By definition, an athame or athamé is a ceremonial blade used as a magical tool when executing traditional Witchcraft ceremonies. This elemental tool is widely used among many Neopagan Religions including Wicca, Thelemia, and Laveyan Satanism but the use of a double-edged silver dagger made from crude metal with a black handle can be traced to much older theologies. The grimoire known as the Key of Solomon mentions such a blade calling it an “arthame” The use of the tool was popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the early 1900’s and then later adopted into more modern Neopagan practices. Gerald Gardner (also known as Scire and credited as the “Father of Wicca”) considered this elemental tool the most important artifact in the practice and execution of Witchcraft.
The athame(arthame) is one of the four Elemental Tools used in modern occultism, representing the Element of Fire in most traditions. The remaining Elements of Air, Earth, and Water are traditionally represented by the Wand, Pentacle, and Cup (or Chalice) respectively. Certain traditions hold that the Athame and the Wand are elementally reversed so that the Wand represents the element of Fire and the Athame represents the element of Air. In either case, touching another person’s athame without the consent of the owner is considered taboo as it invades that person’s personal space and violates the bond between athame and wielder.
The special properties that differentiate an athame from any other kind of ritual knife vary from coven to coven and practice to practice. In accordance with the “Rule of Three”, many Wiccans will blunt the edge of their ritual knife so as to avoid accidentally cutting flesh and thereby “causing harm”. Likewise, it is believed that when tracing a pentagram or other symbol in the air the “cutting edge” should always face in the direction the blade is moving. This is much easier to accomplish with a double-edged blade because it removes the need for the wielder to twist their wrist when the tool changes direction. Likewise, the color of the handle and the iron content of the blade has different specifications according to different traditions. Many insist that the handle must be black or that the blade be made from non-ferrous materials such as crystal, precious metals, stone, or even plastic. Other traditions are less restrictive and allow for sharpened metal blades that can be used for inscribing candles, chopping herbs, cutting cords, or, in some extreme ceremonies, for drawing blood.
Regardless of the details of its construction any magical tool should be well paired to the Witch who will wield it. It should feel comfortable in the hand and should serve the intent of both the wielder and the ritual for which it is being used. Carving sigils into a candle with a dull blade or trying to mince herbs with a stone can be a distraction from the ritual itself and can also be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. No matter the specific need MydnytBlu has a blade that will be perfect.