I have been following a lot of BTW stuff, because I'm interested in that kind of traditional witchcraft. So I ask a lot of questions. One of them was over how other groups use their tools and why against what most BTW believe.
I think it has taken me a while to get this one, but I believe I finally got the gist it.
(Better late than ever?)
You get these Seeker herds in now and then to the traditionalist groups, and BTW forums/newsgroups/whatever wind up re-hashing everything that happened about 10,000 posts ago (literally), and one of the things that crop up time and time again is about the wand and the athame and how they're NOT interchangeable (whereas those that study BTW have listen to outsiders about how THEY do it and how THEY feel....if you EVER join one of those groups, realize that you're the outsider and your invading someone else's culture to learn....it's not about how YOU would do it, it's how THEY do it...*steps off soapbox*). Somewhere someone said to me along the lines of (paraphrased) "Think about how a knight would command with a sword. Think of how a king would command with a sceptre. Think about it..."
Which left me stumped, because really, I couldn't think around that. Can't you command with either of them? I mean, really? Yeah, I know. I'm slow.
But it took an EXPERIENCE to get the epiphany. Not a book. (I am totally an experience person - that is, I love to do things and interact for the experience. You can read a library on cars, maintenance and repairs of cars, driving theories, road rules, whatever, and the experience is a completely different thing.)
I work as management in the retail environment, and I have a very bad habit of picking up merchandise and playing with it as I cart it through the store. I think at one point in time, I actually picked up a piece of debris from some sort of signage instead of an actual piece of merchandise. I think it was a cardboard tube, but the size of a large dowel and hollow. Business is actually slower this day, and I'm speaking with some other subordinate supervisors about the people they supervise and what I think needs to be done for the morning.
Then it occurs to me.
I have this little tube in my hand, and I am gesturing with it. To them, to what I want done, to this, that and the other. Two thoughts flick across my mind almost spontaneously. The first is the image of an orchestra director. The second though, emblazoned in neon says, "You are holding a wand."
Hastily, I put it down. Not because I am not wanting to will these tasks into manifestation, but because I realize that it is really something that is almost imperious in gesture, and I want my employees to find me approachable, not lofty or set apart. Not saying that is how wand-wielders are, but to me there is a sense of command and direction, and although it is necessary to run a business, I do not want others to be intimidated by it. (If that made any sense.)
See, now if I'd had a sword, then it probably would have been just as effective, but for different reasons. I mean, I'd be holding a sword, for crying in the rain. Which literally gets your point across. But it would have been a totally differently charged atmosphere.
So the next time you want to argue the point they're interchangeable....why don't you try using both to talk to people in real life and gesture with them. Puts things in a whole different perspective.