(pronounced “ATH-uh-may” or “a-THAM-uh”)
The athame is the ritual knife. There is some debate about its correspondence, as some traditions link the athame to fire and others to air. At Moonshine, we support the theory that it symbolizes fire. The blade is forged in fire, therefore it still holds the essence of the flame. However, an athame doesn’t necessarily need to be made of metal. It can be cut from stone, bone, ceramic, or wood, if you prefer.
The athame is used symbolically, it is generally not used to cut anything on the physical plane. It is used to direct energy, draw boundaries, cut energetic ties, cast the magic circle, etc.
Traditionally the athame is a double edged knife, but since it is only used energetically, those edges don’t need to be razor sharp!
The chalice is one of the four elemental tools, and it represents the element of water on your altar. It also represents the womb of the Goddess. Traditionally the chalice is placed on the west side of the altar. It is used to make libations and drink-offerings during ritual, spell-work, ceremonies, and devotions.
A chalice can be pretty much anything you can drink from, and made from any material. As with all the other tools, there are many exquisite pieces for sale in your local shops, but the most powerful tools are ones you make yourself. Try starting with a plain wine glass or water goblet and then paint designs or sigils around the rim and base. You don’t have to be a great artist or even particularly crafty to make a simple chalice a very powerful tool.
Your altar is your personal workspace and can be anything from a small shelf to a large engraved table.
Mortar and Pestle
The patten is a flat disk with a religious symbol (usually a pentacle, but if you prefer it can be a triple moon or some other holy symbol). It is placed in the center of your altar, and provides protection and power. It corresponds to the element of Earth, but the pentacle also symbolizes union of all the elements along with the 5th element of spirit or ether. The patten is also used for consecration.
Creating and Dressing your altar
How to start your witch's toolbox (or "What you need and where to find it")
Consecrating your tools
© MoonShine, Inc. Yule, 2017