Ritual use of an Athame

An Athame is a doubled edged dagger which is often used for 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 relevant 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..


An 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.

More Athames

We sell a variety of athames on our shopping pages:  Athames