If you are new to Wicca or the magical arts, you might wonder what contemporary witches do and during some point in your early learnings about magic and Wiccan practices, you might significant questions about magical workings and the “tools of the craft trade,” Do they cast spells? Do they meditate? Do they cast curses? Other questions that might strike your curiosity is do witches use a magical broom? What about other magical tools? Do witches use crystal balls, scrying bowls, divination tools, and other items to help manifest their will? Yes, some, if not all, modern day witches use a wand on occasion, depending on what it is they want to achieve when working spells and rituals. Some even better questions to address are do all witches use wands; what do witches use wands for and are there different types of wands practitioners can use to aid in their magical workings?
A Bit of History: Wands and Their Use
Modern day wands are long, slender tools, measuring about a foot in length used for the purposes of directing a person’s will, intent, and focus while harnessing Magical power stemming from within the practitioner and directing it outward. Some magical traditions associate the Wand with the element of air and one’s intellect, while others associate the tool with the element of fire and the direction of human will: Either explanation is applicable and proper. Wiccan wand use includes things like spell casting, circle casting, and ritual work. It can also be used for magical protection rites as well as spirit communication and conjuring.
One does not have to look very much further to see evidence of wand use in various cultures throughout the world. In fact, when referencing the Esoteric Archives Online, a site dedicated to the exploration of magic and esoteric practices throughout history, writer Joseph H Peterson explains how Zoroastrianism along with the earliest Hinduism, practices show the proto-Indo-European roots for wand wielding. At the time, baresman or a bassoon was used which is “a slender collection of twigs tied together,” and the tool was thought to, not only give power to the user, but served as a conduit for which the user’s power could be intentionally directed: These tools are considered the prototype of the modern-day wands witches.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used similar tools; a quick glance at the writings of Homer’s Odyssey reveals how the witch Circe used a wand to turn Odysseus’ men into pigs. In the ancient magical manuscripts stemming from the 14th and 15th century reveal how the structure of the wand is closer to those of modern day construction. For example, in Book 2 Chapter 8 of the Key of Solomon, both the staff and wand are described and the material each should be made of, with the wand made from wood derived from the nut or hazel tree; the wood being but a year old and virgin as a prerequisite for its design. The Grimoire, even breaks down the day, the time, and planet of influence and notes that a single stroke is to be made in its cutting from the tree.
Special characters were then carved into the wood at the proper hour – Ceremonial magicians left nothing to chance, as every correspondence was found to help empower the tool one was created.
Witch’s Wand Making
To address some of the questions started at the beginning of this piece, many witches use wands, but it is not necessarily true that all witches use them; the truth is that wands are tools or Magical aides only. While becoming more powerful over time and through repetitive use, the magic directed through the comes from the within the witch. The wand is like a physical extension of the witch help to aim, direct and focus the will and magic power in the direction of the practitioner’s intent. In truth, once proficient in directing a person’s will, a witch does not need any tools whatsoever to wield power; again, the magic comes from within the witch and is direct outward and one with a strong, focused will and forceful intent needs no Magical tools whatsoever (except one’s physical body) to harness the power of magick.
Witches wand making is a practice some witches engage in as it is believed that the witch, while making the wand, instills the tool with personal power. Another earlier question to address is there different kinds of wands witches can use. In truth, since the witch defines the magic the wand is used to perform, the answer to the latter question falls into the “not really” category. If, for example the witch has a Hazel wood wand and used the wand to cast a magic circle and then to conduct a few spells, the same wand can be used for both purposes. In contrast, if the witch wants different wands for different magical purposes just to fulfill a personal preference that is acceptable as well. The witch’s wand wood can be any kind of wood except for Elder as it is a sacred tree to the goddess. Popular wood selections include Hazel, Nut, Wood, and Oak, with each wood corresponding with different magical tasks if the witch hopes align wood correspondences with Magical undertakings, she/he can do so, but again, this is not necessary.
Important Note Here: It should be noted that some Magical schools of thought will suggest a practitioner need a new wand for every different task, whether it is spells or divination or ritual and so and so forth. While that might prove an interesting ideal for some practitioners, adhering to that guideline can prove cumbersome for others.
Extra Touches and Wand Care
Since wands are really the finer “trappings” of the craft, many practitioners like to collect more than one and use them. Practitioners like to cleanse, consecrate, bless, and charge their tools before use to ensure they hold on negative energy that might otherwise taint the magical workings at hand. Some witches carve the name of the wand (A special, magical name chosen just for the tool) onto the surface of the tool. Otherwise, the witch can also carve their name onto the wand as well. Users of the wand can anoint the tool with oil too, particularly if the oil it aligns with the magical working at hand. Finally, when not in use, the Witch stores the wand where it will be safe from exposure to negative energies.
Final note: One cannot address the question of “do witches use wands” without mentioning that if the practitioner uses Tarot at all, there is an entire suit Wands present. Also, if performing healing work, the practitioner might use mini crystal wands to help speed healing. But again, you are the magical one, so you can just use your finger as wand, it is working perfectly!