, which in most traditions is never used for actual physical cutting, the boline is used for cutting cords and herbs, carving candles, etc. It has a small, straight or crescent-shaped blade and a handle which is traditionally white in colour. [Farrar, J. & Farrar, S. (1984). "The Witches' Way". Custer, Washington:Phoenix Press. p.262]

The boline has been adopted by several other modern forms of witchcraft including Eclectic Wicca. Among these later traditions opinions vary as to whether the boline is truly a magical tool or is merely of utilitarian purpose. Sometimes a knife called a kirfane (spellings vary) is used, for roughly the same purposes as the boline [ Rik Johnson. "Vocabulary of Wiccan Terms." Desert Henge Website. Accessed 25 April 2007] . This is similar to the name Kirpan traditionally given to the sacred dagger of the Sikh religion. [" The Five K's." Search Sikhism website. Accessed 25 April 2007]

, also prescribe the use of a single knife for both ritual and practical purposes. [Jones, E.J. and Valiente, D. (1990) "Witchcraft: A tradition renewed". London: Robert Hale. pp.96-97]

Key of Solomon: the Artano and Bolino are top left of the image.] Many of the bolines advertised in on-line 'magick shops' have a characteristic crescent shape, and are described as being for harvesting herbs. This crescent shape is reminiscent of the sickle described in the Key of Solomon, a medieval grimoire which is one of the sources for modern Wicca [MacGregor Mathers, S. Liddell (ed.) "The Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis)" Revised by Peterson, Joseph H. (1999, 2004, 2005). Available [ here] ] .. Confusingly, an Italian version of the Key of Solomon has a hook-shaped knife called an "artano" (a possible root for athame) and a straight, needle-shaped blade called a "bolino". When the name 'boline' was first used to describe the crescent-shaped blade is not clear.


See also

* Neopaganism
* Wicca
* Athame

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