Sunday, March 4, 2012
Many cultures use the knot as a symbol for family ties, marriage and various connections in the community. The popular term "tying the knot" came from Victorian era, a subtle way of saying a marriage is underway between couples obviously in love.
The love theme is also seen in ancient Rome where the knot is commonly seen in artistic renderings of Venus as well as Cupid. In this aspect, the knot symbolizes union, and eternal bonds of devotion. Essentially, the knot in this perspective is a symbol for love.
In Celtic symbolism, knots will convey many different meanings - from signifying clans, family heritage, to expressing ties between human, animal, and the elemental and spiritual realms.
Celtic knots, and so Celtic knot tattoos also convey a sense of continuity. It's a common myth that Celtic knots have no beginning and no end - and although this is a mistruth, the symbolism of infinite status of life is very accurate. The ancient Celts, especially the druids had a keen sense of life and the afterlife and inherently understood the eternally cyclical nature of life. Knots were a common motif to convey these eternal connections and revolutions in nature.
Egyptians also utilized knot motifs to express infinite life. For example, the Knot of Isis is kind of a spin-off of the ankh, it is said to symbolize the immortal status and the ties between the goddess and the divine.
Ancient European practitioners of magic, and even ancient Celtic druids are known to tie knots in sympathetic rituals. This practice of tying knots is a galvanizing act of binding for many purposes. A knot tattoo in this respect may convey a need to bind together loose ends within your life. It can also be a symbol of protection - binding fears, or malevolent energy.
Sympathetic magic is also powerful when untying knots. Buddhist knots are untied to signify a spiritual adept releasing him/herself from the ties of materialism.
Several religious orders who have incorporated knots into their symbol-lexicons. Like the Franciscan friars of old Catholicism. Knots are used in their order to symbolize obedience and the vows of poverty and celibacy - a devotional emblem to their faith.
In Chinese symbology, the knot is a symbol of good luck. It represents the binding of good energy, and the knot is an obstacle - prohibiting the entry of negative energy. The knot is a symbol of protection from harming influences.