I Now Own An Athame: What!?

Hand Carved Bog Oak Athame

Notice it has no metal blade.

Thanks to Skyllaros, who posted a picture of the one he bough on FB, I’m the proud owner, though it hasn’t shipped yet, of an athame hand-carved from bog oak between 3000 and 6000 years old. When I saw it my brain screamed Bog … Chthonic. Oak … Hekate! So I impulse-bid on it. And I got it for cheap.

The problem is I’ve always created sacred space in the form of a circle with my staff, not an athame. Nowadays I create sacred space with the Adjuration of Metatron from the Book of Abrasax (which works amazingly well, by the way). What the heck am I going to do with the thing? I’ve got some learning to do.

I know it’s not a black-handled dagger, and some of you will say it’s not an athame for that reason. Maybe you’re right. It’s still a cool tool that I’m determined to use — somehow.

I haven’t a clue how though. Maybe I’ll pray for the answer to come in a dream or in a kledon.

—If you don’t know what a kledon is, it’s a specialty of Hermes’s, a form of divination in which you pray to Him for the next words you hear to be the answer to the question you ask Him. Best accompanied by an offering of a quarter or two where somebody will find it. —You can get some astounding results with kleda, and some you don’t understand for years, and other results you may never understand.

Anyways, I may be casting my first circle with it soon, pentagrams, calling on the Watchtowers, and all, something I’ve never once done and will have to look up in a book, which I probably don’t own yet, on how exactly the heck to do it. —If anyone has any suggestions of where to look for how to cast a circle and what to do with my athame (other than stick it where the sun don’t shine, you can keep that to yourselves!) I’d love to read your ideas.

—And I’ll let you know how it goes … provided of course this sudden whim of mine that I now own winds up doing anything…

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10 thoughts on “I Now Own An Athame: What!?

  1. Theruine says:

    Lovely Athame and I learned a new word. Thank You!

  2. “Watchtowers” are Enochian, yes? I wouldn’t mix that with other stuff. If you haven’t worked the good old Lesser Pentagrams, definitely take a deep breath and learn. They’re the lingua franca of magic. If you want the OTA flavor, which avoids calling YHVH “in vain,” let me know and I’ll find the description somewhere for you.

    We had a discussion at MCP last night about Egyptian Middle Kingdom apotropaic wands. Some of them look a lot like a cross between a wand and a knife, like this lovely thing.

    • Rachel Izabella says:

      Thanks, Freeman, good points one and all. I haven’t actually used my new athame yet. I haven’t even consecrated it yet.

      I have no problems using Hebrew Godnames. Practicing the “good old Lesser Pentagrams” is probably a good idea for me. I would however, even though I’m not a Thelemite, want at some point to practice Crowley’s LBRH and LIRH — I think I have those acronyms right, the Lesser Banishing and Invoking Rituals of the Hexagram. In my understanding the LBRP banishes crud from the microcosm, oneself. The LBRH banishes in the local macrocosm. That’s what a good friend tells me anyway.

      I love my new ritual bog oak blade (which is indeed very close to being a wand). It feels good in my hand. I should start using it.

      Much love, Rachel Izabella

      • I know some people who use both. In some traditions, they just use the banishing forms to keep the space clean; our tradition is to do an invoking ritual at the beginning and banishing at the end. I don’t personally use the hexagram rituals, but I may experiment with them at some point. I would probably do them nested, like LIRP – LIRH LBRH – LBRP; but I am a nerd, and YMMV.

        • Rachel Izabella says:

          Your ideas about the order of the rituals are very interesting. I’ll need to experiment.

          Scott Stenwick in his Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy has some very interesting ideas too about using the rituals in different orders to establish different sorts of “fields” (what I call zones) for different purposes. For example one would use the order LBRP – LIRH to create what he calls an operant field — a field in which all the magic goes out into the macrocosm to affect probabilities and outcomes. I don’t plan on practicing Enochian Magick anytime in the foreseeable future but you might be interested in his opening and closing ritual ideas. His book is purchasable as an ebook at a reasonable price at his website, augoeides.blogspot.com. Just an FYI. –Love, Rachel

  3. Takeshi says:

    In my tradition (I do dragon magick/ draconic magick) we use Athames not to cut something open, but to carve runes into candles. As long as the ‘blade’ can cut down into a candle, then you can use it. Another thing we use it for is a wand, sometimes. Point it in different directions and stuff; I’m sure other people can tell you more about how to use it in your traditions, though. 😀

  4. December Larkham says:

    Hey there Rachel, is it possible to link the shop where you bought your athame? I’m absolutely in love with the super simplistic design and have been looking at a few sites to find one similar and can’t. Thank you so much!

    • Rachel Izabella says:

      Hello December — Many apologies for taking so long to approve and reply to your comment. Unfortunately the truth is that I ordered that athame from an Etsy account I no longer have access to. I have no way of knowing which shop it was. There were only seven of those athames and they were going fast. However if you Google “bog oak athame” you’ll find all sorts of sources for athames that I hope are similar. Good luck and much love. —Rachel Izabella

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