are athames a certain type of knife?

or can you just pick a dagger and call it an athame?

and if you can what type of metal should they be made out of?

Update:

it is a word but i don't know if the englsh language recognizes it as a word.

google it and you will get lnks to athames and other things. but i can't find anything that says what type of metal and I'm not awake enough to read her whole answer yet XD

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  • 1 decade ago
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    An athame is a ceremonial knife, traditionally double edged, with a black handle. You can purchase knives that are called "Athame" from any metaphysical store, but any knife would serve as an athame, especially for those who are on a limited budget.

    Source(s): Witch
  • 1 decade ago

    An athame is a ceremonial knife.

    However, we old witches know that a bread knife (or any other) works just as well. Most tools are used for those still learning how to focus. Once you have that down, you realize that "magical tools" aren't truly necessary....not if the intent and will are there.

    Remember - they're just tools - not magical by themselves. It's the person using it that makes it so.

  • 3 years ago

    it truly is used as a wand, to direct capability with the aid of concentration and 'pointing'. some human beings decide to apply an athame fairly than a wand, some the two. As a ritual device that's going to likely be blessed and used purely for 'magical' applications. for occasion, I in some situations use mine to scribe words or symbols onto candles. it does not be used to decrease a sandwich (until you have been utilising a sandwich on your working lol). It additionally represents the Male ingredient, as maximum Pagans have faith in the two the female and Lord. A cup or chalice ought to symbolize the female, a wand or athame may be male, figures!

  • 1 decade ago

    an Athame....is a double edged knife....mostly used for cerimaonial reasons...it has been used in wiccan,pagan,different cults....and many other religous sancts throughout history......some people say it is only used for black ceromonies....but they can be used for any ceromony.....an athame is also usually blessed.......but to get technical an athame can be any double edged knife....but u usually only hear them called an athame when being used for cerimonial reasons....

    i just wanted to add that the person who answered first....has some great info on the athame....but the info she has is just from one sect....and many othe sects use it very differently...the wiccan and pagans being just a couple of the sects that use it for more than she mentions....

    feel free to message me if u would like more info

    Source(s): personal....wiccan
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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes

    Source(s): life
  • 1 decade ago

    An athame or athamé is a ceremonial double-edged dagger, one of several magical tools used in neopagan religions and other Witchcraft traditions. It is variously pronounced /ˈæ.θə.meɪ/, /ə.ˈθeɪ.miː/, etc. A black-handled knife called an arthame appears in certain versions of the Key of Solomon, a grimoire originating in the Middle Ages.[1]

    The athame is mentioned in the writings of Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, who claimed to have been initiated into a surviving tradition of Witchcraft, the New Forest Coven. The athame was their most important ritual tool, with many uses, but was not to be used for actual physical cutting[2].

    There has been speculation[3] that Gardner's interest and expertise in antique swords and knives, and in particular the magical kris knives of Malaysia and Indonesia, may have contributed to the tool's central importance in modern Wicca.[4]

    The widespread introduction of the magical tools' use and existence in popular culture occurred most recently in roughly every third episode[5] during the eight years run of the popular witchcraft based television series Charmed[6]

    An athame can take many forms. It frequently has a double-edged blade with a sharp point, and a handle which is often black. The handle may be inscribed with particular symbols dictated by the tradition[7]. Janet and Stewart Farrar in A Witches' Bible suggest that the point of an athame be dulled so as to prevent un-intended physical harm during ritual use.

    In "eclectic" forms of witchcraft the handle decorations range from astrological glyphs to runes, the symbols being chosen by the owner. Many fantasy-themed athames are also available from medieval and neopagan supply shops.

    [edit] Use

    The athame's primary use is to direct energy; if things such as herbs or cords need to be cut, another knife called a boline - a white-handled knife - is used. An exception is the "kitchen witchcraft" philosophy, which actively encourages the use of magical tools for mundane purposes to increase the witch's familiarity with them.

    An athame may be employed in the demarcation of the Magic circle rite.

    As a masculine principle, it is often used in combination with the chalice, as feminine principle, evoking the act of procreation, as a symbol of universal creativity. This is a symbol of the Great Rite in Wiccan rituals.[8] Some modern witchcraft traditions may prefer not to use iron blades, instead preferring alternatives such as copper, bronze or wood. This is most common amongst traditions that have a particular fondness of the Sidhe, to whom iron is supposedly harmful.

    [edit] Associations

    Many traditions associate the athame with the masculine principle and with the element of either air or fire. Janet and Stewart Farrar suggested this difference is due to the Golden Dawn releasing false information in the hopes of preventing its rituals being used in the correct way.[9] They add that a witch should always choose the association which seems the most correct to them. Touching another person's athame without permission is considered an intrusion of the owner's personal space.

    [edit] Acquisition

    There are rituals of consecration for a newly acquired athame, be it new, or acquired from another person.[10] When purchasing a knife for this purpose (or any ritual tool) it is considered important never to haggle over the price.[11]

    [edit] Etymology

    Extract from a C16th version of the Key of Solomon. Note the Bolino (Boline) top left, Artavo (athame) below it.The term athame derives, via a series of corruptions, from the late Latin artavus ("Quill knife"), which is well attested in the oldest mansucripts of the Key of Solomon. It means "a small knife used for sharpening the pens of scribes" ("Cultellus acuendis calamis scriptorii"). Artavus is well-attested in medieval Latin, although it is not a common word. This explains why it was left untranslated in some French and Italian manuscripts, and ultimately became garbled[12] in various manuscripts as artavo, artavus, arthana, artanus, arthany or arthame.[13][14][15] Latham described the etymology of artavus as being dubious, but Joan. de Janua in Catholico derives it from arto, artas, etc (to narrow).[16]

    Idries Shah, who was personal secretary and close friend of Gerald Gardner, provides an alternate etymology from an alleged Arabic al-dhammé "blood-letter", which was supposed to be the ritual knife of a medieval magical cult of Morocco and Andalusia. This etymology is controversial, however. It appears in his book The Sufis as a quote from A History of Secret Societies by Arkon Daraul (a probable pseudonym of Shah). Robert Graves (an acquaintance of Shah) suggests an Arabic derivation from al thame (or adh-dhame), which he translates as "the arrow".[citations needed]

    A Latin manuscript version of the Key of Solomon has a drawing that looks like a sickle, labelled Artavo. Gerald Gardner's use of 'athame' probably came from modern French version

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't see any such word in the English dictionary, did you get the spelling right?

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