Bright Blessings, Witches! Next up in our Magickal Tool Care Series we’re discussing everything wands! From what kind of material it’s made of, whether to buy or make your own, how to care for it and more will be discussed in this post. So let’s get into it, shall we?
c. 1200, from Old Norse vondr “rod, switch” (cognate with Gothic wandus “rod,” Middle Swedish vander), from Proto-Germanic *wend- “to turn,” see wind (v.1)). The notion is of a bending, flexible stick. Compare cognate Old Norse veggr, Old English wag “wall,” Old Saxon, Dutch wand, Old High German want, German Wand “wall,” originally “wickerwork for making walls,” or “wall made of wattle-work” (an insight into early Germanic domestic architecture). Magic wand is attested from c. 1400 and shows the etymological sense of “suppleness” already had been lost.Source
The word ‘wand’ holds root in Old Norse. To me, it has very specific feelings attached to it and conjures up particular images in my mind. Perhaps it’s the same for you?
WHAT IS A WAND?
In the magickal realm of witchcraft, a wand is a tool for channeling, directing, and focusing one’s magick. In certain paths, the wand represents masculine energy because of its phallic makeup.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON THINGS WANDS ARE USED FOR?
Outside of the general use of channeling, directing, and focusing energy, wands are used for a myriad of tasks. Some of these tasks are as follows:
-Casting a circle for spellwork and rituals
-Intention writing by tracing words in the air to spell out your desires
-Charging other tools or spell ingredients with your energy via the wand
-Crystal grid activation
-Representation of the Air or Fire elements
-Representation of masculine energy
WHAT DOES A WAND LOOK LIKE?
When the word ‘wand’ is said, it typically conjures up images of a long, thin, wooden stick with a pointed end. While this is the norm, wands can also be made of other materials like crystals or metals and also vary in length.
WAND WOOD MAGICKAL PROPERTIES
This is a pretty comprehensive list featuring common (and not so common) woods used to create wands.
Alder | Alnus rubra
Alder trees correspond with strength, courage, protection, determination, and spirit communication. It is known as the ‘Tree of Fire’ while simultaneously aligning with the element of Water. Also known as the ‘King of Woods’
Almond | Prunus communis
Almond trees align with the magickal properties of prosperity and fertility. As far as wands go, almond wood makes for wonderful divinatory magick in addition to protection from the Evil Eye in particular.
Apple | Pyrus malus
Wood from an apple tree magickally corresponds to ancient wisdom, healing, strength, love, fertility, abundance, beauty, and eternal youth. Apple trees are also associated with the goddess Iðunn.
Ash | Fraxinus spp.
Wands made from ash make excellent all-around tools. This is due to its ability to amplify most types of magick and the capacity to ward against malicious spells.
Bamboo | Bambusa vulgaris
Magickal correspondence of bamboo wood include most notably luck, as well as prosperity, strength, stability, and protection.
Beech | Fagus
Wands made from beech wood are associated with creativity, imagination, and the ability to grant wishes.
Birch | Betula
Birch trees correspond with quite a few magickal properties. These include cleansing, grounding, inspiration, rebirth, fertility, and protection.
Cedar | Cedrus libani
Cedar wood brings with it the magickal properties of cleansing, consecration, healing, money, love, wisdom, purification, longevity, and prosperity. This powerful tree also has the ability to assist in dreamwork and astral travel. Protection from malevolent forces is also within this wood’s capabilities.
Chestnut | Castanea
Wands made from chestnut wood bring success, healing, love, and prosperity.
Cherry | Prunus avium
Cherry wood is grounding by nature. It is wonderful for wands meant for healing, love, and divination magick. Other magickal correspondences include creativity, prosperity, and passion.
Elder | Sambucus nigra
To begin, it is believed that an elder tree is sacred and should never be burned or cut. However, Olde English lore dictates that if your intentions are to cut from one, you must be granted permission by the elder tree’s spirit by reciting the following:
‘Old woman, old woman
Give me some of your wood
And I will give you some of mine
When I grow into a tree’
Aligning with the beliefs surrounding elder trees, wands should only be made from its fallen wood. Other certainties include:
-This type of tree provides protection from malicious entities
-Healing powers are granted to whomever possesses a wand made from its wood
-Lightning will never strike an elder tree, so those with this type of wand can summon storms
-Elder wands have regeneration capabilities
-The Fae is very fond of elder wood
-Elder trees are thought to be home to the “Elder Mother”
-Other magickal correspondences are exorcism, banishing, spirit communication, wisdom, healing, and prosperity
Elm | Ulmus spp.
Folklore suggests that elm wood was the choice of medieval practitioners to construct their wands. It is another kind of tree impervious to lightning strikes. Elm wood offers the magickal properties of love, protection, healing, fostering connections with nature, and transformation.
Eucalyptus | Eucalyptus
This wood boasts properties meant for exorcisms, purification rites, cleansing, and healing.
Gorse | Ulex
The magickal properties of gorse wood include love and romance – specifically for work concerned with advancing a consensual platonic relationship to that of a romantic once. Gorse wands also possess strong protective qualities meant for defending against dark and evil entities.
Hawthorn | Crataegus
Sacred to the Fae, wands made of hawthorn wood possess great power and is associated with happiness, fertility, protection, and defensive properties.
Hazel | Corylus avellana
Those seeking to cast nature-based spellwork would do well to have a wand made from hazel wood. This type of wood aligns magickally with the properties of wisdom, knowledge, protection, divination, psychic work, clarity, water magick, and nature magick. Hazel wood makes another great all-around wand.
Holly | Ilex
Wands made from holly wood brandish qualities of peace, strength, courage, protection, and luck. It is related to the waning half of the year in relation to the Holly King. It is said to have the strongest protective traits of every wood.
Hornbeam | Carpinus
Said to be ‘as hard as a horn’ hornbeam wood is exceptionally lucky. As such, those who use this wood for their wand will also be exceptionally lucky. Other magickal properties include good fortune, strength, protection, spiritual love, and prosperity.
Larch | Larix
Wands made from this strong wood protect against malicious charms and enchantments, as well as the Evil Eye.
Lilac | Syringa
The lilac tree is ruled by Venus and therefore is associated with love, beauty, balance, and harmony. Wands made from this wood are also adept at exorcisms and driving away evil.
Linden | Tilia
Strongly connected with healing and medicine, wood from the linden tree also lends qualities associated with justice. It is an ideal wood for all positive magickal workings.
Maple | Acer spp.
A tree of love, harmony, prosperity, and peace qualities, maple wood also brings energetic balance. Popular for wands, it also aids in awakening creativity and intuition. Maple wood also aligns with beauty, abundance, power, strength, vitality, communication, learning, and travel.
Oak | Quercus robur
Oak wands are meant for strength, endurance, protection, luck, potency, fertility, money, insight, healing, wisdom, and truth. Deity-based magickal endevours also fall within the realm of oak wood. This is another great all-around wood for wands.
Pine | Pinus
Pine wood crafts excellent wands, especially those meant for protection, prosperity, purification, and creativity. Pine wands are wonderful for all-around magickal pursuits.
Rosewood | Dalbergia sissoo
If it’s true and lasting love you’re after, rose wood is a phenomenal choice to craft your wand with. Other correspondences include compassion, knowledge, psychic powers, divination, healing love, fertility, protection of loved ones, and of course, love spells.
Rowan | Sorbus aucuparia
Also known as mountain ash, wands made from its wood do their best work in protection, divination, psychic powers, and healing. Also called the Witch Tree, rowan is sacred to the Fae and in many cultures is protected from being burned or cut down.
Silver Birch | Betula pendula
Materials garnered from this tree were traditionally used in a Witch’s Besom. Wood from the silver birch represents new beginnings and fertility. Also called ‘Lady of the Woods’ wands made from the silver birch harbor cleansing and purification properties.
Walnut | Juglans regia
Wands made of walnut wood are best for fertility work, prosperity spells, and those seeking to awaken their intuition. Walnut wood also makes for great material in initiation rites.
Willow | Salix alba
Willow wands align with magick in association with the Goddess, the moon, love, healing, divination, grief, protection from disease, and strength.
Yew | Taxus baccata
Wands made of wood from the yew tree are best for complex magick. It’s also associated with the magickal properties of longevity, ancestral work, spirit communication, and that of life and death.
TO MAKE OR BUY?
I’m a big proponent of making anything you can in your craft. When we make our tools we imbue them with our energy and our auric footprint. This creates and strengthens a bond between practitioner and instrument. Having said this, there is absolutely no shame in buying tools for your practice.
I consider this decision to be highly personal and intimate to the practitioner. As such, feel free to switch between making and buying. For example, I’d say it would be pretty hard to construct a magickal bell or cauldron but easier to craft a wand from found wood. In the end, it’s always up to YOU.
HOW MANY WANDS CAN ONE HAVE?
Unless you follow a particular path that deems a ‘one per practitioner’ rule, you can have as many as you like! Personally, at this point in time I have three. I plan on making more if I’m called to. I also plan on buying one if I happen to be urged to by my gut instinct.
Bear in mind that wands can have a singular purpose such as a wand for protection, one for money, one for love, one for abundance, etc. Having multiple wands for different things works for many practitioners.
HOW I MADE MY FIRST MAGICK WAND
As aforementioned, wood is most commonly used for a wand. However, if you are called to use something else, then by all means go for it. This could be a crystal, copper pipe, steel, papier-mâché – whatever you are drawn to, really.
My first wand was made from a stick I found on a walk, which I still use to this day. It had a natural notch where I could rest my index finger. It’s roughly 13″ in length and very sturdy. I was drawn to how it felt in my hand (fairly weighty) and its overall appearance.
In all honesty, I didn’t have to do anything to it. It felt magickal from the moment I touched it. I remember asking the stick itself and Mother Nature if it would be okay for me to take it home. I received a resounding ‘YES!’ and felt a wave of goosebumps cover my skin.
MAGICKAL HYGIENE AND RESEARCH
After I brought the stick home, I cleansed it using both smoke and sound. Anything that I bring into my home – whether found in nature, thrifted, bought new – is cleansed. Everything is capable of energy accumulation and magickal hygiene is done to remove the unwanted nasties.
After the cleansing, I did some research to see what kind of wood it was. Through the process of elimination and referencing several local park websites, I came to the conclusion that my new wand was made of pine. Following even more research, I was pleased as punch to discover that pine wood makes for a great all-around wand.
For reference, pine wood’s metaphysical properties include mental clarity and protection (super important for things like spellwork and rituals), purification, cleansing, creativity, prosperity, and healing.
HOW DID I MAKE MY WAND MINE?
Once I cleansed and knew what kind of wood my new magickal tool was made of, I spent roughly a month bonding with it. I accomplished this through intentional meditation and visualization, keeping it close to me throughout my days and placing it on my bedside table as I slept.
Then one day I felt I needed to sand down my wand in certain spots. I listened to my intuition and carefully sanded down the roughest spots in the wood. I took my time, was completely present, and knew when the task was complete.
Another two months or so passed when I was called yet again to alter my wand. This time I was guided to attach a clear crystal point by wrapping it with jeweler’s wire. The particular wire used is made of copper which aligns with abundance, health, love, and money – a good range of properties that goes well with the correspondence of pine wood.
Being this was my first wand – and my most utilized to this day – I’d say the results are fantastic! However, this doesn’t mean that all practitioners will experience the same outcome. Sometimes it can take some trial and error before finding a tool that you really connect with. Keep this mind if you experience some pushback!
HOW TO SHOP FOR A MAGICK WAND
Now that we’ve gone over my first wand making experience, let’s talk about how to shop for one. As with my other posts in this series, shopping for a magickal tool is best done in person. This allows you to use all of your senses, including your intuition. As tools are extremely intimate to the practitioner, opting for in-person over virtual shopping is key.
So what should you be on the lookout for? When it comes to intuition and gut instinct, everyone is different. For instance, I know of several witches who say they feel a bubbly sensation in their hands when their gut is trying to communicate something. Others may be awash in goosebumps (me!), get a certain taste in their mouth, hear ringing, smell specific aromas, etc. With time and effort, you will learn what your particular signal is.
When shopping in-person, asking yourself how you feel while holding the wand is a great place to start. Close your eyes and take a moment to tune-in. And if you’re self-conscious about closing your eyes, remember that it’s a metaphysical shop and most won’t even give you a second glance!
WHAT IF YOU CAN’T SHOP IN A STORE?
If for whatever reason you cannot physically go in and shop for your wand, there are some things you can do to ensure a good online experience. Reputable magick purveyors feature reviews from other shoppers – the good, the bad, and the ugly – in order to give you a fair idea of quality and experience. High-resolution pictures are also a must when browsing, as are detailed descriptions and dimensions. It’s also a good idea to check out return policies to make sure you can remit your purchase if you don’t vibe with it.
HOW TO CLEANSE YOUR WAND
Regardless of how you procure your wand, energetically cleansing and physically cleaning it are imperative to its upkeep. Just like other magickal tools, it is through the acts of magickal hygienic maintenance and physical disinfection that we honor and respect our instruments.
Depending on what your wand is made of will directly determine how you can clean it. For instance, the only time wood is safe to be cleaned with water is when it is sealed. However, sealing your wood wand limits its magickal capabilities. To remedy this situation, using a soft cloth to rub oil into the wood is an excellent way to clean it. Debris will be removed as you work the oil into the porous wood.
After your tool is cleaned, it must be cleansed. Before your wand became yours, it has seen and absorbed energy from other sources. Cleansing will zero out ALL energy and make space for your intentions. You can use smoke, sound, salt, crystals, sunlight, or moonlight to cleanse – but do your research to find out which method rings true for you!
Also known as charging, programming, or enchanting, filling your wand with a specific kind of energy gives your wand purpose. Once your cleaning and cleansing is complete, you will need to charge your wand. The most important thing is to focus your intent and concentrate it into your tool. Pay attention to your intuition as it will alert you when charging is complete.
A NOTE ON CHARGING
From my Athame post in this series:
Over time, objects that we imbue with specific intentions eventually lose energy. But how do you know WHEN to charge after the initial act?
- Any time you cleanse an object or tool it needs to be charged
- When energies feel “off”
- When you wish to reprogram an object or space with a different energy/intent/purpose
- When a tool begins to feel stagnant or stale or stops responding to your energy
HOW TO STORE YOUR WAND
This one is entirely up to you. You can have a really nice stand custom made for yours. Thrifting for a stand is another option. Or, if you’re like me, keep it within reach. Personally I like to keep my ‘working wand’ close by. This is made easier by the fact that I work for myself and am able to control my environment. But even if you cannot, setting out a designated space for your wand is a way to show respect for your tool.
There you have it, Witches! Another day, another magickal tool and how to care for it. Do you use a wand? Are you curious about using one if you don’t? Let me know in the comments! Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!