Whilst there were specific spells and rituals used within the differing forms of love magic, love as a purpose for employing magical methods is highly common throughout the numerous forms. From the literary sources derives Western literature’s classic sorceresses, Circe and Medea, both of whom employ narcotics in their magic. Curse tablets, while invoking higher powers, intended to remove rivals.
Generally used for binding lovers, voodoo dolls were also used in other circumstances where binding was a necessary punishment. In order to protect oneself from magic and illness, amulets of various materials were worn. These too could bestow upon or enhance abilities. Magic was ever-present and cannot be strictly defined as morally good or evil as intentions varied.
Magic however is often treated as a subcategory of religion. Whilst blurred lines are still present, a generally accepted definition is that while religion supplicates a god, magic tries to coerce it. An example of this intimate connection is Hekate, goddess of magic, crossroads, liminal places and transitions. She is also associated with the moon, dogs, necromancy and ghosts and is commonly depicted in tripartite form, as the all-seeing and knowing of past, present and future. It was believed that ghosts and other uncanny creatures dwelt at crossroads and places of transition hence offerings were made at small shrines at the crossroads, known as hekataia.
The worship of Hekate did happen separate from these crossroad offerings. The belief that she provided protection from ghosts lead to her being closely tied with them as one who could control them. This is one possible reason magic was performed in places where ghosts lingered such as crossroads, cemeteries and chthonic sanctuaries with the practitioner attempting to coerce ghosts to bid their will.
Along with this is the concept of sympathetic magic or “persuasive analogy.” This is the idea that the material used to perform the magic and the victim the magic in intended for are alike, and what happens to one will inflict on the other. This is apparent throughout many forms of Greek magic.