Holly and Yew Ritual Blades

Yew knife in progress with finished Holly blade

The shaman came over for a day of gore, defleshing skulls and preparing them for maceration (beer and incense are your friends when maggots are involved), and afterward we needed to do something a little lighter to cheer up. We went through my box of bones for inspiration and found the end of a wolf leg bone I wasn’t sure what to do with. I was thinking the end of a wand, but he saw a knife pommel. Then I remembered I had buffalo bone blades and an idea was born. We found a piece of seasoned yew that curved to match the curve of the bone and I set to work carving a knife handle while he carved a wooden knife from holly for our friend Jarnsmior.

Holly ritual bade

Here is the finished holly blade above complete with a bind rune painted with red ochre and a red wool and silk-wrapped handle. The wood was harvested from a friend’s holly tree on a full moon a few year’s back and the wool-silk yarn is from a local silk weaver’s collective. The Shaman even made a sheath for it from a scrap of saddle leather I had. Jarnsmior seemed very much in love with it when he received his gift yesterday.

Yew wood and wolf bone ritual knife

Above is the finished ritual blade I crafted with the carved yew handle (also harvested on a full moon) with the same bind rune as the holly, my world tree sigil, the buffalo bone blade, wolf bone pommel, and deer sinew. I also stitched up some leather with sinew to make a sheath. It’s a good sturdy knife and now in the Shaman’s possession.


13 Responses to “Holly and Yew Ritual Blades”

  1. Cin says:

    Awesome stuff. You guys have mad skills :)

  2. Noxael says:

    Mz. Lawless, YOU are one crafty lady.
    I do enjoy reading up on you and your work.

  3. Rhiannon says:

    Words escape me… except one: Exquisite!

  4. Thorsvin says:

    Beautiful! I really really want one!

  5. picklewalsh says:

    these are amazing

  6. Skyllaros says:

    The Shaman is a very lucky man to be in possession of such a blade.

  7. This is so beautiful! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make ritual knives (I’m thinking a ceramic, rather than a buffalo, blade because I work with clay) and you’re a real inspiration (as usual).

  8. Gwelt Awenydd says:

    Truly inspiring. I’ve been considering non iron blades because I am working more and more with the fae. I was thinking bronze or brass but seeing these I’m considering an antler blade with an oak handle in honor of my patron Herne.

  9. This is really interesting. If you haven’t already talked about this before (in which case, could I be cheeky and ask for a link?) what exactly is the process of making these knives?

  10. Kim says:

    utterly gorgeous as usual. That is one very wicked set of knives there.