Hey there! Welcome to another post from Behind the Anvil. This month we are going to take a look at Knot Magic(K). And as a nifty addition, we are going to get some next level input from some of the best folks all around. I do so enjoy hearing how others do their Work. I think life is about those little moments that present us with new a-hah’s. I sometimes refer to these as BFO's (Blinding Flash of the Obvious). Knot magic has been around an extremely long time, and like many things I have found of late, it seems to have fallen by the wayside. It can be a simple practice and VERY effective at the same time. It is my hope that you will find something of use here and add it to your Work.
Now, knot magic is a form of spell-work that involves tying knots in a cord, ribbon, yarn, or any other material that can be manipulated. The knots are then used to bind, release, attract, repel, or transform energy according to your intentions. Knot magic can be done with or without words, but I have found it often involves reciting a rhyme or mantra as each knot is tied.
Knot magic is simple but rather powerful. I can do ti anywhere and anytime with minimal tools and materials. It can also be combined with other forms of magic, such as candle magic, herb magic, or sigil magic. For me, the key is to focus my intention and visualize the outcome as I tie each knot. You can also use different colors and numbers of knots to enhance it. I will add more of my thoughts at the end, so without further ado, let's get to our guest contributors and happy knotting!
We start with Priestess and author Irisanya Moon
Whenever I have stories I need to unravel in my life, I turn to knot magick. I can sit with myself, thinking about a story that I am holding onto. As I think about it, I make a knot in a piece of yarn to show where I might feel stuck. When this part feels complete, I stop and look at all the knots. I thank them for showing me places where I have been stuck, but where I have also been able to move forward. At that point, I might leave the knots there and burn the yarn to release. Or I have also gone back through the knots, untying them as I release the tension of the past and give myself ease in the present.
You can reach Irisanya Moon at www.irisanyamoon.com
Up next is my longtime friend and author Byron Ballard
I use knots for all sorts of magic. The visceral act of wrapping a string, rope or ribbon into itself reminds us of the Great Spiral. Each knot is a spiral turning inward, strengthening its power. The energy of the spell's intention is held tightly coiled, vibrating into the working. Knots are also useful for putting the final stroke on some workings. I use knots to punctuate the completion of egg bindings, weather workings and to set the healing bound in a cloutie. Many people who do knotted magic have a proscribed number of knots they generally use. That number may be a favorite of the practitioner or one she considers lucky or charmed.
Byron can be found at www.myvillagewitch.com
Louie is up next:
My experience using knots is pretty simple.I make a lot of
dolls and use knots to secure positive energy.Also, when aboard a boat knots are a part of everyday life and this applies there as well.Magic is mostly intention.People seem to think it's only something that happens with hoodoo.The rule of three along with positive intentions goes a long way and is not about manipulation so much as attracting light, healing, and positivity.Now that I think about it, in my practice any time I tie a knot I use the same process.It's just good housekeeping.
Louie can be found at email@example.com and on Instagram- @louiejosephartist
We continue with author Lisa Wagoner:
I do knot magic for simple protection, and sometimes bane work. Tying knots in the magical number of 3s helps with setting the intention of the work. I take a length of yarn, use a color of yarn relating to the correspondence (when possible), and begin tying knots while reciting my intention. It can be as simple as "this is my protection", which I say in rounds of 3, and then I place the knotted yarn near a window or door.
Check out Lisa at www.lisawagoner.com, Insta: @positivepagan and
Author Jake “Dr Buck” Richards continues with:
Humans are a complicated species. We assign meaning and rhyme to everything we do. Like the intentional loops in crocheting a hat for a new baby. Up and down, in and out, going with the flow but likewise attempting to direct the currents as well. But things happen in life, it gets complicated. It gets knotted up like Christmas lights and warrants our full attention in untangling them. The entire nature and purpose of a knot is to hold back, tie down, or keep a hold of to keep something safe. In Appalachia specifically, knots are used in a myriad of ways to instill fidelity in a lover, tie up the luck of an enemy, or are used as vessels to get rid of ailments.
The oldest and most well-known purpose of making knots was to tie off warts. Many elders still today remember when their hands, fingers and toes were covered in them. To help, their parents usually took them to a person in community who specialized in such practices. The practitioner would use different things to get rid of the warts, whether buying them with a dime, rubbing fatback on them, or a potato. But the most efficient seemed to have been the knotted string. A string was knotted the same number of times as the child had of warts. And each knot was rubbed on it’s paired wart while the practitioner prayed. Once all of the knots had met their warts, the string was burried, whether in the hollow space of a tree’s roots, a crossroads, or under the eaves of the house; and the child told to forget they were there and pay them no mind. And 99% of the time, within a week the child would notice they were all completely gone.
Likewise, a woman would secretly measure the member of her partner if she believed he was being unfaithful to her. She would take this string and knot it three times in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This she would bury under the steps of the home and each month she would ‘feed’ it by pouring a pot of her own urine onto the spot; watering the work to keep it working, so that her lover and his member would only have eyes and “attention” for her.
Likewise, if a woman wished for her husband to return soon from hunting, she would stand on the front porch, or outside facing the direction he was hunting in, and she would tie a knot in either the corner of or the strings of her apron while calling his name and telling him it’s time to come home. This “witches” his rifle to either not shoot at all or always completely miss the target, until he gives up and returns to the homestead.
You can find him on Instagram: Jake_richards13, and his Facebook page: Jake Richards – Author
Artist and Author Arlene Bailey chimes in with:
I love working with knot magic. In fact it was one of the very first “spells” that I learned and over the years, next to candle and freezer magic, it is my go to for most any kind of work. It is especially important in those cases where something negative or harming is at work and I need to bind it and strangle out the malevolence. My favorite type of knot is what I call the three-fold. Don’t know if that’s a real naming, but it’s my name for the weaving together of three pieces of thread, yarn or even large rope. Though I will add, the larger the tool (i.e., the rope, etc.), the harder it is to get it super tight and in some work you want it really tight. I also add in color magic to my knot work. Colors have their function and can add a secondary dimension of protection. I’ve also been known to put my knotted rope in the freezer and also to tie the finished product onto something high and then bury the other end in the ground. This represents the as above so below and conjures spiritual allies from both realms who I’ve asked to protect and assist in my work. This last method is for those intensely problematic situations that need something extra. If I’m trying to break a habit, I will weave three pieces of string and tie it around my wrist as a reminder of what was past, what is present and needs to be broken and what I desire for the future. I wear the “bracelet” until it falls off. This sometimes takes months, sometimes only weeks.
Vitally important once the magic is done is how you dispose of the remains.I always take mine away from home if the work was malevolent or to destroy; if the work was to bring something to me, I’ll bury it on my premises as a talisman that continues to work. No matter how one chooses to work with this symbol of our sovereignty of self, know it is a serious and intensely magical statement not to be approached lightly.Knots can bind and they can loose, depending on your intention.Take care with your intentions.
Find out more about Arlene at The Sacred Wild –https://www.facebook.com/arlenebaileythesacredwild
The Heretical Witch offers us this:
As a young girl I have vivid memories of learning to tie my
shoes. Or, rather, I have vivid memories of struggling to learn this new skill all of my peers seemed to pick up with ease. This process caused me so much frustration that I ended up having to spend a great deal of time focusing, trying, and failing. In order to make things more fun, and justify to myself why I was spending a solid 5 minutes each day getting ready to walk out the door, I infused what I thought was a simple little game to the equation. With each crossing of the strings I began repeating rhymes of things I wanted to happen that day. “Right over left…I will pass my spelling test”. “Oh shoot, no, left over right, we’ll have pizza for dinner tonight”.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was intuitively picking up on a practice that many traditions of witchcraft have used for centuries - knot magic. As an adult I am happy to report I am able to tie my shoes much quicker. Although, I do prefer a good slip on. I have also carried the practice of infusing intention into knot making forward into my adulthood witchcraft practice. I do still follow my intuition - I prefer to work my knots while in a state of trance. I know there are books on the proper way to do things & I am certain those tried and true methods deliver astounding results. For me, the magic of working with knots comes from the fusion of my will with the cord. With each knot my fingers are drawn to create I am sealing my life force and magically-directed will into the physical world. The knot gives me an outlet for my spiritual essence to manifest. It is a truly wonderful and inspiring practice. And, although it may seem simple, it packs a powerful punch
Find out more about her work on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ5CS5Xo_ga0NRj-EIoYR8w
Our final guest is priestess Michelle Fitzgerald:
Knot magic holds so many merits, and while I’ve often used a traditional form of knot magic in ritual workings, I also use a modified form on a daily basis. I incorporate the intent of weaving a focus or desired outcome into a braid of hair. It’s something I’ve done for years now, as there is so much you can do. For example, when I used to braid my daughter’s hair when she was young, I would weave in things like contentment, compassion, focus, protection, self-love, and so much more depending on what she needed for that day. As you plait or braid the hair, each time you cross a section of hair over, you would infuse that movement and section of hair to charge it with intent, either repeating the same few words or phrases, or a different one into each section. I plait a lock of my own hair each day for protection, and then braid all of my hair each night to renew it. I’ve found that by changing the wording or intent, you can tailor the protection to be incredibly specific. You might protect your own energy from being drained by others, or perhaps you prefer working with an intent for more general protection from negativity or harm. I do like to get quite specific with it and use the repetition to solidify the intent before tying an elastic at the end to lock it in, and as my priestess vows to the Mórrígan included a caveat about not cutting my hair shorter than my waistline, I certainly have a lot to work with! For me, this method of braiding has always brought to mind a part of the Mórrígan’s own lore, where her hair is fashioned in 9 plaits which are unbound at the river Unshin at Samhain when she meets with the Dagda. There is definite magic in the knotting and weaving and I’m still surprised more people don’t utilize this in their daily practice.
Michelle can be found on Instagram @thehalcyonmoon
Before I go any further, I would like to offer a huge THANK YOU to each of the contributors on this rich subject. They were eager and willing to share some of their knowledge freely with us. Please give them a like and a follow. Our community needs folks like these, so support them where you can.
As to my Work, I love using metal and creating knot magic with it. Most of the ones I do, are commissioned for a specific purpose. It's amazing how powerful these knots can be. Whether you need to protect yourself from unwanted influences, (they make some really intense boundaries - think protection from a neighbor or an ex), or keep something precious to you safe and secure, steel knots can help you with this. You can also personalize your metal knot by writing or carving a word or a symbol on the back of it. This will enhance the energy and intention of it and makes it more unique. Don't be afraid to experiment and see what you can do with them! I'm always happy to make steel knots for anyone who needs them. This is very much a part of my metal magic practice and is a juicy way to get things done, or knot (sorry, I couldn't help myself!)
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