Tools of the Craft:
The Wand

The wand is a popular tool in magick. Whether in the magick wand of the fairy godmothers, or the staff of the magicians in fairy tales, it has survived in the collective image of the magick practitioners as a guide and director of power. And that image is not far from the truth: in ritual, the wand will fulfill the function of conducting the energy we raise during ritual, more or less in a way similar to the athame. Symbolising the masculine energy, and asigned according to tradition to either Fire or Air, the wand will serve us during ritual, maybe with a less agressive quality than the athame or the sword.

There are almost as many different types of wands as there are practitioners, and the difference are seen both in shape, size, and materials used for it's built. Generally they'll be made of wood, the type depending on the affinity each one has with each tree or the uses we're planning for it, even though there are also metal wands, and crystal clear ones (probably acrylic). They can also have a simple ending or a quartz crystal point acting as an "amplifier". The followers of celtic traditions could very well have a different wand for each month of the lunar tree calendar, with their different atributes, as follows:

  • Birch, purification, the first month, November
  • Rowan, protection against spells, the second month, December
  • Alder, protection and prophesy, the third month, January
  • Willow, feminin, lunar aspects, the fourth month, February
  • Ash, bonding the inner and outer world, the fifth month, March
  • Hawthorn, purification and chastity, the sixth month, April
  • Oak, protection and entrance into the Mysteries, seventh month, May
  • Holly, superiority in struggle, the eighth month, June
  • Hazel, intuition, the ninth month, July
  • Vine, prophesy, tenth month, August
  • Ivy, search for the Ego, the eleventh month, September
  • Reed, direct action, twelth month, October
  • Elder, beginings and endings, the thirdteenth month, the last days of October

Other options are the Apple tree for matters of the heart, willow for lunar magick, or oak for magick that implies a great use of the element of Fire. Some authors, like Scott Cunningham, suggest that before using and consecrating it, we should show it to the rising Moon, rubbing it with lavender and invoking the Goddess, and with fresh leaves at the rising Sun, invoking the God, so that it's imbuided with both energies.

We can also use, of course, pieces of wood bought at a store, if we're going for a smoother appearence. Personally, I'd rather go either for finding it during a walk in the woods, or finding a tree, asking permission, cut a branch, wait till it dries and then consecrate it. It might be longer, but I think it helps in the process of getting a tool more atuned to ourselves.
After this process, and decorating it at will, follows the consecration ritual. The important part, whatever the method we use, is that we feel afinity with our chosen tool.