Wands, Athames and Staffs, Oh My

Dear Auntie Snark,

I am looking into getting a wand but I should I get an athame instead? Should I get both? What should I be looking for?

Looking for a Tool


Looking for a Tool,

My first question for you is; why do you need a tool? Is it because some book told you that you need it or do you feel that you need it? Remember, that the most important tool that any witch will ever have is his/her mind. Any other tool that you may or may not have in your hand-basket is a shiny extra. It isn’t really needed but having it can be any extra bonus. Now that I have gotten my lecture out, let’s take a look at some tools you can go out and find and or buy.

Athame – An athame is a ceremonial blade that normally has a black handle. Although it may or may not have a sharp blade, it is not used to physically cut…..anything..at all…….ever. If you want to use a ceremonial blade to cut, you are looking at getting a boline. We can cover that in a short bit. They fall under either the element of fire or air, depending on your tradition. It is considered a masculine tool and normally is used during ceremonies in conjunction with the chalice. 

Now we here at The Snarky Witches like to take the “traditional” book and throw it out the window or even set it on fire. Your athame can be any color handled, mine is copper and inscribed that I picked up from the flea market, and can be either sharp or dull. It can be as short or as long as your want although, remember after a certain length it is no longer a knife but becomes a sword. We will not throw the book out when it comes to cutting things though. Your athame is for magickal purposes and not cutting things physically. 

Wands – Is normally a thin piece of wood that can be used one handed but a wand can be made out of other materials such as metal or plastic. Please don’t purchase a Harry Potter wand and use it for magickal rituals, that is just tacky as hell. Wands, like athames, can be interchanged between the elements of fire and air. It depends on how you feel the tool should fall elemental wise. For example, Wands to me are air and athame is fire.

If you are making your wand, I recommend researching wood and metals magickal properties. Even if are buying a wand, you will want to know the components of the wand. This will include stones and any other materials as they will impact your workings. I know…I know…this means that you will have to do research and that sucks but it is important that you do this.

Staff – If you really want to scream authority, than a staff is for you. Think BIG wand and that would be a staff. Staffs, like wands, are saturated in folklore and in history when it comes to the magickal craft. Egyptians to Druids were known to use them. A staff, like a wand, can vary in crafting material and size with be determined by the magickal user

Boline – A boline is a white handled knife that is used for ceremonial cutting herbs, carving candles or anything else when it comes to magickal cutting. It can be straight or crescent shaped. Traditionally, think hand-held sickle.

So which one should you choose? Well it depends on what you want to do and use it for. If you are looking for something that you craft with your own hand, then I recommend a wand or a staff. If you want something that can last a LONG while, then you will want an athame. If you want to use them all, then use all of them and there is nothing wrong with that. I mean, each tool can have a specific purpose for you when it comes to your craft. This is something you have to choose which one or even all that you want or need in your life. Don’t feel bad if you decide not to have any. To be honest, I haven’t used my athame in years and I have never owned a wand. You do you my little witch.

Until next time witches. May the brew in your cauldron never burn and your broom never splinter. 

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