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The ties that bind

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on May 04, 2008 at 15:05:

In Reply to: The ties that bind posted by Minnie Drier on May 04, 2008 at 11:12:

: "The ties that bind"? I know it is in a Christian song (Blessed be the tie that binds), but I think it might be older from the same concept as "soul ties".

: It might be from the middle ages. And the phrase "blessed be" is used by wiccans and and sorcerers for conjuring... I just wondered if anyone knows the origin. I have never read it in the Holy scriptures.

According to my shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the use of "tie" in the sense "something that ties or binds in a figurative sense" isn't recorded before 1555. But it has been very widely used ever since (ties of blood, ties of duty, ties of affection, etc).

I have always wondered about "Blessed be" too; it simply doesn't make sense. Blessed be *what*?The King James Bible uses constructions like "Blessed be the name of the Lord", in which "be" is subjunctive, so that the whole sentence means "Let the name of the Lord be blessed". That makes sense. "Blessed be" on its own simply doesn't. I always want to ask 'Blessed be *what*, exactly?' I suspect that this is a bit of mumbo-jumbo invented by the wiccans (along with the entire wiccan religion, of course). (VSD)