What Wood is Best for Making a Wand, Part One

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Choosing the wood that you want for a wand is 100% a personal decision. Many people don’t feel the need for a wand but for those who do, I hope I can give you some insights on which woods are best for which job.  I say this because most of you probably already have a personal wand which you use for the majority of your magickal workings, however, many people use a variety of wands depending upon what will give the most direct help to their spell work. So, this  will be a bit of a guide more than a blog and I hope you find it useful in helping make your choices.

The Holly King
Handcarved Holly wand by Isabella

Another point – no pun intended – in purchasing a wand is, when you buy a “hand-turned” wand from some manufacturers you are buying a wood block which has been machine turned.  Yes, they are beautiful, but anyone can have one just like yours [or Harry Potter’s!].  Wood is wood, many would say, however, it has always been my opinion that the branch of a tree is best for directing power rather than a block of wood from the trunk of a tree.  And many handmade wand crafters, me included, can make a wood branch look as though it were turned on a lathe.  Case in point, the Holly wand I created strictly by hand with a Stanley knife a few years ago.

On with the purpose of this blog.  I have listed several woods which I am most familiar with along with a short explanation of what their best attributes are as in a wand.  I hope you find this helpful.

Apple:  Female energy. Air/Water.  Apple wood is the wood Shaman and Bards once used for a staff with a bell attached in their travels. The Apple tree is strongly linked to the holy isle of Avalon, and it is also linked to Merlin.  It is one of the nine sacred woods.  It is a protective wood and excellent for keeping order.  A very good wood for any sorcerer.

Ash:  Male/Female energy. Fire/Air.  Most associated with Yggdrasil, the World Tree according to Norse mythology.  Druid wands were often made from Ash because of the straight grains.  Closely related to sea magick, this would be a good wand wood for a sea witch, but as importantly, for anyone.  Protective, healing, communication, and love divination are Ash’s best powers.  Good for beginning sorcerers.

Birch:  Feminine energy.  Water.  An American hardwood also found in the UK and Europe. One of the nine sacred woods, Birch is traditionally used as the staff of the witches’ besom/broom. It is a powerful wand for protection, healing, love, and purification.  A very diversified wood that would be a good wand in any sorcerer’s collection.

Blackthorn: Masculine energy. Earth/Fire.  Called “The Blasting Rod”, it is a fierce wood which is used in many cases to banish.  It is also loyal to its sorcerer and very protective.  Blackthorn is the balance between light and dark.  Both “good” magick and dark magick are easily performed by the holder of the Blackthorn. Divines well for strength and truth. Best for seasoned sorcerers.

Cherry:  Feminine energy. Fire/Water.  Cherry is an eternal life, healing, and longevity wood, making it perfect for a healing wand.  If you are so inclined to do healing work, Cherry is a very good choice. It can also be used in prosperity and protection work, but I feel it is best suited for healing.  A beautiful wood and recommend for seasoned healing workers.

Chestnut:  Masculine energy. Air/Fire/Water.  Chestnut does best for healing, love, and prosperity magick.  It is a very strong wood and  is considered useful in longevity magick and for banishing spells.  Best for those with experience and seasoned sorcerers.

Elder:  Feminine energy. Air/Fire/Water/Earth.  Called “Lady Ellhorn”, the Elder symbolises the Goddess’ roles as life-giver, death-wielder, and transformer.  Has been traditionally associated with death.  It is also a wood  associated with abundance, prosperity, healing, and a knowledge of magick. A light wood with a spongy centre, it is quite easy to set a crystal into.  Any sorcerer can use Elder with success, but always give respect to the Lady of the Wood.

Elm:  Feminine energy. Air/Earth/Water.  Elm is another wood associated with death but also with rebirth.  It is also associated with wisdom, intuition, empathy, grounding, and endurance.  It is a wood which will serve its sorcerer faithfully and I have no problem recommending to any serious sorcerer, no matter whether learning or seasoned.

Hawthorn:  Masculine energy. Air/Fire.  Along with Ash and Oak, Hawthorn is considered one of the Faerie Triad.  It is a very protective wood and whilst very strong, a bit less harsh than is the Blackthorn.  A good tree for wishes, used as a “Cloutie” tree with strips of cloth tied to it for villager’s wishes to come true.  One of the nine sacred woods.  In my opinion, it is a wonderful wood for beginner or seasoned sorcerer.  Along with Ash, it is a wood you can’t go wrong with.

Holly Keppen
Holly Keppen wand by Isabella

Holly: Masculine energy. Air/Earth/Fire.  Holly has a many storied past and is one of my favourite woods to work with as it seems to guide my hands in shaping the branches into wands.  Sadly, I only have no Holly wand in our shop presently.  It is a wood of courage, divinity, intelligence, guidance.  It also has been associated with death and rebirth [The Oak King and Holly King]. It is one of the Nine Sacred Woods in the Beltane fire.  It is the wood of the dark half of the year and evergreen.  It teaches rebirth. For all Holly’s strength, I recommend this wood to any sorcerer, beginning or seasoned, for I find it a gentle wood for all its strength still, it will be mighty when needed to be.

This concludes my synopsis of the recommended woods for wand-making this week, however, pop by next week for Part Two.  Keep in mind these are only recommendations and I’m not telling you what wand you must have because I know my Sisters and Brothers well enough that they will have what they want 😊 I always welcome comments and answer quickly.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

The Magickal Ash Tree

Originally posted on speakingofwitchwands.net on 07/10/2013 by Isabella

by Isabella @TheWandCarver


Photo by Damien Gayle, www.dailymail.co.uk

Gender:  Masculine; Planet: Sun; Element: Fire

Sacred to Uranus, Poseidon, Thor, WodenNeptune, Mars, Gwydion

Magickal Powers:  Protection, Prosperity, Sea Rituals, Health

The ancient Teutons regarded the Ash as “The World Tree“, which was their conception of the Universe, and therefore revered as such.

Ash has been used in many magickal ways over the centuries.  Sailors of old carved an equal-armed cross from Ash to carry whilst at sea to protect against drowning.  Ash is used in many sea rituals as it represents the power which resides in water.

The leaves of the Ash can be used to encourage prophetic dreams by placing them under one’s pillow or in a sachet.  The leaves may also be scattered to the four directions to protect a house and/or property.

The Ash tree, as are many trees, is considered to be very protective.  A staff (such as a Shaman’s staff) carved from Ash, placed over a doorway, wards off malign influences.  Ash is also said to ward off snakes, as they will not crawl over its wood.  However, Ash attracts lightening, so please don’t stand beneath one during a thunderstorm!

Ash wands (which we do make!) are often made for healing.  Ash wood is burned at Yule to receive prosperity in the coming year.  Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you can burn Ash chips  from resealable packets which are sold on our Etsy shop  in an incense to achieve the same result.  Ash is also used in poppets for all the various powers it brings.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

*Some information is from Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magickal Herbs, by Scott Cunningham 1985-97, Llewellyn