Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: athames on the altar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    2

    Question athames on the altar

    When using athames on the altar to represent the lord and lady, is it necessary that both athames be identical in length, design, etc, to represent balance and equality? Or should each athame be individually representorial of its respected deity?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,905
    That's interesting, Mavis. I've never heard of anyone using athames to represent both God and Goddess.

    Which isn't to say I think it's wrong - I've just never heard of it before.

    What made you decide to do this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,953
    Whichever works best for you is what's best. If I used two athames I'd choose a white one and a black one for the God and Goddess respectively.

    Many people use an athame and chalice or cauldron to represent them instead. What's important is how it makes sense to you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Nuneaton, UK
    Age
    37
    Posts
    410
    I only know two people who used 2 athames, one used identical ones, the other uses a wooden one to represent the godess, and a steel one to represent the god. It's just down to personal choice, so go with whatever feels right.
    "I can stop the pain if I will it all away"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    infiltrating the psychic lands that once belonged to us!
    Age
    51
    Posts
    2,739
    I agree whatever feels right to you, in my opinion alters and rituals should be as personal as possible.
    Love "is" the Answer....
    Compassion....the KEY.....
    Tolerance....the Path we should all walk hand in hand!!!!!










    GO TO THESE SITES

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    816
    I don't think I've ever seen someone use two athames for that particular purpose. (It's not a particularly common Wiccan practice, anyway.)

    In more traditional Wiccan practices, the athame is closely associated with God energy (and the chalice or cauldron with Goddess energy). You only have one, and it's generally a tool used for specific purposes, in ways where having two on the altar doesn't really make a lot of sense.

    As a tool, I use mine most noticeably to draw the circle - it wouldn't make sense to have two, because it's being used in that case not directly as a symbol of the God, but as a tool (in this case, a symbolic cutting implement, cutting the space between the mundane world and the ritual circle). (Ok, so theoretically, you could create a circle casting which required both sets of energies, but the ones I work with don't.)

    There is another knife sometimes used in various traditions: this is called the boline. Generally, traditionally, the athame is black handled and double edged, and the boline has a curved edge and a white handle.

    The athame in this case is generally used only to cut things on a ritual/symbolic level (many people never uses theirs to cut anything physical), while the boline is used to do things in ritual (carve things in a candle, cut up herbs that will be used in ritual, etc.). Other traditions just have the athame, and it's also used for cutting physical objects. (but then, there's usually only one blade, not two.)

    Besides the traditional reasons, there are some reasons for not having multiple sharp pointy objects taking up lots of space on the altar - stuff does get dropped, knocked over, etc, even with the best of intentions. A lot of people find it best to minimise this possibility, especially when working with a group of people or in a tight space.

    (In my trad, you're also more likely to see someone's athame on their belt and sheathed, than on the altar, if they have a personal one: it's only if one's been forgotten, or we have someone who hasn't found the right blade yet that the group athame comes out.)

    As folks have said, there are other options: I just wanted to outline the more standard uses and such in case they helped.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    2
    Thank You all very much for your replies. I was thinking of using two athames, mostly to represent the balance and unity, showing that one deity has no ground higher or lower than the other; but it does make more sense to go traditional, as the chalice and athame do have their respected symbolic meanings.

    I was thinking, if i were to aquire two athames, each seperate, and each representing its respected diety, and using those two blades soley to represent the lord and lady during rituals, and then having a personal athame that represents me, to which i would use for symbolic cutting, etc....does this seem pointless?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    816
    My preference would be to find something else to represent the deities (especially since the athame is very closely tied to God energy: it's not generally considered a Goddess symbol for all sorts of reasons.) and have one for yourself.

    It'd also give you a lot more flexibility over time in what you could use - my symbols change every so often (as I find something really nifty, I get gifts, etc.) With containers/statues/other objects, you still can use them in other ways if you stop using them as deity symbols: if you have blades, what else would you use them for? How would you dispose of them appropriately? Practical stuff like that.

    Also, like I said, the safety issue is a concern: sheathed on your altar is reasonably safe, but they also take up a fair bit of space that way if they're flat/reasonably visible.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    SF. Bay Area, CA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    242

    Safety

    Yes, safety is important. What i idid wth mine was bend the point of the athame back, so it wasnt sharp. It still looks good, you can barely notice it, yet it is nearly impossible to cut myself with it, even if I tried. Ok, here's the true story... I was throwing it around (this was before i used it as an athame) as a throwing knife, and accidentally threw it onto the drive way. The very tip happpened to bend in a perfect curl. So now I use it as an athame, because to me it is symbolic; Since it is bent, I cant cut anything with it, and therefore its only purpose now is to direct energy.

    I need to get me a chalice, now that I am begining to peice together my beleifs, especially about duality and such.
    Saggitario
    "In the secrecy of his study, with "spells of waving arms and woven paces," the conjurer-juggler becomes the sorcerer who attempts to draw forth elemental powers and make them obey his behest."
    -Arthur Chandler

    "Big men use small words, and small men use big words"
    -Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    ON, Canada
    Age
    37
    Posts
    163

    Arrow Athames

    I have many Athames. On my regular altar I use a wooden and brass handled one, and a black handled hunting knife as a bolline (it's super sharp). On my Hekate altar I have an all-black athame with a black widow on the handle. I also have a small silver one with a stag on the handle (representative of Herne), and a boot knife that is double edged with three circular openings in the handle that represents the Goddess during esbats. Although some represent particular aspects of deities (be it God or Goddess), they still represent male energy (because of the phallic form).

    Am I making sense? LOL.

    BB
    Calliope
    Another link in the chain....

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •