A sleeping enchantment is a form of spell used to put people to sleep. It can be cast with an incantation, non-verbally or verbally, for example by singing.
The known sleeping enchantments have been used in these occasions:
- An extremely powerful form of sleeping enchantment was used by the sorceress Mary Collins on the maid Bronwen. The girl had seen the witch's reflection by removing a cloth from a mirror Mary had covered because it was able to reveal her true appearance, which she had changed with a glamour. As the girl tried to leave, Mary grabbed her hand and started to chant a soft lullaby with which she drained the life from the serving girl. She then left the woman's lifeless corpse on the stone floor (The Dragon's Call).
- By Mary Collins, in the guise of Lady Helen, while singing to the court of Camelot, putting it all to sleep in an attempt to assassinate Prince Arthur Pendragon. The song she sang (translated in English) was: "Lovely night has come to us, lovely night, soft and dark; the lovely night that ends a long and hard, weary day; so rest... Lay your body down, forget your life. Spiders of the night come, spin your silky webs. Spiders of the night come, bind them in their sleep. Now, spiders of the night, spin! Wrapped in your shroud, dead to the world... just like my son: dead, dead, dead, DEAD!" Mary Collins' enchantment caused the banquet room to get progressively darker, ageing the castle, with webs forming on the victims' lifeless bodies. Merlin was able to protect himself by covering his ears and, before the witch could kill Arthur, he used telekinesis to make a chandelier fall on her. When the song stopped, the enchantment was lifted and the court awakened (The Dragon's Call).
- Swefn. Used by Edwin to send the Elanthia Beetles back to sleep when they were awoken by Merlin, who read the spell on the top of the box they were kept in (A Remedy to Cure All Ills).
- Gefultuma híe þæt heo onslæpe. Used by Morgause on her healing bracelet to cure Morgana of her nightmares (The Sins of the Father).
- Swefe nu. Cast by Merlin on the Lady Vivian when she entered Arthur's rooms under Trickler's love spell. He then hid her in Arthur's closet just as the Prince arrived (Sweet Dreams).
- Non-verbally. Used by Morgause to send her sister to sleep, after she had agreed to help her bring about Uther's downfall (The Fires of Idirsholas).
- Acene slæp swilce cwalu. Acene slæp swilce cwalu. Acene slæp swilce cwalu. This is an extremely powerful sleeping enchantment. The Great Dragon told Merlin that it was one thing to cast such spell, but the power to maintain it was completely another matter. These spells, in fact, need a vessel, a constant living presence to give them strength. Morgause had used Morgana as the source of this pestilence. She had her lie on the ground and drew a magical circle around her. While she chanted the spell, Morgana's body glowed with blue light. Morgause's spell was woven with magic of such power that even Merlin was not immune. Morgana's presence caused everyone else in Camelot to fall into an eternal sleep. Only when the Witch was almost killed, the enchantment was broken by Morgause herself (The Fires of Idirsholas).
- Ic ácwice þé. Ic þé bebíede þæt þú ne slæpest! Brimstréam. These spells were used by Merlin when he tried several times to break Morgause's spell, waking Gaius up. Anyway Morgause's magic was too strong and the only way to break the enchantment was to kill Morgana, the vessel. The first spell had the effect of making Gaius straighten up, with an idiotic smile on his face, but not awake. The second one broke the chair on which the physician was sitting, making him fall on the ground, while the third one created a jet of water (The Fires of Idirsholas).
- Onslæp nu. Used by Alator of the Catha, warrior and High Priest of the Old Religion, when he abducted Gaius from Camelot (The Secret Sharer).
- Gielde ic þec þissa meowles sawol... Gyden æblæce. This spell was cast by Merlin, disguised with an ageing spell as the old sorceress Dolma, to wake Queen Guinevere, who had been brainwashed by Morgana and turned against Camelot, up. Gwen was under the effect of the Belladonna, a powerful and dangerous drug which lasts a few hours and has to be administered several hours a day to provide a continuous sleep, but for no more than three days or the body will not tolerate it. To free the Queen's spirit from Morgana's dark magic, a thing that only the most powerful sorcerers could hope to attempt, Merlin had to travel to the Cauldron of Arianrhod and there use all his powers to summon the White Goddess herself. The waters of the Cauldron held the Goddess' powers and only their touch could have healed her, but Gwen would have had to enter the lake willingly; if she were tricked, forced or beguiled, she would fall into the abyss and be lost forever. The spell Merlin cast was (considering its meaning, "I offer you this maiden's soul... White Goddess") probably a preparatory magic to his summoning of the deity and was done to give Arthur the chance to reach the part of Gwen that had remained untouched by the evils of Morgana (With All My Heart).