Simple Witch Essentials: Make Your Own Wand
A wand is used for directing energy and anything to do with working with the element of fire, although not for lighting candles or sticking into the wood burner. It is a basic tool for a witch, and you can get one for free.
Why Make a Wand?
It’s a good idea to make your own wand because you will be putting your own personal energy into it. Plus you'll know its provenance. In other words, you will be certain it is ethically sourced and hasn’t come from a threatened environment. Also, have you seen the prices for ready-made, off-the-shelf wands? Diagon Alley has a lot of competition these days.
Where to Get Your Stick
You can go out into the woods, or even a park, and look for a suitable stick to make a wand. You might find the perfect weathered wand on a beach as driftwood. Twigs which have fallen off trees aren’t usually very good as they are already in the process of decomposing, and they were obviously quite weak in the first place to be blown off in a storm, so look for a healthy tree and select a young branch carefully. First though, do a little research on what wood is best for your wand.
A Wand for All Occasions
There is nothing preventing you having a small collection of wands for various types of magickal work. Here are examples of the properties of some common trees.
- Ash, Fraxinus excelsior, is related to the Rowan, and like the Rowan is related to movement. It is the tree of the shape-shifter. It’s flexible and adaptable. Ash grows fast and its seedlings root everywhere, so it’s tenacious. Use Ash for transformational work and self-improvement.
- Birch, Betula Pendula, has feminine energy and has healing power. Boiled, mashed birch wood was used to heal bruises and cuts. It calms and soothes, so is good for peaceful, gentle magickal work. Use a birch wand for healing spells, for calming situations, and for requesting a peaceful solution.
- Crab Apple, Malus Sylvestris, will provide twisted, gnarly wands. Apple, of course, is the tree of knowing and wisdom. Cut an apple crosswise and the seeds form a five-pointed star. Apples, the fruit and the wood, are extremely useful to witchcraft. Use an apple wand whenever you need guidance, want to know the truth, or as a general all-round wand.
- Ivy, Hedera Helix, is not strictly a tree, but aged and thickened ivy stems carefully removed from a fallen tree make beautiful wands. Ivy holds the energy of exchange, so is useful in any work where you want to sell something, or make any kind of bargain or exchange. Ivy also offers protection to insects and small animals and therefore is useful in protection and binding spells.
- Rowan or Mountain Ash, Sorbus aucuparia, is native to the British Isles. There is a closely related American species, Sorbus Americana. The Mountain Ash is the ‘coming or going’ tree, so is ideal for any magical work where there is a journey involved. It’s also a ‘portal tree’, therefore when you want to undertake a guided visualization, keep your Mountain Ash wand close by.
- Oak, Quercus robur, has a strong, masculine energy and is also good for healing and protection. It makes a good wand for intensely focussed work. Oak is long-lasting and durable. It has permanency and therefore it’s a good all-rounder. Oak is so steeped in tradition and surrounded by fascinating facts; I encourage you to research it in detail. If you only choose to use one wand, make it oak.
Question: What’s brown and sticky?
Answer: A stick.
Harvesting the Wand
Choose an auspicious time to harvest your wand. During the waxing moon period is best. Before noon is also a good time as the Sun is still rising. Think expansion and growth for maximum energy.
You must never damage a tree, so be circumspect. A little pruning never did any harm, but please be cautious. Never, ever harvest from a protected tree. The best time to cut your stick is during the active growing season when the tree’s energy is being pushed into it. Some will tell you to wait until pruning season, but it makes very little difference to the tree.
The best wands are around 12”—15” long. Not too thin or too thick. Interesting markings and imperfections are desirable, but not necessary. A good guideline is to find a stick that’s about the same diameter as your middle finger or just a little thicker at the base; the part you’ll be holding. It’s fine if it’s not perfectly straight, but obviously you don’t want one that has a right-angled joint in the middle of it. Slightly twisty and gnarly is good.
Spend a little time, before you cut it. Ask the tree for permission. Use a sharp knife or hacksaw, and make a clean cut. Place your hand over the wound and direct healing energy into it. There is no need to dress the wound with anything. Thank the tree.
Make the experience into a small, personal ritual and leave an offering of nuts, or similar, suitable food for the birds, mice, squirrels, etc. at the base of the tree or on a level branch.
Make Your Wand
If you found the perfect piece of driftwood, there’s not much to do. Sand off any sharp bits. If you like you can wrap wire around a small quartz crystal and attach it to the pointy end. It’s not necessary unless you feel it adds to the power of the wand. Mine is just as I found it.
If you are working with green wood, then it will take a little more time. Strip the bark off and place the wand in a warm, dry place to season. This will take as long as it takes, usually around a month. Tell your mother not to throw out the stick languishing in her airing cupboard (UK), hotpress (Ireland), some warm place in the house (US).
Some people prefer not to strip the bark at all, and that’s okay. You can remember what variety of tree it came from, and it keeps all its character and energy intact. Be prepared that some kinds of wood will shed bark as it dries and the older it gets.
Sand off any sharp bits, including the ends. For me, this is sufficient. I don’t need to do anything more except use the wand.
However, you can do a lot more to your wand to personalize it and make it even more powerful and beautiful.
Customizing Your Wand
- Oil it with tung oil to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.
- Attach a crystal by wire-wrapping it with copper or silver wire.
- Wrap strip leather around the holding end.
- Carve or burn runes or other symbols into the shaft of the wand.
Consecrating Your Wand
Consecrating simply means blessing your wand in preparation for service. How you do this depends on your tradition. In my simple, lazy witch way, I added wand consecration to the beginning of another ritual. I blessed the wand by lightly sprinkling salt water and asking for the blessings and energy of earth and water. I passed it quickly through a flame and waved it around a bit, asking for the blessings and energy of fire and air. I then held the wand in both hands and, as I felt it get warm and glowing, said something like, “May the energy of this wand be used always for good. As I say it, so must it be.”
Points to Remember
- The wand is not magical in itself, it is simply and extension of your energy, power and intent. It helps you to direct your intention.
- It’s your wand, no-one else’s. It’s personal, so while it doesn’t harm it if someone touches it, you don’t want them doing so for too long. Never let anyone use your wand for magickal work.
- You can have more than one wand for different kinds of spells.
- When not in use, either wrap your wand in natural silk or cotton, or place it in a wooden box, or, if you have several wands, place them on display in a vase but be aware they will absorb the energies around them, so a quick cleansing by passing them through incense smoke before use is always a good idea.
- In a magickal emergency, you can quickly bless and use a well-loved wooden spoon.
May your wand provide good service for many years.
© 2018 Bev G