Devotees of old gods often carry small sickles, which are reminiscent of both plants (sickles were originally farming tools) and the moon (the blades are crescent-shaped). They can be seen as weapons, or simply as tools that happen to come in handy for self-defense. These knives are especially common among priestesses; a male character with such a weapon is, however, more likely to be explicitly called a druid, rather than simply a pagan priest. In these cases, the blade will often be explicitly meant for the harvesting of mistletoe, although it may still be put to other uses.
Somewhat Truth in Television; many pagan religions include a sickle-shaped work knife called a boline as part of the ritual tools, though it's not generally considered a weapon. The association of sickles with druids and druidic ceremonies in particular stems from the Roman historian Pliny the Elder's description of the ritual of oak and mistletoe, where druids would use golden sickles to harvest mistletoe as part of an elaborate religious ceremony.
Note that some blades described as "sickle-like" may in fact be examples of or inspired by the Ancient Egyptian khopesh, which has a similar curved form. However, a khopesh is sharpened on the outside of the curved portion, having apparently evolved from crescent-shaped military axes, whereas a true sickle is sharpened on the inside of the curve.
I hereby consecrate these examples in the names of the Lord and Lady:
- Asterix: The druid Getafix uses a golden sickle to gather potion ingredients. This is apparently especially important for the gathering of mistletoe, the only non-secret ingredient of the druid's magic potion: mistletoe must be harvested with a golden sickle, or it loses all its magical powers. Getafix's sickle breaks in Asterix and the Golden Sickle, forcing Asterix and Obelix to go on a quest to find a new one in time for the upcoming gathering of druids, since Getafix couldn't bear the shame of being the only sickle-less druid present.
- Mampato: At the court of King Arthur, our hero is captured by a Druid in Stonehenge, who intends to use a sickle to kill him and thus offer him as a sacrifice to Nordic gods such as Odin and Thor.
- In "The Ash-Tree", an M. R. James story, a man accuses a woman of witchcraft, claiming to have seen her taking cuttings with a sickle from the ash next to his house.
- The Light Fantastic: When protagonists Rincewind and Twoflower encounter a druidic ceremony, many or all of the druids appear to be carrying sickles, and at least some of them employ them as weapons.
- The Mists of Avalon: The priestesses receive Druidic Sickles as part of their initiation.
- Spellbreaker: A Golden Sickle is one of the compulsory components to collect in order to harvest ingredients to create a magical potion capable of repelling magically-summoned venomous supernatural spiders.
- White Trash Warlock: The druid-turned-warlock uses one to ritualistically murder and maim his victims in an attempt to steal their life force.
- Discworld Roleplaying Game: The game has a fairly modest list of weapons by some games' standards, but it includes a sickle sword — which is specifically noted in the discussion of druid characters as one of their weapons of choice. This is a reference to the scene in The Light Fantastic discussed above.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- In AD&D, Druids use mistletoe as a component of casting their spells. They have to cut a full year's supply on Midsummer's Eve with a sickle made of silver or gold.
- In 3rd Edition, the Druid class has a very short list of weapon proficiencies, including the sickle alongside simple weapons like knives, staves, and smaller spears. The only martial weapon with which they are proficient is the scimitar, which is vaguely sickle-like in shape.
- It's come back for the Fifth Edition as well, as using a golden sickle is a requirement to get holly berries for the spell Druid Grove, which transforms an area into, well, a magic grove to shelter a druid
- Pathfinder: Lini, the iconic Druid, wields a sickle. This is particularly notable in light of her serving as the game's archetypal druid adventurer.
- Warhammer Fantasy: Jade Wizards, green-robed wizards who use magic pertaining to plants, growth, and healing and watch over the natural world, often arm or equip themselves with large sickles.
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla has these as weapons for Eivor to equip during the "Wrath of the Druids" DLC, and they're a weapon commonly used by the Children of Danu. Equipping two in both hands earns the "Double Trouble" achievement/trophy.
- Dawn of the Dragons: In Clash of the Dragons, the Druid's Sickle is a special weapon that can only be used by, unsurprisingly, druids. The art for the Druid class also shows the character in question holding a sickle in his hand.
"My sickle gathers herbs, the fruits of the soil. And it slits the throats of animals destined for my cooking pot. Both life and death live upon its edge."
- Dota 2: The Lone Druid attacks by throwing sickles at his enemies.
- The Mystery of the Druids features villainous modern druids who wield traditional golden sickles for their human sacrifices. Discovering that their victims were killed with this tool is the big giveaway to the player about who they're dealing with.
- RuneScape: Players can craft a silver sickle, which can be blessed during and after the quest "Nature Spirit" to cast Bloom, which creates fungi and other "nature's bounties" to fight Ghasts.
- World of Warcraft: The iconic druidic artifact is the Scythe of Elune, a scythe made from the staff of the goddess Elune, the patron deity of the druids, and a fang of the wolf god Goldrinn, another deity worshipped by some druidic orders. It is also the artifact that lead to the creation of the worgen, a species strongly associated with druidism.
- Ancient writers record that the Druid priests used sickles in their rituals. Roman historian Pliny the Elder provides one of the earliest accounts:
A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and with a golden sickle cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to God to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. (Natural History 16.95)
- Many modern followers of Neo-Paganism will use sickles in their rituals. A little-known Druidic winter observance, Alban Arthan, involves a ritual similar to that described by Pliny.
- South of where the Druids lived, the Greco-Roman harvest god Cronus/Saturn had the sickle as one of his symbols.