Ah love! Perhaps no force is stronger and more persistent than this one. We live to love, and a few people have died for it. Love is the force that causes creation most often, and it is love that can cause destruction.
Love is inexplicable and diverse. Most definitions of love are along the lines of " a strong affection or desire"... but it can be much more than that.
First off, lets look at the diversity of love, what kinds are there?:
Universal Love: Love of the earth and its inhabitants, characterized by compassion.
Piety: Love of God or Gods
Social Love: Love of country, community, culture, religion etc.
Friendship: Non-romantic love of close people
Family Love: Non-romantic love and devotion to family and children (sometimes pets)
Romantic Love: Love and Passion of a romantic Nature towards a spouse, or partner (with or without sex)
Materialistic Love: "favoritism" - preference for a non-living thing like chocolate or ferraris
USUALLY when we talk about "love: we are talking about romantic love. This is when we are passionately devoted to a person who we hold close and have an attraction physically and spiritually to. We hope that when we are in love in this way, the feeling is mutual. Love of this nature is so close in resemblance to it's shadow: obsession. True love is kind and gentle and forgiving. Obsession is harsh and controlling.
There is a lot of discussion about the nature of love... Is love a part of destiny? Do we find our true love's through an attraction guided by fate? Do we have soulmates? If not, is there no such thing as a "true love"? Are we chemically predestined to pick whoever is most convenient? Is love an illusion made up by our minds that leads us to reproduce, and then care for those offspring until they are ready to do the same?
Of course there are threads dangling from almost every question waiting for the hungry piranhas we call critics to grab onto and chew away all hope of truth. If we have "soul mates" then why do some people marry 10 times and never seem to get it right? If it is biology, then doesn't that mean that 'gay' people are in some way broken? If it is simply illusion, that doesn't that mean that the search for it is useless... These are all terrible lines to follow... and lead us to dark places, void of love.
I personally feel that there are soul mates... but not "one true soul mate" for every person. I think we are all patterned to be presented different "potential loves"- each with their own challenges and conflicts that we will have to sort out. Most of us are also presented with "duds"- relationships that are doomed to fail, and our challenge is to recognize them and side step if possible.
My parents were doomed... however I am REALLY happy that they got together! (or else you wouldn't be reading these words right now). I could have easily not existed. I feel that they were soul-mates on the level that I needed to be created, and they presented enormous challenges to each other. They weren't meant to grow old and gray and hold hands on a porch swing! They NEEDED each other to grow up. I know that sounds odd. But their divorce was the torrent of change that made my parents finally see the forest for the trees.
My dad became sober because of their divorce, and for the first time my mom learned that life is only what you make of it. Plus, my turbulent childhood gave me a sense of self and a load of lessons I could NOT have learned otherwise. I personally learned the importance of responsibility, spirituality, and defining your OWN success because I was forced in many ways to carve out my own identity in a jungle of conflict.
So what of love? They loved eachother... true, yet finite love. They both now have new "loves"... Perhaps even soul-mates. However I think that I was meant to be, and I wouldn't trade my dysfunctional family for any other.
So, my view of love is that it IS a real force in the universe, but it is not cut and dried. We have a complex and multifaceted existence, and often love is the drive behind the wheels of change. For that reason, LOVE ITSELF must be multi-faceted and complex, even unpredictable.
This is my caveat into Love Magic...
People become desirous of others all the time... I have in my life fallen in love several times. Admittedly, more than once it was doomed love with no real substance. I was once very in love with being in love. I remember painful breakups and a procession of partners and relationships that resembled, in many ways, my parents tormented marriage. Whether they were cheaters, users, or addicts... one by one the pattern continued : meet, date, fall in love, conflict, crumble...
I could have, and thought about, the big NO NO: Love Spells! If only I could just grab hold of my fleeting loves and make them see how much i loved them and how much, deep down, they loved me! A great fear of mine was welling up within... maybe I was incapable of keeping love! Maybe, I was too imperfect to have real love. and I was on the edge of giving up that love for the illusion of affection, just so I wouldn't be lonely.
However, I never cast a love spell. A series of painful events finally shook me out of the line of terrible relationships and I suddenly realised that true love was not this obsession and addictive stupor I kept yearning for, it was gentle, slow, and in many ways a flowering seed that grows from friendship and blossoms into fulfilling real love.
The scary part is that the person I would have cast that love spell on, was not my loving devoted husband, but was a manipulative addict... I would have become my mother in a relationship with a man who mirrored my father... I would have probably followed a similar line of mistakes... never growing, never learning.
However i followed my gut. I KNEW that all those warnings about love spells were not people trying to spoil my fun. I could feel in my gut that if my spell did work, I would KNOW it was all an illusion, and worse- if it backfired... all my chances might be lost.
However, someone who carefully understands me knows that I am not "anti" love spells. First off, not all spells and magic concerned with love are meant to deceive a person into loving you. There are non-manipulative love spells meant to open yourself to true love. They are supposed to guide you to the person you are truly destined for. There are also spells meant to strengthen existing love... helping to people deepen their connection to one another, and find communication and renewed passion. Last, there are spells for lust, to reignite that spark if it has dwindled.
All of THOSE are spells that hopefully a person would do with consent. I think that magic should serve us to help us grow, and love is one way in which we can grow. I don't do these often though, because I generally have a happy marriage and I don't feel that you should fix things that are not broken. Fostering a sense of gratefulness for what we have is the part of character that allows us to be self-satisfied.
So on that note: First off, remember that love is complex, like life. It is not all black and white, and often love is finite and that is OK! We all love each other to some degree, so we may be destined to have several loves. Before you cast... consider your actions- the consequences may out way the reward.