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The Endless Knot Symbol
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.
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.