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Author Topic: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?  (Read 2330 times)

Redfaery

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About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« on: May 01, 2014, 07:34:27 am »
Hiya all! Happy Beltane if you celebrate.

So, I have a consecrated knife that I call an athame for lack of a better term (and I really would like a better term. Nothing else seems to fit...). I'm not Wiccan, so I'm worried it might be inappropriate for me to use that term for it, especially since I don't use it for the same things that athames get used for, like directing/cutting energy.

Instead, I generally use it for centering. At least, I think that's what I do. Whenever I'm about to invoke Sarasvati, I hold it both my hands and stare at it, and just concentrate all my attention on it, like, I'M HOLDING A BADASS KNIFE YO. Just to kind of make sure my head is clear, I guess?

I also sleep with it under my pillow. I've found it generally prevents me from remembering my dreams too clearly, which is good, because I'm a very emotional person (NEVER let anyone tell you that people on the Autism spectrum aren't emotional. We are VERY emotional!) and my dreams often magnify my feelings and stresses. I'll have very vivid, disturbing dreams that leave me exhausted in the morning. Nowadays, I take a valerian capsule and put the knife under my pillow, and the upsetting dreams are....gone. It seems like now I only remember silly or pleasant dreams.

But I want to know if anyone else uses knives for non-Wiccish magical purposes. I know that some people on this board use them for practical magical work - carving into candles, cutting things, etc. But I'm also curious if anyone else has used a consecrated knife for other things.

And....does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should call my knife? Or am I OK to call it an athame?
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

RandallS

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 07:44:12 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;146514
And....does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should call my knife? Or am I OK to call it an athame?

There are a number of ritual weapons used around the world. There are Wikipedia articles on most of the common ones here, which might give you some ideas.  However, at least some of these started out as what a knife of a particular type was called in the language in use, for example, the "Boline" from Wicca probably came from the Italian name of a knife mentioned in the Key of Solomon.
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Redfaery

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 09:16:50 am »
Quote from: RandallS;146516
There are a number of ritual weapons used around the world. There are Wikipedia articles on most of the common ones here, which might give you some ideas.  However, at least some of these started out as what a knife of a particular type was called in the language in use, for example, the "Boline" from Wicca probably came from the Italian name of a knife mentioned in the Key of Solomon.


That's true. A knife is a knife is a knife....

The article on the kila caught my eye. I really like the idea of using the knife to "stake" the energy in the earth, or to help draw it. I think a better way to describe what I usually do with my knife is that I use it as kind of a lightning rod, to draw in the inspiration from Sarasvati when I invoke Her, instead of taking it directly into myself. I know it's not that the direct method would be too intense; it just seems like she and I both prefer to have some sort of structure in place when I invoke.
 
I guess that's not really TOO far off from the traditional Wiccan use of the athame to direct energy? Except I think what I'm doing is usually done with a wand. Am I right or am I just confused?

Or am I being confusing?
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

RandallS

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 03:44:18 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;146520
.I guess that's not really TOO far off from the traditional Wiccan use of the athame to direct energy? Except I think what I'm doing is usually done with a wand. Am I right or am I just confused?

You can direct energy with just about anything you can point with, including a finger. :) Different magical traditions use different tools to do so, if you aren't trying to work within a particular magical tradition (or religious/magical tradition in the case of Wicca), you can use whatever works foe you and not worry about what group X does.
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Queen of Wands

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 06:53:42 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;146514
I'M HOLDING A BADASS KNIFE YO.



:D: That part made me happy. Anyways...


I don't have a traditional athame either - what I do have, is a quarterstaff and a knife that were made with the intentions of being used as stage combat weapons. Which I do use both for, but since I have them and it is Beltane...I might have to include them in some ritual-doing tonight!

Scales

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 07:14:29 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;146514


 
My knife is completely dull (clearly designed as a ritual piece, though I don't know its origin), and I mainly use it for cutting energy? Cutting ties with people, separating stuff, that lot.

I have a knife that will be my ritual-practical knife (carving, cutting cords, etc) but needs repairs so I haven't gotten creative with it yet.

Redfaery

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 08:21:27 am »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;146538
:D: That part made me happy.

 
Glad to be of service to a fellow Ravenclaw. :ange:
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Micheál

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2014, 10:02:31 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;146514
Hiya all! Happy Beltane if you celebrate.

And....does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should call my knife? Or am I OK to call it an athame?

 Happy Bealtaine to you too,

Ritual knives are used in many different systems, for both cereminial (high) and folk (low) magic(k). For example many ceremonial magicians call just 'daggers.' In Ireland a 'scian choise duibhe(black handled knife) is used in folk magic.

In Wicca an Athame is traditionally called so after it has been consecrated with a previous Athame  done so in the same fashion(and probably took the name due to an altercation of another term used for ceremonial knives) It fulfills the same function as the sword, and can also be appropriate in place of the wand, assiciated with certain elements,  e.t.c.

You also have the White Handled Knife, more recently named a bolline, used to actually 'cut' things (in circle), and other witches have all purpose knives used for anything (like Marian Green describes in "A Witch Alone.")......if you're basing your practise around a certain tradition you can adopt certain terms, otherwise it's just your personal preference.

Adaire

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2014, 04:03:10 pm »
Quote from: Micheál;146572
In Wicca an Athame is traditionally called so after it has been consecrated with a previous Athame  done so in the same fashion.

Is that an Alexandrian thing by chance? I'm BTW and have never heard of that - consecrated, yes, but specifically with a previously consecrated athame, no... More info would be much appreciated.

Micheál

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2014, 06:29:51 am »
Quote from: Adaire;146591
Is that an Alexandrian thing by chance? I'm BTW and have never heard of that - consecrated, yes, but specifically with a previously consecrated athame, no... More info would be much appreciated.

 It's Gardnerian&Alexandrian(BTW) Which trad and line do you belong too?

Redfaery

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Re: About the use of knives/athames in ritual and magic?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2014, 08:12:56 am »
Quote from: Micheál;146572
Happy Bealtaine to you too,

Ritual knives are used in many different systems, for both cereminial (high) and folk (low) magic(k). For example many ceremonial magicians call just 'daggers.' In Ireland a 'scian choise duibhe(black handled knife) is used in folk magic.


 
Thanks. I know the use of knives in both folk and ritual magic has a looong history, and I do believe I'd heard about the "arthame" in the Key of Solomon. I'd love to learn more about the topic, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

I actually used my athame in ritual this morning in a much more deliberate fashion than I ever have. Before, I don't think I knew what I was really trying to do. I just did it. But this time I consciously focused on drawing in Sarasvati's energy (grace? blessing? inspiration is usually what I think of, except this time it was incredibly DIRECT) through the blade.

It was a pretty powerful experience. I felt really charged full of Her energy and powerful, but also incredibly calm and clear. Usually she inspires me to speak a prayer spontaneously, but this time I was just....beyond words. All I could say was, "I am here. I am now. I am Sarasvati"

Actually, I resisted saying that last bit, but it just WOULDN'T GO AWAY. It was....weird. Because it wasn't a thought that I could identify as coming from her, but I knew it was "hers"....except it was mine too. I hope no one thinks I'm being strange?

Sorry. As you were.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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