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Staff Making: Bamboo Staff

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Here's some information about making a bamboo staff that can be used as a tool in your magick practices.

So you want to make a bamboo staff. First, you'll need a bamboo pole. You can either buy precut and dried bamboo online, or you can find somewhere local that bamboo grows and cut some down yourself. I was luck enough to find a pole that was already fallen and dried, even though it had a few cracks. When looking for a good pole to make your staff, make sure that the bamboo is healthy and not infesting with bugs or rotting anywhere. You'll want a piece of bamboo that is a little taller than you, and a comfortable holding thickness. You'll also want to make sure that you are allowed to cut down and take the bamboo from the area you found it in.

Once you find your desired bamboo, you'll want to use a saw to cut it, because it will most like be very thick and hard to cut down. Make sure you ask the bamboo before you cut it down. Connect with the bamboo's energy when you ask; if you feel any negative feeling about cutting down this stalk of bamboo, it's most likely the bamboo's way of telling you that you cannot cut it down. If that's the case, kindly thank the bamboo for letting you know, and find another ideal stalk. When you find a stalk that allows you to cut it down, thank the stalk then try your best to cut the length you need without damaging the rest of the stalk. Don't worry if you cut down a little longer than you desire, you can always cut it to your desired length later.

Bamboo talks 6-12 weeks to dry fully. While it's drying, you'll want to make sure that it's not laying directly on the ground if you're drying it outside. Keep it out of direct sunlight while it's drying or else the bamboo will crack. You'll want to turn it over every 15 days or so to help the drying process. You can either cut the pole to your desired length before or after it dries.

Once your bamboo is dry, you might want to sand it down if there are any spots or surface blemishes. Do this during the waning moon, and concentrate on 'banishing' and negative energy from the bamboo.

During the waxing to full moon, you'll want to infuse the staff with your own energy as well as put any type of protective coating on it. It's best to use a natural coating. Tung oil is good to use, and will give the wood a slightly darker tint. If you want to use something a little more protective, mix 1 part beeswax to 2 parts tung oil in a saucepan. The amount of each item depends on the size of your staff. As a reference, 2 cups of beeswax to 4 cups of tung oil is plenty to stain both sides of a standard door. Put the saucepan on the stove at medium-low heat. Stir the mixture with a metal spoon until the beeswax melts and the oil appears to have an even consistency. While stirring, make sure to discharge the mixture of any negative and tainted energies. You'll want to stir it counter clockwise to dispel and negativity or impurities. Remove the pan from the heat once the beeswax melts. To apply it, wrap a clean rag around your index finger and dip it in the tung oil and beeswax mixture. Allow any excess oil to drip back into the pan. Rub the oil on the wood using the rag. Apply the oil with the grain of the wood, rather than against it. Dip the rag back in the oil each time it begins to feel dry. Allow the oil to set for 30 minutes then wipe the wood surface with a clean rag to remove any excess oil. Let the oil set for at least 24 hours or until it feels dry and apply a second coat. Apply a total of three coats of oil to the wood. It's important to allow the oil to dry between each coat. Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area, and note that the tung oil may smell bad for a few days. You can coat your bamboo staff with this mixture, or just with tung oil, either before or after you charge the staff with your energy.

If you want to use some other type of sealant or protective coating, go for it! Just try to avoid anything that's unnatural or heavy in chemicals.

You'll want to charge the staff on the night of the full moon. If you want to create a ritual of it, then by all means do so. If you'd rather just go outside under the full moon and meditate with your staff, you can do that too. Infuse your energy into your staff however you feel comfortable doing. After you've infused it with your energy, and you've put whatever oil, protective coating, or decoration on your staff, it's ready for use!

*Please note, the recipe for the beeswax/tung oil wood sealent is not mine, I got it from http://www.ehow.com/how_7948914_diy-natural-wood-sealant.html.

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