19 Oct The Endless Knot
Symbolizes compassion and wisdom combined, and the need to unite spiritual and material matters.
Different interpretations of the Endless Knot occur in different cultures, including Celtic, Chinese, and in Tibetan Buddhism where it is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, or Ashtamangala. The knot can be drawn without the pen leaving the paper—this is generally a clue that the symbol is one of protection.
Philosophically, the knot is constructed of “something” (the rope, representative of matter) and “nothing” (the spaces in between), symbolic of spirit. These two elements represent the co-dependence of wisdom and compassion, male and female, night and day.
Since the Endless Knot has no beginning and no end, there are also comparisons to be drawn with the circle.
Knots, because they symbolize the act of binding, hold powerful symbolic and magical significance. The notion of binding extends to the spirit, as well as material things. In some pagan wedding rites the hands of the bride and groom are bound together, physically, as a symbol of the vows that bind them together, body and soul. For Buddhists, the untying of a knot signifies an unbinding from material things, to become liberated from them, and is therefore symbolic of death.
Knots hold a great significance for fishermen, not a surprise considering that fishing nets are constructed from knots. Any person who risks his life by putting themselves at the mercy of the elements tends to have an understandably superstitious approach to life. Some fishermen still carry a piece of rope with three knots in it, although they may have forgotten what these knots symbolize. The first knot, if untied, brings fair winds; the second, storms; and the third keeps these storms in check.