Shield Knot (Four Corners, Quaternary knot)

The shield knot is an ancient and nearly universal symbol. The shield knot has been used for thousands of years by a variety of cultures for protection and warding. While the common design is most often associated with the Celts and ancient Norse, the most basic form is much older.

The fourfold version at right is Mesopotamian in origin and is associated with protective spells invoking the gods of the four corners of the earth.

Later, the four-corners emblem was used in the Kabbalah as a symbol of the Shema, the prayer/spell to invoke the four Archangels; it is the origin of the “Qabbalistic Cross” ritual still used in magic today. This knot is sometimes referred to as the “Earth Square” or St. Hans cross, named for the biblical John the Baptist. The Norse and Celtic versions of the knot are used for the same purposes of protection but are related to the fourfold solar cross in origin.

Traditional Norse, built on a swastika/solar cross motif


A simple and an intricate Celtic version


Another version of the symbol consists of two interlocked loops and is called the Solomon’s knot:



A shield knot on a Norse stele



Related Symbols:


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Tämän vuoden 5 hienointa viljakuviota tähän mennessä |
July 29, 2017 at 7:16 am


Anónimo January 13, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Este simbolo es el nudo celta que significa el amor eterno la uniom de dos personas o union familiar los nudos celticos son distintos a la cruz solar

Anónimo January 13, 2018 at 5:22 pm

La union emtre dos personas . El amor eterno ya que el nudo no tiene ni principio ni fin .la union familiar

A God September 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

The problem with most religions is they are that, religions. You should have faith and that faith should guide you, no matter which of the many gods you choose to devote yourself to, if gods they be then your path was determined by them before you made your choice. You shouldn’t need a book, or a myth, or a symbol, you shouldn’t need a platform from which to preach, or a higher moral purpose. All you need is faith, the gods are quite capable of sorting the rest out themselves…Ohh and before you go discounting the existence of other gods try to wrap your head around the concept that only one truth exists in our reality, as defined by god and as defined by science, that truth is “possibility” itself, you can’t argue against it because for every point you make it’s possible there’s an alternative, for the Atheists who say science is their god, guess what that means you believe in the possibility of beings existing which are ethereal in nature, able to spread throughout the universe like dark matter and are capable of knowing all physical facts behind the world at our sensory fingertips. For anyone to believe one particular thing over anything else for that matter is a fools choice. Believe only that anything is possible and you will see that the impossible is ONLY a human definition made up categorise the unexplainable or undesirable.

Amber October 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I love your insight, you are what the sages would have called a “true Israelite” and are closer to te truth than someone who attends “sect” or coven meetings every week. A sect is a new way to say coven, or group with similar beliefs.

K1NG January 31, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Your absolutely correct brother. Anything you believe in — You believe it 100%. There is no “partial” belief. So to live in the here and now and to see the possibilities. One must understand its not so much about how much you believe in divinity — But your willingness to do so. Stagnation is death; Movement is life. The only possible way to comprehend the truth is to be of pure intention. Otherwise all information is inherently objective. Whatever you think is true — Well your correct. But I guess we’ll see how long that belief holds before someone like me stumbles into you and shatters your world view. Everything you could possibly seek or want is already within. Don’t sleep. Tune in

Meloney Dollar September 12, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Hello hats off to u my new friend that’s the best comment by along shot…thanks…newly awaken.

Anonymous August 1, 2016 at 10:37 am

Your religion is like most some sort of a coven. Starting the same as all others sacrifice and Prayers trying to spin up magic from the gods to go commit genocide on the Amorites or the Hidites or decide which king did wrong in the eyes of God and wouldn’t win his battle. The point was the Jews used this symbol so keep your story about wrestling with fictional beings in the good book where it belongs .

Thanks Congress

Anonyme April 7, 2016 at 10:34 am

I studied this symbol , i mean the traditional one , and , using the runes , i found that the shield knot can be understood as a symbol of the links between peoples , like a big family. If we watch it more closer , we can see four Wunjo runes , the runes of the family links , one Gego , the rune of sharing and sacrifice for the others , and two Dagaz , the rune of the infinite cycle. I think , and it’s a personal opinion , that the shield knot is more than a protection symbol , it’s almost a social symbol , like a unified community used to go through the difficulties like an only men.

Anonymous March 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

The part about the shema is wrong. The shema was spoken by Moses to b’ni Israel in the literal text, however the midrash (scholarly stories about the text), is that it was originally said by Benjamin, the youngest of the twelve brothers, to his father, Jacob, or Israel, the name given to him by the angel he wrestled. Benjamin was trying to assure his father that they will not assimilate to the point of extinction of their religion, and they will always keep Judaism, and god, alive in their hearts. It is said to remind us that god is one and that god is always with us. It is, debatably, but most unanimously agreed, the most important Jewish prayer, and doesn’t “invoke archangels” and most definitely NOT a spell. I would appreciate it if you would check your facts before posting as it is somewhat offensive to me to see my religion misinterpreted to be some sort of coven. Thank you.

Amber October 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Sorry, but he was giving a generalization of the symbol, not tying it to any religion exclusively. And Judaism has changed so much even in the last 400 years so how do you know a Jewish sect didn’t believe it was a symbol for spells? I mean, you lost the interpretation to Asherah and no longer know her true meaning, and no, not a stick of wood.

Pamela Delph March 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm

I love these symbols, I want tattoos of some of them.

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