I also generally associate the athame with the element of fire, unlike many traditionalists who associate it with the element of air. I associate wands with air. And this is my reasoning for switching the two. First of all, as a self-mutilator for several years (it is something my faith is very much helping me work through), I know that when cut by a blade it does not feel like wind. Or air in any fashion. It burns. It can burn in pain, or it can burn in such a way that it cleanses your soul of all the bane and negative things in your life, depending on the scenario behind the wound. When cut with a blade, it’s fire. Pure and simple. And an athame’s main purpose it to cut through energy and direct it. But a wand, traditionally made of wood, should represent air. Wood represents the trees it came from, one of the most sacred things in our world. Trees were knowledge and its representation long before they were used to make paper for books. The druids honored trees, especially the oak, for their knowledge. And wouldn’t it make sense then that air is the element associated with knowledge and intelligence?
I’m also a firm believer is practicality. Hence practical magick. I’m a firm believer in extending that to all my tools. I generally carve candles and harvest herbs with my athame on top of regular circle applications. *Gasp* Yes I realize some fundamental witch just died of a heart attack. NOw let me explain. My path definitely leans towards the kitchen witch/garden witch side of things. If a large part of my practice involves preparing herbs, something that involves a great bit of ritual, I’d want to use a ritual tool. My magickal herbs are then infused with the power stored in the blade from ritual, and when I harvest an herb, the plant feels that little kick of power too and realizes my intentions.
Another taboo way I use athames are for blood magick. Yeah, I know the traditionalist view point that an athame should never be used for blood letting, but it’s for much the same reason as above. It’s a sacred act, part of ritual, and should be treated as such! Don’t worry, I am very cautious and make sure I cleanse and sterilize the blade before any ritual involving this.
I think this is a good first post for the pagan blog project. I think it speaks volumes about my path. While I do incorporate a lot of wicca into it, I’m definitely not your text book wiccan, nor do I generally identify as one. I’m more of a dark pagan (if you don’t understand this term I HIGHLY suggest you research it. Your knowledge base with be that much better for knowing it.) than a fluffy bunny pagan.