Collecting and Preparing a Magickal Wood
Most Witches prefer to use a fallen branch rather than cutting a limb from a tree, feeling that taking from the tree with a blade is disrespectful. Others believe that if you ask the tree and indicate your purpose, you can tell if the tree gives permission by laying your hand softly on the bark. If you feel unhappy, sad, or like you’re being brushed off, permission is not granted. If, however, you feel a warm flowing sensation, then the tree has give its permission. An offering should always be left at the base of the tree if a branch is taken in this way.
The wood should be left in a warm, dry place and allowed to cure, if it was living when taken. Fallen branches may already be sufficiently dried. If in doubt, treat it as living wood. Some Witches prefer to leave the bark on the wood, where others peel away the bark with a pocket knife, then sand the surface with sandpaper until smooth to the touch. The soft surface takes paint and wood-burning techniques better than the bark. The choice is yours. As a final touch you may wish to wrap the handle portion with leather or other soft cloth. Some Witches add crystals and gems to the point that will direct the current, either gluing or wiring the stone into place with thin copper or silver wire.