Athame and Wand- How to’s and Uses

Coming from a traditional witch background, I was taught in very specific ways how to work with an Athame and a wand.  These may be different from how you were taught, but this is my method.


An Athame is a double edged ritual knife in its simplest terms.  It is used for cutting energy. Traditionally, the blade is about six inches long, (6”), double edged, with the handle made of either bone, wood, or gemstone.

You always choose to use an Athame when working with NEGATIVE energies.  Again they are for cutting energy. Keep your blade at the third eye level when working with it. You want it to stay in those energy frequencies.  Also hold your blade horizontally, not vertically.

When you are using an Athame, you are generally creating circuits of energy.  So you want both hands touching the Athame if possible.

Always when calling the Guardians of the directions using your Athame, start in the East.  Hold Athame in your power hand.  Use your other hand placed behind the blade, (closest to you.) Remember everything is intent specific.

If you don’t know what your power hand is, here’s a link to another article I wrote to discover how to figure it out:

** NEVER** let your Athame touch meat, it is a dead spirit so to speak, and will imprint your Athame. It this happens you will have to dispose of it.  It will never be able to be cleansed properly.

Pushing Out Energy:

Using your hand that is closet to you, (pushing outward)

Hold blade flat out, horizontally, blade point out.  Power hand grip under handed; other hand flat over hand flat on blade: pushing directed energy out.

Reflecting Energy In:

Hand on blade, with blade closest to you, reflecting in energy.


Over handed grip using your power hand; your other hand goes behind your back or on the blade on top of other hand, slice above and below


This is for infusing or imprinting energy onto the focus item so that the energy continues to corrode away; use your over-handed grip in your power hand.

Straight Up:

Over head, held with both hands, pulling energy from spirit

Straight Down:

Down to the ground with both hands pulling energy to the ground.


**Advanced** Placed on the Ground Flat:

This is only for advanced and in the case that you are calling forth a spirit, there is specific procedure for this, but I will not discuss here. This is used to step into the spirit world.

When stepping over the Athame, always step with your left foot.  You are stepping directly into that spirit.  This is you possessing a spirit rather than that spirit possessing you, you are becoming one in the same energy.  From that position you can call the guardians and ask for what you need.  When you step back across the Athame, step back with your RIGHT foot into the physical realm again and out of the spiritual body and realm.

There is then a gratitude procedure that will not be discussed here.  **Warning** DO NOT attempt this with out skill, knowledge and proper protection.  Use at your own risk.

After gratitude ceremony, lift Athame with your hand under the blade.  Bring it up to heart level.  When you bring the blade up to the heart level, it breaks the connection.  Spirits cannot cross the Athame once it is in the air.


Generally, wands are for pushing energy out.  You hold wands in much the same way as the Athame.  Remember that you are creating circuits of energy.  Wands are for directing energy.  You point your wand in the direction you want the energy to go.  Wands can be used for positive or negative energy.

If your wand has a crystal tip, do not lay the crystal end of the wand on a hard surface if possible during your work. Lay it against a soft surface to keep the energy built up in it from dissipating.

Wands can be used to draw circles, sigils, gateways, directing spells, many different ways, it is limited only by your imagination.

Remember that always during ritual or ceremony, work slowly and purposefully with one hundred percent focused intent.

So you can try these hand positions with both your Athame and your wand and see how they feel for you. Practice some energy work and see if it makes a difference.

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer available at

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10 thoughts on “Athame and Wand- How to’s and Uses

  1. Reblogged this on ~PaganKnot ~ and commented:
    An Athame is a double edged ritual knife in its simplest terms. It is used for cutting energy. Traditionally, the blade is about six inches long, (6”), double edged, with the handle made of either bone, wood, or gemstone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just how traditional are you. I’v been a witch for 40 some years and well in BTW the athame or black handled knife is one sided. with a box wood handle. Athame is a sufi term and tool. it is not traditional.


    • As I stated, this is how I was taught; this is the language I was taught in, and your methods may be different from mine. I was taught by a sixth-generation traditional hereditary witch; I consider myself traditional eclectic. I have never met two witches even in the same coven who’s paths are the same. It is unfortunate that in your forty years of practice as a witch you never found the time to do the inner work on your ego in the areas of criticism and judging of others. To each their own path; if you object to my methods there is nothing binding you to this blog. You are free to seek information else where. Blessings to you. Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 40 years or not, your statement is based on a false etymology of the word. “The Sufis” was a book written by Idries Shah, whom was a friend and I believe a secretary of Gerald Gardener. In this book he moved forward with the idea; a false etymology, that was presented originally in the book “The History of Secret Societies” written by Arkon Darul. I also have a rich history of magic including Traditional Witchcraft, Wica, Ceremonial Magic, Chaos Magic, and Druidry. Almost all references to the Athame including the dictionary definitions are very similar; A black-handled, double-edged ritual knife used in modern witchcraft.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My athame is a double edged long “dagger” – a British Fairbairn, actually.
    Steel handle (black), blade about 8″.
    I was worried when I consecrated it that the handle would not be suitable, but it has always worked well.
    It is especially strong and definite in casting circles, making circles of protection, and directing energy.
    I was a Gardnerian, now (like you) a traditional eclectic.
    Thanks for your post and your work.
    Blessed Be.


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