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[Tidbits] The Love Knot


There was once a little ditty one chanted dichotomously while
barbarically ripping the petals off a daisy… rendering it ugly and
useless and unsuitable for life: She love me/she loves me knot–
though the spelling may have been a tad different. And via a segue so
arcane that only this simplest of minds would be able to understand
its complexities. I present to you–dear readers of Tidbits–The Love

Also known as the following: The Herakles knot. The Hercules (modern
version of Herakles) knot. The Reef knot. The Square knot. It was–in
the beginning–considered a healing charm in ancient Egypt. It then
became a protective entity entwined into a bride’s wedding gown to be
untied at the proper moment by the groom symbolizing his right to
partake in her virginity. Of course. I would have to assume that
should the bride not have been a virgin. then perhaps honesty would
have dictated she use a slip-knot in her gown in lieu of a square
knot. Much like her misplaced virginity. it was–according perhaps to
ancient lore–easily undone. On my own I would like to add that if
the bride were to have been over thirty years of age a Granny Knot
might have been more appropriate.

As a quick aside. the knot also symbolized the god of back–some
say–to nigh on to 9000 years. And it had many practical uses. not
the least of which was in its symbolic representation in jewelry.
Ahhh. now he’s getting to it, Benjamin. Go on old chap. We’re

Well. as it happens. I have an image of an armband with a Herakles
knot sumptuously decorated in a floral design with emeralds and
garnets and enamel. It is gold… though I must admit I know not the
karat. It was written by Pliny–a Roman scribbler of some note of
that time–that the ornamental contrivance of the Herakles knot could
cure wounds as well as having the power to avert evil.

I suspect. and I know I’m going out on a limb here. but I suspect the
aforementioned knot–when used correctly–would be more efficacious
in scaring away a fearsome vampire than the traditional cross. I
wouldn’t mind a wee bit of feedback here from those of you more
knowledgeable in the machinations of evil than I.

So. that all said. any of you out there want to see a golden armband
with a decorative Herakles knot securely ensconced between filigreed
stretches of gold? Yeah? Did I hear you all say yeah? Did I hear some
of you more cultured types say yes oh yes Benjamin. we would love to
see it. would we knot?

So here it is. For those of you who are new to this thing called
Tidbits. may I direct you to my home page at where you will scroll down the left side
menu till you get to the area that says Current Tidbits. click on it.
and you will see represented on our pages an image of a golden
armband of a bejeweled Herakles knot.



You speak with wonderful words of wonderful things. Can you
resurrect more writings of this gentleman Pliny? Specifically, does
he offer instructions on how to duplicate this knot with the power to
avert evil and cure wounds in today’s world? Our world needs an
urgent infusion of this kind of healing.

Looking forward to your messages again and often.

Best, MA


In Celtic knot lore a very similar knot is frequently called “the
lover’s knot”. The main difference is that it follows the convention
of alternating over and under whereas the Herakles knot or square
knot goes over two strands then under two strands. It is essentially
the difference between the square knot and the granny knot.

The symbolism is fairly easy to understand because the knot joins
two separate strands or cords, as love joins two people.

The Celtic love knot is also sometimes called a Josephine knot. In
actual knot tying lingo it is called a Carrick bend.

Steve Walker



Was that Pliny the Elder the idiot, “Think I will just have a look
at that volcano, Vesuvius.” Did not end well LOL.

But he really was a great intellect and writer even if his
fascination for natural events brought him undone.



Purely because I have an interest in knots qua knots, a carrick bend
is quite different from a granny knot. There are some books,
apparently, which call the granny knot a “single carrick bend,” but
that is a poor use of the term.

I’ve also seen the term “true lovers knot” applied to a pair of
simple overhand knots joined through their central bights.

Elliot Nesterman

Was that Pliny the Elder the idiot, "Think I will just have a look
at that volcano, Vesuvius." Did not end well LOL." 

No, that would be Pliny the Elder, the courageous, who died trying
to rescue people from Vesuvius.

Was that Pliny the Elder the idiot, "Think I will just have a look
at that volcano, Vesuvius." Did not end well LOL. 

Seems this brilliance not necessarily equating common sense runs in
my family, as well. My brother was one of three Seattle men who
eluded Forest Service personal in 1980 and climbed to the summit of
Mount St. Helens a month before it’s eruption. Thankfully, it ended
better for Andy than it did for Pliny.

Linda in central FL