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Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:33 pm

By Lady Saltaire on Thursday, November 21, 2002 - 06:19 pm:

Rae...

A few months ago, I was drawn to purchase and read your book... The Wiccan Path. That book was my first step on my way home... it has opened up my heart and my eyes to what I already knew deep inside. Thank you. Anyways... on to my question... I was wondering if you could tell me why it is important in some traditions to use 2 athames (specifically with 6 inch blades) and is it really necessary? I've been reading a variety of books, but I keep coming back to this one question. In your books, you make it clear that the best tools are the ones right in your own home and that only one athame is needed, but then why do other traditions make it a point to use a black handled athame for ritual work and a white handled athame for other tasks? I'm asking because I purchased an athame with a double-edged blade that is only about 3 inches long and the handle is wood with a reddish brown color to it. I have been drawn to each tool that I have come across... I came across this particular athame and my chalice totally by accident one day, I'm comfortable with it, so I wanted to know if "specifics" really matter, or in the end is it just really come down to what "feels right"? Thank you for taking the time to read this message... your book changed my life in the most wonderful way. Thank you so much, Blessed Be... Lady Saltaire
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Re: Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:34 pm

By Bonnie on Thursday, November 21, 2002 - 07:51 pm:

Hi Lady S. I hope you won't mind someone else butting in until Rae can respond. Everybody on a message board can jump in with their two cents:

I think the black/white handle thing is a bias that comes from ceremonial magic. Some trads want to keep the black-handled athame sacred,restricted for use only in the circle. Ceremonial magicians are very protective of the energies that accumulate on a tool. They preserve it's "edge" for cutting ethereal, astral energies and never use it to cut physical, material-world objects. It is a weapon of command to a ceremonial magician.
A magician's household knife for cutting your veggies and harvesting herbs out in the garden would have a different colored handle to tell it from the sacred one.

To a hedgewitch, using what is common and at hand within the environment is part of keeping our connection to the earth.

The purpose of a dark colored handle is that dark colors absorb bodily energy - like wearing dark clothes in summer is hotter than wearing light colors because body heat and sunlight are trapped by dark colors. You want your athame to absorb your energy.

I don't know why it has to be a double-edge blade, but I figure it has to do with moving energy and with the blade as a weapon of protection against ooglie-booglies, those mischievous or down-right nasty energies that exist on the astral levels and in spirit-form.

What exists in the physical world has a corresponding reality in the astral planes. To build up a strong defense on a material weapon puts this into the mind and builds on the corresponding image on the astral plane. So you can use an astral-double of your athame when in trance, or your physical athame when physically in the circle to do physical things in the material world. Clear as mud?

As your athame attracted you to it, that's the one I'd go for. What fits comfortably & suits you would seem to me the better choice.

I gave the double-edged principle a bit more thought: perhaps it has to do with the idea of cutting both ways; symbolizing that if our magic is ill-natured our blade will turn on us. This is not saying it would harm us, but that it's use would be voided.
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Re: Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:34 pm

By Lady Saltaire on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 06:56 pm:

Thank you Bonnie... that helped me understand a great deal. My next question concerns a specific symbol that is on a second athame that I have found that I'm also drawn to. It is not a symbol specifically for wicca... There is a heart punched out of the center of the double edge blade on the athame that I was REALLY drawn to, but it had a synthetic handle on it. The man who owned the shop told me that he could have the handle changed to ANY substance I wanted in any color I wanted, but because I wasn't sure that it was a good thing to have the heart punched clear through the blade, I chose the one that was in the cabinet that I had been drawn to first instead of custom ordering. Does it effect the magickal strength of the blade if the blade has this heart cut-out? Thank you, and no, I really don't mind you butting in... I appreciate all of the input I can get!
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Re: Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:35 pm

By Bonnie on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 08:40 pm:

The only effect might be in what the heart means symbolically to your psyche. It could be distracting if it focuses your imagination on the symbolic meaning of the heart rather than on your magical goal. The reason we inscribe symbols is to aid in focusing on the goal. But physically, the punched hole wouldn't weaken the blade's performance. Have you seen some of those outrageous gimcrack dooleywhigs? (shudder) I'm vain enough to feel that my tools should not be better looking than I am :)
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Re: Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:35 pm

By Bonnie on Monday, November 25, 2002 - 07:53 pm:

My diabolical mind apparently did not have enough to do this weekend, and I had the most appalling thought about black vs.white athames, and the old Craft tradition of not telling the whole story to the non-initiated.

What if (I love "what if's")the white handled athame is the material, physical blade and the black one were purely symbolic, representing the astral double of the physical one? Maybe that's why there's such a broohaha about using the black one to cut "outside" the circle. An astral-blade could not be used except within the circle in which we are between the worlds. Could they be telling us to use the power of the mind on the astral planes when we are told to use the black handled athame? ...? Nah. Ya' think?
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Re: Black, White or Comfortable (Destined) Athames?

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:36 pm

By bonnie on Friday, March 7, 2003 - 03:40 pm:

I came across a reference by Silver Raven Wolf explaining that the double edge of the blade represents duality acting in balanced union: Goddess/God, male/female, yin/yang, as above, so below. You get the idea.
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