I want to get an athame and can feel that i will get it soon but i am still confused as to their purpose and how to use it. I have a few questions. Why do you use a athame to draw a circle when the cirlce represents all elements? Should i use it for many things or simply magics? And i am very practical, if i can use it for anyhing i would like it to be good for use in camping and combat but that would be using metals not commonly found in nature, would that be a bad idea? (though really i do not know what it will be made of for sure since i am trying to delay my excitement for it and let it come to me in whatever way it comes)
Working within the paths of Wicca, Witchcraft, and Ceremonial Magick, many feel that the athame only cuts and directs energy and to use it for physical activities would make it 'impure' (practitioners typically use a separate blade for cutting physical things, such as herbs or candles [some use a boline, which is a single sided blade that can be straight or curved like a sickle] ). A circle is less about representing all elements and more about sacred space, which is space you have recognized as a focus for your working. An athame represents or embodies the elements of air or fire, depending on the tradition and path one is in. It's use is to cut and direct energy, scribe circles, and is sometimes the main tool of the working (again, this is all depending on personal preference and one's path). As for the materials, most people just try to make sure their athame is made of a natural material and the furthest people tend to stray from natural materials are alloys.