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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Athame

DEFINITIONs:

1.  A tool used by Witches that combines the functioning of both wand and sword is the athame, or magical knife. It is an all-purpose instrument, used for making the material objects of ritual and also for projecting power. Some Witches even use it in their cooking! They explain that since magic embraces all of life, cooking is an integral part of their Art and this is no profanation.

The magical knife is quite old. In medieval times it was divided into two—a knife with a white hilt, used for all common purposes, and a knife with a black hilt, used for drawing magic circles and compelling spirits. This distinction is still frequently observed by modern Witches. The white and black-hilted knives are in some ways analogous to the wand and sword of high magic.

SOURCE:  Truth about Ritual Magic, Donald Tyson

2.  Possibly a misspelling of “Arthame” taken from the grimoire known as The Greater Key of Solomon (or perhaps vice versa). The Athame is primarily used by Witches and Wiccans. It is traditionally sharp on both sides and has a black handle. It may have symbols on it.

To many, the Athame is seen as an extension of their ability to direct energy. As such, although sharp, it is not used to cut any physical object. It is only used to direct energy or cut non-physical energy streams. To practitioners who use the Athame in this way, the carving of physical items was done with the knife known as a Boline.

AUTHOR:  Donald Michael Kraig
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