Cord and knot magic is a very old form of folk magic that was often associated with wind/weather magics. In cord magic the spells are simply prepared ahead of time, and then used as needed. Each knot is then untied releasing the power entrapped in the cord over nine consecutive days.

For cord magic you will need a cord that is nine feet long (three times three; the traditional magical number) and is the color appropriate to the magical working. Smaller cords can be 9 inches long if you want something simpler to carry and store.

Because it is a magical tool, no one else should ever use your cord but you. Tie a knot in each end to keep it from unraveling. Consecrate the cord to your purpose when once the cord has been cut and the ends knotted.

The most common use of the cord is as a storage cell" for the power. The first knot is tied at one end, with the words "By knot of one, the spell's begun." At this point, chanting or meditation is appropriate until you feel it is time to tie another knot.

The second knot is tied on the opposite end with the words: "By knot of two, it cometh true". Take "aim" at this time by visualizing your need or desire being fulfilled. As the power builds, more knots are tied until there are nine knots in the cord. (Not counting the ones you tied to keep the ends from unraveling.


Here is the pattern of tying, together with the appropriate words:

By knot of ONE, the spell's begun
By knot of TWO, it cometh true
By knot of THREE, so mote it be
By knot of FOUR, this power I store
By knot of FIVE, the spell's alive
By knot of SIX, this spell I fix
By knot of SEVEN, events I'll leaven
By knot of EIGHT, it will be Fate
By knot of NINE, what's done is mine

At the tying of the last (ninth) knot, all the energy is directed into the cord and its knots, with a final visualization of the object of the work. The power has been raised and is now "stored" in these knots in the cord.

Why would you want to store a spell? For some magic, the time for it to happen is important.

Suppose, for example, that you want something constructive to happen but the most propitious time for it to do so happens to be close to the New Moon. Do you do your constructive magic during the Waxing Moon? No. You do it early on, at the Full Moon, using a cord.

Now the power is there, properly raised, but stored for use.

You have nine knots. Although they are all tied in one ritual, these must be released one at a time - one a day - for nine consecutive days. Release them in the same order in which they were tied, NOT the reverse order.

In other words, on the first day untie the knot that was first tied (to know which end you started with, when making the cord, braid in a small bead at one end and always start with this end); on the second day, the second knot tied; and so on.

In this fashion, the last knot untied, on the ninth day, is the ninth knot that was tied at the climax of the tying ritual - the time of greatest power.

Each day, before you actually untie, do your concentration on what is to happen, visualize and again build power. Then, as you release the knot, release the power.

Cords should be of natural materials, such as wool, the best, or cotton; however, if all you have are synthetic materials it will still work..Remember that the tool is not the Witch. The real power comes from within you.


White - purity, truth, sincerity, spirituality, the goddess, peace, higher self, virginity(as in the woman’s mind is owned by no man), a substitute for any other color.

Red - strength, health, vigor, sexual love, energy, passion, courage, element of fire, career goals, fast action, lust, blood of the moon, vibrancy, driving force, survival

Light Blue - tranquility, understanding, patience, calm, gently moving, wisdom, good fortune, opening blocked communication

Dark Blue - impulsiveness, depression, changeability, protection, spiritual inspiration, reassurance, creativity

Green - finance, fertility, luck, Earth Mother, physical healing, monetary success, abundance, tree and plant magick, growth, Element of Earth, personal goals

Gold - wealth, The God, promote winning, safety and power of the male, happiness, playful humor

Yellow - The Sun, intelligence, accelerated learning, memory, logical imagination, breaking mental blocks, selling yourself

Gold/Yellow - attraction, persuasion, charm, confidence

Brown - hesitation, uncertainty, neutrality, influence friendships, special favors

Pink - honor, romantic love, morality, Planetary Good Will, healing of emotions, peace, affection,romance, partnerships of emotional maturity, caring, nurturing

Black - evil, loss, discord, confusion, protection, repelling negativity, binding, shapeshifting

Purple - tension, ambition, business progress, power, influencing people in high places, third eye, psychic ability, spiritual power, self assurance, hidden knowledge

Silver/Grey - cancellation, neutrality, stalemate, telepathy,clairvoyance, intuition, clairaudience, psychometry, dreams, astral energies, Female Power, communication, The Goddess

Orange - encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, business goals, property deals, ambition, career goals, general success, justice, legal matters, selling, action

Greenish Yellow - sickness, cowardice, anger, jealousy, discord

Copper - passion, money goals, professional growth, fertility in business, career maneuvers

Cord magic is often overlooked but it is an old and reliable way of doing spellwork. I often recommend it for those who live in places such as a dormitory where they cannot use the more popular and well-known candle magic.


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Love knot work, thank you for posting this Lark

Thanks for posting this Lark, a very comprehensive guide. Cord magic is something my 1st coven was fond of, it does seem to be very popular with covens in the south west of the UK. I still use it a lot now. During group spell working we often "weave" a spell using a cord for each member, just like a may pole, but resulting in a cord "web".
As an aside, when I was in China last month I visited a temple and got some Buddhist prayer beads, they use them like a rosary and they are an excellent focus tool, they are also strung in multiples of 9.
Hwyl a bendithion, G.(",)
I do something similar, only it's for a daily spell I am continually running. I have a tall pole lamp in my office next to my computer desk. I made a charm which I hang from it which will help me grow my business, build relationships with existing clients and reach out to new clients. I took some gold and green fabric and wrote a sigilized word which sums up and encodes my intent. Then to that, I sewed a long green ribbon which reaches to the floor. Every day, I tie one knot in it, usually right before I sit down to check my client emails and business Twitter feed. I say the sigilized word. I focus on my goal - growth and development of my business. When I run out of room to put knots on this ribbon, I will tie another to the fabric at the top.

thank you lark for this post this is something every good to learn from thanks again


Cord and Knot magic is fascinating to me at the moment.  This seems to be an excellent beggining resource.  Does anyone have any books that study some of the older traditions that might reference this.  I know several old resources that mention knot magic but I haven't gotten around to looking for anything that really uses it yet except for new age books which often describe a system similar to this thread.  I was wondering how this system compared to the middle eastern methods that are mentioned during the prechristian eras. Anyone got any recommendations?


Ah yes. Cord magic is the main ingredient of a Handfasting ritual.

I love cords and cord magic. We spin our own cords and we use them as a tool for many different types of rituals and magic. Below is the text of an article I wrote a few years ago regarding the use of cords through a cycle of the year. The alignments are for the Southern Hemisphere. For Northern Hemisphere use - Yule is in the North and the cycle is viewed clockwise (so Ostara and Mabon do not change their positions). We have actually made the whole sabbat set of cords 3 times now.


Wheel Dances And Sabbat Cords

by Blayze


When many of us think of cord magic, we think of knot spells and bindings, handfasting cords and the cords of degree, however cords are very versatile working tools and with a little imagination, they can be used to enhance all manner of rituals.


One of my favourite ways of raising energy is via a cord or wheel dance. This does require several people, usually from as few as 3 people to a maximum of 13. Any more would mean the cords would have to be very long. For a cord dance, everyone involved can use their own working cord, or cords may be spun (or bought) for the specific ritual. These cords may need to be a certain colour or combination of colours, or if you work numerologically the cords may have a certain number or strands or the dance a certain number of participants. It really is up to the intent of the ritual organisers and the ritual itself. 


Basically, a cord dance is formed like a wheel. Cord 1 is looped in half, Cord 2 is looped through Cord 1 and Cord 3 is looped through both and so on until a wheel is formed. Participants hold their cords tightly by the ends and dance around the circle pulling the cords tight. This technique creates quite a stable form and the tension of the cords serves to hold the energy of the circle dance until it is time to for the energy to be released or set within the cords. This is acheived by releasing the cords and throwing them up into the air, usually on the signal of one of the participants or at the end of a specific chant. Not only does this technique raise a huge amount of focused energy, it is also loads of fun to do. Whether the energy is actually released from, or set into, the cords really depends upon the goal of the ritual and should always be discussed beforehand.


So if we take the simple premise of a wheel dance, we can expand its use into many situations. For example, we have empowered cords for use in ritual where 5 cords (representing each element) were being charged for a handfasting. The five people who were gifting these cords danced them in a wheel over a low central altar, chanting a rune written specifically for the ritual. The energies were woven into the cords and released over the rings sitting on the altar. The cords were then individually presented to the couple during the ritual and later used to perform the actual binding.


We have also utilised a dance of eight cords, specifically representing the eight Sabbats. Each participant had previously been appointed a Sabbat ritual to write for the coming year. At the cord dance ritual they stood at the point in the circle that represented their particular Sabbat and held a cord woven to represent the colours of that Sabbat. As the cord dance began, I called an invokation of blessing upon the coming year's rituals. When the energy had built to a crescendo and the dancers were back in their original positions, we set the energy into the cords. Each dancer then retrieved his or her cord from the centre and took it home with them. Over the coming year each person was to write their sabbat ritual for the group somehow utilising their sabbat cord within the ritual. Having the cord as a starting point gave some kind of initial focus to the writing of the ritual and also provided a common thread (pun intended) to the wheel of the year cycle for the group.


The positions and colours we used were:


Samhain                      South West     Black and Silver         

Yule                             South               Red, Green and White

Imbolc                         South East      White, Yellow and Green

Ostara                         East                 Green and White

Beltane                        North East       Red and White

Litha                            North               Red, Orange and Gold

Lughnasadh                North West      Orange, Gold and Brown

Mabon                         West                Gold and Black


Each Sabbat ritual utilised the cords in different ways. We wove wheat into them, hung crystals and bells from them, we wrapped them around objects, used them to measure a plot for planting wheat, spun people into Spring with them, created a pendulum with them and lead people on a journey with them. The cords from two wheels worth of rituals now hang in our temple space providing energies and colour and fabulous memories.

I'm glad I stumbled across this.  It's been difficult finding ways to do things in my current living situation, with limited access to tools and whatnot.  I do, however, have ready access to cord.  Brilliant.

so my parents just came back from puerto rico,an my father brought back these flags..he states that every flag they put up, would get knoted up.  i asked hin if maybe he didnt think it was the wind that tore em an did it, but he pointed out that one of the flags, he had actually seen his nephew tie some bright cloth to a fence 30 feet away, an come out the next day an see them now woven in the the flag...

Wow. I love this. I had heard of knot magic before but never really knew how it worked. I have been doing research via google since I read this post and would love to learn more about this type of magic. I have been looking into different knots and am curious as to which kinds are more prevalently used for spellwork and why. This method seems perfect for me as it seems to be both quick and effective. I'm also crafty and creative and enjoy knitting and crocheting when I have the time. I'm sure this form of magic could easily be used in many fiber crafts. Making protective jewelry for my family that is sturdy and easy to replace should it be lost or broken sounds great. I have read mixed information on knot magic so far and would like to fully understand it before trying to employ it. Some sources say untie your knots backwards, some say don't, some say don't untie them at all, etc etc. I am curious as to the proper processes and the reasons as to why they are the proper processes. To me, untying the knots backwardsmakes no sense. It seems almost like reversing or undoing your work. Alas I am new to this form and would be very grateful if anyone could direct me to more information in books or on websites. Please post more!
I had heard about this form of magic but didnt know about the process to carry it out. So glad I found it here! While tying the knots, do we need to use anything else like insence or candles to help with the meditation? I'd love to try this out, but I'm not sure if I can work this on myself. Can I?

Not really.  That's the beauty of cord magic.  It doesn't require a lot of other tools or ingredients.  You certainly can use them if you want and they would add another layer to your working, but they aren't required.  That's why it is useful for those living in a college dorm or somewhere else where candles and incense aren't practical.

Dark Wing said:

I had heard about this form of magic but didnt know about the process to carry it out. So glad I found it here! While tying the knots, do we need to use anything else like insence or candles to help with the meditation? I'd love to try this out, but I'm not sure if I can work this on myself. Can I?

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