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Author Topic: Athames of Steel or Wood??  (Read 7361 times)
Eadie
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« Reply #15: June 05, 2008, 06:27:30 pm »

I've never heard of steel bothering other world beings. At least not in general, there might be some specific types who have a problem with steel. Fae creatures tend not to like iron. "Cold Iron" is just iron, btw.

I always thought the 'cold' descriptor was supposed to be from the fae themselves.
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« Reply #16: June 05, 2008, 06:34:51 pm »

I always thought the 'cold' descriptor was supposed to be from the fae themselves.

It's a specific kind of handling the metal - as you might guess, done cold rather than heated on a forge. It lets you do different stuff.

(Dania - I know you've done metal work recently: can you do a better description than I can? Wikipedia is so not helpful here.)
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« Reply #17: June 05, 2008, 06:42:31 pm »

It's a specific kind of handling the metal - as you might guess, done cold rather than heated on a forge. It lets you do different stuff.

(Dania - I know you've done metal work recently: can you do a better description than I can? Wikipedia is so not helpful here.)

If you're talking about cold rolled steel, then yes. But I think that's a modern thing. I have no idea what 'cold steel' is or was used to refer to. (Other than a sword company called "Cold Steel" *drools*)
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« Reply #18: June 05, 2008, 06:55:31 pm »

If you're talking about cold rolled steel, then yes. But I think that's a modern thing. I have no idea what 'cold steel' is or was used to refer to. (Other than a sword company called "Cold Steel" *drools*)

They make beautiful stuff don't they! Very high quality knives as well.

I had thought of getting an obsidian knife for ritual - but also think that one of wood or bone made by me would have a more personal energy to it.
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« Reply #19: June 05, 2008, 10:32:33 pm »

I always thought the 'cold' descriptor was supposed to be from the fae themselves.

As I understand it, the "cold" came from the fact that iron is cold to the touch.
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« Reply #20: June 05, 2008, 11:21:06 pm »

If you're talking about cold rolled steel, then yes. But I think that's a modern thing. I have no idea what 'cold steel' is or was used to refer to. (Other than a sword company called "Cold Steel" *drools*)

Not cold steel in this case - cold iron. I know it's a historic method for some kinds of horseshoes, but how historic I don't know (And am not going to find tonight: late night at workplace's graduation festivities.)

A quick search for some more info just now did find me a potentially useful thread on the issue of iron/steel/etc. and Fae which I throw out for general resource.
http://community.livejournal.com/nonfluffypagans/585209.html
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« Reply #21: June 06, 2008, 11:56:13 am »

Not cold steel in this case - cold iron. I know it's a historic method for some kinds of horseshoes, but how historic I don't know (And am not going to find tonight: late night at workplace's graduation festivities.)

A quick search for some more info just now did find me a potentially useful thread on the issue of iron/steel/etc. and Fae which I throw out for general resource.
http://community.livejournal.com/nonfluffypagans/585209.html

Interesting thread - though as a beer maker I don't think a bar of cold iron above the barrel of beer has anything to do with it souring or not!  Grin
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« Reply #22: June 06, 2008, 02:05:42 pm »

Not cold steel in this case - cold iron. I know it's a historic method for some kinds of horseshoes, but how historic I don't know (And am not going to find tonight: late night at workplace's graduation festivities.)

Yeah, its all about the method of working or forging the metal. I knew someone who worked cold (room temp, not chilled) specificially for some ritual purposes and they described it as being easier to insure particular directional energy flows and liked that it required a lot more blood, sweat and muscle to work with. One of the advantages of cold iron is that it is purer than hot iron (less contaminants) and they felt this was why hot iron or even steel were not as offensive to certain spirits or Folk as cold iron.

I find the idea of cold-forged horseshoes fascinating - especially considering the connection in folklore to fairy horses and Rides and abductions from horseback et al.

Caroline
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« Reply #23: June 06, 2008, 10:40:16 pm »

I'm game! Seriously I would love to why those choices!

Let's see:

Athame: Steel (and hand-forged) because of the way I've found it holds and points energy. I've used other blade-type things (including an obsidian blade, a machine forged blade, and a few others) and they didn't have a resonance that made sense for this kind of work for me. It's worth noting that my hind-brain is fundamentally a medievalist: a knife is a thing that can hurt other people, but it's also a thing that was the dominant eating tool, practical item, and general necessary object for daily life. While I don't use mine like that, I do want the material to be something that could have done that, within reason. Mine's a little longer than a standard eating dagger, but not by a lot (and it's modeled on a historical medieval blade used for daily use.) 

Chalice: We do earth/water = generally Goddess associated fire/air = generally God associated: I prefer a pottery or metal chalice because it tidily supports that connection (as opposed to glass, which is a strong fire association for me, at least). I prefer pottery because of the weight and feel in my hand.

Pentacle: Metal by preference, because of the use of the tool on the altar (element of earth) and some methods of using it for grounding. I have a pretty resin one, but it is not as effective as my metal one.

That'll do to get started, I think - feel free to ask more questions. I'm just trying to catch up after several days of busy (and another one to come.)
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« Reply #24: June 07, 2008, 12:33:41 am »

Let's see:

Athame: Steel (and hand-forged) because of the way I've found it holds and points energy. I've used other blade-type things (including an obsidian blade, a machine forged blade, and a few others) and they didn't have a resonance that made sense for this kind of work for me. It's worth noting that my hind-brain is fundamentally a medievalist: a knife is a thing that can hurt other people, but it's also a thing that was the dominant eating tool, practical item, and general necessary object for daily life. While I don't use mine like that, I do want the material to be something that could have done that, within reason. Mine's a little longer than a standard eating dagger, but not by a lot (and it's modeled on a historical medieval blade used for daily use.) 

Chalice: We do earth/water = generally Goddess associated fire/air = generally God associated: I prefer a pottery or metal chalice because it tidily supports that connection (as opposed to glass, which is a strong fire association for me, at least). I prefer pottery because of the weight and feel in my hand.

Pentacle: Metal by preference, because of the use of the tool on the altar (element of earth) and some methods of using it for grounding. I have a pretty resin one, but it is not as effective as my metal one.

That'll do to get started, I think - feel free to ask more questions. I'm just trying to catch up after several days of busy (and another one to come.)

That makes total sense. The connections are very clear - thank you.
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Malkin
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« Reply #25: June 07, 2008, 01:20:53 am »

I've never heard of steel bothering other world beings. At least not in general, there might be some specific types who have a problem with steel. Fae creatures tend not to like iron. "Cold Iron" is just iron, btw.

In Scandinavian countries, steel is said to be the metal which fairies dislike. Lots of stories involving huldrafolk, for example, involve situation where the huldra are overpowered by having steel objects tossed over their heads, or are otherwise warded off by steel.
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Foxglove: Well, it felt good at the time. Empowering.
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« Reply #26: June 17, 2008, 05:55:55 pm »

Hi

My understanding is that nature spirits dislike steel and that one should use a wand when working outside.  Interesting and practical advice since waving a blade around outdoors is likely to get one arrested in any event!!

I was given very short shrift on another forum for suggesting that maybe tools are only a means of focussing intent and not necessary at all, whether they be made of steel or wood, slate or obsidian and was told to try evoking and commanding a spirit without a steel blade and to see how far I got..... since I'm not likely to try that anyway it seemed irrelevant advice but I took the point!! (No pun intended)

Whatever the material, I think the double edged blade is supposed to reflect the inherent duality of the cosmos and the pointed end to focus and direct intent, which does make more sense to someone at my level than the evocation advice above.

Having said all that, my athame is steel with a black handle.
 Smiley

 


 
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