Thursday, September 27, 2012

making a wand

Making a Wand

Learn how to make a wand for the purpose of spell casting/ ritual casting

First, you should acquire the proper wood. Any wood is satisfactory,
But here below is a list of the most common choices and their attributes.
All below info belongs to the Bardwood Wandery, and the Bardic Institute.

Woods of Elemental Earth
Rowan (Luis)

Also called the Mountain Ash, and Quickbeam for its powers of bestowing and
enhancing life, Rowan is sacred to Capricorn. It especially bears the power
of the Dark Goddess, the Crone aspect of Mother Earth, and through her the
power of fiery Abban, Vulcan, Lord of craft, mountain, and metalwork. Rowan
flowers and bright orange berries are marked by the pentagram, symbol of the
five Elements; the berries, often retained through Winter, symbolize the
endurance of Life through the dark of the year. Also called Witchen or
Witchbane Rowan has been considered the enemy of all evil witchery, and
protects against one being carried off to Faerie against one's will. A tree
of astral vision and protection, particularly good for warding off evil
spirits, Rowan traditionally is said to avert storms and lightning, and
bring peace. The fondness of songbirds for Rowan berries, gives the tree a
link to the bards, and the Goddess Brigid in her role as Muse of poets. It
is a tree associated with serpents and dragons and sacred places, the
leylines or dragon-lines of Earth energy. The dragon embodies primal energy,
a strong force of creativity and natural flow, which cannot be "slain" or
tamed". Indeed "slaying the dragon" in Christian legend is sometimes
confused with modern technology's notions of dominion over Nature. Dragon
energy is drawn into harmony when we enter into partnership with it through
the erection of standing stones at intersections of the dragon lines, or by
directing it in a Rowan wand. Rowan's power is doubled by the inclusion of a
dragon-scale core when it is fashioned as a wand. Its Elvish name, Luis,
comes from the root lu "time" also found in luras "to judge." Elves
frequently hold their judicial assemblies under old Rowans. Especially
suited for magick giving form and order, ritual, growth, fertility,
protection, women's autonomy, poetry, weaving and spinning, and geomancy or
work with ley lines.

See Also: Rowan Tree: Pyrus aucuparia

Ash (Nuin)

Sacred to Virgo and its ruler Mercury, planet of intellect and reason, Ash
is a wood associated with many divinities. The number of its house is nine
(thrice three). The Ash appears in Norse myth as Yggdrasil, the World-Ash or
Tree of Life from which all the worlds spring. In this respect it is the
pathway or bridge by means of which the wizard may travel among the worlds.
Mystically, Ash signifies the Astral dimension and its myriad doorways.
Beneath the World-Tree, Yggdrasil, the three Norns or Fates dispense
judgment over gods and men. A dragon lives in the roots of the World Ash and
an eagle in its branches; the goat of Odin feeds upon the leaves and turns
that food into Ambrosia, the drink of the gods that provides immortality.
Hanging upsidedown on the Ash tree, Odin drank of the spring of destiny at
its roots and the runes were revealed to him. Tradition holds the Ash also
to be sacred to Llyr and the Greek Poseidon, Lord of Sea, horses, and
metamorphosis. Like the Sea-Goat Capricornus, Ash unites Earth and Water in
the primordial energy in which all potential lies. Poseidon, Odin, and Thor
each wielded a spear of Ash, symbolic of an irresistible magical Will and
invincible protection. The Greek goddess Nemesis carried an ash wand as
symbol of divine justice. With it, she ensures that fortune (good or ill) is
shared among all people and not only by the few. Nemesis is also called
Nemesis of the rainmaking ash" identified as Andrasteia, daughter of the
sea-god Oceanus.

One of the few surviving Druid wands of old, found in an archeological dig,
was made of Ash with a sunwise spiral design, symbolizing Ash's links to the
Sun. So generally magical is the Ash that it is the wood used for Yule logs
and Maypoles, and in some traditions the brooms of witches. In the Alferic
pantheon Olobaal, the Sea Mother, whose body moves with the moon is a
feminine figure. She is the devouring Mother who consumes, swallows, and
gives birth to all life. She is goddess of water, sea, and ocean, twin
sister of Vashaan, the Wind Lord, as Poseidon is brother of Zeus. She is
great and terrible when incited to Tempest by her brother; calm and
beautiful when she is embraced by the Sun Obraash; fecund when touched by
the Moon. She can take any form and is also a goddess of war. In Alferic
tradition it is out of ash-wood that Olobaal fashioned her scepter and the
haft of her magical harpoon. Thus, it may be seen that Ash is as much
attuned to Elemental Water as Earth, and so is the consummate wood of growth
and fecundity, mothers and daughters, and female sovereignty. It is a wood
of balance and the marriage of opposites. Well-suited for shamanic magick,
protection, and to enhance one's skills at any art or craft, magick of wells
and caves, Earth as the vessel of water, finding roots or working with plant
roots, magick of horses, oceans, conquest, justice, and weatherworking.

See Also: Ash Tree: Fraxinus excelsior

Maple (Shorin)

Sacred to Alban Elved (the Autumnal Equinox) because of its fiery red and
orange colors as its leaves turn -- a bold celebration of the season and the
cycle of death and rebirth. Poised on the equinox, it is linked to both
Libra and Virgo, Hazel and Ash. Maple's sacred bird is the Great Horned Owl
who is herald of the coming Feast of Samhuinn with its magick and mystery.
The owl is a bird associated with wizards and wisdom, and the bearing of
messages in the night. In North America, especially in its northern parts,
the Maple is a dominant tree with many varieties, including the sugar maple
from which maple syrup was made by the Native Americans. As such it is
associated with the life-giving sap of the trees, providing food and
sweetness for those who treat it with respect and care. Alban Elved is also
known as the Feast of Mabon, dedicated to the reborn son-consort of the
Great Mother. The Dying God is also the Giant Ymir of Norse myth, from whose
body the world was made. Maple is a strongly masculine wood, somewhat
rebellious and tough, but with a beautiful smooth grain; hard, yet excellent
for carving. Well-suited to spells of sending and communication, binding,
transmutations, creation, revolution, rebirth, healing, beauty, art, and

See Also: Maple Tree: Acer campestre

Elm (Elma)

One of the tallest ancient forest trees, graceful in its chalice shape, Elm
is sacred to the Great Goddess in her form as Wise Grandmother. She is the
Qabbalist's Briah, manifest in the planet Saturn. Elm is also called "Elven"
for its connection to the Elves and Faerie mounds, and so to burial mounds,
and to death as the doorway eternal life. In recent times, as many ancient
Elms have been killed off by Dutch Elm disease, the tree has come to
symbolize and embody the struggle of Nature against humanity's destruction
of the old forests through short-sightedness or the transportation of
diseases from other parts of the world. Elm's spirit is majestic and
expansive, rooted and wise. Well-suited to magick of Earth and invocation of
the Goddess, healing, fertility, gardening, rebirth, destiny, wisdom.,
passage from one life (or phase of life) to another, metamorphosis,

See Also: Elm: Ulmus campestris.

Plum (Emrys)

Plum wood is not a wood expressly included in the sacred tree lists of the
Elves or the Celts; however, it is closely related to its sister, the
Blackthorn, which is known as a Faerie tree of dark omen, strong in
protective magic. Sacred to Abban, God of Craft and Mountains, Plum is a
fruit wood, and so bears powers of fertility but its thorns evoke powers of
great reserve and protection, the setting of boundaries, and the ability to
dissolve them. Abban, like the Greek Hephaestos, is a jealous spirit of
creative fire, whose devotion to art transcends all other concerns. The wood
itself is harder than Apple but has a similar creamy color, and the branches
are tough, knotty, and thorny. Thus Plum is a consummate wand wood for the
creative artist or anyone desiring to focus on magic that will enhance skill
overcome barriers, keep people or disturbance at bay, evoke toughness and
persistence, patience, protection, and healing, especially of the blood. It
is also well-suited for the divining of precious metals or minerals.

See Also: Plum Tree: Prunus domestica

Woods of Elemental Air
Hawthorn (Huathe)

Hawthorn or Whitethorn is sacred to Aquarius and Vashaan, the Windlord, the
Thunderer, whom the Elves call Valma. He is the Norse Thor and the Greek
Zeus, god of Sky and storm. It is a tree of defense with its twisted
branches and sharp thorns, and it holds the power of lightning. Some
loremasters say it can detect the presence of magick because it is a tree in
which magical powers enter the manifest world from beyond. Its sacred color
is violet and it is especially attuned to this band of the magical spectrum
with its focus on powers over other kinds of magick. Well-suited for all
protective magick and all magick aimed at strengthening one's magical powers
spells of control, or warding, sending, detection, concealment,
weatherworking. and protection against lightning and evil spirits.

See Also: Hawthorn: Crataegus oxyacantha

Lilac (Galad)

Sacred to Gemini, the Twins, lilac brings the root energy of expansion and
growth, that underlies intellectual and spiritual prosperity. Such energy is
the burgeoning of Spring flowers, sacred to the androgynous and quicksilver
Mercury, whose domain is writing, speech, song, reason, and travel by sea,
air, and star. Lilac is sacred to bards and its intoxicating fragrance
bespeaks erotic and creative power. Galad comes from the root gal, meaning
gift" from which other words derive: galian "hospitality, " agalla "sexual
pleasure," gaelli? "delight," melengal "mystic union." All of which suggests
the mysteries of gifts and giftedness, talent, and the communication of love
through delight. Lilac wood is close-grained, creamy, and smooth, excellent
for carving intricate interlace patterns. Well-suited to magick of union,
attraction, enhancement of sexual pleasure, intellectual pursuits,
imagination, information, mental concentration, travel, illusion, detection,

Hazel (Koll)

Sacred to Libra and the Celtic goddess Arianrhod, called Shava and Ardiana
by the Elves - the White Goddess of Stars and the Queen of Heaven. In Roman
and Greek myth she is Venus and Aphrodite, goddess of love, but for the
Elves she is the goddess not so much of carnal love itself, but of the
enchanting power of beauty.. She is named Danu by the Celts, the grandmother
and is called Spider Grandmother because she created the starry net of the
night sky. Her web is manifested in the twining limbs of the forest trees as
they reach upwards in worship of her. Hazelnuts feed the Salmon of Wisdom in
its deep pool. Its color is midnight blue, its stone lapis lazuli or blue
sapphire. Its bird is the crane. Shava is considered the teacher of
enchanters and all worthy wizards and bards are summoned to her table.
Sacred to Shava, Hazel wood is imbued with magical power. Its nuts feed the
Salmon of Wisdom in its deep pool. The hazelnut is also connected magically
to the heart chakra. Well-suited to magick of wisdom, beauty, charm, love,
stars, navigation, and creativity.

See Also: Hazel Tree: Corylus avellana

Cedar (Chakris)

Sacred to the cross-quarter feast of Imbolc, which in the Elvish tradition,
is the Feast of Shava, Queen of Stars. Yet it Cedar is also associated with
the goddess Sezh or Persephone in her Underworld time, withdrawn from the
mundane surface of existence during the season of snows. Evergreen Cedar is
sacred, like Juniper, for the promise of eternal life. Its number is thirty,
its color pale yellow, and its bird the goldfinch. Chakris recalls the
Cedars of Lebanon, the wood from which the great Jewish Temple of Solomon
was built. Associations with Solomon are, of course, always magical, that
great king being legendary for his powers of magick and ability to bind
spirits to his service. Cedar is a wood of protection and preservation.
Imbolc or Oimelc is also, traditionally, the time of the lambing when the
milk of the ewes comes, thus the linkage of the festival to milk, as well as
to light. Chakris symbolizes and embodies the light in the darkness, and the
brilliance of the Star Goddess in the inky blackness of the interstellar
void. Cedar is especially powerful for clearing negativity from an area
prior to magical work. The tree is also called Arbor Vitae, Tree of Life.
Especially suited to preservation of sacred places, forests, and groves,
dedication of sacred space for worship and magick, bringing of light out of
darkness, star magick of all kinds, and summoning of helpful spirits.

Apple (Queris)

Sacred to the Feast of Lughnasa and the Celtic Goddess Rhiannon, who is also
one of Shava's masks, as Goddess of Stars and also of horses. Apple harvest
comes on and after the feast of Lughnasa (August 1st) and marks one of the
major foods of the Elves, often associated with the Faerie realms and the
Isle of Avalon. Thus the wood has the power of Avalon and the immortality of
the Faerie realms. The Q-rune is also called Quenda, in Elvish Eranor, which
is the Rose bush whose bright colors evoke the spirit of light and love in
the season of Lugh, or Obraash, Mellar of the Sun. Its sacred number is
seventy; its sacred bird the rose-breasted grosbeak. Shamans and ancient
poets are often described carrying apple branches as symbols of their office
and the famous Silver Bough of Apple provided entry to Faerie. Especially
suited to opening the doorways into Faerie, spells to do with horses or
travel, illumination, enhancing any skill, love, harmony, and beauty,
harvest, and magick of divine, shamanic madness or visionary experience.

See also: Apple Tree: Pyrus malus

Linden (Ohm)

The Linden, also called Basswood and Lime-tree, is the tree most sacred to
the goddess Shava, who may be found in Celtic Arianrhod, and Greek
Aphrodite: Queen of Stars and Love. Her nature is as much fiery as airy
being the spirit of Divine Light. Linden wood is laden with the power of
attraction that underlies not only love, infatuation, and harmony, but also
the very fabric of the material cosmos in such forces as magnetism, adhesion
and gravity. It is a wood of truly cosmic power on every dimension and
sphere of the Tree of Life. Linden is a very light, airy, and smooth wood,
excellent for carving and capable of supporting fine details. Specially
suited to star magick, spells of creation and transmutation, illumination,
love, attraction, healing, enhancement of beauty and peace, and acts of

See Also: Linden Tree: Tilia europea

Yew (Ioho)

Sacred to Mercury, spirit of intellect, thought, and communication and
master of magick, incantations, and runes. He is also the psychopomp, guide
of souls from one world to the next. As such, the evergreen Yew bears powers
over travel between the worlds. In the Elvish pantheon, Mercury is Islaar, a
shape-shifting, androgyne who is both the great Teacher and the mischievous
Trickster. Patron of thieves as well as Poets and Seers, Islaar is a mystic
power as well as the divine spirit of thought. As Trickster he is the
inspirer of wit and eloquence. The Yew is the tree of the Ovate, the seer
and healer in Druid tradition. As such it bridges the worlds and opens
doorways into the Otherworld. Yew is especially suited to spells of
transformation and transfiguration, illusion, astral travel, mediumism,
necromancy, conjuration of helpful spirits, guides and ancestors, and also
spells to bestow knowledge, eloquence, or persuasion.

See Also: Yew Tree: Taxus baccata

Woods of Elemental Fire
Oak (Duir, Dwyr)

The most powerful and sacred of Druid woods, Oak is magically linked to the
constellation Leo. It holds power to draw lightning or the bolt of
inspiration. The Sun, which rules Leo, is the source of life and light.
Psychologically it is the center of the Self. Oak symbolizes all solar
heroes, those who venture out from their homelands to achieve great deeds
and bring home wondrous treasures. Oak traditionally provided not only one
of the most durable woods for construction and fuel, but also the acorn from
which the early tribes fed their pigs throughout the winter. Oak is one of
the longest lived trees, thus embodying great wisdom as well as strength.
The name Duir is related to dwyn, "door," or "portal," the great door of a
manor dwelling. It is also, of course, often linked to drwyd, "druid" or
wizard." As the wizardwood, there is no more magical wood for wandmaking and
it is especially noted for enhancing the endurance of spells against time
and counterspell. The acorn is associated magically with a helmeted head and
so to the crown chakra. Natural branches of Oak are often twisted and gnarly
and have a coarse, dark grain. It is a hard and heavy wood. Especially
suited to magick of kingship and wise rule, personal sovereignty, authority,
power, protection, sealing or opening doors, endurance, and invocation of
wisdom, fertility, and abundance.

See Also: Oak Tree: Quercus robur (The English Oak)

Holly (Tinne)

Associated with the Holly King who defeats the Oak King at Midsummer each
year and reigns until the Winter Solstice, Holly is one of the most fiery of
woods and second only to Oak for its sacred regard by the Druids. The Gaelic
"tinne" is thought to mean "fire." It's rune in the Alferic Ogham is the
same as the Futhark rune Tyr, and like that rune is associated with the
Spear, one of the magical weapons of the Tuatha de Danann, and also of Odin.
The spear is one of the prototypes of the magical wand, a phallic , yang
instrument for projecting will and inseminating matter with life and
creative seed-forces. Mars, or in Elvish the god Ambash, rules Holly. Ambash
is also associated with the Wildman of the Forest, the untamable power of
the forest depths and its procreative essence. It is associated with
Midwinter, but actually reigns over the "dark half" of the year when the
solar tide is waning, from Midsummer to Midwinter. Oak rules the waxing tide
of the sun. It is calendrically associated with Capricorn as the
Constellation presiding at the Winter Solstice; however, the Alferic
tradition also associates it with Aries, a constellation ruled traditionally
by Mars. Holly has been regarded as a powerful protective wood, good against
evil spirits, poisons, angry elementals, and lightning. It is also
associated with dream magick and fertility, and is well-suited for any
magick dealing with the overthrow of old authorities, success in business or
endeavor, or spells seeking progress to a new stage of development. Holly
wood is very fine-grained, hard, and smooth, and almost ivory in color if it
is not stained. It is a truly exquisite wood for wands.

See Also: Holly Tree: Ilex aquifolium

Redwood/Sequoia (Thor)

The giant redwood is the most magnificent of all conifers and its Elvish
name, Thor, draws an association with the Norse god of that name, spirit of
thunder, storm, and lightning. As an evergreen, Redwood is the embodiment of
life and the assertive phallic striving upward to the sky. Its rune in the
Alferic Ogham looks like a doubling of Tinne (see Holly above), a twin
spearhead, barbed perhaps, and also resembling the stately conifer form
itself. It is associated with the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, and
the Centaurs. It is also associated with the Stag-god Orion, who in Greek
tradition is the archetypal Hunter. Ambash, the God of Beasts is the Hunter
in the Alferic tradition, but his counterpart, from whom he is inseparable,
is Orion, the hunted Stag of Summer. The Stag or White hart is the magical
animal of the deep forest whose appearance invariably leads the heroic
hunter into some adventure in the Otherworld. Orion is in fact regarded as a
spirit most closely linked to the planet Uranus and the Greek Titan
Prometheus, bringer of fire and teacher of all arts to humankind, a spirit,
as the poet Shelley argued, of rebellion and revolution. In Celtic tradition
the redwood itself does not appear, but Pine does and is attributed to
Dionysus, another iteration of the Wildman. Magically, Redwood is excellent
for drawing down power from Heaven to Earth, spells of religious seeking and
discipline, spells of mystical union with nature and wild animals, hunting
magick, the martial arts as spiritual discipline, and spells for innovation
and sudden revelation. We usually use milled redwood for wands, which has a
very broad and beautiful grain, is quite lightweight and soft, and which has
a dark red color without the need of any stain. The wood tears easily as so
is not well-suited to detailed carving.

Hickory (Axara)

Hickory is sacred to Obraash, God of the Sun, who is also Lugh and Apollo.
His color is golden yellow, his stones citrine and yellow topaz. His sacred
birds are the Phoenix and the peacock. Obraash is one of the principal fire
spirits whose domain is kingship, the wise use of power, unification of
peoples, and wholeness, both of the individual personality and of a society.
Hickory is a hard and close-grained wood, with solar energies similar to Oak
Because of its durability, it is traditionally used for making bats, sticks
and clubs -- the primitive prototypes of the magick wand or royal scepter,
signifying power to command and direct action. The Eranor word axara shares
a root with axalla "majesty" and lex "crown." The hickory nut is linked to
the solar plexus chakra. It is especially suited to magick of abundance,
wholeness, power, presence, command, discipline, acquisition, giving of
gifts, and the finding of direction.

Cherry (Oadha)

Cherrywood is sacred to Ambash, God of the Hunt, of Beasts, and of War. He
is also Ares, Mars, Herne, Teutates, Tyr. Cherry is sacred likewise to
female deities of hunt and battle: Artemis, Morrigan. Cherrywood is red in
color and darkens with age and exposure to the sun. Its companion stones are
obsidian and sard. Its sacred bird is the Red-tailed hawk. The sound of the
rune Oadha carries with it the aspiration of Thor (Redwood) and the
vibratory qualities of Duir (Oak). Cherrywood carries the energy of the
magical Will through which magical intentions are directed into the outer
world of manifestation. Cherrywood is imbued with the power of making and
doing, achievement, and self-assertion over obstacles and critics. It is the
pure energy of Will and desire. The cherry fruit is magically linked to the
root chakra and so to sex and birth: the life force of attraction and
renewal. Its sweet-scented flowers evoke eroticism and the power of love in
its more subtle forms as well as the essence of springtime with its powers
of renewal. Especially suited to invocations and blessings of sacred fires,
spells of finding, hunting, conflict, war, competition, sex, passion,
communion with animals, unification of groups or tribes, and the
amplification of magical will.

See Also: Cherry Tree: Prunus avium

Walnut (Yuin)

Sacred to Vashaan the Lord of Winds and Lightning, Walnut partakes of
Elemental Air and Fire. It is perhaps the consummate wood for weather magick
The shape of the walnut nut connects it magically to the head, and so to
the crown chakra. Its color is turquoise blue, its stones turquoise, blue
topaz, and sardonyx. Vashaan's sacred bird is the Eagle, particularly the
Bald Eagle. The rune Yuin depicts the "First Swirlings" of the universe. It
is the centripetal force of outward movement or expansion that complements
Shava's powers of attraction. Thus Yuin has power over all magical acts of
expansion: expansion of wealth, horizons, the mind, the feelings. Its scope
is limitless and its age unfathomable. The nut of the walnut tree is linked
to the Windlord's creation myth, in which his tempests shake the walnut tree
so that the nuts fall to earth and are buried by the squirrels. From these
nuts spring forth the race of Elves. So the war-helms of the ancient Sarith
knights, the Shazarin, are shaped like half of a walnut shell. Vashaan is
called by the Elves Valma, and is associated with the gods Zeus, Jupiter,
Thor, and Vishnu. Walnut wood ranges from light to very dark and is
well-suited to wand carving. It is especially suited for wind and weather
magick, spells of expansion, vortices, enhancement of the powers of breath,
spells to cast or avert lightning, teleportation and astral travel, and

See Also: Walnut Tree: Juglans regia

Beech (Sultan)

Sacred to Obraash the Sun lord, whom the Elves call Alba, Beechwood is
closely related to Oak. The Beech tree is a large and spreading tree that
bears edible nuts. It was particularly valued by the ancient Celts -- and
the Elves -- as a nut used to fodder animals, especially the sacred swine.
Beech is the family of trees to which Oak belongs, thus is Beech sometimes
called Atarya Dwyrion, "Grandfather of Oaks." The name Beech relates to the
Germanic word for Book and tradition tells that beech wood was used to make
the first writing tablets for the runes. Hence, Beech is deeply associated
with learning and lore, and with the divinatory power of the runes. Like
Greek Apollo, the Elvish Alba drives his sun-ship across the sky each day
and passes to every world of manifestation, sources of light, beauty, and
life. Apollo is also considered to be a spirit of youth, archery, and
prophecy, the latter because of his conquest of the Pythian serpent at
Delphi and subsequent assumption of the powers of the Delphic oracle. In
Celtic tradition many gods are associated with the sun's light, among them
Ogma Sunface, god of eloquence who created the ogham letters, and Oenghus
mac Og, god of love and youth. The wood of the Beech has a superb grain that
finishes most beautifully. The Elvish rune Sultan is the same as the Norse
rune Sol, the solar rune which has also been interpreted to mean "victory."
Magical operations especially applicable to Beech include: spells of
information, especially seeking old wisdom; invocation of ancient guardians
or Ancestors; research into old writings and the runes; magick of the Summer
Solstice, culmination of desires; magick of victory.

See also: Beech Tree: Fagus sylvatica

Osier or Dogwood (Zallis)

Osier is a tree most sacred to Agni, the primordial Fire. Zallis is held, by
the Elves, to be sacred to the spring fire festival of Beltane (or Agnianna
as they also name it). Agni, who is not numbered among the twelve Mellarin,
may be equated to the Celtic god Belinos (for whom Beltane is named). He is
called Atarya Tulkazo, "Grandfather of Tulkas," who is the fire of passion,
desire, and will. Agni is often considered to be a mask of Olan, the Great
Spirit who goes before all and encompasses all. The Elves sing that Agni is
the father of Shava, Star Queen, and also of Abban, the great subterranean
Father of volcanic fire and the forge. The red-barked Osier is associated
with fertility and sexual attraction. For Agni is not only the sacrificial
fire, but also the fire of loins and procreation, the energy of bud and
flower. The rune Zallis, shaped like an X, is considered one of the most
powerful runes for magick invoking the protective and creative power of fire
and is often used alone as a sign for banishing disruptive forces and
deception. By association with the Futhark rune Gifu, it also bears a sense
of happiness and warmth, or comfort. The wood's name "dogwood" also carries
associations with the Irish hero Cuchullain, whose name meant "the dog of
Chullain" refering to his loyalty. This gives the wood magical links to the
warrior heroism and superhuman physical prowess of the hero, and links to
domesticated dogs, their healing and protection and their loyalty and
affection too. Magical operations especially applicable to Osier include:
magick of flowering; evocation of one's Ancestors; renewal of cycles of
fertility; consecration of ritual or hearth fires; giving of comfort or
healing, and spells of banishment and protection.

Woods of Elemental Water
Alder (Fearn)

Alder is sacred to the constellation Pisces, the Fishes. It is a wood which
lasts a long time submerged in water and is often found on river and lake
banks. When first cut its wood appears red like blood and so was
traditionally viewed as ill-omened but this is an oversimplification. Its
bloody appearance may have influenced Alder's popularity as a wood for
warrior's shields in Celtic tradition. In Elvish Eranor Fearn comes from the
root fe?, meaning "fey" or Faerie magic. This rune invokes astral protection
as well as physical and can open the mind to the deep wisdom of the watery
element in the form of dreams. It can protect one from the emotions of
others, especially warlike anger or bloodlust. It is particularly potent for
protection against drowning or disaster by storm or flood. Its use in
bridges, half submerged, symbolizes not only its power as a bridge between
worlds, but its mentality, amphibiously aware of the conscious and
unconscious worlds, the above and below, the overt and the hidden. Fearn's
ruling Mellar is Ulmaren, the Water Mother. Magical operations most
applicable to Alder include: protection against drowning and death; death
curses and shielding against them; shielding against all ill-omens and
destructive emotions; cultivation of the vision of inner and outer worlds;
bridging of the above and below; preparation for conflict; shielding against
unwanted intrusions from beyond.

See also: Alder Tree: Aldus glutinosa

Birch (Beith)

Sacred to the festival of Alban Eiler (Vernal Equinox). Its number is forty
and its bird the white egret. In the Celtic Ogham Beith is accorded prestige
as the first tree, one of the trees that emerges first to establish a new
forest, a harbinger of youth and springtime. It is often associated with the
beginning of the year, and in the Alferic tradition is linked to the
beginning of the cycle of growth and renewal in Spring. It is a tree of
beginnings in general and of the Bards, as the first grade of the Druid
order. The Bards are according first honor as the singers of the Creation
epics, those who sang the worlds into existence. Birch is also a wood with
great powers to purify and discipline, to create the new forest in service
to the great trees that will come after, such as the oak and ash and maple.
Birch forest is young and so birch is linked to youth and all things new. It
is especially suited to magick of new beginnings, spells of youth and fresh
starts, bardic enchantment, creativity, procreation, renewal and rebirth,
purification, and spells for discipline and service.

See also: Birch Tree: Betula alba

Willow (Awn)

Sacred to the Moon, Omulan or Diana, Willow is a wood of the Water Element.
Willow is a tree of emotion, love, intuition, and poetic inspiration. Awn is
pronounced ahh-oon and is related to as the Druid term awen, the sacred word
of inspiration. It is linguistically rooted to Eranor aw?, "inspiration" and
hwenw?, "breath." Omulan is the White Goddess, who has affinities with both
the Celtic goddesses Rhiannon and Arianrhod. She is the daughter of Shava
and Vashaan, and sister to Islaar, god of magick and thought. As the Moon
she rules the cycles of female life and becoming: menstruation, birth, and
menopause. By extension she is mistress of hearth and home and all whatever
is considered the traditional sphere of motherhood. As the great luminary of
the night she also is Astarte, goddess of witchcraft and moon magick, which
is to say magick that aims at transformation and natural harmony. Willow is
especially suited to works of the New Moon, magick related to cycles of
fertility or creativity, spells of glamour and bewitchment, change,
relationship and female rites of passage. The Dark Moon, as it is called, is
the time best suited for spells of dissolving and banishment, the time to
get rid of old habits that no longer serve a good purpose in your life.
Traditionally associated with witches, willow is the perfect wand wood for
the ritual of "Drawing Down the Moon." As the source of salicylic acid, the
main ingredient in aspirin, willow is also a wood appropriate for spells
intended to remove pain and give comfort.

See also: Willow Tree: Salix alba.


Ebony is an exotic hardwood that comes from various sub-tropical climes. It
is a wood that is used extensively for carving in Bali and in Africa because
of its density and hardness. It is extremely difficult to carve, but the end
result is a superb black wood (sometimes with lighter grain) that is very
heavy and magnetically powerful. Ebony is not one of the sacred woods of the
Celts, nor is it included in the version of the Elvish Ogham known to me.
However, from working with this wood I have come to see it as a wand perfect
for Dark Moon magic, those operations that seek to banish, dissolve,
disapparate or cast off evil or outworn influences. The Elves tell me that
it is a tree strongly attuned to Nienna, goddess of Memory and Forgetting,
Joy and Sorrow. Ebony is quite a popular wood for wands, and is
unquestionably very handsome. It's presence and energy is very strong, and
so it is not a wood for the faint of heart.


Purpleheart is another exotic tropical hardwood that is readily available in
milled stock. It is a wood with very long coarse fibers and so difficult to
carve without splitting. This bespeaks the wood's sensitivity and
flexibility. It is of a medium density and heaviness and can be finished to
a lustrous smoothness which captures its remarkable purplish-red color. Like
Ebony, Purpleheart is not a wood that has attached to it any Celtic lore, or
Elvish lore that I am aware of. However, from my own work with this wood I
have come to the conclusion that it is very well-suited for work with the
heart chakra. This means that it is good for emotional as well as physical
healing, for opening up the seat of compassion and generosity, and for any
work involving the blood. Its color gives it attunement to the violet and
ultraviolet frequencies of magick, which are those centered on control,
especially over other magick.

Next, a crystal should be chosen. here below is a list of the common choices


A type of quartz known as chalcedony with banded patterns of color. Almost
any color can be found but often a dark brown with white or reddish bands is
found. There are many varieties (see following). To agate has been
attributed powers of protection, victory, attracting love, promoting
fertility in crops, turning away lightning or evil spirits, finding buried
treasure, curing insomnia, and giving pleasant dreams. Agate is said to
reverse the energy flow of any chakra, thus removing blockages and illness.
It gives strength to mind and body, increases balance and is useful when
sudden bursts of energy are needed. It has been said to be useful in
promoting marital fidelity and also in strengthening sight, analytical
abilities, and perception.

Moss Agate

Dark green in color. The Greek Orpheus said that to wear moss agate was to
receive divine favor. To it is attributed powers of eloquence and persuasion
fertility, eternal life. It is associated with Taurus and Venus, and also
Gemini. Moss agate is one of the most powerful healing stones. It protects
and enhances the aura and aids in opening the "third eye." Useful for
meditation, scrying, astral travel, and speaking with spirit guides.
Well-suited for spells of wealth, happiness, long life, and to find friends.

Tree Agate

This variety of agate is usually white with black, brown, red or green
branchlike inclusions. It is a particularly Druidic variety of agate because
of its association with trees. An idea reservoir stone for a wand intended
for use in green magic related to agriculture, horticulture, arboriculture,
or the preservation of the natural world. Forest magic and enchantments
associated with the wilderness and its qualities with find a powerful aid in
tree agate.


Not a mineral, but fossilized tree sap, Amber is not readily employed in our
wands because it is hard to find in round shapes and is very fragile. A good
substitute, from the standpoint of appearance is Honey Calcite (see Calcite
below). Amber is, however, widely used in jewelry and highly prized for its
connection to the ancient primeval forests. Famously, insects from the
Jurrasic and earlier ages have been preserved in amber from the trees of
that far gone epoch.


Purple or lilac in color and translucent, amethyst is traditionally given
the power to avert intoxication. It is said to protect against evil sorcery
and bring success and good luck. A powerful healing crystal, it calms mental
disorders, purifies the blood, and balances all chakras. It is associated
with the third eye, clairvoyance, prescience, and the ability to cut through
illusions. Amethyst is especially suited to wandwork focused on spells of
transmutation and transformation.


A dark Green type of quartz, sometimes called Indian Jade, it is a
fortuitous stone used to release anxieties and inspire positive attitudes,
good health, and independence. Linked strongly to Elemental Earth, it gives
balance and calm. It is protective and can bring good luck in gambling,
enhances creative visualization, writing, art, and music. Attracts
prosperity and love, and unexpected adventures or incidents.


Green stone with red flecks like blood, this is another form of chalcedony,
an opaque green jasper. Its old name was Heliotrope, signifying the turning
of the sun. It is said to link the root and heart chakras, stimulating
kundalini. It guards one against deceptions and preserves health. It creates
prosperity and abundance, and strengthens self-confidence. Also can lengthen
life, give fame, and invisibility, remove obstacles, control spirits, cause
storms, and help in court cases. In healing it can purify the blood, remove
toxins, renew friendships or love.


A soft stone, easily scratched, but lustrous in green, pink, blue, and many
other colors, including the beautiful amber "Honey" calcite. The famous
Carara marble of Italy is composed of calcite. It helps clear negative
energies from the environment and the body, intensifies clarity, attracts
love. Calcite helps sooth and calm the nerves, permitting one to focus one's
attention more clearly. This makes it a particularly desireable stone for
use in wand reservoirs.


An orange or reddish form of chalcedony, related to sard, bloodstone, and
moss agate. Traditionally used to protect against the "evil eye," carnelian
is said to fulfil all desires. It speeds all manifestations, revitalizes and
aligns the physical and spiritual bodies, strengthens concentration,
increases the sense of self-worth, brings career success, and balances
creative and organizational abilities.

Citrine Points

Clear, pale yellow variety of quartz which can be used in rounded forms for
reservoir stones and in crystal form as wand points. The points, as shown at
left, are usually white and golden yellow.. A highly solar stone, ruled by
the constellation Scorpio, it is used as a talisman against intoxication,
evil thoughts, overindulgence, snakes, plagues, and epidemics. It is useful
for aligning one's ego with one's Higher Self, and for giving clarity of
thought. Citrine has the power to strengthen one's ability to deal with
difficult karma and opens channels of intuition. It may increase one's
motivation, and creative energy. Finally, it is a good stone for spells of
prosperity. Usually citrine points are in the natural state and irregular in
shape. Occasionally, I can find one that has been cut and polished.

Clear Citrine

At left is clear natural citrine which I use from time to time in the
reservoirs of wands. It is more transparent than quartz crystal and more
brilliant. When subjected to heat, citrine turns more golden in color, but
he natural, untreated stone is clear. Natural citrine points can also be
found. It is said to transmute all negative energies rather than absorbing


More soft and breakable than quartz, translucent with brownish, golden,
green, purple, or bluish stripes, flourite is connected to Pisces and
Capricorn, and grounds excessive energy, mental, emotional, or nervous. A
powerful healing stone for all chakras, good for cleansing the aura,
flourite also aids communication with fairies and nature spirits. It
enhances the understanding of abstract concepts, meditation, and study in
general. It is an all-purpose amplifier of etheric energies.


A dark iron-gray stone with a metallic luster, which exhibits a blood-red
color when powdered. Sacred to Mars, hematite has been worn to gain
favorable hearings or judgments, to win petitions before those in authority,
and to protect warriors. Associated with Aries and Aquarius, it energizes
the etheric body and gives optimism, will, and courage. It repels negativity
and gives strength to the physical and astral bodies.


Best known as apple green, Jade can also be white, pink, yellow, black, gray
or brown. There are actually two different kinds of stone called jade:
jadeite and nephrite. Associated with Aries, Gemini, and Libra, jade
strengthens the heart, kidneys, and immune system. It increases fertility,
balances the emotions, dispels negativity, and gives courage and wisdom.
Green jade is famous for producing vivid and accurate dreams.


A variety of chalcedony that is massive and fine-grained, it may take many
colors, but is often red. When combined with hematite, it is called
jaspillite. Bloodstone is a variety of jasper. Good for weatherworking,
especially bringing rain, and for curing snakebite. Healing for stomach
ailments, jasper balances all chakras, stabilizes energy, and protects from
negativity, drives away evil spirits, hallucinations, and nightmares, and is
generally a grounding stone. It builds up steady energy for long periods of

Lapis Lazuli

Not a single mineral but a magical combination of dark blue lazurite,
hauynite, sodalite, diopside, white streaks of calcite, and specks of gold
pyrite. Sacred to the Egyptian goddess Isis and associated with the throat
chakra, it is useful for removing painful memories from the astral body or
aura. Lapis lazuli is ruled by the planet Jupiter and is a stone of good
fortune. It helps release tension and anxiety, increases mental clarity,
creativity, and clairvoyance, helps overcome depression and aids
communication with spirit guides.


Relatively soft, dark green stone with swirls and stripes of lighter green,
malachite's color comes from copper. Reputed to confer the ability to
understand animal languages, it is also valued as a protective stone,
revitalizing to the body and mind. It repels evil spirits, inspires
tolerance and flexibility, opens communication, and stabilizes energy. It is
an excellent stone for creating through magical manifestation, strengthening
the intuition and the power of transformation. Malachite acts as a psychic
mirror, amplifying the energy one projects into it and drawing one into
other worlds in meditation.


Known for its luminescent sheen, moonstones are used in jewelry and range in
color quite a bit. They can be milky white or pale pinkish in color. Aside
from obvious associatons with the Moon and the many deities which have been
the personification of Earth's moon, it is particularly associated with the
goddess Omulan or Rhianna, in the Elvish pantheon. According to the wise
ones at Crystalshop. com in Australia, moonstone is "balancing, introspective
reflective and lunar. The energy relates to 'new beginnings'. A stone of
hoping and wishing that allows one to absorb that which is needed from the
universe. A stone of feeling, emotion. Travel protection."


A type of chalcedony similar to agate, except that it has straight rather
than curved bands of color. Sacred to Saturn and Earth, onyx balances male
and female polarities, gives spiritual inspiration, helps face past life
problems and transformational challenges. It protects against black magic,
evil spirits, and aids communication with spirits.

Black or White Onyx

When most people think of onyx, they think of the pure black variety often
seen in jewelry. Black (pictured here) deflects negative energy. White onyx
expands the imagination. According to the folks at Crystalshop. com, black
onyx "can be used to banish grief, to enhance self-control, to stimulate the
power of wise decision-making, and to encourage happiness and good fortune.
It helps one to absorb, from the universe, those energies which are needed."
Black onyx looks very similar to jet and to obsidian.

Quartz Crystal

Perhaps the most generally powerful magical amplifier, quartz crystals are
the most common stones for wand points. When rounded, however, they also
make excellent reservoir stones. In fact amethyst, rose quartz, citrine, and
aventurine all belong to the quartz family, but so-called Rock Crystal is
colorless and transparent. It generates an electric charge when heated or
placed under strain. Crystal balls are, of course, used for scrying, and
ceremonial magicians have long used quartz points on their wands as magical
amplifiers and aids to concentration. Ruled by the Moon, quartz crystal is
excellent for meditation and communication with spirit guides, telepathy,
clairvoyance, and visualization. For more on Quartz crystal in all its
varieties see the Jewelry Art website.

Rose Quartz

Pink quartz is called the "love stone" and aids in healing the emotions. It
aids in the development of compassion and love and reduces stress and
anxiety. Enhances creativity and self-confidence through connection to the
True Self. Connected specifically to the heart chakra, though by some linked
also to the crown chakra and the pure celestial love accessible there.
Excellent for healing emotional wounds. An ideal reservoir stone for a wand
that will primarily be used for love spells and healing.

Smoky Quartz

Grayish brown quartz which aids in discrimination, aids meditation by
grounding and centering. It breaks up blocks and negativity, strengthens
dream awareness, and aids contact with nature spirits. Very dark smoky
quartz, called morion or cairngorm, is connected to the root chakra and
helps transform dreams into reality. It is often a much more powerful
magical stone than clear quartz.

Rutilated Quartz

Clear quartz containing thin threads of gold or titanium or asbestos,
sometimes called "Venus hair" or "Thetis hair" stones. The rutiles are said
to augment the transmission power and energy of the quartz. Associated with
Gemini and Taurus, it enhances life energy, increases clairvoyance,
transmutes negative energy, aids in communication with one's Higher Self,
and increases the efficacy of magick. It is especially enchanting when light
falls through the rutile needles in the stone.

Tourmalinated Quartz

Clear quartz with inclusions of black tourmaline, it is considered to have
double the power of clear crystal. Sometimes associated with Libra, it
balances all extremes and is a powerful grounding and protective stone.
Tourmaline is a stone considered to be an aid to seership among shamans. It
attracts inspiration and diminishes fear.


A pink or rose stone with thin veins or patches of gray or black, it is a
good stress-reducer, calming the mind, and enhancing energy levels of both
body and mind. It has the property of deterring unwanted interruptions on
the physical or astral planes. Aids in keeping one's temper and reaching one
s maximum potential. Quoting the dear wise folks at Crystalshop. com again,
rhodonite "activates and energises the heart chakra and conveys the
resonance of unconditional love to the physical plane. Displels anxiety and
promotes coherence, observational abilities and attention to detail."


Striking green stone with light and dark hues and white or black speckles,
relatively soft, associated with Scorpio, serpentine increases wisdom and
self-restraint. It is said to protect against venom and has many of the same
properties as green jade (see above). It is used to clear the channel of
kundalini in the chakras in the Hindu tantric mysticism. I've recently
discovered a striped type of serpentine from China. Very lovely and
evocative of the layers of reality expressed in the chakras.


A variety of chalcedony or quartz with silky chatoyancy, yellow and golden
brown stripes. Associates with Capricorn and Leo, tiger's-eye is a powerful
protective stone, balancing emotions, and giving clear insight. It grounds
and centers the user and strengthens the magical will. It also brings good
luck and aids in seeing the truth. Especially good for protection against
the Dark Arts.


A massive stone, not a crystal, turquoise varies in color. Sky blue, or
greenish-blue and sacred to the Egyptian goddess Hathor, it is a powerful
stone for weatherworking, protection, and prosperity. It has the power to
build bridges between worlds, and is a stone of knowledge and seeking,
highly prized among the Navaho of the American southwest. It is sacred also
to the Elvish androgyne god Lir and so powerful for protection in astral
travel and in communication, particularly articulation and expression of
emotions, creativity, and intuition.

The crystal should be set in the pommel of the wand.


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