Wand vs Athame

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Wand vs Athame
By: / Novice
Post # 1

I know these items are used to direct energy, cast circles, etc... but what can an athame do that a wand can't? Or what can a wand do that an athame can't?

I've read that most witches seek a athame before a wand, but also read that the wand can perform most of the tasks that an athame can. Is there a real difference between the wand and the athame in their magickal uses and what are some specific examples?

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Re: Wand vs Athame
By: / Novice
Post # 2

The wand and the blade are associated with two different elements--typically wand as fire and the blade as air. Originally, and still today in many traditions, the blade is used as a tool for demarcation and banishment. The blade cuts a barrier that we work within.

The wand, on the other hand, has many different uses. Depending on the tradition, it can be used to command spirits, direct energy, etc.

Both are important tools and depending on the tradition you follow, the uses can vary.

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Re: Wand vs Athame
By: / Beginner
Post # 3

Wands and athames are weird. Some say the wand is fire and the athame is air, others say the athame is fire and the wand is air. Personally, I like to go with the atheme-fire version, and when it comes to which is better at directing energy, go with your gut. For a while I used my wand but when I switched to my athame, I felt more of a charge. It depends on the person.

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Re: Wand vs Athame
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Post # 4
I've heard (and read) that an athame is almost exclusively wiccan. More sources I have found say it represents fire (if you go for the traditional black handle). Despite the use of bladed objects being used in many rituals it is a wiccan influenced tool. Many people have written spells that include drawing blood or cutting objects with the athame, but traditionally the athame was used much like a wand and using it for these purposes claims to actually defile and corrupt the sacred object. It does however spiritually cut barriers. While athames are used to cast magick circles and to direct energy, a wand is more often to direct energy. Wands ALSO have a direct tie to nature making them already sacred and usually blessed if the wood has been given to the user with permission from the home tree. Depending on the wood your wand is made of it could have special magick properties already. This is why many magick users have multiple wands. A wand also doesn't have to be your traditional wood. It is anything used to direct energy, in the case we are talking about, an athame could actually be a version of a wand but a wand is not an athame.
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Re: Wand vs Athame
By: / Novice
Post # 5

The blade is absolutely not a specifically Wiccan influenced tool. Wicca actually borrowed it from various ceremonial traditions. You can find the use of ritual blades back to the Papyri Graecae Magicae which is one of the oldest surviving texts on magic. You can also commonly find various ritual blades in Renaissance-era grimoires. The specific use of the athame we know today was actually defined more from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn long before Wicca. Even the tradition which I belong to (not Wiccan), which was reestablished shortly after the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, makes use of the ritual knife and it is actually not a metal blade.

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Re: Wand vs Athame
By: / Novice
Post # 6

So the purpose of wands and athames is very similar and is basically down to the practitioner's preference? I already knew that the athame is not used for physical cutting, by the way, which makes it similar to the wand because you wouldn't use that to cut either. Interesting discussion. Thanks everyone :)

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