Traditional ways of crafting a wand

25. srpna 2018 v 11:10 | ellen
To start, you must find a suitable tree. Different species of trees have various magical virtues in folklore and correspondences. Is there a certain tree to which you are drawn? Has there been Aspen shaking outside your window every night, lulling you to sleep? Perhaps you are drawn to slender Hazel and her soft leaves? Or are you attracted to Rowan's bright, red, bitter berries? Are you brave enough to approach Grandmother Elder and claim one of her limbs?
Traditionally wand is crafted from Hazel wood when her nuts are just about to pop. Hazel is a strong wood, easy to carve, and grows in lovely straight lengths so it is easy to cut a good rod. The rod should be, traditionally, cut on a full moon on the day Mercury at midnight. According to traditional texts, the rod should be of a year's growth, and a length approximately from the crook of the elbow to the longest finger of the dominant hand. Though, I have also read that the length should be from the tip of your nose to the longest finger! Use what is comfortable, I think. Though, of course, if you are following the procedure for a specific working, the author may have a reason for the length! For a general wand for general witchcraft, elbow to fingertip is a fine length of wood. Remember, it's not the size that matters, it's how you use-
…Sorry…
Anyway! So, now you have your rough wand. Now what you want to do is strip the bark off. Some people like to leave part of the bark on for a handle, others like to strip it entirely bare, and that is up to you. Then you should leave it in a dry place to cure. It should take about a month per inch of thickness, I believe is the general rule. While this is happening, I like to sketch out what I plan to carve into the wand. In traditional texts, you'll find names of god, runes, Hebrew letters, and so on. Modern wands have various designs carved into them, such as serpents, stars, swirls, leaves, animals, birds, plants, et cetera. If you are not a skilled wood carver, that's okay! I've seen many beautiful simple wands that work just fine. And! If you can practice with some other dry pieces laying about, then you won't have to worry about ruining your wand. Also, woodburning can take so much of the struggle off.
Traditionally in witchcraft, the tip of the wand is carved into a phallic shape, or at least is pointed. Sometimes a pine cone is carved onto the tip. This is to represent the male principle in witchcraft, as the wand is the phallic instrument of directing energy in its more gentle aspect (as opposed to the dagger which is more aggressive). However, if gender polarity is not your thing, you don't have to attribute any gender symbolism to this at all! I like to think of the wand as a rod of command, and don't attribute any gender associates with the wand. (Though, I have seen a wand which is basically a giant wooden penis, and it is just my absolute favorite). I am not much of a woodcarver, so I keep the tips of my wands unadorned and just go a nice tapered point. Or you can go the more modern route and affix a crystal or sacred stone to the tip.
The butt of the wand, or the heel (the end that faces you) can be carved into a hoof if you like, or a ball, or you can even embed a hole in the butt of the wand to place scrolls, magical powders, oils, et cetera depending on the spell you are using. Some writers add that you can seal up your blood and hair to personalize the wand. Or it can be left unadorned. Remember, this is your wand, and you can carve it however way you like.
When you're done with the carving and decorating, and sanding to smooth it down, you'll need to polish it to keep the wood free from dust and to keep it preserved. There are many different polishes out there. Gemma Gary recommends using either boiled linseed oil, or bees wax polish. I'm opting for the latter because I like to make my own stuff. She says if you're using bees wax polish: Once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, once a year for life. This way your wand will be nicely preserved and the wood won't crack.
When you get to the polishing stage, you can consecrate the wand. There are many ways to consecrate magical instruments from the very elaborate consecrations given in the grimoires, to the simple. From what I have read, the wand should be laid out in ritual space, exorcised of all phantasms contrary to the working, and then a blessing is said over the wand to dedicate it to the service of witchcraft. Then, a bit of blood or spittle is crossed three times upon the surface. The instrument is then slept with for three nights as a consummation of the instrument's baptism. After this, it should be used immediately in a magical working. Traditionally, the wand, as with all instruments of the Art, should be kept wrapped in black silk and kept out of the way until it is used.

This was a really quick blurb, and I hope to go into more detail about the wand in a later post. I just need to gather my research materials! There are many ways to craft wands, and there are different wands for specific purposes (such as blasting rods!), and different consecration techniques. You should also be mindful about the proper way to harvest wood for a wand (I gave a small insight into this in an article here).
 

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