Jul 11, 2012

Wands and Staffs

Melin, with Staff,
artistic depiction
According to Sir Franz Bardon,  wand is one of the most efficient tools , ever present  among the serious magi. From where,  the magick wand, as spiritual tool originates ( or had originated ) , and when it came to be used as such,  is  very hard to tell.  As a physical tool, they are among the oldest tools that  humans as species had used,  at least in form of the staff. However , when and how it became used in spiritual work seems unclear. The wand  as spiritual tool , can be traced to proto-European times, apparently, however it’s more than likely that it was used in such fashion even earlier.

Bible speaks of Moses using his staff to perform miracles as instructed by the Lord Himself. Could be one of the reasons why Moses  is the “ultimate conjurer”   in the eyes of  Hoodoists.  Bible speaks of Mosses using  the wand to make water flow from rocks, turning it into a snake or dividing   sea. Agrippa  mentions those events in ,   a prayer given in his Three Books of occult philosophy, that  is used to consecrate/bless/empower the wand or staff.  We also see staffs used in some kind of  divination, when Mosses carries them in the Tabernacle  so he could get answer  on who shall be the High Priest. As a result he founds Aaron’s rod to have blossomed , thus indicated him as High Priest.

Characters in Hebrew, to be inscribed upon wand ,  as given in "Magus" by Francis Barret

Wands appear as symbol ( “color” ) in Tarot, scepters are symbols or Royal and Spiritual power, and even certain  pagan deities are depicted holding them,  Ra, Toth or even Hermes with his caduceus.  Sekhem-scepter was an ritual scepter in Ancient Egypt,  that stood for control, power and domination.

Magickal wand Is a sophisticated an d powerful  commanding tool for a practitioner, not merely a “channeling extension equivalent to  index finger” as nowadays usually referred to, on large/er online occult web  communities.  Other than simply being a conductor of energy, wand can even change the nature  of very energy being manipulated, draw energies from outer source ( not only  from practitioner themselves ) , repel energy, control and strike fear into various entities, and enable more precise manipulation and direction of energy.  So no,  index finger can not really do exactly the same :S   . The wand is under the reign of the Fire element, and is therefore fiery , dominant and  strong,  and can receive other qualities and properties depending on material used to fashion it. Wands and staffs should always be made  by practitioners themselves, for  it show s devotion and imprints energy into this, strictly personal tool.  It can be fashioned from various materials ( even bones ) but the most popular and warmly suggested is wood.  

Different traditions do have different, varying,  rules, or rather guidelines on how to construct   and consecrate wand. We shall discuss some of the  here, but I  think that  regardless of the tone in which these guidelines tend to be presented (  “follow the instructions to the letter” type of tone lol ) , it safe  to say some things are optional. If we were to cross reference guidelines  from  many traditions and systems ( even familiar ones )

It Would result in little things in common.

Wand in Higher magick

If we consult Agrippa’s, Solomon’s and Eliphas Levi’s work  ( some others as well ) we may find certain things in common regarding the very procedure of obtaining and consecrating a wand or staff. Furthermore, the mentioned authors make no important difference   ( regarding  it’s use in magick ) other than in appearance perhaps. The characters that are to be written/ inscribed on it according to Clavicula Solomonis are even same ones.

However the tree used as material differs  depending on author, from Solomon to Franz Bardon, but somehow the most popular include ( ones that repeatedly  appear be it just as substitute to an original choice ) :

·         Hazel

·         Almond

·         Walnut

·         Oak

·         Chesnutt ( note the recurance of the trees bearing typical nut as form  of fruit , also associated with Jupiter, except the Oak )

·         Cedarwood

·         Elderwood

·         Ash

Now Hazel is certainly the first choice of many classic texts ( Grand Grimoire, Clavicula Solomonis,   Eliphas Levi’s  writings etc ) , and Solomon’s key mentions Cane, Elderwood or Rosewood[1] as  possible choices of staff material. The fact different material that that intented for wand is suggested may simply have to do with durability of the material, and it’s  size and firmness . 

Regarding the  magickal timing and  ritual of making and consecration, we’ll stick to traditional instructions here, as those are most accepted ones. That means, we’ll just go through what Solomon’s key ( Clavicula Solomonis ) teaches us.

So, according to ancient great magus  Solomon, wand or staff is to be cut as the sun rises, on Wednesday, and the tree must be virginal ( ! )** , and cut in one “slice”, so that one may not cause suffer to the tree or shrub.   Such cut is supposed to be made with boiline or consecrated sickle ( knife ), hence I ‘d give me best to imprint some force into process, some braches are tough  to cut.
                                     Wand  and staff inscription ( character/s) according to "Clavicula Solomonis"
The wands and/or staffs are consecrated in the day and hour of Mercury, by means of speaking words of power,  censing the wand and sprinkling. As for the incense, not being précised, any fire related incense, Mercury’s planetary  incense or even simple Frankincense shall suffice fine. The wand is then sprinkled with Holy water and wrapped in  new white fabric when not used.

These are the words Clavicula Solomonis suggests for consecrating the wand

“ADONAI, most holy, [EL, most strong],13 deign to bless and to consecrate this wand, and this staff, that they may obtain the necessary virtue, through thee, O most holy ADONAI, whose kingdom endureth unto the ages of the ages. Amen.” [2]

And here is something I ‘d add , few soothing words in  addition to the  orison above:

Dear Lord, have mercy upon us, and aid us in  our quests. May the  tools we  create, be in Your name,  and to serve me according to Your will. Bless therefore, Most Supreme,  any  items we manufacture, for we are Your creations, and we humbly ask You for such aid. May they serve us well and  with Your Blessings. Look upon this wand/staff therefore Lord , and give unto this Wand/staff as much  virtue, force and power, as You gave unto those of Moses, Aaron, and of Elijah,  and of the other prophets  whose name is infinite! Glory be Yours eternally +Amen +Amen +Amen ! “ [3]

Wand in Wiccan tradition

Wands in Wiccan tradition, reflect their duality beliefs, and focus on male, female  principles and fertility.  Which is why they are (  traditionally )  made , so that the top is shaped   to resemble male reproductive organs, whereas the base is caved to resemble  female reproductive organs.

Wiccan people will traditionally make them on some of the Wheel of the year  holiday and shall consecrate them ( again traditionally , as done in Alexandrian and Gardnerian tradition )  by simple rubbing them with fresh  plants in the twilight and morning.   The day the made it, at sunset, Wiccans rub the wand with fresh Mint leaves and Lavender  braches or flowers.  It is then left outside until the morning when it’s traditionally rubbed with leaves  of both Black Mulberry and Haze. This makes it easy to conclude (  If You have botany knowledge ) that the wand would be made in late spring according to Wiccan tradition

As fare as the material ( specific Tree or bush used ) Wiccans make no specific mention of rules regarding   it, other than  they are fond of Hazel, Oak ( especially in Celtic and some Slavic countries ) and Rosewood. Many modern Wiccans  state that one should “ask for permission” from a tree,  some even  going so far to tell how this is part of older traditions ( ? )*   That’s normally done by offering the tree with something ( water works fine ) few days prior and then  asking it to give You it’s permission and blessing to take one  branch.  Tree ( spirit ) is then petitioned to  grant us a sign that we have it’s blessing such as gust of the wind, appearance of animal etc. Once denoting such sign, practitioner is suggested  to cut the branch possibly in one sole cut, and then proceed with peeling the bark, drying, embellishing, possibly dying and then consecrating as explained above in the text.

 No further kind or  consecration may be needed, though If one likes, could address to wiccan deities to bless the wand.

Wand in Balkan peninsula traditional witchcraft

In Balkan peninsula witchcraft , a wand or a staff is not a mandatory tool, least we talk of the dragon-men* , although even dragon men may use non material wand or staff, or sometimes even go without it.  Cunning folk are sometimes  prone  to most practical methods of obtaining one, such as simply cutting the branch as the need arises, with no   distinct ritual about it. With certainty, we can only speak of preference of certain wood as wand or staff material

·         Yew is used in protection and exorcism rituals and spells, as well as in those associated with the dead. Elderberry wand or staff, similarly would be of use for raising the spirits of the dead and work with Faeries. However, obtaining a branch must be approached with utmost respect and care, for the tree is guarded by fae and sometimes  all sort of ghosts

·         Hazel is universal, controlling, protective, healing and most often used

·         Birch is popular among descendants of Russian people, and has powerful healing and health boosting properties

·         Golden glory tree wands are believed to be great healing tool, inferior only to knife consecrated in times  of Lunar and Solar eclipses for such

·         Hawtorn wand is used in exorcism and banishment of evil spirits, and offensive magick

·         Oak tree wand is rarely used for it’s believed  to call for lightings sometimes also unwanted ones and is thereby believed to be extremely dangerous and hard to use

In modern days, people approach with some more respect to cutting branches for wand, and leave and offering bellow the tree/bush, and sometimes also ask for permission , much like in Wiccan tradition.  Watering the tree or the bush is very common also.

Examples of wand

Making a wand is chance for a practitioner to express it’s creativity, individualism, art skills. Whatmore,  give wand more power, and specific use even.  We may conclude from above said , wand can do more than just  simply channel energy and this may depend  on material, inscriptions and additions to the wand.  Here, this is one way I could make a wand:

·         Hawthorn wood as material ( protection, exorcism, evil  spirit repellent,  fire magick, fairy magick )

·         Lapis Lazuli and Heliotrope stones attached  (  both protective of negative  energy,  Lapis Lazuli also reflective, Heliotrope protects from evil spirits as well )

·         Piece of consecrated red yarn, that was soaked in Hoy water  , wrapped around  base of the wand

·         OPTIONAL addition : Iron ring
Example of wand , drawn by myself, imagined to have two crystal braceltes wrapped around base, and some snake sheeded skin between the two bracelets, also wrapped around the wood. Symbols are Solomonic Wand characters as given above in the text
Such wand would make a brilliant exorcism and banishment tool , and tool to use in Mars oriented magick, great tool for commanding spirits, and defining from evil entities and even mischievous fae.

Or a staff example:

·         Material Linden tree

·         Minerals : Petrified wood and or Amber

·         Piece of Snake’s shed wrapped around the Staff

·         Optional : Embellishment ( rings or  tags with symbols )  of gold

Such staff would be great for endurance, longevity, and Solar magick, perhaps also healing. You could carve it’s top to resemble snake’s head , If  crafty. On it one may carve Uroboros, Solar symbols, and/or other .

Many Blessings , Shadow :)

NOTES: This article was written/composed by myself, so, If You want to use any part of it elswehere, feel free but give credits: Shadow of Shadow's magick place , Shadow-333@homail.com or a direc t link to this post.

[1] Elderwood mostly for staffs,  as  stated here  http://www.esotericarchives.com/wands/index.html  
[3]  Inspired by Agrippa’s suggestion/s ,in his work Three books of occult phylosophy,
IMAGE CREDITS:  Charcaters for the wand inscription, as shown in Matter's "Clavicula Solomonis", were written  and then photographed by myself,  wand's depiction is drawn , andnphotographed by myself. Image of Merlin with a wand, I've taken ( photographed ) from "Fantasy Encyclopedia" by Judy Allen, for I considerd it to be very decorative and explanatory, and is used here for such, with no ill will . The Hebrew characters for the wand are from "Magus"  by Francis Barret, as given on www.esothericarchives.com site, used for explanatory purposes here,  and without any ill will


Luck Shop said...

Very nice post Shadow. I never knew all of what goes into staff/wand creation and blessing. You've gone into great detail here and for it I thank you.

Frater H:.T:. said...

I've been practicing Ritual/Ceremonial Magick for close to 10 years now & have been "making do" with my original set of "Tools Of The Art" but recently decided it was time to start "Upgrading" them.
Regarding the Wand & Staff Specifically:
I have the Key Of Solomon here & though it provides some information on the inscriptions, it gives very little detail regarding the actual meaning of the inscriptions.plus, they're a bit of a "mish-mash" of Hebrew, Melachaim, Magi & Celestial scripts...
*SO...Now armed with the great information you've provided here in this article, I've decided to "simplify", only using the 3 "Words of Power" in Hebrew (Bardon), my own sigil & perhaps some elementally appropriate symbols/embellishment.