It’s probably a fair thing to say that Pagans like copper. Mundanely, we know that it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity; after all, the best cooking pots are copper, and copper wire runs through most electrical cords. Therefore, it would stand to reason that copper would be a good conduit of other energies, too. I suppose you could liken it to the metal version of a quartz crystal. In fact, it was rather in vogue in the late 1980s and 1990s to fashion one’s wand from a length of copper tubing and flanking the ends with quartz stones, or to wrap copper wire about a length of tree limb, or even to use copper to anchor a piece of quartz to a tree limb. The general ability to quickly circulate energy makes it a good pair for magical tools, particularly those like the athame and wand, which are used to direct energy.
My athame, as we know, has a copper blade, which I’ve come to adore. Unfortunately, it has been a little tricky to keep bright and shiny, which is a shame since copper can usually be shined right up with a little salt and lemon. In fact, I tried that method in the past and found it a little tricky to negotiate the etchings on the blade and to rub close to where the blade meets the hilt. So, I have to admit, I put off polishing my athame this go-around until it really couldn’t be ignored anymore.
And then I turned to the Internet.
It turns out that copper can be cleaned really easily by spreading a moderately thick layer of regular old ketchup over the metal, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then rinsing the ketchup away, buffing any tricky spots that remain with a soft cloth (nothing more abrasive, lest you mar the surface!). When I tried it, I was astonished. The copper brightened within seconds (I could see through some of the thinner ketchup spots), and I only left it on for a minute before rinsing…which revealed a perfectly polished blade! I kid you not, my athame hasn’t looked this good since I bought it, and it took practically zero effort. In fact, you shouldn’t have to use anything more abrasive than a soft cloth
It’s a good thing.