Talk:Athame

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Pronunciation[edit]

Is the pronunciation of athame \ə-'thä-me\, \'a-thə-mē\, \ə-'thām\, or something else? [I have used the phonetic alphabet of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary.]

--anon

I suggest that regardless of what any individual editor happens to think, Merriam-Webster's is an authoritative source that can be relied upon. Clearly, there's some uncertainty. Jkelly 04:47, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I just checked the O.E.D.- no listing for it. Merriam-Webster sounds like an excellent second choice to rely on for this question. --P.MacUidhir (t) (c) 21:16, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Remember that Merriam-Webster's doesn't list the word Athame - anon is borrowing their phonetic spelling conventions only... Fuzzypeg 10:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
The most recent OED has the word listed - possibly even in the Shorter as well as the complete version. Unfortunately I don't have easy access to this and I can't remember what pronunciations it gives, but it gives more than one. I know that at least the British branches of Alexandrian Wicca use \ə-'thä-me\, while some Australian and New Zealand Alexandrians use \'a-thə-mē\. I don't know what people say in the Americas. Fuzzypeg 10:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
As of today (Nov 19 2006), the OED online has no listing for this word. The closest matches are "athambia" and "Athanasian". CRGreathouse (t | c) 00:25, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I am certain I have read the entry for this in one of the recent versions of the OED. It gave the origin of the word as obscure. It may have been in the Shorter Oxford, which I think had a new edition released just a few years ago, while the complete OED stayed on its current edition (excuse me if this is wrong, I'm doing this all from memory); if so, then the entry can probably be found in the "new research" book of addenda that is printed from time to time to accompany the main OED. Fuzzypeg 00:08, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I have heard that the pronunciation varies between different region and magical traditions. As a result, I don't think it matters much which pronunciation one decides to use. (Especially since the word seems to have no valid origins anyway)

I'd assume, as well, that different dialects or national pronounciation would alter how it is pronounced differently. Disinclination 04:47, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

My changes.[edit]

I just wondered if anyone likes the changes i have made? This is the first page ive ever made real changes to and i was wondering if i had made it better or worse? Grey witch 12:44, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh also if anyone would like to help me with citing references and such i would highly appreciate it, i know that everything i have added has come from a book or the internet but even after reading the help guides im not sure on how to properly add the references to a page :( Grey witch 11:40, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Photo added[edit]

I've uploaded a photo of my own athame. Further examples would be welcome! BB, Kim dent brown 18:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Similar to Anathema[edit]

Has no one considered the possibility that the two words, athame and anathema, are related? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 72.155.204.150 (talk) 20:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC).

In the absence of any other connections between the two words, there is no reason to suspect that their similarity is more than a coincidence. Fuzzypeg 01:15, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Confusing statement[edit]

"The notion seems to have originated in the grimoire originating in the Middle Ages and usually known as the Key of Solomon[1]."

I was going to edit this for clarity, but I'm not sure if it's referring to the grimoire originating in the Middle Ages, or the grimoire known at the Key of Solomon originating then or the practice of the athame as a tool for magical purposes originating then. I'm guessing it's the third. Perhaps the original author, or someone more knowledgeable than I could fix that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.21.85.172 (talk) 17:14, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

A black-hilted knife is among the ritual weapons portrayed in the Key of Solomon, and this grimoire is assuredly the source for the hilt emblems given for the athame in Gardnerian Wicca. However, the term "athame" does not itself derive from the grimoire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.213.146.172 (talk) 06:59, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

THE KNIFE WITH THE BLACK HILT FROM THE KEY OF SOLOMON

Below are the Hebrew Lettering on the Knife with the Black Hilt from the Key of Solomon

ת: את: יה: אלהים:א פרימתון: פןיאל: אלפ: אל:

1. mem (final) jod he lamed alef (Elohim) 2. he jod (ja) 3. tav omega z alef (The Beginning and the End) 4. lamed alef (El) 5. feh lamed alef (The One) 6. lamed alef yod nun peh (Face of God) 7. nun vav tav mem yod resh peh (Giver of Fruit/Fruit of Moderation)

Many thanks to the staff of Beth Chaim Messianic Congregation, Austin, TX — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.182.66.224 (talk) 01:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)


The term "athame" does derive from the Key of Solomon, or at least has a close parallel in that book. In versions of that book we find one of the knives called an "arthame". According to some magic discussion archives on the net there are French versions of the manuscript that use the spelling "athame", but I don't have the time to track down the actual manuscript, so for the moment I'm just changing the spelling of the Key of Solomon reference to "arthame". Also, from memory the hilt emblems on a Wiccan athame are not in the Key of Solomon, but I haven't seen all manuscripts, and I can't really spare the time to check. I would hope to see proper citations though if that assertion were added to the article. Fuzzypeg 03:45, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The hilt emblems used in Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca are indeed taken from Clavicula Salomonis Regis. Mathers gives them as Figure 62 in his edition, where they are attributed to "The Knife with the Black Hilt". The illustration can be viewed online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/grim/kos/img/kos13.jpg Caliban93 (talk) 15:55, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Corrections in the lead[edit]

I am rewriting the lead sentence, because I think that use of "New Age Witchcraft(Wicca)" in the opening sentence of the article could be a contentious point with Wiccans. Also, the Athame isn't only used by New Age proponents or Wiccans for that matter, so I am changing it to a more accurate interpretationWolfpeaceful (talk) 16:56, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Also, this line is innaccurate. "The athame is mentioned in the writings of Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, who claimed to have been initiated into a surviving tradition of witchcraft called Wicca." The term "Wicca" was not the title of the group that Gardner had claimed to be initiated into. He simply called the members by either "witches" or "the wica" and the style of the religion by the title of "Witchcraft." So I am dropping the two words "called Wicca" out of the sentence, and replacing it with ", the New Forest Coven", which is the name of the coven Gardner claimed to have been initiated into, which also has its own article. Wolfpeaceful (talk) 17:09, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Association Section[edit]

"Touching another person's athame without permission is considered an intrusion of the owner's personal space." First off; this is under an explanation by Janet and Stewart Ferrar, so I am curious is this the Ferrars explanation of this reasoning. The other thing I want to state, is that is not the only reason to not want people to touch your athame. An alternative reason is that the item contains a preconcieved magical energy desired by the practitioner (or is in the process of becoming such, i.e. "charged.") A person who touches said piece transfers their energy to the object, thus causing it to become "corrupt" from the practicioner's original desired state. And another just plain "blunt" reason; is that the owner of the piece may think it quite "rude" for a person to touch something of significance to their spirituality without asking them. Wolfpeaceful (talk) 19:39, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Conflict in lede/picture?[edit]

The first sentence in the lede states the Athame has a double edge, but the picture shows a single-edged knife. ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.233.173.138 (talk) 13:00, 20 June 2015 (UTC)