The athame (ath-ah-may) is a double bladed-knife used for energy work – it is never used for cutting anything on the physical plane. Priestesses often wore theirs strapped to their legs, and worked with them to heal. They are especially powerful for casting circle and cutting etheric cords – think of them as being a little like the sword of Archangel Michael. I have a beautiful brass athame. Most metal moves too quickly for me to feel I am directing it efficiently, but brass is perfect. It has a beautiful rose quartz in it and is very rounded at the top, which gives it a feeling of femininity that I adore. It is heavy in my hand. My young daughter often wanders in, picks it up, gently draws a circle in the air above her head with it and says softly: “In perfect love and perfect trust.” If you don’t have an athame though a feather works just as well, and you can also use your finger to cast circle and direct energy.
Wand (element of fire): Wands are also used to work with energy, however they primarily direct and send it out. They also strongly connect us with the fairy realm. I have two wands at present. One is amethyst, which I use when it feels right – it is stronger, more protective and more psychic, solid, powerful and commanding. The other is rose quartz and crystal, and is more loving, romantic, feminine and sweet in its energy, although it almost has a “naughty” energy at times. I also use wooden wands, ones I gather myself and activate with crystals and found objects, but you can also use a small candle to represent
fire if you are keeping things simple.
Crystals/stones: (element of earth): I have a collection of crystals that is constantly evolving. Rose quartz, gathered under moonlight. Healing smoky quartz. Gifts from a valued friend of crystals they mined ethically in Brazil. Stones found at the seaside, tumbled over and over until they’re smooth. Rocks that simply “ask” to be collected and worked with. They are all an articulation of the Goddess and the grounding element of earth, although you can also use a small dish of salt to represent this element.
Chalice (element of water): In my chalice, or bowl, I keep water. Over the years I have collected water from the sea, from the sacred wells of Glastonbury, and from rain, but all water is blessed when you bless it. By simply doing this you change its structure. A bowl of clean, clear water on your altar represents this powerful, cleansing element. Sea shells, a picture of a dolphin or mermaid or a simple glass of water will also activate the water aspect of an altar.