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The magic of Knots

By Amalasuntha

Knot magic, or the magic or invocation which is accompanied by the tying or undoing of a knot is known from many cultures and religions. In basic terms, the tying of a knot captures, binds or retains something, the undoing of it releases. A particular intention or desire is captured as the knot is tied, usually by the practice of speaking the purpose aloud so that the breath passes through the loop of the knot as it is pulled tight, sealing the intention inside the knot and trapping it within.

In historical reference, the Romans used knot tying to tie images of lovers to keep a couple together, solemn oaths were made to deities whilst tying a knot to symbolise that oath and the binding of an individual to it. In Norse, Roman and Greek mythology there are groups of characters who weave, cut and knot the threads of the lives of mortal beings, to bind them into a tapestry of life. The Gordian Knot was cut by Alexander the Great, as a symbol of the establishment of a new rule (Lynn E. Roller, “Midas and the Gordian Knot”, Classical Antiquity 3.2 (October 1984:256-271))

Knots are prevalent in wedding lore, where the uniting of two individuals is called ‘tying the knot’. From the Dark Ages to the 18th Century, it was forbidden to tie a knot on someone’s wedding day, as it would prevent a true union between a bride and groom. The most frequent knot magics were used by sailors. “Wind knots” were three knots made in a string, rope, or rag and sold to sailors. If a sailor were to untie one knot, he would get a moderate wind. If he should untie 2 knots, the wind would blow half a gale. To untie all 3 knots would have caused a hurricane.( JG Frazer 1963 The Golden Bough Collier Books)

Read the original article at: Chesterfield Pagans

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