The Pagan Basics series is for those looking to find out more about the basic concepts, symbols and values of paganism. A series of short articles which give explanations to some of paganism’s most fundamental concepts, images and shared understandings.
The manipulation of magical energy is a central part of many Craft-based paths, and there are a number of tools available for the witch or magician to use for this purpose. The athame is probably chief amongst these – particularly in Wicca – but the ritual dagger carries a symbolism and purpose that might be deemed unsuitable for certain situations. In these cases, those conducting a rite might instead choose to use a wand.
It’s likely you’ve just had a mental image of Harry Potter or one of his friends shouting something in dubious Latin and causing weaponised sparkles. That’s not how it works (and don’t believe a word of it when pagans tell you they don’t wish it was).
A wand can be plain or decorated, and can be commonly made from many different types of wood. it can vary in length, although sizes are often 8-20 inches long. The construction of the wand may be important in itself, some pagans prefer to make their own, and others prefer to purchase a finely crafted one inset with crystals or other items, it’s a very personal choice. The woods used to make the wand are commonly given different attributes, so imbuing the final wand with the same. You may find that you end up having more than one, either for different purposes, or once you have studied further, that further wands suit your growing knowledge base.
In ritual a wand can be used to focus energy and intent, perhaps to consecrate a ritual space, direct healing intent, or cleansing energies and focusing them to where they are to go.