Ozark Charmbook – To Lay Spirits

Laying spirits is an interesting tradition used to bind certain malicious forces to a spot or into a certain object so that the healer can manipulate or dispel those forces. There are lots of techniques to do this. Below is a charm that uses what I call “drawing out” to remove the power of the spirit (in the form of the blood) from three (power number) places in the spirit’s body. This charm calls out the teeth, lungs, and heart. I’ve seen other combinations used, like head, heart, and belly, but in most cases it’s always in threes.

The charm also uses an “iron band” which in this case (and in the cases where I’ve actually heard this charm used) this is more of a metaphorical band, but harkens back to much older techniques to lay spirits that would use a physical iron band or iron nails, in the work. There are similar charms that call for the speaker to drive nails into a tree, or into the ground, during key points in the recitation as a way to symbolically (or physically) fix a spirit to a certain spot.

Ye persons look upon me for a moment till I draw three blood drops from you, which ye have forfeited. The first I draw from your teeth, the other from your lung, the third I draw from your heart’s own main; with this I take your hosts away and ye shall stand till I remove from ye the iron band. +++

Three times spoken.

Found in the Albertus Magnus

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