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The Basics of Cord and Knot Magic

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Nautical knots can be used or very simple ones.

Nautical knots can be used or very simple ones.

Knot Spells for the Kitchen and Hedge Witch

Cord and knot magic are deceptively simple folk magic techniques you can use to bring desired effects into your life. As with any spell, it is the energy you put in not the complexity of it.

You can dress magic up as much as you want or keep it as simple as you please. Adding correspondences aids in concentration. Below is a traditional knot spell that you can adapt to your own practice with color correspondences and other variations if you want to use them.

Supplies Needed

Magic on a Budget

I'm a firm believer that magical tools do not have to cost you a bundle. You can buy really expensive ribbon or cording or use what you have on hand including string, yarn, etc. Just make sure that it has not been used for another purpose in order to make it as energetically clean as possible.

For this spell, you will need a length of cord or ribbon. This can be any length you choose. Some traditional measurements used in inches are 9 and 13. I prefer mine a little longer as I find it easier to work with.

The Spell

Inspired by Classic Witchcraft

Hold the cord in your hands and concentrate on your desire as if it has already become manifest. Do this for as long as you can. Begin to tie the knots in the pattern below while reciting these words:

Cord Spell *(see sources)

By this knot of one

The spell has begun.

By this knot of two

It comes true.

By this knot of three

It must be.

By this knot of four

It's empowered more.

By this knot of five

The power thrives.

By this knot of six

This spell I fix.

By this knot of seven

'Tis manna from heaven.

By this knot of eight

It is my fate.

By this knot of nine

My desire is mine.

This has bound your energy into the cord. There are several ways to finish this spell. You can untie each knot for nine consecutive days in the order you tied them and dispose of the cord. I have also buried cords, burned them, or cut each knot stating words affirming my trust that the spell has worked.

How to Make the Spell Your Own

Variations you can choose

Folk magic or granny magic as it is sometimes called is meant to be adapted to each practitioner. You can vary this spell as you see fit or change it completely. I have used three cords and chanted or affirmed my intention while braiding them together. This repetition of movement and sound helps to cement the magic in your mind even more. Also add incense, candles, aromatherapy, etc. if that helps you create an atmosphere in which to focus.

You don't need to use knots at all. Instead, you can make a sort of memory bracelet to wear out of braided cord. When you feel the spell has done its job, dispose of it as you see fit. All of these techniques can be adapted into a regular circle casting or using any other religious symbolism you wish.

Color Correspondences

Below are some popular attributions to colors that you can use in cord magic. Source.:

  • White: Purity, truth, spirituality, peace.
  • Black: Stealth, banishing, protection from negativity.
  • Red: Strength, passion, courage.
  • Blue: Intuition, tranquility, emotion, healing, patience.
  • Green: Money, prosperity, fertility.
  • Orange: Stimulation, vitality, energy, adaptability.
  • Yellow: Mental acuity, intelligence, study, confidence.
  • Brown: The earth, home, stability.
  • Gray: Neutrality, cancellation, walking between two worlds.


*Poem adapted from The Spell of the Cord by Doreen Valiente in Witchcraft for Tomorrow, Phoenix Publishing Inc., 1978.

Color correspondences from Master Book of Candle Burning by Henri Gamache.

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Comments welcome.

Linda Hahn from California on November 28, 2013:

Very practical. Thank you.

GreenfireWiseWo on July 25, 2012:

Interesting lens - thank you.

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