Like lesser reapers, Binding Death itself through magical spells is possible, albeit with a greater difficulty. There were several instances of Death being bound, mostly by powers such as by the Heavenly Host and Lucifer, despite Death being more powerful than most beings who bound him. Additionally, humans have also successfully bound Death. The rituals to bind death have differed from each other significantly, including the degree of control they gave to the performer of the binding ritual.
Binding by HeavenEdit
Death has been bound by Heaven at least twice, and their method was one of the more effective methods. He was completely bound in his coffin on both occasions, before and after the great flood, until the fallen archangel Lucifer broke the binding ritual and cast his own binding ritual on Death.
Binding by LuciferEdit
The bind Lucifer cast on Death was one of the weakest forms, as the archangel did not fully control Death’s location and methods. However, the ritual performed by the Archangel broke the bind cast by Heaven and placed a new bind on the horseman. With his ritual, Lucifer could force the horseman to kill people or create severe weather anomalies in a certain area, but he could not enforce the horseman’s exact timing or schedule. In fact, even when bound by Lucifer, Death was able to delay himself and made side trips to communicate with Dean.
This ritual required the angel of death be brought forth into the world at midnight through a place of awful carnage. Lucifer chose Carthage, Missouri, where an intense battle occurred during the Civil War. The soldiers called the Battle of Carthage as the Battle of Hellhole.
This ritual required a tribute, specifically demon sacrifices to release Death. The tributes had to recite “We offer up our lives, blood, souls to complete this tribute,” after which they were killed by Lucifer.
Binding by the WinchestersEdit
This required a spell that according to Crowley, required an extreme amount of power to pull off. The demon was reluctant to perform the ritual but he gave the Winchesters the spell and its requirements. Although performed by mere humans, the binding worked to great effect, with Dean being able to command Death to kill any being the hunter wished.
The spell required several materials, which Bobby described to be common to hunters, and a fulgurite—‘an act of God crystallized forever’. All the materials had to be mixed together in a bowl. Like most spells, a sigil had to be drawn and several lit candles had to be aligned with or around the sigil. Blood must be poured into the bowl with the ingredients, which had to be placed atop the sigil. The following invocation then had to be recited,
Te nunc invoco, mortem. Te in mea potestate defixi. Nunc et in aeternum!
Once completed, Death immediately appears in the immediate area, and under complete control of the performer or performers of the binding spell. The spell was easily broken by Castiel, whose power was vastly increased by the souls in Purgatory and all of Heaven’s weapons.
- Although Death was one of the three most powerful beings in the Universe, he has been bound several times by beings weaker than him.
- Bobby's books contain a note that labels releasing Death as the seventh seal.
- The spell used by the Winchesters roughly translates to "Now I summon [you,] Death. To my power I bind you. Now and forever".