20th century, for the use of banishing rituals. The athame was their most important ritual tool, with many uses, but was not path of daggers pdf be used for actual physical cutting. Other varieties of Wiccan practice may switch those two around. The other three elemental tools are the wand, the pentacle, and the cup or chalice.
The athame is an elemental tool, while the sword is often a tool representing power, used to keep Spirits in check during goetic Evocation. Wiccans sometimes use the sword as a substitute for the athame. An athame can take many forms. Contrary to popular belief, athames are not required to have double-edged blades. Contemporary magical practitioners often choose a double-edged blade since this carries symbolic meaning.
In days of old an athame might well have been used for purposes such as carving symbols into candles or other tools, which is made somewhat more difficult with a knife that has two edges. However, since modern athame have a symbolic purpose, this is no longer needed. Furthermore, some witches will choose a single blade athame and use the straight edge to ring the bell for rituals. The handle of the athame is usually black and is required in most covens which practice some variant of British Traditional Wicca, including Gardnerian and Alexandrian.