Haven't done this sort of thing in a while, so I thought I'd share a bit of interesting conjure I practice with a few old friends...rope-work, which is a kind of knot-magic.
Why a rope, you ask, when candles are more common and work well for a lot of things? Because Candles are expensive, rope is cheap, and I was broke. Hahaha. Rope work is a great alternative to candles, but requires a certain amount of ingenuity to use well. It doesn't have the built-in engine of the fire, so dressing and loading are very important, and getting great results requires a powerful link. There are a couple of methods I use for making this powerful link, namely the Evil Eye and "catching" their name. See below, if interested.
Creating the Connection
The "Evil Eye"
The gaze is a powerful tool for connection; only spend a few minutes staring at the backs of stranger--and watching them turn around to note you--and you will see. The Evil Eye requires an unblinking intensity while it is being performed. As you stare at the targeted individual or object, reach out with your awareness and hold them. This is the Key; it's not enough to simply look, you have to look and then grasp with your Spirit. Reach out and swallow them into your Awareness, and completely capture them with your eyes. Once you feel they are "caught"--if they turn toward you, all the better! Don't turn from them, Own them with your gaze and grasp them with your awareness, and tie that knot up quick!--tie the naming-knot in the rope (as described below).
Catching the Voice
This is a fairly traditional method; call out the name of the person you are working on. When they reply, catch their voice by tying the naming-knot down tight. This makes for a powerful link, just as powerful as the Evil eye.
Using the Name
This is effective but not as strong a link as using the Eye or catching the voice; simply incant from the heart "N., I tie you up in this knot!" (where N. is the name of the person being worked upon) and tie the knot up strong. This works in a pinch, but is no where near as solid as the other two methods given.
The Material Basis
We use slender and not-so-slender lengths of rope to enchant with this method. We don't use flimsy string because it makes for flimsy enchanment. Climbing rope works perfectly fine for our purposes, and is readily available. It is best to use rope made of natural fibers, as they hold the "charge" much better. We can soak the rope in loaded and enchanted oils in order to impregnate it with our intent. We can dye rope different colors that align with our intent. We can cense the rope with incense that aligns with the Virtue of the force we wish to bring to bear upon our subject. There are many methods available for working with his material basis.
This is the tool used to release enchantment and end the work a particular Rope is doing. They are aligned with the number 2, and represent separation and destruction (see Agrippa, Book II Chapter 25, pg.245 for reasons why) . We use this to shear the knots--and especially the Naming Knot--apart and free the subject from a work.
Dressing the Rope
Knot-Magic (rope work) is both a mental and a materia magic rooted in this case in the methods of Hoodoo; we use the god-given power of plants and minerals, in addition to the subtle power of Number, to create magical effect.
We dress ropes in domination oil for work to give us power over enemies, with Angelica powder, lodestone dust, Five-finger grass and blessing oil to do good works, and so on. Dressing the rope is covering it in powders and oils to empower it for the effect we want to create.
The Naming Knot
The Naming Knot is the first action we take (after dressing the rope) in working Knot-Magic. If the Eye is being used to create our connection, we reach out and grasp the subject and, once the connection is made intone "I tie you up in this Knot" while tying a permanent Overhand knot. This binds the subject to the rope in subtle connection, and is the basis upon which all further work is done. If we are enchanting an area, and not a person, we intone the name or description of the area while tying the Naming Knot. Until the Naming Knot is sheared apart, the rope will be intimately connected to the subject. Some conjurers have been known to tie ropes for folk they work/live with ahead of time, just in case they may need it. I certainly wouldn't be that cynical, of course...
The Working Knot
This knot is that which we use to work upon the subject of the Naming Knot.
Gaze should be locked onto the Subject. Person should be intensely beheld. Then the conjurer needs to reach out with his awareness and "hold" the person with it and their gaze. Now, if the name is known, the arithmancer chants the name while tying the first knot, which should be a simple knot of only One (to catch their fundamental nature. See Agrippa's Three Books, Book II Chapter 24) loop and stating "I tie you up in this knot". Use a slip knot if it is a short term thing (although the Conjurer need only take up a pair of shears to slice away the "name-knot" and end the effect of the rope-work).
There are a number of different knots that are used depending upon the work being done. Below are a number of working examples of knot-work which are very useful in my own work. I would encourage folk to obtain books with root-lore in them, so that dressing-oils for ropes can be made by hand and a wide variety of materia can be used to enrich his practice.
Below are some examples of rope-work....I generally feed rope with whiskey and smoke, especially for long term work, but give more specific instruction for the feeding for these two works as they involve some planetary virtue.
It should be absolutely clear that my conjure practice is a syncretic one; there are many elements that aren't exactly traditional. Conjure isn't a dead art, but a living one...I doubt there are many working conjurers who don't innovate in their personal work. So, if the method of rope-work you learned was different from what I was taught and developed in my practice, don't be alarmed.
For bringing two people together in Love
To make a Venusian oil, during sunrise on a Friday, pluck and bruise Sage, Thyme, and Lavender from your garden/supply of herbs. Place them within a light oil (I prefer grapeseed) in a Mason jar and store in a place with lots of sunlight. Pray over the jar, and request that the virtue of Venus accumulate within the Oil, in her name. The Venusian incantation from the Picatrix should be used as part of that prayer. After 1 week it can be used for conjure-work, and it will continue to accumulate virtue as time passes, especially if the Jar is blessed and censed regularly at Venus' hour on Fridays.
Lodestone powder/magnetic powder
Begin with a short prayer to the One. If you aren't praying before you work, then you aren't working it right.
Now, take up the rope. Dress it with the oil while concentrating upon your intent, and then blow the powders upon it while doing the same. Be sure to knead the oil into the rope; it will feel pregnant with virtue after you have done so.
Our intent has now been thoroughly instilled into the material basis, the rope. Now we will tie the Naming Knots; in most work there is only one, but in this case there are two as we're working the same effect upon both individuals. If the individuals are within range of our Eye, we use that; otherwise we use the naming technique for our link.
Tie a knot for both names, and tie them right next to each other on the rope. Use a permanent overhand knot. Finally, we use a loop-knot called the True Lover's knot to bind the intent in the rope to the Naming knots. This knot is two overhand knots tied into one another; I make sure the knots for the Lovers end up within the Lover's Knot itself. A quick google search will give up a method for tying the Lover's Knot....if you're planning on doing rope-work, a knot tying guide is essential.
The rope should now be placed upon the altar, and censed daily with perfume or sweet-smelling incense on the hour of Venus, until the desired goal has come to pass. After the work has been completed, give the rope to one of the Lovers in a Mason Jar filled with rose petals and lavender, as a bottle-spell. They should cense it and say a short prayer to Venus at least once a month; this will help to keep the love rich and strong.
For placing an Enemy under your control
Master root, Calamus root, and Dirt-dauber's nest all added to a heavier oil (I prefer olive oil for making malefic Oils) on a Saturday or Tuesday at sunrise. A bit of red-pepper (a little goes a long way) to add some urgency and heat to the oil is necessary as well. Some would add John the Conquereor here, but I use that plenty in oils that increase my own power against domination and obstacles; once we've given the rope it's naming-knot, it's like we're dressing the Person with that oil, and I don't want anything in there that gives anybody power. That's just my way, however. In conjure there are many methods.
Begin with prayer as before, dress the rope with the Domination oil, and then create the Naming-Knot using the method best suited for this situation. For the Working-Knot with this bit of rope-work, we use a Monkey's Fist Knot, which swallows up the Naming-Knot and keeps the person clasped in the dominating Fist of our making.
Use the shears to free the person from domination (assuming you ever wish to do so). Feed the rope with tobacco smoke and whiskey on Tuesdays or Saturdays at dawn to keep it full of power and working on the subject who has been named.
Anyone else working with rope this way out there?