Eclectic Life,  Witchy Ways

Making a Wand

Wands come in all different forms, shapes and sizes. Copper wands, Crystal wand and Wood wands are most common.

Despite what your see in movies and stories, it is not the wand that creates magic, but the practitioner, who charges the wand with personal power. Like the athame, it is used to direct energy, but in a somewhat more subtle, gentle manner than the swiftly decisive knife

The wand is associated with the element of Air in some traditions, due to its association with trees and because it is often waved in the air. Other traditions associate it with Fire because it is traditionally seen as an agent of transformation.  I tend to associate it with Air and my Athame with Fire.

Making your own tools creates a unique bond between you and the item you create. The energy you put into it is personalized, plus it’s a pretty fun process.

Making a wand can be as simple as finding a stick that speaks to you in the woods, cleansing it and then directing your intention and energy into it – or as complex as engraving symbols, sanding and staining it.  It’s completely personal to you and your choice.

I had never really felt compelled to have a wand before. My athame was enough for me.  Recently, however; I had the desire to make a wand out of the Holly Tree on our property. I thought on it for quite some time before actually making one.  This was my first and I love the way it turned out.

Find the wood you want to use. 
Different wood has different properties and natural associations.  You can research what different wood means or just find something that attracts and speaks to you. You’ll want a stick that feels dry, sturdy, and in good condition.  Try to find a limb that has already fallen as to not have to harm the tree.

I used Holly because I felt drawn to the tree, upon researching it, I discovered it was my Celtic Tree of Birth.
I also love the Christian and Yule Symbolism associated with it.
Other popular woods for wands include:
Oak, Cherry, Maple, Willow, Pine, Cedar, Apple, Elder, Birch and man others
You can use whatever you like but researching what you use always aids in your knowledge and practice.

Most wands are between 9 and 14 inches. Usually between the elbow and fingertips. It’s all personal to you and what you want.

If you do cut from a tree instead of getting an already fallen limb – be sure to ask the tree for permission.  Feel the response. If something feels off or not right – don’t cut from the tree.  If you feel permission is granted be sure to cut only what you need (leave a little room for cracking at the ends during the seasoning period) and not in a spot that will cause permanent harm.  Once you have permission and cut the limb – be sure to thank the tree. Rub some beeswax on the cut tree tip to protect it from insects. It’s good to bring along a small offering—a pinch of herbs, milk, or honey—to leave at the base of the trunk. I cut from my Holly Tree and left a lock of my own hair in return.

If you cut fresh wood, it’s a good idea to let it “Season”.  This means putting it away some where warm and dry so that it can harden and dry out.

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My fresh cut piece of Holly wood. I marked a ring around where my handle was going to be and put it away to season.

:: Form, Sand, Seal ::
This is something completely personal to you. A bare, plain stick will work just as well as a fancy decorated and carved one. It’s about the energy and intention you put into it. I am not an expert wood carver but found this process pretty simple and enjoyable.

Once my wood was seasoned and dried out I stripped most of the bark off.  I left the bark on the handle and stripped most of it off of the rest. I left a little bit running down the wand. I didn’t want to remove all the bark because I believe the bark adds to the energy of the wood.
I also carved out a little around the edge of the handle to give it a bit of form.

Click to view full image
Click to view full image

After getting the shape I wanted by carving just a little (I’m no expert wood carver) I sanded the wand down. You can carve any designs or details into your wand that you wish. I just carved a bit to create a space to draw my symbols and to separate the handle.
Sanding the wand after carving smooths out the bumps, knots and rough edges from all the work you’ve done.
I fell in love with the smooth wood and the white of the Holly tree is just beautiful.  I can envision the energy flowing down the wand just as the bark seems to.

After  it was shaped and sanded, I etched with pencil the symbols for the elements. Once I got them how I liked I went over them with permanent marker.

I bought a wood sealer from the craft store for 2.99 and used a couple of coats on the wood. The sealer isn’t necessary and some don’t use it but I feel it helps to preserve the wood and my markings upon it a bit longer.  It’s also wise to seal it if you decided to put any paint (or permanent marker) on your wand to help it last longer.

:: Decorate Your Wand ::
Again this is personal to you and can be as simple or complex as you wish.  People use all kinds of things to decorate their wands including:
Feathers, Symbols, Crystals, Minerals, Bones, Fossils, Hemp
Pretty much any natural or spiritual item you see fit.

I had some spare copper wiring around the house and knew that it would be a great conductor. I debated on adding a crystal to the tip but in the end decided against it. I don’t have many crystals and I didn’t want to tie one to such a big tool just yet.

I wrapped the copper wire around the base of the wand and added a Celtic knot charm. I then wrapped the copper from the top of the handle where I added a Celtic 5 fold symbol, ran the wire up over the symbols for the elements I drew,  where I added the Triquetra. (A symbol I use for the Holy Trinity) I then continued the wire up the wand to the tip.

Whaaa-Laaa It was done.

You can bless and consecrate your wand, set your intention with it, if you didn’t while creating it, cleanse it if any negativity occurred during it’s creation and begin to use it!!

I love the way my first wand turned out and I kind of look forward to stick hunting so I can make more as gifts or specific use. Just remember don’t cut from the tree unless necessary and always ask permission if you do.

Did you make your own wand? Got any questions?
Let me know in the comments if you do or how your own wand turned out!!

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