Last night I was visiting my friends over at witchschool.com and a young writer, who is not pagan, was asking very simple questions about the tools we use and what they are for, just doing a little research for a book she is writing. One of the questions she asked was "What is an athame and what do you use it for?" A young man in the room said that it was used for cutting herbs. I almost fell off my chair, I couldn't believe he would suggest using an athame to cut ANYTHING. So, I felt it might be a good idea to write a little bit about the different tools we use and their REAL purpose....because you never use an athame to cut physical objects!!
*UPDATE* So I started writing this post on Thursday morning (it is now Friday morning) and was originally planning on putting all the tools in one post. However, after thinking about it for a bit (all day and all night giggle) I have decided to break it down. I'll be posting each tool one at a time so bear with me, this might take a few days. Enjoy!
The tools we use are symbolic. They are there to help us focus our energy, to put us in "the right frame of mind" for doing magic. But you do not absolutely have to have it. If you don't know what it means to "direct energy" or if you don't know what energy I'm talking about, please do not hesitate to let me know. I'll be more than happy to go in to more detail. Otherwise, I'm going to assume that everyone knows what I mean and so we'll move on to the tools we use in the craft.
ATHAME ~ The athame is usually a dull, double edged dagger used strictly for ceremonial purposes. It is used to absorb and direct energy. Some people refer to it as a 'black handled knife' because most of them have black or very dark handles. The color of the handle IS important, the darker the handle, the better it will absorb the energy. The athame represents the god or masculine energy. Why? Because it is phallic (penis) shaped therefore, it's male. The athame should NEVER be used to cut any physical objects. It does not need to draw blood. It does not need to cut herbs. It DOES need to hold and direct energy. Do you absolutely have to have an athame to perform spells and rituals? No. No tool is absolutely necessary. You can direct energy simply using your finger if you want.
Here is a picture of my Athame. Yes, I know it says China on the blade. That's because it was Made in China! LOL I'm working on getting that off of there.