In the same way that a spell is only as effective as the energy and focus you as the witch put into it, so too are your tools only as effective as the care that goes into their creation, selection and use. Any novice to magick or the dozens of spiritual beliefs that fall under Pagan can find a list of magickal tools, but it takes some practice to understand all of the smaller details that go into the creation of the perfect tool for a spell.
“A Witch’s Wand” will be a mini series here on Ayslyn’s Corner, in which we will explore four main topics:
- Choosing the correct wand for your spell
- Different ways to make your own wands
- What to look for when purchasing a wand
- How to charge a wand and other piece of wand use and care
Today we’re going to start with figuring out how to choose the correct wand for any spell you might wish to cast.
It is generally held among practitioners that technically, you already have everything you need to perform a spell: yourself. Your intent is your altar, your focus the lighting of candles and incense, and your finger your wand. When performing simple spells or “spot magick” you might not need more than what’s already within you, but preparation and planning is a must for anything more complicated or more powerful – this means you need to plan out the steps of your spell, anything you might wish to chat, and items that have properties that will aid you and have been appropriately charged.
So how do you know what kind of wand you need? There are two things you need to look at to answer this question: what is the ultimate goal of your spell and what objects/energies are going to be best for achieving that?
Especially when writing your own spell, nailing down what exactly you want might be the most difficult part. Oftentimes, we write and cast spells because we don’t know what we want and are searching for direction. In this case, it can be helpful to determine your spell’s best outcome (even if it’s as vague as “I will know what I need to do moving forward.”). You need to know in one or two sentences what you’re aiming for, and from there it’s like bubble graphing or diagraming sentences; you just break down the pieces so you know what to gather.
Though all wands serve a similar purpose, none are the same. The most common kind of wand used in legitimate magickal practice is one made of carved wood, but there are also wands with embedded crystals, with a crystal tip, ones made from different kinds of metals and wands that are just crystals.
The needs of your spell will largely determine what kind of wand is used, and it’s important to not use a wooden wand with properties that don’t align with your current spell. Tree magick is a subtle art, but powerful – just consider the Rede’s instructions regarding different kinds of wood:
Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God’s
insight. Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady’s tree burn it not or cursed you’ll be.
In the same way that you want to choose a complementary type of wood, you also want to consider any crystals or metals that your wand might be made of. For instance, amber, being a stone of spirit and intellect, is a terrible choice for providing physical strength, and a wand made of copper would not be helpful in a spell designed to stop someone from influencing you.
Now, unless you have a bottomless pit of money somewhere (and if you do, me and you need to talk, seriously) buying or crafting a wand for every occasion really isn’t an option. So the next best option is to utilize multi-purpose wands. Have you ever heard that for a spell, lavender is an excellent all around substitution for any other herb? That’s because, in addition to having its own properties, it’s also a receptive plant, so can take on additional roles, and that’s what you want out of a wand.
You should always be guided by your own intuition when choosing or crafting a general use wand, but here are a few rules of thumb:
Polished wood is not always better – Wood that has been polished and decoratively carved has had its energy tapered and focused, but untreated wood (i.e. wood you have just harvested from a tree or beach) is full of raw potential.
The age of the wood is not necessarily important – There’s an old adage that wood harvested from a sapling less than a year old makes the most effective wand, but unless you have some personal need for such a wand, I’d prefer to harvest from a tree that won’t die as a direct result.
Copper and silver are good starting points – Both metals are excellent choices for the transference of energy, and silver is one of the Goddess’ colors, so any properties that are inherent to her will be present in your wand.
Quartz when in doubt – Like lavender for herbs, clear quartz is the perfect stone for when you don’t know exactly what you’ll be working with in the future.
After you’ve been practicing for a while, you’re likely to obtain multiples of some items. It’s awesome to have a go-to, but don’t neglect the other magickal items in your care, even if all you do is clean and charge them every once in a while until they’re needed for actual spellwork.
That’s all for today, but I want to know what kinds of wands you’re using! Tell us about your favorite wand and how you found or made it.
And as always, peace.
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