A new look at ancient symbols:
I first came across the chalice and the blade as symbols watching DaVinci Code, in which they explain the Solomon’s Key symbol as being two triangles, one up, blade, one down, chalice. Although I was also familiar with the cup and the athame as Wiccan tools, along with wands, pentacles, etc, as symbols of the elements of fire and water, I hadn’t heard it in this context before (possibly because the only witches I knew were Dianic Wiccan, focused on the Goddess, with little or no attention to the male aspects).
Traditionally, the blade is considered male, a phallic representation of strength, and the chalice female, a vessel of life and the downward-pointing triangle of female anatomy.
But I offer an additional, not necessarily alternative, viewpoint.
Through meditation, I came to the idea that every woman has her own blade inside, and every man his chalice. For one thing, each person is whole and complete in and of themselves, not codependent with their partner (whether or not that partner is the opposite sex or not). Every person is not strictly male or female, but has some balancing portion of that opposite sex within them. But the symbolism I’ve explored is not only that.
Even though we are complete within ourselves, it is only natural for humans to be drawn to kindred spirits, and to seek out lovers. We long to connect to someone, our ideal to connect on the deepest of levels, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.
So, to me, inside of ourselves we hold a piece of ourselves that is waiting for something, for someone. Each woman carries a blade, close to her heart, an ideal of a man worthy of her, a picture of masculine strength. Likewise a man holds a chalice, linked to the core of his being, and seeks a divine feminine to match it. It’s something that each individual person may be very aware of or that may be completely subconscious, but any potential lover is measured against this ideal.
And when people fall in love, especially when two Soul Mates meet, this is the part that they give to each other. The man takes the woman’s blade, and she takes his chalice, and neither of them is any less a whole person by themselves, but they’ve shared something of themselves that goes far beyond the physical, sexual aspects of their bodies. The blade is sheathed within the bowl of the chalice, and that is the love that joins the two of them in spirit.