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The Endless Knot Symbol

Updated on September 30, 2013

Symbolism of The Endless Knot

Symmetrical knots that tie into themselves; without beginning or end; are a universal symbol for eternal life, the eternal cycle of nature, and eternal love.

The well-known expression, "tying the knot"; means to get married or engaged, it originates from the ancient Celtic custom of hand-fasting, in which the newly-wedded couple had their hands tied together with an endless knot (or an eternity knot) in a symbolic ritual.

The Endless Knot is one of the eight Buddhist symbols and is also known as the "mystic dragon".

Although the knot was thought to have originated in Tibet, many common Celtic knots are very similar to the Buddhist Endless Knot. In fact, the Endless Knot has been shared between so many different cultures over the years it is now a universal icon.

Buddhist Endless Knot

Harmony, Union and Endless Wisdom

The Endless Knot is composed of right-angled, interwoven lines. It twists around itself, with no discernible beginning or end. It symbolizes the Buddha's endless wisdom and compassion and highlights the universe's constant connection to our human existence.


The Endless Knot may have evolved from the Naga, an ancient symbol of two intertwined snakes. The dueling snake image signifies the dramatic interaction of two opposing forces in the world; good and evil. When the two snakes unite as one it creates harmony throughout the universe.

Harmony and Balance

The intertwining of these lines also represents how all events, past, present and future, are bound by a never-ending cycle of cause and effect. Thus, the whole pattern is closed in on itself with no gaps, leading to a universal design of great simplicity and fully balanced harmony.


Since everything in the Universe is interrelated, the placing of the Endless Knot on a gift or greeting card creates an auspicious connection between the giver and the recipient. The gift recipient is therefore reminded that all our current positive karmic energy is directly related to all of our current and past actions.

Not surprisingly, the endless knot is one of the most favorite symbols in Tibetan Buddhism.


- This article incorporates text by Nitin Kumar of Exotic India, used by permission of the author.

- "The Eight Auspicious Symbols." Buddha.Net



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Celtic Eternity Knot - The Lover's Knot

According to Celtic culture the eternity knot is symbolic of eternity ...

Also known as the "Lover's Knot", the Eternity Knot shows two continuous, unbroken loops that are intertwined and inseparable from each other and is often seen in Celtic wedding rings. Just as the lives of the bride and groom are merged in eternal unity and fidelity, so are the circular strands inseparably bound together forever.

The History of Celtic Knot-work:

Originally inscribed on Irish Manuscripts and Celtic stone carvings, Celtic Knots provide seem to be a part of the heart and soul of Ireland itself.

Middle Eastern Inspiration

Monks who came to Ireland were influenced by the knot-work styles from the Middle Eastern Syrian and Coptic manuscripts. As these Irish monks began creating their own beautiful manuscripts, such as the Book of Armagh, the Book of Durrow, and the Book of Kells, they took the designs from those lands and created a uniquely Irish art form.

By the 8th century, interlacing Celtic knot-work became rich with symbolic meaning and a part of Irish lore.

Do You find Meaning in Symbols?

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    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 4 years ago

      Great lens and superb advice - stay present.

    • PatrickHayes76 profile image

      PatrickHayes76 4 years ago

      thank you for the great lens.

    • profile image

      djroll 5 years ago

      Really enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.

    • techmathhelp profile image

      techmathhelp 5 years ago

      very good lens!

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 5 years ago

      Each and every symbol has it's own meaning and power within..

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very creative..!!gr8

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 5 years ago from USA

      Wonderful lens.

    • leafspirit lm profile image

      leafspirit lm 5 years ago

      I'm Buddhist, so the symbols represent in idea to focus my mind on. We assign meaning to every symbol. Otherwise you couldn't read what I'm saying ;)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Yes... symbols have great meaning for me. I loved learning more about the history of endless knot symbolism. Have always thought the endless knot is one of the most beautiful of symbols. Thank you for expanding my understanding.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I do find meaning in symbols and am returning to bless your endless knot!

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 6 years ago

      Yes. In a way, isn't everything that we do essentially symbolic? Lovely lens.

    • artemisart lm profile image

      artemisart lm 6 years ago

      very nice lens, I'm a knot lover too !!!

    • samsaradakini profile image

      samsaradakini 6 years ago

      Yes I do! I have a celtic knot [triquetra] tat on my back. I got it as a multi-metaphor: 1.] [Body, Mind, Spirit] 2.] My 'coincidences' with 3's [3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years...], 3.] within/without/with 4.] [Father, Son, Holy Ghost] 5.] Mine / Yours / God's ... oh it could go on but I'll stop now. :-) But yes, I do find meaning in symbols. Great lens! Thank you.

    • LTPParents profile image

      Tracy Gibb 6 years ago


    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 6 years ago

      quite beautiful, thank you

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 6 years ago

      very cool. I shall have to chase my own knots as well

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I really like these shapes and designs. Love the 'Love Me Knot' poster!

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 6 years ago

      always loved this - never seen so many versions though

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      Traditional Chinese wedding dress features unique knots, symbolizing union and endless love.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      Such a fabulous lens. I love the endless knot but didn't know all it's meanings.

    • rwoman profile image

      rwoman 7 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens, I had not thought about the Buddist/ Celtic similarities but now it seems so obvious. Thank you as well for the thumbs up and lenroll, it is hugely appreciated.

      The Ladies of The Well Writ Witch

    • emcueto profile image

      emcueto 7 years ago

      great insight. thumbs up!

    • AlaskaHydro LM profile image

      AlaskaHydro LM 7 years ago

      I loved the info on Naga and can't help wondering about the caduceus and our own DNA when I look at it.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your purple star. Thanks for sharing all this great info. This is a beautiful lens. Blessed!

    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 7 years ago from London, UK


    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Very interesting! I didn't know much of this topic until now. Thanks for sharing. 5*

    • profile image

      InnerChallenge2009 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful lens! Great work, very informative!

      Feel free to check out my lens on spirituality and personal growth

    • profile image

      SamyRoumieh 8 years ago


    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Beautiful lens for a beautiful icon. The endless knot has meant so much to people through the ages. Well done. I really enjoyed my visit here and found your lens to be extremely interesting. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Debby_Riddick 8 years ago

      A GREAT LENS. Thank you. I love seeing the connection between the various endless knots and the commonatlity we all have.

    • profile image

      jipock 8 years ago

      Great Lens!! 5*****

    • profile image

      PosterChildSmile 8 years ago

      Such a beautiful lens. I need to start a new lens. I love this one! :)

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 8 years ago

      Excellent lens! Simple yet informative. 5 stars and I'm a new fan.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      The endless knot lens is a treasure, I'm so glad I decides to stop by to see what's going on on your top lens right now. Beautiful! - Susie

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      I love the endless know, especially the Celtic ones. Great lens and thanks for the links 5* and a FAV

    • patinkc profile image

      patinkc 8 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for visiting my Celebrate Something Everyday lens. I have lensrolled this lens to my Celtic Women lens, my St. Patrick's Day, lens and my National Tartan Week lens.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 8 years ago

      One more great lens - welcome to the Your Sweethearts or Valentine’s Resource Group!

    • BarryKrost profile image

      BarryKrost 9 years ago

      Very informative lens. The "The Buddhist Endless Knot" module is really clear and helpful for understanding the concepts.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      Your intro pic is one of the most beautiful endless knots I have seen. This symbol is so important, one that we all must remember! Thanks so much *****

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I did not know that the eternity knot was a Buddhist symbol. I love the various expressions of it that you've shown....and appreciate the information you've shared.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Very nice! Welcome to the Spirituality Group!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 9 years ago

      Very well done *****