MAKING AN ATHAME
An athame is traditionally a double-bladed knife with a black handle. Very few
people make their own, although it is possible to do so. Most people obtain one
and personalize it in some way. This is most commonly done by inscribing
symbols or runes on it. In some traditions specific symbols are required and
have been handed down through their lineage. In others and among eclectic Wicca
groups, these can be personal.
How do you do this? You cover the blade with Paraffin. (WAX) Then you let it
cool. Next you take a LONG sharp NAIL and inscribe the symbols in the wax.
Then you use dilute Hydrochloric acid – careful, this stuff is dangerous, and
drop by drop place on the blade where it shows through due to your inscriptions.
When the acid has worked – usually fairly quickly – you rinse the blade under
running water THOROUGHLY and then you use VERY hot water and a lot of elbow
grease to remove the wax.
If ANY ACID FALLS ON THE SKIN RINSE THOROUGHLY UNDER COLD WATER IMMEDIATELY and
if there is a burn of any type, seek immediate medical help. IF it gets in the
eyes, again rinse immediately and completely and CALL THE EMT/PARAMEDIC UNITS.
It is best when doing this if you wear either some type of glasses or goggles
and rubber gloves.
DO NOT INGEST THE ACID OR LEAVE IT WHERE IT COULD BE INGESTED BY A CHILD OR
ANIMAL. Also be careful of how you dispose of the rest of it – do so in an
environmentally SAFE way.
This sounded like a little too much for me, so I tried another method. Koren
made a beautiful athame for me and I personalized it by putting herbs of my
choice in the handle and sealing this with a favorite crystal of mine – again
with his help.
Oh, if you absolutely can’t get a double-bladed knife – in Massachusetts, for
example, possession of such a weapon is a CRIME – get a single-bladed knife and
grind down the other edge as much as you can.
As I said, the Athame is USUALLY black-handled, but there are exceptions – I saw
one Lady use a knife with a deer’s hoof for the handle. She was oriented toward
her Native American heritage as much as her Craft, so it had deep significance
for her. I also saw – in fact a friend of mine was selling it – a BEAUTIFUL
homemade athame with copper tubing forming a cross hilt and crystals in each of
the three tips for the handle. (this was almost a small sword) AS ALWAYS USE
WHAT SPEAKS TO YOUR OWN SOUL!!!!!
The athame is usually NOT used in circle for anything other than ritual and
ceremonial purposed. If you need to inscribe a candle for Magick or slice the
bread for the cakes and wine part of the rite, you usually use a BOLINE or white
– handled knife, often a small dagger or even a pen-knife, set aside for these
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