‘3. Witchy tools: athame‘
Now, as if I never left this blog to the metaphorical dust bunnies for two years, I’m picking up where I left off: LittleCityWitch’s questionnaire. I’m saddened to learn that the original poster, and even the poster who had brought this whole thing to my attention, have both been lost to the blog fogs (that’s a thing now, I’m making it a thing.) Here’s hoping they find their way, and even if it’s not back onto the interwebs, then at least to a Goddess-guided journey.
So. Athames. I’ll be honest with you: I’ve never had an altar, and therefore have had no use nor any inclination towards procuring an athame.
I think of altars like I think of cars. Either one can be tricked out with all the bells and whistles, books and candles (that’s an example of my sense of humor, you’ve been warned), a full-out, in-your-face, chest-thumping declaration of who you are and where you are in terms of your mid-life crisis. I’ve seen the Lamborghini and Ferrari equivalent of altars, no expense spared in the quest for maximum witchiness. Bling it on, crystal ball!
It may be alright for some, and if they’ve got the cash, then they can splurge all they want. But for others who are new to this whole pagan or Wiccan lifestyle, it can be a little overwhelming. When I was younger, I was definitely one of those- I didn’t even have enough spare change for a dollar bag of assorted tumbled rocks, much less any of the trappings I just had to have to be a ‘true witch’. I was a headstrong teen, and I was instantly repelled by such instruction. I could be a witch in my own right, I said to myself, I’d show everyone!
Now that I’m older, I have less patience with both the ‘must-have’ mentality and the ‘rebel-without-applause’ mentality. I’m acknowledging the need for a sacred place, even if it’s just a corner of the bedroom, and there’s nothing wrong with showing off my (hard won) tumbled rocks. On the other hand, I may add a few more spices to the grocery list, maybe an essential oil or two, but in the interest of frugality and my own sanity, that’s pretty much the limit. If I had an altar (or a car), it would be a Volkswagen Beetle. And not the new models either.
And so we come back to the subject of altars, and specifically today, the athame. So, what is that, exactly?
A few seconds of Wiki-fu will tell you that an ‘athame’ is a ceremonial tool used in Wicca and other Neo-pagan religions, representing fire and male energy. What its used for after that depends on your traditions: you can use it for cutting magical ingredients, or only for cutting a door in the circle because you’re in the middle of a working and you forgot the Sprite you were supposed to use in place of wine. It can be double-edged or single-edged; sharp or blunt; black-handled or a handmade one; made from iron or any number of metals. It all depends on you.
Personally, as a former chef and a self-professed foodie, I don’t see any point in having a knife that’s not going to be used for cutting all the things. I could use it to mark candles, cut yarn to make voodoo doll hair, slice ingredients for a kitchen spell. I would buy a good knife and let it soak up the moon’s rays and use it only for working magic.
What do you think? Should an athame be used purely for ceremony, or should you be able to get some practical use out of it as well?
I shouldn’t be surprised. If it’s not a decent television series or one of my favorite comedians, I’m not really known for my staying power. I just seem to choose things to do and then forget about them, like a particularly wishy-washy goldfish. I can’t even remember the last time I finished a project – any project.
- I’ve got four blogs. Well, had.
- I wanted to learn how to draw in thirty days. I can’t even count how many days its been since I picked up a pencil.
- I wanted to lose weight through yoga this year. I lasted two weeks into January, with a scattering of days here and there.
- I wanted to play the ukelele, for music and Hawaii reasons. ‘Nuff said.
Most of all, I wanted to be a blog mom, one of those perky pastel kitchen queens with big smiles and perfect food photography (Seriously, how can they make oatmeal look so luscious?). Not to imply that all successful bloggers fit that cookie-cutter description, but here in the Philippines, they certainly seem to be the most popular ones. They deserve it too: they put in the time, the patience, the wordage.
They did that. I didn’t.
But I want to now. As someone who’s reaching her third decade on this lovely Earth, I should have something to leave behind, a mark that I made, a legacy I can be remember for. Even if it’s just a teensy corner of the interwebs.
I should stop procrastinating and just do.
So I am. The new moon was yesterday, and now as the big beautiful silver ball starts to show her face again, so should I start to write and learn and blog along with her.
I rejoined The Magical Circle School, a free online school that aims to help the solitary witch in her quest to find the magic, wherever that may be. I’m doing the Entrance Exam at the moment, and it’s slow-going, but I know it’s going to be worth it. The school has had some negative press, but so far I’ve neither seen or experienced anything that would make me nope out of studying. I’m just really looking forward to a community to learn with. I’ve always liked study groups. Once I’ve been in the school for a few months, I’ll do a proper review on it and share my experience.
Aside from that, I should look into finding other bloggers with like minds. If one should happens to drop by, don’t be afraid to say hello!
Guess what I found while looking for other PBP-less souls? PurpleMoon831 over at My Goddess Path is starting a 44-question challenge that originated on Tumblr- quite a resurrection, since the original was first put together in Aug 2010. I think everyone should go through a questionnaire like this every once in a while, just to get a bead on where they are spiritually. Eventually, you’ll get a sense of how much you’ve grown or changed throughout the years, and that’s always a great boost to have.
So let me hitch my cart to the bandwagon! I’d also like to add an extra question at the end to get it to an even 45. Sor far though, these are the original questions in all their simplistic glory:
- What’s your witchy background?
- A myth or story from folklore.
- Witchy tools: athame.
- Picture of nature (water element).
- A favourite Goddess.
- A favourite God.
- Air element.
- A photo of a magical place outdoors.
- A favourite mythological animal.
- Your sun sign.
- Witchy tools: oils.
- Picture of nature (air element).
- What are some of the witchy books that influenced you?
- A favourite pagan holiday that you celebrate.
- Thoughts on the afterlife?
- Favourite witchy website(s).
- Picture of nature (fire element).
- Have you had any paranormal experiences?
- Fire element.
- A picture of a tarot or oracle card, and its meaning.
- A favourite scent.
- Current moon phase.
- A favourite candle.
- Your moon sign.
- How do your close ones feel about your witchy path? Do they know? Why or why not?
- A witchy podcast.
- Picture of nature (earth element).
- A picture of a witchy I-Want-It-Now!
- Water element.
- Witchy tools: wand.
- A favourite pagan/witchy movie.
- A pagan/witchy artwork.
- Faerie of your choice.
- Rune of your choice.
- Something that I think people who don’t know much about paganism/witchcraft should know.
- Flower of your choice, and its magical properties.
- A famous pagan/witch!
- Witchy tools: cauldron.
- Something that inspires you.
- Your altar, if you have one!
- A spell you’ve done.
- A favourite nature spirit.
- A magical recipe.
- Witch’s choice!
Looking forward to answering these! If anyone else (if there’s anyone else reading this blog aside from dust mites) wants to come on this crazy ride, just leave me a little note in the comments so I can read along 🙂