Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Day 3 of 44 Days of Witchcraft: Witch Tools
Well, this one is easy for me. My favourite tool, by far, is the magic wand or rod. Why? Well, for two reasons. First of all, I love trees.....not only aesthetically (and there's nothing witchier than seeing a dark, old, twisted, brooding tree) but for their magical wisdom and power, which can be immense. The wand (and I only use wood) is an extension of that power, and when properly made contains some of the spirit from the tree from which it came.
I've posted before of my distaste for the idea that magical tools are "just tools" to be used and discarded, and provide no inherent power of their own (this seems to be a popular screed of the McWiccans.) If so, why use them? Indeed, this is not a traditional way of thinking at all, and ignores the fact that various trees and woods have always been revered for their magical power. The three chief wand woods, from my own research, are Hazel, Blackthorn, and Elder, with Hawthorn and Ash being also mentioned.
I have two I use most often: a Hazel one for general purpose use, and a Blackthorn one for banishing and more heavy-duty workings. My Hazel one is intricately carved, but rather on the short side, making it portable and easy to stick in my bag for working outside (yes, my magical tools get used, and heavily....they don't just sit on an altar somewhere.) The Blackthorn one is much simpler, just a long, polished rod with a rune carved into the base. I'm a bit more reticent about showing my magical tools these days, but here's my Blackthorn wand.
It's important, if you don't make the wand yourself, to buy one from a reputable artisan who will make them in the traditional way. There's nothing wrong with adding some customization (most of mine have runes, animal totems, etc) to the stick, but in general it's wise to avoid anything made from milled lumber, lathe-turned, or that resembles a movie prop more than a magical tool.