Ritual use of an Athame
Athame is a doubled edged dagger which is often
ceremonial purposes in the practice of
Witchcraft and neo - pagan religions. An Athame
often has a black handle which can be inscribed
in runes or other symbols depending on the
tradition. In eclectic forms of
Witchcraft handle decorations tend to be
astrological glyphs to runes. Blades are
normally made from metals such as copper, iron,
or the same
material used to make tungsten wedding bands, but wooden blades are not unknown..
Athame is never used to cut or stab but instead
to direct energy unless it is used in “kitchen
witchcraft” where using powerful magical symbols
such as an Athame increases a witch’s knowledge
and use of them.
Should a ceremonial herb need cutting a different dagger or knife is uses such as a boline, which is a white handled knife.
It is considered an intrusion of personal space for another person to touch another’s Athame without invitation.
The Magic Circle
The Magic Circle is used in many forms of ritual magic and often represents protection against other types of magic, or will create a scared space. The Athame used to carve an exit from the circle thereby preserving the integrity of the magic circle as the exit allows a person to leave it without crossing the boundaries of the circle. The opening must be closed afterwards by “reconnecting” the lines that form the circle.
The Great Rite Wiccan Ceremony
This ceremony is a form of sex magic which includes sex or a representation of sex. It is in the latter where the Athame symbolizes the masculine element and this is plunged into the chalice, the feminine element, which is filled with wine. After the plunging of the Athame, the High Priestess holds the chalice high. This symbolizes the union of the Maiden Goddess with her Lover, and is also known as the fertility rite. This is also used to represent creativity as well as procreation in the Wiccan ceremony.
Buying an Athame
Purchasing an Athame from another person is also
subject to ritual, where the golden rule is
never haggle over price as this is a sign of
disrespect especially in Pagan religions.
The Athame has been used and is associated with many forms of occult including the Order of the Golden Dawn. Active during the 19th and 20th century, it was one of the largest single influences on occultism and Paganism in the West.
The Witches Bible recommends blunting the tip of the Athame to avoid injury.