A form of Sympathetic Magic applied by means of a knotted rope.
Although it is thought to have been practised since prehistoric times, one of the first historical accounts of cord magic, dating from early in the eleventh Century, is that of Burchard, Bishop of Worms, who details peasants placing knotted ropes in the branches of trees overlooking pathways in order to divert harmful influences away from themselves and their livestock.
The technique of knotting cords could also be used to inflict harm upon others; in particular it was thought to produce impotence in faithless husbands. Its original sense and purpose is unclear.
In modern Wicca, cord magic is used widely and cords constitute a fundamental aspect of Initiation ceremonies in Gardnerian Wicca.
see also: SYMPATHETIC MAGIC; MAGICK; MAGICK, Laws of; MAGICK, Theory of
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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