Wicca Academy

Wands 101: How to Choose and Use a Wand

A wooden wand with a clear quartz tip laying on a wooden plate next to a white candle

February 7th, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes

A witch’s wand is one of the most important tools in a Wiccan’s arsenal. It usually sits right at their altar, ready to direct and amplify their intentions during spell casting rituals. But how does one go about obtaining a wand?

Well, that depends on the type of wand you’re looking to get. Generally, wands are made of natural materials like twigs, crystals, and other similar items. However, some of them have components you’d have to purchase, such as glass or metal handles or shafts.

With that being said, let’s take a moment to discuss the practical use of a wand as well as how you can make one at home.

What Is the Purpose of a Wand?

An altar on a wooden stump featuring a pentagram, a wand, runes, and a green sphere crystal

Most non-Wiccans know about magick wands from fantasy books and movies like the Harry Potter series. But obviously, these tools have a much different purpose in real life. Sadly, no one has the power to escape their problems with an incantation and the flick of their wrist.

Of course, that’s not to say that real-life wands are any less magickal! As we have previously mentioned, wands are used to focus and project energy in a certain direction or toward a specific object. They can also attract energy, but their purpose and power depend on the intentions of the spellcasters who wield them.

Ultimately, like any other tool, wands perform optimally in the hands of a skilled practitioner. They are, first and foremost, conductors of our intentions and magickal energy. However, their properties and strong points may vary depending on the materials that were used to make them.

What Are the Different Kinds of Wands You Might Use?

An assortment of wands that are decorated with colorful threads, crystals, and flowers

If a witch practices a certain kind of elemental magick, they might want their wand to reflect that energy. Fortunately, most people seem to agree that the interpretation of a wand’s elemental connections is up to the caster.

For example, some people say that wands are connected to the element of air because that’s the medium in which they operate. On the other hand, earth witches would say that their wands are connected to the earth element because they’re made of natural materials. Alternatively, some might interpret that their wands were connected to the fire element because they used fire to create it. In the latter two arguments, the materials a wand is made of play a big part in establishing their purpose.

With that in mind, let’s go through a few of the core ingredients that go into making wands. To begin with, let’s look at how people use different woods for wands.

Wood

An assortment of ornate wooden wands

Wood is the most common material people use as the base of their wand. If you decide to make your own wands what type of wood should you use? The answer depends on many different factors. For one, you might consider what you’ll be using the wand for and choose according to the purported effects of the wood.

For example, oak has strong defensive properties, but it brings luck and longevity to your casting as well. Birch, pine, and alder wood also have protective, cleansing, and grounding powers. Additionally, pine and cherry tree wood might help the caster clear their mind.

If most of the spells you cast have to do with attracting love and friendship, you should use beech, maple, or willow tree wood as your base. Beech would also work for attracting job opportunities. But if you’re looking to summon prosperity and abundance in a more general sense, go for maple, apple, or alder tree wood.

On the other hand, if you really want to use a wand that will work with your energy, use your birth tree. Alternatively, you could opt for your Celtic zodiac tree or another tree you have a strong natural connection to.

Of course, if you’re making or purchasing your very first wand, you might not want to put in all that effort. In that case, just go on a nature walk and pluck any attractive stick from the ground. The only requirements are that it be firm and dry, without any soft spots. If you don’t have access to nature, buy one that you feel drawn to. Later, if you decide you like casting with a tool, you could go back and look into the magickal properties of your birth tree.

Metal

An assortment of metal wands

Metal wands are also fairly common. Most of the ones that are available for purchase are simple, though many also have Celtic knot engravings and other embellishments. The decorative touches can be added all along the length of the shaft or just at the ends to signify where the tip of the wand is.

Before you get your own metal wand, you might want to consider the magickal properties of the materials that will be used to make it. Like trees, different metals can affect your casting in ways that are unique to them. For example:

  • Gold is good for spells designed to enhance beauty and attract love and abundance
  • Silver amplifies psychic abilities and is a great metal to use if you frequently practice moon magick
  • Steel is good for healing and protection
  • Tin may help you with divination spells and for attracting good luck
  • Copper is great for attracting love and abundance
  • Brass is good for encouraging communication and casting protective spells
  • Zinc can help with banishment and protection spells as well as attract love and prosperity

Unlike wood, though, these materials aren’t readily available in nature. So you’ll have to purchase them ready-made. Still, there are ways to add personal touches after you get the wand.

Crystals and Stones

A wooden wand with a clear quartz tip laying on a purple geode crystal

Many casters love adding crystals and gemstones to their wands. In addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits of using crystals on your wand, these stones can also elevate its magickal properties. If you wanted to add a gemstone to your wand, it could be one you have a personal connection to. Alternatively, you could go by their color or magickal properties. Namely, you should choose:

  • Amethyst or labradorite for strengthening intuition and psychic connection
  • Jade, aventurine, or tiger eye for good luck and wealth
  • Citrine for summoning financial prosperity, job opportunities, and abundance
  • Ruby, pink tourmaline, or rose quartz for casting any kind of love spells, platonic, romantic, or self-directed compassion
  • Garnet for energy, health, and self-love
  • Black onyx or obsidian for protection, strength, and cleansing

If you can’t make yourself choose, clear quartz should work for all kinds of spells. That stone has a major part to play in any kind of manifestation or intention-setting magick.

Now that you’re familiar with the basic materials you’ll be using, you probably want to know how to assemble your wand. So let’s talk about it!


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How to Make a Witch’s Wand

Wood and purple crystals

While you could purchase a magick wand online from a store, Etsy, or Instagram, it’s great to make your own casting tools when you can. Having a strong connection to the wand will make your spells that much more powerful. And at the end of the day, doing these DIY projects can be pretty fun too!

Gather Your Materials

An assortment of magickal materials: wood, cinnamon, and crystals

If you find the idea of making a wand intriguing, start by gathering materials. Before you head out into nature to seek them out, clear your tools and your mind of negative energy. If you have clippers or a knife for cutting branches, use your preferred method to cleanse them. You could also do a short meditation session before you step out.

Assuming you’ll want a wooden wand, you should probably get to a wooded area. Once you do, find a tree that speaks to you. Remember, that doesn’t have to be your birth tree, any tree you feel a connection with will do.

If you don’t find usable branches on the ground, you should ask for the tree’s permission before harvesting a branch. If you receive it, be as gentle as possible when cutting and leave behind some kind of offering. You can always thank the tree by giving it some water. But don’t discount the wood you find on the ground just because it’s a bit misshapen — your wand doesn’t have to be ramrod straight.

In any case, after you find a sturdy branch that’s at least half an inch thick, you can gather some other materials while you’re out and about. Loose feathers, pine cones, leaves, and even flowers (though you’ll have to dry them) can all make wonderful additions to your wand.

Cut and Shape Your Base

Twigs being carved into wooden wands with a knife

Before you start shaping your wand, you might find yourself wondering about the general size and shape of a witch’s wand. How long are wands supposed to be, anyway?

Well, most casters would want to avoid creating an unwieldy wand. Therefore, you shouldn’t make yours any longer than 15 inches. At the same time, your wand shouldn’t be shorter than 6 inches. Take that information into account when you go to cut the branch.

When you bring the materials you’ve gathered home, you’ll have to let the wood dry before you start shaping the base. Leave it near a wood burner or in a warm, dry room for about a month or longer. Some Wiccans wait to assemble their wands during certain Sabbats or moon phases.

When you get to the task, you’ll want to strip the bark if the branch is too rough naturally. Many wandmakers remove the bark from the shaft to use the surface for engravings but some leave the handle part of the wand rough. You can do the same thing, make it as polished or as rough as you’d like. If you prefer the polished look, apply a coat of clear gloss when you finish sanding your wand.

Decorate the Wand

Two wands decorated with quartz crystals on each end

After you shape the wood, you can start using it as a wand immediately. However, if you want to enhance its powers or simply embellish it a bit, you can:

  • Add the other materials you’ve gathered in nature
  • Use twine or ribbons to hold other materials or incorporate knot magick
  • Attach crystals by gluing or twisting them on with a metal wire
  • Paint parts of the wand to utilize the symbolic properties of the color you choose
  • Engrave runic symbols you’re closely connected to
  • Attach personal items or family heirlooms like rings, necklace chains, or earrings to the wand
  • Add metal parts like wires, screws, etc

These ideas use the aforementioned materials to enhance the wand’s power. However, none of them are necessary. And in any case, you can always add these embellishments to your wand over time.

Establish a Connection

A book of shadows with lunar spells surrounded by an assortment of wands

Before you start using your wand, take a moment to familiarize yourself with it. Try meditating with it in your hand or sleeping with it on your bedside table. Additionally, you could perform a consecrating ritual to cleanse the wand of any negative energy it might have picked up along the way. Doing these things will make any wand feel more personal. There’s some question as to whether Wiccans should practice with more than one wand. Some say that you should only have one, while others use different wands for different spells. But like most of the things we’ve discussed today, that will ultimately be a matter of personal preference.

Check out our other articles:
Sigils for Newcomers
Jar Spells Made Simple
Candle Color Meanings
Get to Know Your Familiar
Kitchen Magick for Beginners
Moon Phases and Simple Rituals
See All Articles

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