Well, I did, in fact, have a conversation with my athame. It took me a couple of days to dispel the feelings of ridiculousness that crept up every time I tried to start the conversation, but eventually, I was able to talk to the athame. I told it how much I have enjoyed using it and how I felt I could have done better by it; how I could have used it more and built a stronger relationship with it rather than continuing to rely upon my pre-tool practices. I explained some of the reasons why I’d been thinking about a new tool–some of my grip and dental pick issues–and how I’d like to use it as a candle magic tool for inscribing candle wax. I also mentioned how I’d someday like to pass it on to my children when it comes time for them to have their first athame.
After awhile, I got a sense that everything would be okay. I don’t know if this was my brain settling into a new rationalization or if it was more of a case of me and my athame mutually deciding that “its just not working anymore” and agreeing to stay friends. At any rate, I have now purchased a new athame that I hope will serve my needs for quite some time to come.
This is “Candle,” a one-of-a-kind handmade blade crafted by metal smith and fellow Pagan Brewan Blacksmith, who operates the website The Metal Craft to promote his athames, bolines, wands, and jewelry. Lately, Brewan has been advertising his store in Pagan print periodicals like witches&pagans (check out the ad on page 11 of issue 21!), which is how I found the operation. The Metal Craft is based out of North Eastern Ohio, and is really just building a web presence. I get the feeling Brewan gets most of his business out of traveling to different Midwestern pagan festivals, which I’m sure is working nicely. I hope they’re soon exposed to a larger customer base, though: Brewan’s so talented, it would be a shame if he couldn’t make a decent living at this craft.
This particular athame is sort of small at 8.25″ total, with a 4″ blade and a 4.25″ pommel/handle/guard. Luckily, I think this will work out well for me: longer daggers make me feel more like I’m at a bad renaissance fair. The shape of the knife appeals to me, too. I’d been drawn more to double-edged traditional daggers, but they never felt right (probably because they either remind me of Serious Weapons or of those renaissance fairs again). I also like that the blade is copper. There isn’t a single ferrous metal in this tool (the pommel and guard are brass, the handle a dark-stained maple), which I hope will be nice for directing energy. My coven draws a bit from Celtic influences, and ferrous metals don’t cooperate well with the Sidhe.
What I really fell in love with, though, is the strong fire imagery in this tool.
To me, athames are fire tools and wands are air tools. I don’t care what British Traditional Wicca says or what’s on most tarot cards: Blades being fire and wands being air just makes sense. Tree branches thrust themselves high into the sky, play in the breeze, and are felled by strong winds. Blades have to be forged in some of the hottest fires we can produce. It’s sort of a no-brainer. In my personal practice, these are my associations. In fact, part of the reason why my first athame attracted me so was because the blade looked somewhat flame-like. I’m thrilled I was able to find a tool that continues this association.