Symbol of protection, chastity, poverty, obedience, service, preparation, magic, and purification.

Girdles are straps of fabric, or in some cases metal, that are worn around the waist. In ancient Egypt, the goddess Isis wore a girdle called a tyet. Women in ancient Egypt wore an Isis knot tied around their waist. This symbolized protection.

Girdle Symbol
Girdle Symbol

In the Christian tradition, a girdle is worn around the waist. The girdle was sometimes used to hold the Bible. If a girdle was wrapped around a holy Christian man three times it symbolized chastity, poverty, and obedience. The vows were taken by monks and other holy men. Chaste women wore girdles in ancient Christian literature. Girdles also symbolize preparation in Christianity. In the New Testament Jesus says wearing a girdle symbolizes keenness for service and preparation. A person wearing a girdle is ready to go when summoned.

As the tied girdle represents obedience the loosened one represents breaking a vow. When a Christian becomes a Muslim he is said to have snapped his girdle. If a higher-up puts aside his girdle he is relinquishing his power. Women who loosen their girdles were thought to have no morals. When a woman is to be wed she should be wearing a girdle made of lambswool that is only untied by her husband. This represents the uniting of the husband and his virgin bride.

Girdles are also used to show protection in initiatory rites. The master would put the girdle on the boy and circle it three times. This symbolized protection and purification.

In modern times the girdle is still worn by church ministers and priests. They are also worn by football players and hockey players as compression shorts. In literature, the girdle has been seen as something protective and magical.

Girdle Symbol
Girdle Symbol

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