Oh, my wand. My silly, silly wand. I think that my wand is a very accurate representation of how “bougie” I truly am. After all, wands are not exactly difficult to make. Even the most unskilled can take a walk in the woods, find some twig that appeals to them, bring it home, and snip it down to size. If they’re really adventurous, they can give it a little sanding. That’s about all it really takes.
Of course, in the 1990s when I was learning about paganism, wands were in their heyday of crazy. People were twirling copper wire in intricate designs all around their wants, threading beads on to them, dangling feathers from them, encrusting them with crystals, and all manner of STUFF. And then there was the multiple wand movement. People had wands for healing, wands to direct energy for love, wands to attune to fairies, wands that were directed for different elements, wands dedicated to deities…you name it, there was a wand for it.
I did not like this, so I did not get anything remotely resembling a wand for ages. Oh sure, sometimes I snagged a tree branch that called to me, but eventually my mom would think it was trash and throw it away when I wasn’t looking or they’d snap or the dog would start eating it (she loved tree sap). In general, the wand didn’t phase me much. My fingers directed energy pretty well enough for my purposes, after all.
Then, sometime around 2001 when the first Harry Potter movie came out, Pagan wands started to change. Even more naturalistic wands started to show more artistic restraint, and the crystals started to fade away or become more tasteful in application. What really became popular, though, were lengths of wood that had been artfully turned on a lathe. Thanks to companies like Alivan’s which made high-quality, intricate “Harry Potter” style wands for the film aficionados, these pieces became sought-after items among the ‘muggles’, and pagan artisans began trying their own hands at making them.
My wand is of this sort. I got it at the 2006 Indianapolis Pagan Pride Day festival, I believe. I don’t even remember who the vendor was, other than he was a young man maybe 5 to 10 years older than me with a wild head of hair and a beard. The wand wasn’t expensive–maybe $25, though I seem to recall $15–and it was perfect. It’s not a tiny little wisp of wood, like so many of these styles have become, the handle fit my hand exactly, the length didn’t give me any trouble and–best of all–I immediately felt it focus my energy. I’ve never had that instant connection before. It certainly made an impression.
I didn’t make this wand. I don’t even know what wood it is (though I suspect dowel rod pine), and it doesn’t have a single magical embellishment. But it is still utterly perfect for me.
Now that I work with the Hartwood Grove, I’ve been using my wand less and less as my go-to energy directing tool in lieu of my athame, but I still appreciate my old “swish-and-flick.”