An athame (pronounced: ath-uh-may) is a ritual blade used in modern Witchcraft tradition. In Wicca, it is a (usually) black handled, double sided blade, ritual knife. Its purpose is strictly symbolic. The blade is usually strait and dull. It represents the male aspect of divinity and can be used to cast and cut a circle during ritual as well as to direct energy in much the same way as a wand.
While among practitioners of Wicca and several other Witchcraft traditions the Athame has come to represent the Element of Fire, practitioners of Ceremonial/Ritual Magick & followers of the Western Mystery Tradition (The Golden Dawn etc) still attribute the Athame (& by default the Ritual Sword) to the Element of Air (this corresponds with the attributions/correspondences of the various suits in Tarot as well).
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