The Red Thread

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,  regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.   –   Chinese Proverb

The red string of fate (also referred to as the red thread of destiny, fate or faith) is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to be soul mates and will one day marry each other. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. According to Chinese legend, the deity in charge of “the red thread” is believed to be Yuè Xià Lǎo, the old lunar matchmaker god who is also in charge of marriages.

The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical thread may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmates or a twin flame.

When a child is born, the red threads connect that child’s soul to all those people – present and in the future – who will play a part in that child’s life. As each birthday passes, those threads shorten and tighten, bringing closer those people who are fated to be together. The red thread even becomes an important symbol during the adoption process and helps parents feel connected to the child they are waiting to adopt.


The new FOX television series Touch, is based mainly on the red thread story, but it expands the legend. The young, autistic boy at the heart of its plot says that it doesn’t only connect two soulmates, but everyone in your life. Jake says “There’s an ancient Chinese myth about the red thread of faith. It says that the Gods have tied a red thread around every one of our ankles and attached to it are all the people whose lives we are destined to touch. This thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break.”

We are all interconnected. Our lives are invisibly tied to those whose destinies touch ours.

The show is described as blending science, spirituality and emotion. It will be deliberately confusing. It will follow seemingly unrelated people all over the world whose lives affect each other in ways seen and unseen, known and unknown. We will want them to connect and we will want it all to be explained – not because we love the show, but because we really want it all explained in our own lives. We want to be connected and we want to believe that we are all connected in some larger way.

In the first episode (which was a teaser/preview a while ago – the series premieres tonight), we meet Martin (Kiefer Sutherland), a widower and single father who can’t connect to his emotionally challenged 11-year-old son, Jake (David Mazouz). Though he feels the red thread and he is a caring, intelligent man, he so far failed to reach his son.

I expect math and physics to enter the series episodes. There will be spirituality, maybe religion, and there will be see chaos theory in there too. I don’t know if the series will be intelligent. I can’t predict if it will be a hit. I do know I will watch at least the first few episodes. As with The X Files and Fringe, I do want to believe.

Published by


A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

12 thoughts on “The Red Thread”

  1. Paradelle? Why the use of this particular term? Because of Collins and poetry “style”? I’m researching my family tree and records show my great grandmother’s maiden name as Paradel. I know she was born in Canada. My grandmother always claimed her mother she “French Canadian”. I’m having no luck so far with the spelling on record so I’m exploring the possiblity it was shortened. Facts of the term Paradelle might help me in my search. Anything you have to offer would be aprreciated.


  2. I have always bin lukin for a plot for my story but when i watched TOUCH,i felt alive and ready to gonna try my best to write a story based on RED THREAD OF FAITH.,Such dat pple ll b open to diz gr8 knowledge.. AM TOUCHED WIT DIZ ARTICLE


Add to the conversation about this article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.