Opinions/Experience on Making Wands

Magickal considerations aside, I would suggest you make your wand of either white cedar or holly. White cedar is easy to find and work and strips and finished beautifully, without any varnish. I have a 4 footer that I made about 20 years ago and it just gets better as it gets older.

Holly is a fine dense wood, white, carves like soap. Better for tricky handwork than cedar. Stains very easily, though, and if you want it to stay white you'll have to varnish it. They make piano keys from it sometimes (the black keys, because it stains so well). I have a six footer made of holly, and it is about 10 years old. Still looks good, but I have to clean it every now n then.

I don't recommend oak. It is nice wood but very tough to work and tends to split if stressed. (I use my wands to walk with sometimes when I hike.)

Enjoy it, though. Nothing better than a fine hand carved staff, specially if you did your own carving.

I would like to keep the branch as natural looking as possible (as in I don't want a dowel that used to be a branch — I want to go out into my woods and find one) but I know that mounting the crystals will take it's toll. I am also thinking that I would like to use a fallen branch and not cut one (I don't like to hurt trees) but maybe a dead branch would be too brittle I don't know.

Well, I broke "rule #1 of wands" by getting a not-straight piece of wood. It just came to me — after a major windstorm, the willow trees back of my apartment had shed a considerable amount of twig/branch material. I just sort of grabbed whatever branch looked best, stripped the bark, and looked at it for a while until I decided what decoration I wanted. I ended up buying some gold wire from a "do your own bead jewelry" store, twisted it around the wood (incidentally, willow is nice because you can put holes in it with a needle to stuff the wire ends into), and drew signs on it with gold and silver marker.

I know it's unorthodox, but the point is, windfall wood can be very nice, and you don't have to hurt the tree to get it. My second choice would have been Lake Michigan driftwood also, for your purposes, willow is soft and will split if you want to mount a crystal. The willow was not at all brittle after being on the ground for several days (then again, it was autumn and not too hot).

I believe that the old grimoire Key of Solomon recommends the wand be made of a hazel or nut switch, within the first year's growth and cut at dawn on Mercury's day.

Since I associate the wand with invitation, persuasion and spring, I cut it at dawn on the Equinox from hazel, nut or fruit tree. I then cut it down to match the inside length of my arm from elbow to middle finger and leave it natural, the potentiality of its virgin wood and bud still untapped.

Because I have access to many trees which need pruning, this is no problem. I believe, however, that the Key of Solomon has marks to make upon the wand (darn grimoires!).

The Farrars mention this tradition in The Witches' Way, I believe, in a section on magical tools for those interested in the Gardnerian/Alexandrian tradition.

Wands as gifts are also nice, but I've no use for metal doodads and crystals. Many folks I know just use a feather, also indicative of spring and air.

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