The Exacting Art of Wand Making

“The magical rod is the verendum of the magus; it must not even be mentioned in any clear and precise manner; no one should boast of its possession, nor should its consecration ever be transmitted except under the conditions of absolute discretion and confidence.” - Eliphas Levi, “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” (1856)

It is a matter of fact that properly making a wand is a pain in the ass. It is a rather long process, with lots of detailed steps, none of which can be skipped. It takes more than a month of near daily work, invariably leads to both accidental and purposeful blood spill, not to mention all the mess.

Having lived in London for over a decade I can assure you that there is no Ollivanders in which to purchase a finished wand. And while many many sticks that have been nicely polished, often having had some baubles attached to them, are for sale from a variety of vendors they are not in any practical way a wand.

A wand must be cut by the practitioner themselves directly from the tree, must be worked to shape by the practitioner’s hands, tooled by the practitioner’s blade. It is a very necessary tool in the arsenal of witch and wizard alike, found throughout history in the practice of magic.

On the whole its a bothersome process; messy, meticulous, exacting and often tiresome. But at each point where you would shirk the necessary steps it is only in reminding yourself that the tool you make may save your life that you push on, doing every little bit that is needed to make it as strong as possible. Because like a parachute your life may hang in the balance of your wand having been made in an exacting process that I would personally never trust to something I bought online or in a shop.

The length of the wand varies from culture to culture and use to use. I myself prefer a length that is the distance from one’s nose when looking straight ahead to the tip of one’s fingers. Approximately three feet long (four spans) though tailored exactly to the body of its owner. The perfect length for tracing a circle on the ground without bending over.

It so happens that I had long held off on making myself a second hazel wand, my first being in storage in the US and something I had used for decades - though not seen in years. In its stead I have been using a very nice rowan wand I constructed about a year after I arrived in London, which works for most situations and is particularly adept at landscape magics. But then there are some things for which only a hazel wand will do the job properly.

Unfortunately my original hazel, cut from a deep and old wood in the states when I was a young man, has gone missing. Its whereabouts are a mystery, though where it should have been among my library storage materials it was not. Thus I have been slowly getting around to replacing it, and some near future work that needs doing has required my starting in order to finish before the vernal equinox.

So while the blackbird sang me a song of predawn delight I cut the hazel and have begun the process. As it dries I will gather the bits I need, offerings and ointments for its preparation, and by the first day of spring it should be ready for a bit of that old black magic.

The Archer’s 1000 Picspam —> 61: Polyamourous Snow White

Fairy Re-Tellings

There was once a kingdom that gave birth to two sons. The eldest was to rule, as was tradition, while the other married into a neighboring kingdom. The Princess of that kingdom loved the younger prince dearly and the arrangement was a perfect match. However, the eldest prince too needed to take a wife and he did. A princess with skin as white as snow and hair as black as deepest ebony. With flush cheeks and lips red as the rose she was given the nickname Snow White.

The now-King saw how Snow White’s eyes roamed to his younger brother’s form when he and his wife visited. And so, he conspired with his advisor to kill the Queen. For what use was an unfaithful wife? There were more than enough women who would take her place; being easy on the eyes was not worth the inevitable humiliation.

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Imagine being in a relationship with Gambit until he breaks it off because of his impending marriage to Belladonna. Heartbroken, you remain in New Orleans but rarely ever go out. After a few years and pressure from your friends, you go out to Bourbon Street and meet a handsome stranger named Loki.

30 Day Witchy Journal Challenge: Day 5

Day Five: If you use herbs in your spells/etc., list three that are safe, and three that are not. Name their correspondences as well.

*I won’t be listing what some may consider to be “traditional” correspondences, as I do everything very much based on my own interests and what works for me. Therefore, the correspondences will be listed based on what I find relates to each herb in my own craft.

Safe Herbs

1. Lavender: air & water, mercury & venus, sleep, peace, protection, healing, cleansing/purification, love, creativity, stars & constellations, beauty, mental clarity & balance, spring & summer, east & west, deer, butterflies, birds, bees, most winged creatures, Gaia, Freyja, dawn, afternoons, faeries, bath spells, Imbolc, Samhain, Litha, Beltane, the beach, sunny window seats, baths, bonfires, gardens, fields & meadows, forests, meditation/healing rooms, art studios, libraries, cemeteries, all moon phases.

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A ritual in preparation of making Flying Ointment in the morning. All the herbs are gathered on my altar and their spirits appeased with offerings of smoke and wine. The vessels and tools are all consecrated in the sacred names of those who dwell beyond the veil. On this Saturn’s day eve, during the waning moonand during the tide of the Dark Ones, I perform this rite.  May He who is the eternal black flame illuminate my way.