Matrika #2 @7314
Tue Apr 24 18:11:41 1990
The athame is used in Magick, as I use it, to represent the element of fire 
and the direction  of the south.  In the circle the athame is used to cast the 
circle and to charge the contents of the chalice in the central rite of all 
Wicca, the SYMBOLIC joining of the Lord and the Lady in LOVE.  It is also used 
to banish any imbalanced, excess positive or negative energies that are 
harmful to us - in whatever form these may take.  IT IS NOT USED FOR MUNDANE 
TASKS such as inscribing candles or slicing the "cake" for cakes and wine.  A 
simple, white-handled knife is kept for that usage.

The athame is usually replaced, as soon as possible, by a sword for coven 
work.  This sword should be worked on by the group in the same way that the 
athame is by the individual, as it is a channel of the group's energy.  The 
sword should, therefore, be taken special care of.  Swords are expensive and 
someone NOT connected with Wicca might be tempted to purloin it and try to 
resell it.   If the coven has a sword, it is put in the care of the High 
Priestess and High Priest and they would be wise to keep it in a locked 
closet, if at all possible.  It symbolizes the energies of the group psyche 
that has been formed or is being formed, as well as the group's magickal 

If the Coven should seperate, it has been traditionally left to the Highest 
ranking individual in the Coven, which should be the High Priest and/or High 
Priestess.  Even though the coven has paid for it and worked on it, the High 
Priesthood retains it as a symbol of the circle's GRATITUDE for the teaching 
they have recieved from them.  It can be cleansed by the Leaders and used in 
further covens they may sponsor in their travels - and often each new group 
chooses some symbol or something they can add to it.