So as I mentioned in a previous blog, May is a killer month in our family, with many birthdays as well as Mother’s Day all falling within the same month. May would have to be my most creative month of the year, it sees me give out the bulk of my handmade gifts. This year is shaping up to be no different. With my Mum’s birthday quickly following Mother’s Day, falling within the same pay fortnight, I had to be super crafty and come up with a birthday present to top the Mother’s Day gift. Now since I am currently madly in love with Polymer Clay, and my Mum, like myself, is Pagan, why not something to adorn the altar? I know Mum had been looking into a bigger and better altar tile than the one she had, so I toyed with that idea for a bit… but then I remembered she still hadn’t found her perfect athame yet.
I purchased my athame many years ago now and instantly fell in love with it, we had a real special connection right from the start, and she has been my tool of choice for many rituals over the years. I remember that Mum really liked it too, but unfortunately for Mum, I had gotten mine just in time before laws were made tighter and importing athame’s into the country became extremely difficult. We scoured many local shops but they all reported the same difficulties in getting any in stock. We finally found a store that sold handmade athames from a local maker. The athame my Mum purchased was never a really good fit for her and she was never able to properly bond with it. Any Witch will tell you (and at risk of sounding like a crazed Harry Potter fan), the tool chooses the Witch as much as the Witch chooses the tool. It’s a marriage of energies that vibrate in harmony to work at their highest magickal potential.
Athames are rarely inexpensive, one would expect to pay a bit for a decent athame. BUT, however, with a couple of dollars worth of Polymer Clay, some creativity, and approx. 3 hours of patience (and excessive self criticism), I managed to produce a handcrafted athame to give to my Mother for her 66th birthday. She adored it instantly because it was handcraft and therefore charged with love and personal energy. I fussed about it not exactly turning out the way I had imagined it (I have the mind of Da Vinci with the hands of a four year old who loves to make mud pies), but I think Mum was more focused on the power and energy such a handcraft tool would possess. Many Pagan books will tell you that handcrafting your own tools will help to imbue them with intention and energy. I have crafted wands before but this was my first attempt at an athame.
By my Mother’s account it was a successful and special gift (it’s ok, she’s not the type to lie to be nice, even or especially to her only daughter), so ergo the perfect Pagan gift on a tight budget.
See the picture below, and please don’t laugh, it was my first attempt and I was pressed for time. I hope to perfect my athame making technique over time.