force an outcome you regret. I’ve helped many a person leave unhealthy relationships and step into beautiful ones --and their lives are better for it.

Let no one on this green earth make you feel as though you couldn't live without them. And don't let your obsession over somebody force you to be the fool that took the root too far and got snuffed out. 


Feel as though you've been worked by an obsessive ex or a manipulative partner? Let's find out and..."recipe" the situation.

Much Love and Be Safe Outchea,
-The AfroMystic