Tools and Curios

What is an Athame & its Symbolism Explained


By Morningbird

An athame (pronounced: ath-uh-may) is a ritual blade used in modern Witchcraft tradition. In Wicca, it is a (usually) black-handled, double-sided blade.

The athame is a ritual knife; its purpose is strictly symbolic. The blade is usually straight and dull.

Athame’s Symbolism

It represents the male aspect of divinity and can be used to cast and cut a circle during ritual as well as to direct energy in much the same way as a wand.

It may also be used to represent The God, or masculine energy, and may be used symbolically for the Great Rite.

The term “Athame” comes from the Grimoire: The Key Of Solomon The King

While among practitioners of Wicca and several other Witchcraft traditions the Athame has come to represent the Element of Fire, practitioners of Ceremonial/Ritual Magick & followers of the Western Mystery Tradition (The Golden Dawn etc) still attribute the Athame to the Element of Air (this corresponds with the attributions/correspondences of the various suits in Tarot as well).

Written by Morningbird & Witchipedia Team

I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years. As a founder and lead writer on Witchipedia, I’ve been publishing articles since 2006.

It is our mission to provide the most accurate Pagan, occult and magical information.

Explore this Topic: Ask a Question, Share Your Wisdom