Air Wands

There is some controversy in both Ceremonial Magick and Wicca as to whether the
Wand relates to the direction of the East or the South and whether it relates to
fire or air as an element. I am going to share here what I use and what works
for me. Others who work differently are more than welcome to share their usage.

The way I use the wand in my Magickal working is as the tool for the EAST the
element of air. I can’t PERSONALLY see the fire attribute, as I have problems
with the idea of a tool relating to an element that can destroy it. Since some
wands are made of wood and almost ALL of them were until the popularization of
Crystal work with the adoption by some NeoPagans of Native American practises
made the metal wand with a Crystal in it the latest thing. If I WERE to work
with people who used the wand as fire, I would certainly used a metalic and
stone wand of this type and NOT a wooden one. Again, this is personal taste.

The air element relates to communication, intellectual ideas, Linear Logic,
Clear and intelligent THINKING, and telepathy. It relates to the concept of
unity too, in that ALL of us – and all species of life – breathe the same
atmosphere. (note – I realize the plants use the Carbon Dioxide while we use
the air, which is why I said ATMOSPHERE)

The wand relates to the suit of RODS in Tarot and vice versa.

The Wand is a MALE tool, like the Athame. The FEMALE tools are the Chalice and
the Pentacle.

The wand is used to summon the Rulers of the 4 directions and to invoke the
Deities in casting a circle. In CERTAIN types of Magick it is sometimes also
used to cast the circle, but it is more common to use the athame for this. (or
the sword if it is a coven and they have one)

The Wand can also be used when invoking the spirits.

It is particularly helpful at times when wisdom is needed and in invoking the
spirits before tranceworking where specific information or guidance is desired.
It is also good for doing this for VERY important divinations when they are done
in a fully cast circle.

The wand is used in some traditions in a Spring Equinox celebration to create a
hole in the soil in which seeds, symbolizing people’s hopes, are planted –
obvious fertility symbolism.

The wand can hold a lot of power and be a very special and personal instrument.

There are some Witches/Pagans I know who use only the wand and the chalice as
their tools. Their thoughts on this being that the Pentacle is drawn from
ceremonial Magick – which is correct – so they want to eliminate it as they feel
it is necessary FOR THEM to get back to the roots of Wicca/Paganism. These
people also eliminated the knife/sword because they pointed out that in ancient
times Wicca was the religion of the Masses and the Peasants – who were not
allowed to carry weapons. These people use the wand to cast all their circles,
replacing it for ALL the purposes for which the athame is used.

Their are other groups, most noticably the Community of ISIS and it’s inner
circle the TEMPLE of ISIS in Salem MA., that use the wand for casting the circle
although they retain the athame – which they seem to use only for blessing the
chalice in the symbolic re-enactment of the fertility theme central to Wicca.
(PLEASE NOTE I SAID SYMBOLIC)

These are the major uses of the wand.

Create Your Own Magical Tools

Author: Beverly Hill

Practitioners of magic know the value of having a finely crafted magical tool for spell work. Learn how to create your own magical stave or wand.

The decision to create a wand or stave should not be made impulsively. Each magical tool must have a clear purpose behind its creation. A wand, for instance, is a focusing tool for drawing in and directing magical energy. A stave’s purpose could be similar, or it might consist of a more protective nature used for radiating protective energies around it’s wielder. Whatever the purpose, the magical tool should be constructed in a respectful manner.

Selecting Wood For Crafting Magical Tools

The choice to use live or dead wood is a hotly debated topic amongst many practitioners of magic. Some would say that you should never use live wood, while others would contend that dead wood lacks any energy to lend toward a magical working. Ultimately the decision to use live or dead wood will lie with the tool wielder’s own beliefs and personal path.

When selecting a wood for creating a wand or stave, take time to review the magical properties of wood species and select one that will be consistent with the type of magic the wand will be used for. The lunar phase should also be noted. Most new projects should be begun on a new moon and culminate by the full moon.

If collecting from a live tree, ask the tree for permission before making any cuts. Take only enough of the tree to create the desired tool, being careful not to cause any additional damage or trauma to the tree. It is customary to leave a small token or offering in appreciation of the sacrifice.

Creating a Magical Wand or Stave

A good goal for a wand is to have a relatively straight piece of wood that measures from wrist to elbow, and then adjust the size downward from there. Using a piece of fine grain sandpaper, sand off any rough areas along the wood. It is not necessary to remove the bark from the wand, but it may be done if desired.

Once sanded, wipe down the wood with a good mineral or wood oil and then set aside. Each time the wood begins to dry, oil it again and set it aside. It could take several days for the wood to dry from repeated oiling before it finally stops soaking it in. The oiling process helps preserve the wood and keep it from drying out and becoming brittle.

A stave length should be no higher than head height, and may be shortened to whatever feels most comfortable for the practitioner. The stave should be sanded and oiled just as with the wand construction. When the stave or wand is sufficiently dry to the touch, finishing touches may be added such as the carving of runes and symbols, or the mounting of stones.

To seat a crystal into the tip of the wand, choose a crystal that is slightly smaller in diameter than the wood. Carefully bore out a small hole and fill it with gem glue. Insert the largest end of the crystal into the hole and tape it securely until dry. After the glue is dry, remove the tape. From this point wire wrap can be used to better secure the crystal to the wand if desired, or it can be left plain.

During all steps of construction, keep in mind the purpose for constructing a magical tool. Once the wand or stave construction is finished, it can be formally dedicated if the practitioner so desires. Wipe the wood with a fresh bit of oil every few months to help preserve it, and it will last for years to come.

Making A Dream Wand (Storm Moon)

Making A Dream Wand

(Storm Moon)
 
Using wands is a way of focusing your energy and pointing your magickal energy toward something in particular. Make this wand to focus your magickal power.
 
You will need a stick the length of your elbow to the end of your middle finger when outstretched. Youwill also need superglue, a pointed stone or crystal point and your favorite color of ribbon. As in Harry Potter, wands can be made from many things and are a reflection of their owner. Choose a wood and stone that reflect who you are as a creative and magick person.
 
Strip the wood of its bark, then glue the stone onto what you want to be the tip end of the wand. After the glue has dried, drape the ribbon around the wand, starting from the tip and moving to the base. You can also glue and tie things on your wand that help it to become uniquely yours. Be creative!
 
After you have finished making your wand, draw a magick circle of light and call in the elements. Standing in the middle of the circle, hold your wand with your power hand and raise it high up in the air. Say:
 
“Come almighty powers of Oneness,
Inbibe this dream wand with your powers,
So that it may have a direct connection to the divine.
To always guide and protect me well.
Ayea! Ayea! Ayea! So be it! Blessed Be!”
 
When you are done, bid farewell to the elements and close the circle. Keep your wand to your altar and use it to make magick night and day.

Starting the Ceremony (Natural Magick)

Starting the Ceremony

(Natural Magick)

 

Light any altar candles. If it is a very simple altar and you are putting directional candles on the actual altar, the southern altar candle will serve as the elemental candle as well, so don’t light this one yet.

If others are present, stand in the center of your visualized or maybe stone-constructed circle and face your guests. Otherwise stand in the center of your visualized circle. Make a short spontaneous call for blessing on all present or on yourself if carrying out the ritual alone. Hold your wand or a pointed quartz crystal in your hand, circling it clockwise as you speak.

In a simple outdoor spell this opening blessing will serve as casting the circle if you picture light beams emanating from your wand to make a light circle round you and your altar space which rises into the sky and sinks down into the ground.

Use your own favorite greeting blessing or adapt one from an old Celtic blessing. You can say something like this:

Circle this place/hillside/garden/woodland/seashore, Mother/Father. Keep harm without, keep peace within. Circle this place, Father/Mother. Bless all who gather here this day.

The ‘all’ will, if you are working alone, include the nature essences and elemental guardians of the four quarters of the circle.

Generally, you will now want to cast a full circle of magickal power round the group, or round yourself and the altar if working alone.

Cast the circle with your wand, crystal point or the index finger of your power hand (the hand you write with). Always do this clockwise, starting in the north or east. This draws earth and sky energy to you.

If you want a more elaborate circle (you need not and can go straight on to opening the four quarters) make a triple circle to empower the magickal one you created.

If you were making these three circles, this would be the point at which you would light the candle of the south and any incense. Pre-heat the charcoal for loose incense as it takes about en minutes: a stick is instant. If you are using a sacred salt and water mix into the ritual or the circle casting, empower the mix now. You can use your wand to stir the salt and water together. For a special ritual, you would set the salt and water dishes on your pentacle.

Make the triple circles with three clockwise circles, one over the other or extending inwards, the first with the sacred salt and water mix (or just salt), the second with incense and the third with the directional candle of the south. If not using the salt water mix, substitute magickal water droplets for the candle to make the third circle. If there are other present, three of you can walk round in a complete circle, one following the other, or make a single triple-empowered circle starting in the northeast.

Put the wand in the south of the altar (some use the east as they regard the wand as an air tool).

If you are inviting the guardians of the directions you should now visit the four quarters moving in a clockwise direction. Greet each one in turn and ask for their appropriate power and protection. Again, start in the north but many practitioners work from the east.

Otherwise you and anyone present can simply face that direction and raise both arms in greeting (palms flat and uppermost). Visualize the elemental forces as they are in nature entering the circle. You would still be greeting the guardians as you face the different directions, just not actually be visiting the four quarters.

You can do elemental greeting even with just a small traveling or outdoor altar by picking up each of the elemental substances in turn and inviting the guardian of the element into your altar and your spell. Reverse the actions at the end of the ritual and thank them.

If you aren’t opening the quarters, light any directional candles now and then add some incense to the charcoal if you didn’t use incense to cast the triple circle.

If using an incense stick light this now from the nearest candle (again if not used for the circle casting).

If you want to, you can now invite the ancestors or a particular one who acts as your guardian spirit by facing the west and calling them. Some people strike the ground with their staff at this point.

Now invite the fey beings into the circle (turning to all four directions as you call them). It is a good idea and practice to do this every time you do an outdoor spell.

Finally, if you want to make your ritual real special, face south, open your arms wide and ask if any deities (you can name them) would bless your ritual.

An Earth Wand

An Earth Wand

For an earth-oriented magickal wand, it is best to use a fallen branch from a maple, ash or rowan tree. Take the branch, strip the bark, and lightly sand the surface. Carve the alchemical symbol for earth into it. Add any other personal carvings you would like. Use a malachite stone for the tip. Anoint the wand with cypress oil and bless it under a full moon. Allow it to charge under the moon all night. When not in use, store it in a green silk wrapping cloth to which you have added a teaspoon of dirt.

WATER SCRYING

WATER SCRYING

You will need a large, deep bowl made from glass, brass or silver. It must have a smooth and even rim.
You must set your base on some sort of tripod for best results. A tripod made of laural boughs is the best.
You will need to do your own testing to find out which bowl works best for you and how much water you should use. Do not use water from a tap. Get clean, fresh water from a stream.
The ancient Greeks believed that nature spirits dwelled in fresh water. The water may be stored in a vessel and used again.
However it is a good idea to replace your water once a month. Never collect the water of a day time. Water should only be collected at night preferably on a full moon.
To make your wand use a branch from a bay tree, hazel tree or the laural. The end of the wand should be covered in dry tree sap or resin.
Dip the end of the wand into the water until it becomes wet. Wet the rims of the bowl.
The best time to scy is at night when it is quite. By gently drawing the rim of the wand around the bowl it will cause it to resonate.
The action of the resonating basin will cause circular ripples to form in the basin. The water seems to breathe with the sounds.
It is the harmonics that seem to whisper forth predictions of the future. These are interpreted with the help of a gaurdian angel.
You may also recieve visual impressions which Nostradamus likened to that of a “burning mirror”.

 

Saxon Wands

Saxon Wands

The Saxon Wands are very good for obtaining a direct, prompt answer to a question. In a way they are similiar to the Oriental I-Ching, though far less complicated.

Seven wands are needed. These are made from wood dowel. There should be three, each nine-inches in length; and four, each twelve-inches in length. One of the twelve-inch wands should be marked, or decorated in some way, as the WITAN wand. Actually, you can decorate all of the wands with runes and symbols, if you wish, but make sure the Witan wand stands out from the others.

Kneeling, lay the Witan wand on the ground before you; horizontally “across” you. Take the other six wands and hold them out over the Witan wand. Close your eyes, and holding them between you two hands, mix them together while concentrating on your question. Keeping the eyes closed, grip the wands in your right hand (left hand if left-handed); take hold of the tip of one wand with the fingers of the other hand; concentrate for a moment longer on your question, then open your right hand. All of the wands will fall to the ground except the one held now by the fingers of your left hand. Open your eyes.

i: If there should be more LONG wands that short
wands on the ground, then the answer to your
question is in the affirmative.
 
ii: If there are more SHORT wands than long wands
on the ground (excluding the Witan wand) then
the answer is in the negative.
 
iii: If any wand(s) touch the Witan wand, it means
the answer will be a very definite one, with strong
forces at work.
 
iv: If any wand(s) are off the ground (resting on
others), circumstances are such (forces still work-
ing) that no definite answer can yet be given-
regardless of (i) or (ii).
 
v: If all the wands point towards the Witan wand,
then you ( or the person for whom you are asking)
will have a definite role to play in the determina-
tion of the question.
 
vi: If none of the wands point towards the Witan
wand, then the matter will be determined without
your (the Querant’s) interference.
 
As with the crystal and the tarot cards, don’t let anyone else use your wands. They are your personal instruments. Keep them wrapped in a black cloth.
 
Buckland’s Complete Book Of Witchcraft
Raymond Buckland
ISBN 0-87542-050-8

It’s All In The Wrist – Some Wand Basics

It’s All In The Wrist – Some Wand Basics

Author: Bronwen Forbes

After the athame, the most popular – and misunderstood – ritual tool is the wand. Aside from the “is the wand a tool of the East or a tool of the South?” debate I covered in my Witchvox article on athame basics, there seem to still be quite a few unanswered questions about the wand and its use including: Is it better to make or buy a wand? How long should my wand be? What should I make my wand out of? When should I use the wand in ritual, as opposed to using the athame? How do I charge my wand and make it ready to use?

Is it better to make or buy a wand? In general, it is always better to make a ritual tool than buy it. Obviously, unless you have a forge and the training to make your own blade from scratch, it’s better to buy an athame rather than make it. Plus, wands made by other people can be *expensive.*

I remember a few years back with wands made of wood that had a natural spiral twist to it from growing with a wild grape vine wrapped around it were being sold for about $60. If the seller added a shell or crystal at the tip, the naturally spiral wands were closer to $70. I remember talking to a friend who was Pagan and also participated in “Host Your Own Murder Mystery” events. She had just returned from a murder mystery convention and was telling me about the weird stuff that the attendees bought to make their weekend events more realistic (fake blood and cap guns were only the tip of the iceberg) – and how much they paid for it.

I said, “Yes, but Pagans have been known to pay $70 for a stick!” She laughed, but she also had to agree with me.

How long should my wand be? Traditionally, your wand should be exactly the length from the inside of your elbow to the tip of your middle finger. No more, no less, and *never* “trim” your already-made wand to fit in the fancy storage box your sweetie gave you for Yule (seriously, I know someone this happened to) . However, it’s been my experience that if two people are working partners and only one of them has a wand, the other can generally use the wand even if it’s traditionally the “wrong” length.

What should I make my wand out of? Wands can be pretty easy to make. All you need is a short, cured wooden branch, or, if you want to go fancy, find your own “stick” that has wild grapevine growing around it. Take home, strip the bark off, and polish.

I had a student once who wanted more than anything to be a music conductor. Her wand was, in fact, a conductor’s baton. I thought it was perfect for her. I’ve also known people who have used bones from their totem animals (deer bones work very well, if you can get them) rather than wood. They seemed to work well, too.

My husband has a lovely wand he “recycled” from a red maple tree that needed to be cut down in his mother’s front yard a few years ago. To give him an even closer connection with his wand, he and his father were the ones that planted the tree in the first place. If I ever have a wand, it will probably be made of oak, holly or apple – my favorite trees. A quick note to the Harry Potter fans: no, it will not have a phoenix feather in the middle of it!

You can decorate your wand with shells, crystals, feathers, paint, carve runes into it – whatever makes it more “yours.” However, I would reference the excellent article Lupa posted here on Witchvox about the legal use of animal parts for ritual items before adding feathers or bits of fur to the end, or even making the wand out of bone as mentioned above. The last thing you want is to take your wand to a public space to use for a community ritual and have it confiscated by the police or park rangers because you’ve put a feather on it that, legally, you’re not allowed to have.

When should I use the wand in ritual, as opposed to using the athame? You can, generally, use the wand for anything you’d use the athame for –casting the circle, saluting the quarters, etc. If you believe the wand is the tool of the East, use it any time you need extra “air” energy – when you’re doing a ritual to help you study more effectively for an exam, for instance, or when beginning a new job.

If you believe the wand is the tool of the South, use it any time you need extra “fire” energy – if you’ve been feeling physically run down lately, or you’ve got some old life baggage you want to burn away. If your wand is made of wood, I’d definitely refrain from placing it in a combustible situation – using it to consecrate a burning candle, or poking your incense charcoal to get the burnt ash off the surface and expose the glowing coal within, for instance. Use your athame or boline for those – and save yourself the pain and embarrassment of setting your wand on fire!

How do I charge my wand and make it ready to use? I keep my wand tucked away with the rest of my altar tools (I have a small child and many pets. Ritual tools are safely stored in a special cabinet) . To charge it, I waited for a particularly windy day (yes, I am definitely of the belief that wands are the tool of East/Air) and took my wand outside for a few hours so it could absorb the wind. I also did this as close to sunrise as possible to add the dawn/new beginnings energy to the tool. I still do this periodically if I haven’t used it in ritual for a while – just in case.

Whether your wand is something you make yourself or a gift from a dear friend, cherish it and use it well!