It’s a funny thing. I use knot/cord magic A LOT but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book devoted to it (I like Scott Cunningham’s chapter on it in Earth Power, pg.91). It’s so versatile though that there SHOULD be more about it.
As a newer witch, knot/cord magic is something I HIGHLY recommend. Especially if you are in the broom closet/can’t light candles or have a fire to burn herbs. It’s easy to do and it’s inconspicuous. There are so many ways to incorporate it too.
First let’s talk about the different kinds of knot/cord magic:
Braiding: Used for long term, braid three or more colored cords while focusing on your intention and use when necessary.
Knot 1: Tie 9 knots on a colored cord while focusing on your intention and place some place where it will not be disturbed (by storing it, burning it or burying it- so the knots will never be undone).
Knot 2: Tie 9 knots on a colored cord while focusing on your intention to store energy. Release knots one by one in the order they were tied to release the energy when needed, once a day consecutively.
Crochet/Knitting: Use to imbue intention into the item so that the wearer benefits (e.g. warmth, self confidence, protection, etc).
Cross Stitch/Embroidery: Used to imbue intention into the item. Especially useful with sigils.
How to do it:
There are a few methods known when working with knot & cord magic.
Braided cords typically do not get undone, and are stored for long term use. While braiding the cord (typically in 9’ or 9" measurements but if you don’t follow the threefold law this is irrelevant– unless your deity is a triplicate that you plan to invoke). To Do: Concentrate on your intent while braiding the cord, visualizing/thinking about it coming to fruition. Once you’re finished braiding consecrate the cord and put it away until you need it. This isn’t meant for an every day thing, just an as needed cord.
Knots can be harnessed in a few ways but the gist is that you’re using the knots to store power related to the intention of your spell. 1) Where you don’t ever untie them, 2) When you untie them as power is needed, or 3) when you untie one knot each day for consecutive days.
Typically you would tie a bead onto one end of the cord so that you know what your starting end is. You can also melt the ends with fire to prevent fraying. To Do: Pass the cord through a candle flame or incense to cleanse it while saying the words of your spell (i.e. the REASON you’re doing this) then you begin tying the knots in the cord you want to say the following while focusing on the intention/the type of power you are storing:
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
Generally knots are tied in this order:
But I have seen other variations, I just find this one easier to follow because it doesn’t start in the middle so you have a reference point for which end contains the 1st knot (the bead). You can also tie things INTO the knot to strengthen the magic even further (hair, wood, stones/gems, etc) just make sure to destroy or bury those items if you choose to untie the knots. Some people use knotted cords as a powerful talisman and don’t untie the knots, if this is the case you want to store it where it won’t be disturbed, burn it so it will never physically be untied or bury it where it will disintegrate in the earth and also never physically be untied. I have done all three methods of handling and I can’t say I prefer one over the other. The really great thing about storing energy is that it’s raised when it will be the most powerful (increases, like success or protection, would be sometime from the new moon to full and decreases, like a binding, would be sometime from the full moon to new) but the power is now stored for use whenever you need it.
Crocheting/Knitting is something I consider part of knot and cord magic because you can purposefully stitch your intention into the item you’re making. A lot of time, if for friends/family, I weave warmth and protection into things I make for them. So I might say something like:
With every stitch that I make,
the wearer of this item will be protected
and warm, but as the need arises
they will be alert until they get to safety.
Never too hot, but not cold either,
This item will keep them comfortable.
By earth, air, flame and sea,
as I say, so shall it be.
And I’ll focus on that while I continue to make the item. Off topic, but notice how I put a clause in there that they will be alert if the need arises until they reach safety. I don’t want them to be so warm and comfortable that they neglect their own safety.
Cross-stitch/embroidery: You can embroider sigils using color appropriate cloth and thread! You can cross stitch spells into your work (like cross stitching an acorn and imbuing it with luck and protection, which actual acorns can represent). There are so many different things you could do, let your imagination do the work!
Color in knot & cord magic:
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: 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, moon magic
Orange: encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, business goals, property deals, ambition, career goals, general success, justice, legal matters, selling, action
Copper: passion, money goals, professional growth, fertility in business, career maneuvers
(Color correspondance Source, please note this is one of many sources on this)