Have you ever looked at all the pretty knives or athames online and just salivated?
Some of them shimmer and others look weighty and imposing. Should you go with white handle? Black Handle? Bejeweled? Does it matter what color or material it is? Don’t panic!
Taking care of and picking out your athame should be a joyous task. Not something to stress over. It can be hard to know where to start.
So, What Exactly is an Athame?
The Athame (pronounced “Ah-tha-may”) is one of the 8 traditional tools of the witch and arguably one of the most used. I have gone through different athames over the years but I always use the same methods of choosing and caring for my tool.
The athame is a ritual knife used for the directing of energy or the manipulation of power. Like all tools, this is just a focus for the energies you move. It takes your mind’s concentration to do the work. Athames are most commonly used to create circles or sacred space. Using the tool you symbolically draw the circle while casting and by your will create the sacred space you need.
Athames are typically two-sided blades with no sharpened edge on them. The double edge is a reminder of the Wiccan rede,
“And it harm none, do what you will.”
The two sided blade is a reminder that our words and actions can cut both ways.
Choosing Your Athame
Unless you belong to a tradition that requires a specific type of athame, you should always choose one that resonates with you. Pick it up and feel it in your hands if you can. How does the weight feel? Do you feel like it is too long or too short? Every detail will matter and if its off by a little bit you will always notice when you go to use your tool.
Athames can be designed with all sorts of ethnic or cultural backgrounds. Some athames are fashioned with animal totems in mind. Others have color schemes and motifs. Always choose the one that feels right and inspires your magick.
Price should not be the sole deciding factor when picking an athame. The perfect athame for may cost $20 for you. Just because someone’s athame cost $80 dollars does not mean it will outperform yours or be better than yours. Our tools are incredibly personal to us and how we work.
Now that you have your Athame, how do you take care of it?
Like any physical item, you should keep it clean. Depending on what your athame is made of, you may be able to wash it or it may require spot cleaning and oiling. Think about how you are going to store this item when it’s not in use. Do you have an altar to rest it on? Does it have a sheath you’ll keep it in?
Since the Athame has probably seen many hands before getting to yours you will want to cleanse it of energy and rededicate it for your own use.
How to Cleanse and Charge Your Athame
Get prepared to be in a comfortable meditative state. Grab a glass of water, find a comfy spot to sit undisturbed.
Gather up any representation of the elements. or none. Remember this is your path and craft. Do what feels good for you.
Put on any soft music you like, light any candles or incense and find a comfortable spot to sit with them. Create an atmosphere of sacred.
Once you are relaxed, imagine your hands filling with clean pure white light. See it in your mind’s eye. Let nothing else distract you.
When you feel ready, take your athame in your hands and fill it with the light. Keep pushing the light into the blade until it is full.
State your intentions for your athame. Such as: “With my power I cleanse this athame. I dedicate it to do my will with harm to none. So mote it be.”
Any dedication will do so long as you follow the laws of your path and tradition as you see them.
These cleansing instructions are just the bare bones for cleaning and charging your tool. Find what works for you. Maybe your tool is better charged by golden light rather than white.
Now you are ready to choose the athame of your dreams!
Remember that it should feel right to you. It doesn’t have to be pricey and once its yours you can cleanse it and charge it.