By Isabella @TheWandCarver
As discussed yesterday in What Wood is Best for Making a Wand – Part One, here is a short explanation of which woods make the best wands for certain situations. Again, I don’t hold strict adherence to any of them for everyone, apart from two as you will read. I do realise that which wood for a wand is entirely the preference of the sorcerer. Still, there are many only starting out who may be interested in a guideline of what might work best for them. Not to mention, it could be helpful in any kind of wood research.
Laurel: Masculine energy. Air/Fire. Laurel trees are most closely associated with Greek mythology [Daphne and Apollo]. Laurel is a symbol of resurrection because of the plant’s ability to be revived after a drought. A sprig of Laurel was worn in England for protection. Its powers therefore are mainly about strength, protection, rebirth, and prophesy. It is a strong wood in its abilities and should not be used without due care, still, it is a good tree from which to make wands from beginners to seasoned sorcerers.
Linden: Feminine energy. Air. Linden is a dream to carve. She is a gentle beauty whose strengths are attracting love, balancing energy, and neutralising negativity. Linden is wonderful for any spell work to do with breaking hexes and clearing negativity from your life or someone else’s. Linden is a protective wood as well, and very protective of her sorcerer. I would highly recommend this as a first wand. And, any sorcerer would do well to have a Linden wand in their repertoire, no matter how established.
Magnolia: Feminine energy. Water. Magnolia is a tree which has its beginnings in the southern United States but since has been naturalised in the UK and possibly other parts of Europe. The Magnolia was also cultivated in China for the flower buds from which tea is made. Magnolia’s bark has a healing and calming effect on people. It is a good wood to use for a healing wand. It is also a marvellous wood for using in divination and doing ancestral work or seeking past lives. As a matter of fact, I have created a Magnolia witches stang for “walking the hedge”. Magnolia’s strengths also include love, protection, self-awareness, and truth. She is so gentle, yet so strong that I recommend Magnolia to beginners and seasoned sorcerers alike.
Maple: Masculine energy. Earth/Air. Another tree naturalised into the UK, most of what we find about Maple is information more directed to those in the US. Still, we can use the magickal information interchangeably to a degree, depending upon the kind of Maple. Maple is excellent for work to do with longevity, abundance/wealth, divination, and love and we have made many a Maple wand for different “levels” of “experience” sorcerers. It works well for all experience levels.
Oak: Masculine energy. Air/Fire. Oak is a wood I have much experience with. Not only do I have an Oak wand – amongst the many I use – but I have created many Oak wands over the years and find it to be hard to carve but the results are always worth it. It is a wood that speaks to me freely as I create the wand; It directs my design. Oak has many powers which make it a good wand for many. Amongst those are work in ancestry, healing, longevity, luck, wealth, strength, and success. The Celts saw the Oak as a tree of divinity and Druids would not meet without an Oak tree present. Yuletide is when the Oak King takes over from the Holly King and Oak is the traditional Yule log. No one can go wrong with an Oak wand and I highly recommend this wood to any sorcerer.
Olive: Masculine energy. Air/Water/Earth/Fire. If you are fortunate enough to live where Olive trees are readily available to you, don’t hesitate. It is said that picking an Olive branch brings prosperity and happiness, therefore, you may cut an Olive branch without fear of bad things happening. Be sure to thank the Olive tree, however. Olive is a wood of abundance, balance, healing, longevity, prosperity, rebirth, and success. It’s not a wood I have had the pleasure of working with, still, I recommend it to any sorcerer who wishes to use it.
Rowan: Feminine energy. Earth/Fire. Rowan is a tree loved by many, me included. It is, after all, a tree honoured by the Goddess Brighid whom is well-loved by many and used by the Celts when reciting magickal incantations. Rowan is notably most associated with protection but is also healing, lucky, and a wood of blessings. Rowan is one of the Nine Sacred Woods. Rowan is most suitable for protection in any ritual and most notably during astral travel/hedge riding. It is a fabulous wood for healing spells and contacting the Elementals. My opinion of Rowan is that if you will only have one wand in your possession, make it a Rowan wand. It is most suitable for any sorcerer.
Sycamore: Feminine energy. Air/Water. My first wand. Sadly, I no longer have it but that has been well over forty years ago. Sycamore associations include abundance, immortality, love, protection, rebirth. It is a wood to use when in need of comfort from the world. Can be used in ancestry spells, money spells, protection spells. It is a very strong wood and would be an asset to any witches’ wand collection.
Willow: Feminine energy. Fire/Water. Willow is a lovely lady. She is known for healing, knowledge, protection, wishes, birth, and intuition. Willow is also one of the Nine Sacred Woods. Willow is a generous tree/wood to its sorcerer. Willow wands are best used in love rituals, raising moon energy, contacting faeries, and trusting your intuition. A wand wood for all sorcerers.
Yew: Feminine and Masculine energy. Air/Fire/Water. Another wood from which I have a wand. Its attributes include ancestry, change, communication with the dead, divinity, immortality, longevity, rebirth, and strength. Yew is the wood associated with the crone. It has been said Druids used/use Yew for their wands. Yew is very poisonous so take every precaution in making a Yew wand – gloves, respiratory mask, long sleeves and trousers, as well as safety glasses. Most particularly when sanding the wood, it is important not to breathe in the sanding particles. And when you are finished, put all tools [cleaned] away and be sure to clean up any bits left on your workshop floor. Do not under any circumstance create your Yew wand inside your home and especially if you have pets for, they will succumb to the poison as well. I cannot put too fine a point on the safety of your work with Yew. That said, as a hedge witch, I use my Yew wand when riding the hedge/communicating with my ancestors and particularly on All Hallows Eve as one of my protections and for its ability to help me connect with the dead. This is not a wand wood that I recommend lightly nor, will I recommend it to anyone whom is not very advanced in sorcery. It will, I can vouchsafe, be a reliable and loyal wand in the right hands.
This concludes my analysis of the best woods to use for wands at any level. These are only for guidance, but I must plead with you to take my advice to heart on Blackthorn and most particularly, Yew. I will never claim to know everything, for that is impossible, however, I have both woods as wands and I know them as well as the back of my hand. I only make this plea with your safety and well-being at heart. And, of the two, if you must, choose Blackthorn over Yew until you are firmly established in your path.
Many thanks for reading and I hope it gave you some proper insights to help you choose – whether it is your first wand or your tenth. If you missed it, here is Part One from yesterday. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes