Part one in the Magical Tools series
No other symbol evokes magic in the popular imagination like the wand.
Did you know that nearly every culture has a wand-like tool used for magic and ritual?
The Egyptians left a circular wand-like tool for the dead’s ba [soul] to use in the afterlife. The ancient Norse used a gandr. Hermes uses a caduceus. The Zoroastrians use a wand called a barsom, which is made from a bundle of metal wires.
As for the origin or symbolism of the wand, the most popular interpretation is the wand as a phallic symbol. But this is only one interpretation among many – and it’s a simplistic one as well. Especially in Siberia and Central Asia, the wand could have developed from the drumming stick; shamans would have used the wand/drumming stick and the drum to enter altered states of consciousness. I suspect the association with power comes from the fact that wands [a stick providing leverage] were the earliest tools, not from phallic symbolism. [Phallocentrism invades even paganism!]
Crafting Your Own Wand
If you want to make your own wand, your options are only limited by your imagination. Follow traditional correspondences if you wish, or do something different.
They are typically associated with the Elements of Air or sometimes Fire. Use your wand to raise energy, cast a Circle, or direction the flow of energy during ritual or prayer.
Wands can be made of metal, stone, bone, wood, and perhaps even plastic, fabric, or paper. Twisted beach wood, a fallen twig, natural branching stones [like selenite or kyanite], antique spoons, flowers, antlers, horns, stone points, and more can all serve as wands. If you use twigs or other living matter for your wand, ask before taking, and always leave a gift behind. [Pure, blessed water is a good choice for plants.]
Wands need not be straight. In fact, historically, many were not.
Wands can be twisted, curvy, or v-shaped. V-shaped wands seem popular with those who want their wand to have yoni symbolism. They can be shaped like a spine, like the Japanese ruyi. They can even be completely circular, like the ancient Egyptian wands mentioned above. Staffs are a variation on the wand.
Some people name their wands. Names can be divined by asking the wand itself.
As far as decoration goes, wands can have stones, ribbons, fabric, glitter, flowers and more affixed to the tool. Names of power, runes, sigils, and emblems can be carved, painted, burned, glued, or sewed to the wand. I’ve seen people hollow out their wands and stuff crystals inside. My first wand, an oak branch, was carved with symbols I was given in a dream. Periodically, I re-consecrated it by rubbing it with sweet-smelling frankincense oil.
After creation, dedicate your wand to whatever force seems appropriate to you. This could be the Elements, your higher Self, a deity, or anything else that helps you with your magic. Charge it on a day of power, perhaps the full moon or a stormy night.
However it is created, wands are conduits of energy and life-force. They channel power from inside the magician to the external world, and from the Upperworld to the magician. Because of this, they, perhaps more so than other tools, become living totems. Treat yours with respect and enjoy a long journey together.
Do you have a wand? Tell us about it in the comments.
- Crystal Wands (soulascendency.wordpress.com)