Wiccan Ritual Tools: The Boline
The Boline, or white-handled knife, is the more practical counterpart of the Athame. Whereas the Athame is used for directing energy in Wiccan ritual, the Boline is used for the mundane cutting and engraving tasks. It can be used for cutting wands or herbs, inscribing symbols, cutting cords or any other related tasks in which a knife is needed for cutting purposes in Wiccan ritual.
The Boline is traditionally equipped with a white handle. This is to distinguish it from the magical knife, or Athame, in Wiccan ritual and magic. The Boline can be used within or without the magic circle for any ritual purposes. Although some Wiccan traditions say that it should be used only within the circle, this is not very practical. So, most followers of Wicca prefer to use this instrument anywhere the tool is needed, but only for Wiccan ritual uses.
While it is traditional to have a white-handled knife as the Boline this is by no means necessary. You can use any type of handle and many Wiccans prefer a bone, wooden or even stone handle for the Boline. The shape of the blade is of no consequence. It can be double-edged, single-edged or even curved. My Boline has a blade that fits into the handle, resembling a pocket knife, making it easier to carry when I'm on the hunt for herbs. The choice is up to the practitioner and what matters most is that the Boline is comfortable for you to use in Wiccan ritual and magic.
Once a suitable knife has been selected for use as the Boline, it needs to be consecrated for use in Wiccan ritual and magic. There are many beautiful consecration rituals published or you may wish to write your own. The importance of this rite is to dedicate the Boline for use as a magical tool.
Many followers of Wicca choose to keep the Boline wrapped and out of sight unless it is needed while others give it a place on the Wiccan altar. I prefer to place mine on the altar near the Athame for ease of use. However, the choice is completely up to you. If you have limited space on the altar or just prefer to keep it put away, you can wrap the Boline in a clean cloth and place it with your other magical supplies until needed.
Also keep in mind that the Boline is a sacred tool once you have consecrated it. It should not be used for any other purposes except Wiccan ritual and magic purposes.