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Athames and Bolines
Differences of Athame and Boline
The main difference between these two types of knives is that the athame is only used for magickal use and is not used to cut anything physical. That's where the boline comes in. The boline is used for all of the physical cutting of items involved with magical use.
The athame is considered a precious and magickal tool that is used by witches.Once your athame has been cleansed, consecrated, and dedicated to magickal workings, it is a highly personalized tool. This is a tool that has been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of uses. It has been found referenced in a number of old witches Grimoires and with hunter journals.
The athame is a witches primary tool that is used in rituals and magickal workings.The athame is used to direct and raise energy in rituals and ceremonies, used to draw magickal circles and other magickal symbols, cutting a door in a circle for people to pass through during ritual, to cut energetic ties, as a greeting to a magickal entity, calling the four quarters during your casting of the circle, and developing energy lines.
The athame is a tool of command and authority that is connected to the masculine God and is considered a phallic symbol.
The athame used to mainly be a dull, double-edged knife with a black handle and generally made out of steel or other common metal. It was generally thought that your athame should have a black handle because black absorbs energy, and the extra energy drawn in by the black handle was always welcomed. While I understand, and agree, with this reasoning, I also believe that if you find an athame that you connect to that doesn't have a black handle, it shouldn't be dismissed. It is my personal belief that the personal connection will be stronger and more magickal than buying an athame simply because it has a black handle.
In recent years, there are now athames made out of pewter, bone, and wood in addition to the metal ones. They are also coming in an ever-increasing variation of shapes, sizes, and colors and some are quite ornamental in design.
With the many different varieties of athames available on the market now, there have been many disputes surrounding these athames. Some people have a problem with the athames that are not made of metal (such as bone and wood) because they feel that the different materials change the whole symbolism of the athame. Some people, however, feel that having an athame out of wood or bone becomes more personal because they have the ability to engrave magickal symbols and runes into the athame that adds a more special connection and befits their traditions and beliefs.
Then of course you have the age-old dispute of whether the athame is a Fire or Air tool. While there are many writings (and even the tarot) associates the athame with Air and the wand with Fire. Then you have the people that feel the athame should be associated with Fire (metal forged in Fire) and the wand associated with Air. I am in the latter, but I feel that you should do what you feel is comfortable and what makes sense to you.
Some traditions require their members to have an athame to be a certain size, style, or color. If your tradition doesn't, however, there are many different varieties of athames that are available to you out there.
The bolines on the other hand are generally used for the more physical side of things such as cutting cords, herbs, and carving of wands and candles. The boline is usually around the same size as the athame, and has a white handle in order to distinguish it from the black handle of the athame. The boline has either a straight or crescent (which is becoming more popular) blade.
There are a wide variety of differing beliefs surrounding the boline.
Some believe that the boline should only be used within the magickal circle. This doesn't seem very practical in my mind. I think that as long as it's only used for magickal preparations and uses that it can be used anywhere.
Other people believe that the boline isn't even a magickal tool, that it's simply a utilitarian tool with no magickal purpose. I feel that once your boline has been cleansed and consecrated and dedicated to magickal workings that it is no different than any other magickal tool.
Then you have the people that believe that the boline isn't even needed. Many people now feel that by using the athame for the same things that the boline is used for only adds more power and personal energies to the athame.
As with anything else involved in the Craft, it's all about what feels right to you. Whether you decide to use it only in a magickal circle, for the physical cutting side of things, or not to use one at all it's all about what you feel is best that matters.
I have spent some time lately creating an e-book for my fellow Wiccans, Witch's, and Pagans.
It has all of the common tools that we use along with history, lore, where to buy, how to make (if possible), and correspondences.
I have created this because I know how convenient it is to have all of the information available and easily accessible. I even find myself using this all the time simply for the correspondences.