An athame is a double sided pointed dagger more often than not personalised with imagery and symbols meaningful to the user. It is used to symbolically sever negativity surrounding the user. It also has a prominent role in opening doorways during circle ceremonies. An athame is never used to cause physical harm nor draw blood as in all craftwork the law of 3 applies. “Do as ye will but harm none”
The athame is the most important ritual tool in Wicca, and like other ritual tools it is generally purified and consecrated to the Gods before being used for ritual and magical purposes. There are various ways of accomplishing ritual purification and consecration, depending on the specific tradition of Wicca being followed, and also whether the individual Wiccan is practicing with a coven or as a solitary witch. One common way to do this is by using the four magical elements of fire (candle), air (incense), water and salt; and perhaps anointing the blade with an oil infused with magical herbs. Touching another person's athame without permission is considered a ritual faux pas in almost all traditions of Wicca. It is an intrusion of the owner's personal space; and more importantly, it is an act that violates the magical bond between the athame and its owner. Some witches will go to great lengths to ritually purify, reconsecrate, and rededicate an athame after it has been touched by another person.
Please note that all images are for illustration purposes only.
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