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Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:03 am
Author: Southernwood
I've been thinking about getting a wooden athame and the more I think about it the more the idea really appeals to me. I'm afraid my non existent woodworking skills mean I'll be buying one not making it (I'm just about to try my hand at making a wand from a windfall from my rowan tree but I won't give up the day job just yet :lol:)

Just wondered if anyone has any thoughts/experiences to share?

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:23 am
Author: arablue
Hi Southernwood,

I too like to make things myself where I can, but am aware of my limitations and sometimes things just have to be made by others! Keep going with the wand though, that certainly sounds achievable. Let us know how you get on. :)


Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:44 pm
Author: Southernwood
Hi Arablue,

Have made a start on the wand, just peeling the bark and sanding it but I've really enjoyed it, wasn't expecting to really! Very tactile and quite calming, a bit like kneading dough or working in the garden. Will post in the Wands section once I've finished. I'll be setting up my own forge next :lol: x

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:51 pm
Author: Helen
Hi Southernwood, glad you're enjoying the wand work. I made my own wand too, and then started on a set of ogham staves each from the relevant wood. As you say, very tactile and meditative.
I took a while to choose an athame. When I did, I hadn't seen any wooded options, although if I'd seen this kind of thing before I might have waited.

As it was, a saw a paper knife in a local shop window, with a facetted glass handle. It was beautiful, and seemed just right, so that was the one.

Let us know what you choose :)


Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:03 pm
Author: arablue
Hi again Southernwood,

How's the wand coming along?

I saw this thread and it reminded me of a plectrum I have been given. Someone I know had a few wooden plectrums, and they are SO tactile I could not put it down. So he gave me one to take home. Its beautiful and sits on my altar when not being used. I did find I had to sand it to improve the grip, then I oiled it to protect the wood. Such a small thing, but it increased the link I feel.

I really must go out soon to find a wand! What sort of wood do you recommend? and how do you choose. Should it only be fallen branches? many thanks,

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:03 pm
Author: Morgan
Hi Arablue

If you have a look in the Wand section, there might be some info which would help there.

Your plectrum sounds wonderful - any pictures?

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:52 pm
Author: Southernwood
Hello sorry I've not dropped by recently, just been caught up with other things. Just did my reiki 1 last weekend which was great but I've been so tired since then I feel I could sleep for a week!

Loved the wooden athames Helen. I've also seen some photos of flint blades/wooden handles which I really liked. I'll know when the right one comes along just like you did. Your wooden staves sound beautiful.

Well Arablue the wand was coming along well and I'd been oiling it with essential oils and carrier oils and really connecting with it but I did think it was feeling a tad light. Anyway had left it on my bed one morning, went upstairs that night, forgot it was there, sat on it & the tip broke off :shock: . Now that says a lot about the size my bottom ;) but I'm not sure if I'd dried the wood properly or not. It had been lying at the bottom of the tree for quite a while then I brought it straight into a warm kitchen to dry, who knows. I'll have another go and let you know how I get on this time.

No I don't personally think it has to be a fallen branch although I'd probably prefer it to be but some people do feel quite strongly that we shouldn't cut wood for our tools. I think if you approach the tree with respect and ask if you can take the wood, wait for permission and only then remove the wood with due care & give thanks then that's fine. Between you and the tree in question I'd say. I think I'll do some pathworking on the choice of wood and see what comes up and as Tylluan mentioned there is a good guide to woods in the Wand section. Good luck & Bright Blessings

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:23 pm
Author: arablue
Hi Southern, Sorry to hear about your wand! At least you have gained experience from your first attempt, which you can use for your new wand. ;)

Thank you for the advice about wands, and woods. In the past I have tried to find fallen pieces where possible, but if I cannot, I have asked permission, taken gently & kindly and left things looking as natural as possible. I will take a look at the wands section and see where it leads me. I've added a photo of my plectrum for you.

I've been having dreams about helping/healing people, including someone who can be psychically draining in my work life. And I also feel surrounded by indications that I am in balance with the powers, and the otherworlds. I feel uplifted by many things I see around me. I have a good feeling about what I am doing and thank you all for your support here.

Bright Blessings

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:06 pm
Author: Hazel
Hi Southern
I have made a collection of different wooden wands, hazel, Oak, Hawthorn and Elder.
all these I collected from each tree by requesting the tree for a wand size piece then wait a day or two and there they are waiting for me to pick up.
I like to keep my wands seperate for definate works with in their correspondenses. not realy neccesary but I feel that while im making them if I will their uses it strengthens for what they are intended for.

one thing that my grandmother taught me was to soak the branch in sea salt for twenty four hours prior to peeling off the bark and any sticking out bits.
this actualy hardens the wood as well as cleansing it. then peel off the bark if required while wet. then dry it for two weeks before polishing it with either bees wax or as I use hair putty it leaves a lovelly sheen and is easily absorbed by the wood.

hope this helps.

Re: Wood or metal?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:26 pm
Author: crickleymal
To go back to athames, I made two one for my wife and one for me out of an old circular saw blade and some timber we had found whilst walking in the woods. For a first go they aren't too bad, the handles are nice, I left the bark on as they're supposed to be dark handled and it seems to have worn in nicely. The blades could be better, when I find some nice steel perhaps I'll have another go.
I must admit that I'm a firm believer in knives being sharp, if I need to cut something for a spell ingredient then I use my athame to do it.