Witch's Knot
General Information

knots to trap, bind and bewitch

Where is the knot that binds the wind?
— Increase Mather

Witch's Knot is a fetish formed by the interweaving of one or more strings for a magical purpose. It's a form of imitative magic.

Description Edit

Binding the winds Edit

A witch knot made to harm is a Monkey's fist type of knot [1]. It is a fashioned knot frequently used in weather control spells to halt the winds favorable to navigation, thus causing a shutdown of navigation on the high seas, shipwrecks and other similar problems. The winds are magically harnessed by the witch's knot and can only be released by cutting the aforementioned tied string.

A knot to harm Edit

Ropes and laces can be used to magically tie a victim from afar, creating suffocation through sympathetic magic, namely manipulate a victim by acting on one of its representation, or directly tie a string so that the knots cause pain and suffering in the designated victim.

Cat's Cradle Edit


"Are you familiar with Cat's Cradle?"

A child's game in which a loop of string is put around and between the fingers and complex patterns are formed. When a witch uses this childish game she is able, by means of magical intent, to pass on the effect of the game on a victim. For example, a witch is able to break the limbs and bones of a victim by simply using a piece of braided rope.

A knot to neutralize Edit

A knot to neutralize is fashioned by tying a witch to iron and dead wood. It's an old trick used by witch hunters to neutralize magical powers. After the witch has been tied to a stake, her or his fingers are wrapped each one with this knot and then knotted in turn between them holding the squeezed palms, thus preventing to practice magic in ways not fully understood as witches can very well resort to chanting.

Throughout the Salem Series Edit

Season OneEdit

In creating a fetish to the detriment of Anne Hale, Mary Sibley has included braided hair stolen the victim of her witchcraft inside the doll before hiding the same in Anne's bedroom. (The Stone Child) To slow down the journey of Increase Mather and keep him from reaching Salem, Madame Mab and Magistrate John Hale plotted with a German ally witch to arrest the winds through a magical knot. Unfortunately, it was discovered and unfastened by the witch hunter, who then restored the natural flow of the winds (Our Own Private America).

To counter Increase Mather, Mary Sibley has cleverly made use of the magic of the nodes using the lace of her bodice in a spell of imitative magic to have control over the cilice worn by the man. Focusing her will on the victim and squeezing more and more the lace of her bodice, Mary was able to tighten at a distance, even the punitive instrument worn by Mather (Cat and Mouse).

Season TwoEdit

Driven by the desire to kill all witches in his wake, John Alden employed an old trick of the witch hunters suggested by his friend Cotton Mather. The veteran soldier used the particular trick to bind Alexander Corwin, thus preventing him from casting any spell, in order to question him before executing him. (From Within)

Season ThreeEdit

Enraged by the suffering that the young Alice has had to endure, Mercy Lewis decides to punish the uncle of her new protected by resorting to the cat's cradle spell. By exploiting a string and using Alice as a catalyst, Mercy fractured the bones of the fingers, wrists, and legs of Alice's uncle from afar, before magically throwing him out the window and crashing to the ground, thus killing him. (After the Fall)

Memorable Quotes Edit

Increase Mather: "This sea is unnatural. I smell it. I feel it. We are under a dark enchantment."
Captain: "We have searched high and low. There is no witch on this ship!"
Increase Mather: "And I say there is."
Captain: "We have searched everyone. Twice. So where is the witch?"
Increase Mather: "Right here. Where is the knot, Captain? Where have you hidden the knot? Where is the knot that binds the wind?"
-- Our Own Private America
John Alden (to Alexander Corwin): "Cotton Mather was right! Bind a witch with the right knot to iron and dead wood, he's as neutered as a freshly cut steer."
-- From Within

Gallery Edit

Videos Edit

WGN America's Salem Season 3- Cat’s Cradle01:27

WGN America's Salem Season 3- Cat’s Cradle

Trivia Edit

  • In Western Esotericism, Witch’s knot is a common symbol in folk magic. It's a symbolic representation of the knot magic practiced by witches in the Middle Ages, and was used as a sympathetic charm against witchcraft, and usually scratched over doorways of homes and stables. One aspect of its efficacy as a protective charm lay in the ability to draw the complicated symbol in one continuous motion. The symbol appears to be made up of four radiating half circles symbolically reflect malefic winds.[2]
  • In Salem, witch's knot has been used very similar to that traditionally used by European witches during Middle Age by means of so-called witch's ladder, a rope used to perform meleficia, such as control winds or harm their targets. In Modern Witchcraft or Wicca, so called "Knot Magic" is used for many purposes beyond black magic and curses.

References Edit

  1. A monkey's fist, or monkey paw is a type of knot, so named because it looks somewhat like a small bunched fist/paw.
  2. Witch's Knot on Symbol

See Also Edit

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