The History of Wiccan and Witch Wands and How to Make One
Some Examples of Wiccan WandsClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make and Use a Wiccan Wand
High fantasy books and films feature sensationalized scenes of young witches and wizards casting powerful spells with wands that were custom made by an adult wizard. In real life, many Wiccans make their own wands. The basic wand may be merely a wooden branch in an interesting shape that is picked up off the ground and cleaned up. Others may opt for more elaborate creations of crystal and copper. Read on to find out more about the history and use of Wiccan wands.
- The modern Wiccan wand, used as a conduit for power, probably evolved from ceremonial staffs for kings and high religious officials. For ancient officials, the staff or wand was an overt symbol of power and authority, ranging from the rod of Moses to the scepter of a king or queen. A "wand" was also a unit of measurement in ancient times in the British Isles. In modern Wiccan practice, the wand has come to be used for directing or channeling mystical powers and energies.
- Wands are associated with the element of fire in the Tarot. The element of fire is associated with power and energy, and thus the Wiccan wand is a tool for directing energy or the will. Wands are heavily associated with magical transformation. This image is firmly entrenched in pop culture, from the magic wand of the fairies in children's cartoons to the black and white wand of the stage magician to the "magic wand" tool used in photo retouching software.
- In Wiccan rituals, wands are used for a variety of purposes, most related to the channeling or directing of energy and power. They are often used to "cast a circle" of invisible protection around practitioners or around a sacred space. They can also be used to cast spells or to direct healing power.
- Wiccan wands traditionally vary in length according to the size of the user's arm. This is because a wand is used for pointing and directing, and is intended as an extension of the arm or pointed finger. Thus, some traditionalists believe a personalized wand should measure from the crook of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, and then just an inch or two beyond. In practice, that means most Wiccan wands range from just over a foot long to about 18 inches. In pop culture, such as the Harry Potter books and films, they may be shorter, and in high fantasy films or books, they may be even longer than 18 inches.
- Wiccan wands are almost always made of wood, though ivory, metal and crystal are also occasionally used. The type of wood used can vary, but hawthorn and ash are common. Each type of wood has a specific symbolism, and so the use the wand will be put to may dictate the wood used. For instance, oak trees are supposed to be invulnerable to lightning, so oak is often associated with strength, protection and invulnerability. Ash is also often associated with protection, while willow is associated with femininity or intuition, birch with purification and hawthorn with fertility.
- Making a Wiccan wand can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Some practitioners of Wicca will simply pick up an interesting branch or twig about the right size and use that in ceremonies. More artistic types might carve or paint their wands. Interesting additions could include wrapping the handle or the entire wand in copper wire (because copper also conducts energy) or attaching a crystal to the tip. Additional touches could include carving meaningful runes into the wood of the wand, gluing or tying on jingling bells, or wrapping the handle end in fabric to make it more comfortable in the hand. The last step is to consecrate the wand for ritual use. This could include waving it through incense or sage smoke, sprinkling it with saltwater or asking the blessing of each element (air, fire, water, earth) over your wand and declaring your intention to use the wand ritually.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Dale Hyde