Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jeudi: Root Work

Knot spells are probably as old as human beings. The magick of the knot is easy to perform as all you need is your intention, your words and something to tie consecutive knots in. A strand of hair, a blade of grass, a flower stalk, the list continues ad nauseum and makes the relative ease of knot work so very obvious.

I think it is this easy, with its lack of fancy ingredients that sound like something out of Faust, that makes knot work a relatively untouched subject among modern spell book writers. Believe me, I own a book or two on the subject across a range of magickal disciplines and there are only a few that include knot magick. Silver RavenWolf stands out as a modern Wiccan who discusses the practice in detail in more than one of her books - To Ride A Silver Broomstick, for instance.

The formula for a knot spell is to tie a series of knots - generally but not always in multiples of three - in a length of thread, string or ribbon. The knots should be relatively equadistant from one another so the length of the thread is important; you don't want to run out of material before your work is done. Another broad generalization is that knot work is done to bind something or someone: keep illness at bay, drive off unwanted attentions or make a partner faithful in love, for instance. This follows the like-makes-like philosophy of magick and, though it makes sense, you should not limit yourself if knot work particularly appeals to you. Once you get good at it, you can use these spells for virtually anything and with surprising success.

Once the working is done, the knotted item should always be stored somewhere safe. No one else should see or most importantly touch the knots or the working will lose power. If you should decide that you no longer wish to apply the power of your knot work, simply reverse the process: with intention and while speaking the knots out loud, take the knots out of the item and dispose of it. Burning, burying or release in running water is best to ensure that all of your spell has been undone.

Speaking the knots is one of the largest parts of this type of spell. It allows the worker to focus on their goal and say out loud the intention of the working. This is particularly important for those who are knew to root work. Focus can be the most difficult part of successfully working magick, and all of us - regardless of our intentions - should take a little bit of time away from the constant distractions of our day to meditate, pray or focus somewhere quiet.

All knot spells follow the numbering formula and the best way for me to express that is to give an example. Here are the spoken words for each knot in a spell to keep an unwanted suitor at bay:

By knot of one it is begun;
By knot of two I'm done with you;
By knot of three you forget me;
By knot of four I close the door;
By knot of five ardor cannot survive;
By knot of six you find a new fix;
By knot of seven away from me you're driven;
By knot of eight no love, no hate;
By knot of nine freedom from you is mine.

You would tie each knot as you speak it's number. The rhyming is not a necessity but it is certainly an aid to focus as well as part of the knot work tradition. You may want to write down your speaking before you do your working. Most of us aren't good at coming up with this kind of thing off the top of our heads, particularly when we are dealing with something in which we are emotionally invested.

This brings me to two final points. If you can get something the person you are doing the knot work about and/or for to put knots in, or even have he or she touch the thread or sting that you will use, so much the better. Neither of these points are ablsolute necessities but they do help. Also, speaking of writing things down, it always helps to keep a working journal of your magick - call it a Book of Shadows or Grimoire if you have to but keep some kind of record of your spells and how they manifested. It will help you learn not only from your mistakes, but from your successes as well... Bonne chance ~

Header: Painting by William Stott via Old Paint


Timmy! said...

Knotty, knotty... Very knotty, Pauline.

Pauline said...

It really is a great method for beginners and "experts" (if there is such a thing; there's a reason they call it a "magickal practice") alike. I encourage everyone to try it because the results are often immediate, which helps boost magickal self-confidence.

Prairie Femme said...

very interesting, I am aware of some prayers around here(La.) that require knots to be tied in a string, then, a lady I know just posted a stature of Mary, "untier of knots" that title, I was not very familiar with, but it resonates, as does your post, Merci~

Pauline said...

Thanks for stopping by, PF. Your point is well taken with regard to knotted string and the Catholic tradition. Some historians believe that the first rosaries were nothing more than knotted string or ribbon. It seems to me that all traditions/religions eventually overlap if you just dig deep enough.

Come back again soon, y'all!