There’s a reason the Magician, card number one, holds aloft a magic wand.
A wand is a symbol of will. Of intention, directed. Of your personal power, the magic you hold, focused and intentional. As the archetype of initiation, the Magician’s wand is a symbol of their ability to make something happen.
In the ubiquitous Rider Waite Smith image, the Magician holds their wand high, pointing to the sky. The other hand points to the ground. They’re asking the universe for help, drawing down power and energy from *out there*, channelling it through their body, and bringing it down to earth, where it can be manifested, and made real. It’s about creating action from desire – the manifestation of will. Which you can definitely call magic. (And heck, after last week’s election result we could all do with some of that right now.)
More generally in tarot, the wand also represents the element of fire. It’s the passion in you that makes you believe in the things you do, that makes you do the things you do. It’s the burning heart of your creativity and your power to manifest the things you want. It is the power of fire to create and to destroy, to purify, to clear out the old and make way for the new.
Pretty damn cool!
You can use a magic wand in spells, to direct energy here and there, to ask for help from the universe (just like the Magician). You can work with it before doing something difficult or scary, to help focus your intention. You can place a magic wand on your altar to represent the magic you want to make, or a project you want to bring into action.
Good news: it’s pretty easy to make a magic wand!
The simplest wand is simply a wand-shaped implement. You may have the perfect thing lying around your home! A knitting needle, a pen, a pole. If it feels right to you, you can make it your wand. And off you go to make magic!
But, if you’d like to get a little more creative and make a wand yourself, here’s how I made one:
- A suitable branch
- Paints or inks. I used India ink for mine – it’s water resistant and light-fast, strong and bright, and easy to paint with. This wand is a colourful one, but I also made one using only black inks.
- A decent brush or two
- A sharp knife
Begin with the tree. First you’ll need to find a tree with suitable branches. Where I live, rowan (mountain ash) trees are very abundant, which is one reason I chose to make a rowan-wood wand. They’re also considered a deeply magical and sacred tree. I feel like the rowan tree has been very present in my life this year and I wanted to honour that with this wand.
Talk to the tree. Ask for permission to take a little wood for your magic. Listen for its answer, and say thank you if your request is granted.
Choose a branch that is as straight as you like, and a thickness that you prefer. Cut carefully and cleanly, using a pair of sharp secateurs or a small saw. Don’t damage the tree unnecessarily by hacking or tearing. Cut your branch to a length that feels right for you. Feel its weight in your hand. Feel how it brings the power of that tree into your life.
You can cure your wand by drying it out for days, weeks or even months. Or, you can get to work while it’s green and full of tree magic.
Now you can begin making your wand!
If you’d like a pointy end to your wand, you can carve a point using a sharp knife:
Paint your wand! You might go for big bold stripes, symbolic designs, bright colours or one shade. Make it yours:
You can also cut ridges into your wand to create patterns:
It’s up to you if you want to embellish your wand further. My friend Ed wrapped foil into the ridges he had carved, which looked awesome. You might want to add a rope or string handle, or tie charms onto your wand. It’s your magic!
Et voila! Your very own magic wand to help you make all of your wishes come true.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.