but here below is a list of the most common choices and their attributes. All below info belongs to the Bardwood Wandery, and the Bardic Institute.
Woods of Elemental Earth
Also called the Mountain Ash, and Quickbeam for its powers of bestowing and enhancing life, Rowan is sacred to Capricorn. It especially bears the power of the Dark Goddess, the Crone aspect of Mother Earth, and through her the power of fiery Abban, Vulcan, Lord of craft, mountain, and metalwork. Rowan flowers and bright orange berries are marked by the pentagram, symbol of the five Elements; the berries, often retained through Winter, symbolize the endurance of Life through the dark of the year. Also called Witchen or Witchbane Rowan has been considered the enemy of all evil witchery, and protects against one being carried off to Faerie against one's will. A tree of astral vision and protection, particularly good for warding off evil spirits, Rowan traditionally is said to avert storms and lightning, and bring peace. The fondness of songbirds for Rowan berries, gives the tree a link to the bards, and the Goddess Brigid in her role as Muse of poets. It is a tree associated with serpents and dragons and sacred places, the leylines or dragon-lines of Earth energy. The dragon embodies primal energy, a strong force of creativity and natural flow, which cannot be "slain" or "tamed". Indeed "slaying the dragon" in Christian legend is sometimes confused with modern technology's notions of dominion over Nature. Dragon energy is drawn into harmony when we enter into partnership with it through the erection of standing stones at intersections of the dragon lines, or by directing it in a Rowan wand. Rowan's power is doubled by the inclusion of a dragon-scale core when it is fashioned as a wand. Its Elvish name, Luis, comes from the root lu "time" also found in luras "to judge." Elves frequently hold their judicial assemblies under old Rowans. Especially suited for magick giving form and order, ritual, growth, fertility, protection, women's autonomy, poetry, weaving and spinning, and geomancy or work with ley lines.
See Also: Rowan Tree: Pyrus aucuparia
Sacred to Virgo and its ruler Mercury, planet of intellect and reason, Ash is a wood associated with many divinities. The number of its house is nine (thrice three). The Ash appears in Norse myth as Yggdrasil, the World-Ash or Tree of Life from which all the worlds spring. In this respect it is the pathway or bridge by means of which the wizard may travel among the worlds. Mystically, Ash signifies the Astral dimension and its myriad doorways. Beneath the World-Tree, Yggdrasil, the three Norns or Fates dispense judgment over gods and men. A dragon lives in the roots of the World Ash and an eagle in its branches; the goat of Odin feeds upon the leaves and turns that food into Ambrosia, the drink of the gods that provides immortality. Hanging upsidedown on the Ash tree, Odin drank of the spring of destiny at its roots and the runes were revealed to him. Tradition holds the Ash also to be sacred to Llyr and the Greek Poseidon, Lord of Sea, horses, and metamorphosis. Like the Sea-Goat Capricornus, Ash unites Earth and Water in the primordial energy in which all potential lies. Poseidon, Odin, and Thor each wielded a spear of Ash, symbolic of an irresistible magical Will and invincible protection. The Greek goddess Nemesis carried an ash wand as symbol of divine justice. With it, she ensures that fortune (good or ill) is shared among all people and not only by the few. Nemesis is also called "Nemesis of the rainmaking ash" identified as Andrasteia, daughter of the sea-god Oceanus.
One of the few surviving Druid wands of old, found in an archeological dig, was made of Ash with a sunwise spiral design, symbolizing Ash's links to the Sun. So generally magical is the Ash that it is the wood used for Yule logs and Maypoles, and in some traditions the brooms of witches. In the Alferic pantheon Olobaal, the Sea Mother, whose body moves with the moon is a feminine figure. She is the devouring Mother who consumes, swallows, and gives birth to all life. She is goddess of water, sea, and ocean, twin sister of Vashaan, the Wind Lord, as Poseidon is brother of Zeus. She is great and terrible when incited to Tempest by her brother; calm and beautiful when she is embraced by the Sun Obraash; fecund when touched by the Moon. She can take any form and is also a goddess of war. In Alferic tradition it is out of ash-wood that Olobaal fashioned her scepter and the haft of her magical harpoon. Thus, it may be seen that Ash is as much attuned to Elemental Water as Earth, and so is the consummate wood of growth and fecundity, mothers and daughters, and female sovereignty. It is a wood of balance and the marriage of opposites. Well-suited for shamanic magick, protection, and to enhance one's skills at any art or craft, magick of wells and caves, Earth as the vessel of water, finding roots or working with plant roots, magick of horses, oceans, conquest, justice, and weatherworking.
See Also: Ash Tree: Fraxinus excelsior
Sacred to Alban Elved (the Autumnal Equinox) because of its fiery red and orange colors as its leaves turn -- a bold celebration of the season and the cycle of death and rebirth. Poised on the equinox, it is linked to both Libra and Virgo, Hazel and Ash. Maple's sacred bird is the Great Horned Owl who is herald of the coming Feast of Samhuinn with its magick and mystery. The owl is a bird associated with wizards and wisdom, and the bearing of messages in the night. In North America, especially in its northern parts, the Maple is a dominant tree with many varieties, including the sugar maple from which maple syrup was made by the Native Americans. As such it is associated with the life-giving sap of the trees, providing food and sweetness for those who treat it with respect and care. Alban Elved is also known as the Feast of Mabon, dedicated to the reborn son-consort of the Great Mother. The Dying God is also the Giant Ymir of Norse myth, from whose body the world was made. Maple is a strongly masculine wood, somewhat rebellious and tough, but with a beautiful smooth grain; hard, yet excellent for carving. Well-suited to spells of sending and communication, binding, transmutations, creation, revolution, rebirth, healing, beauty, art, and abundance.
See Also: Maple Tree: Acer campestre
One of the tallest ancient forest trees, graceful in its chalice shape, Elm is sacred to the Great Goddess in her form as Wise Grandmother. She is the Qabbalist's Briah, manifest in the planet Saturn. Elm is also called "Elven" for its connection to the Elves and Faerie mounds, and so to burial mounds, and to death as the doorway eternal life. In recent times, as many ancient Elms have been killed off by Dutch Elm disease, the tree has come to symbolize and embody the struggle of Nature against humanity's destruction of the old forests through short-sightedness or the transportation of diseases from other parts of the world. Elm's spirit is majestic and expansive, rooted and wise. Well-suited to magick of Earth and invocation of the Goddess, healing, fertility, gardening, rebirth, destiny, wisdom., passage from one life (or phase of life) to another, metamorphosis, endurance.
See Also: Elm: Ulmus campestris.
Plum wood is not a wood expressly included in the sacred tree lists of the Elves or the Celts; however, it is closely related to its sister, the Blackthorn, which is known as a Faerie tree of dark omen, strong in protective magic. Sacred to Abban, God of Craft and Mountains, Plum is a fruit wood, and so bears powers of fertility but its thorns evoke powers of great reserve and protection, the setting of boundaries, and the ability to dissolve them. Abban, like the Greek Hephaestos, is a jealous spirit of creative fire, whose devotion to art transcends all other concerns. The wood itself is harder than Apple but has a similar creamy color, and the branches are tough, knotty, and thorny. Thus Plum is a consummate wand wood for the creative artist or anyone desiring to focus on magic that will enhance skill, overcome barriers, keep people or disturbance at bay, evoke toughness and persistence, patience, protection, and healing, especially of the blood. It is also well-suited for the divining of precious metals or minerals.
See Also: Plum Tree: Prunus domestica
Woods of Elemental Air
Hawthorn or Whitethorn is sacred to Aquarius and Vashaan, the Windlord, the Thunderer, whom the Elves call Valma. He is the Norse Thor and the Greek Zeus, god of Sky and storm. It is a tree of defense with its twisted branches and sharp thorns, and it holds the power of lightning. Some loremasters say it can detect the presence of magick because it is a tree in which magical powers enter the manifest world from beyond. Its sacred color is violet and it is especially attuned to this band of the magical spectrum with its focus on powers over other kinds of magick. Well-suited for all protective magick and all magick aimed at strengthening one's magical powers, spells of control, or warding, sending, detection, concealment, weatherworking. and protection against lightning and evil spirits.
See Also: Hawthorn: Crataegus oxyacantha
Sacred to Gemini, the Twins, lilac brings the root energy of expansion and growth, that underlies intellectual and spiritual prosperity. Such energy is the burgeoning of Spring flowers, sacred to the androgynous and quicksilver Mercury, whose domain is writing, speech, song, reason, and travel by sea, air, and star. Lilac is sacred to bards and its intoxicating fragrance bespeaks erotic and creative power. Galad comes from the root gal, meaning "gift" from which other words derive: galian "hospitality," agalla "sexual pleasure," gaelli? "delight," melengal "mystic union." All of which suggests the mysteries of gifts and giftedness, talent, and the communication of love through delight. Lilac wood is close-grained, creamy, and smooth, excellent for carving intricate interlace patterns. Well-suited to magick of union, attraction, enhancement of sexual pleasure, intellectual pursuits, imagination, information, mental concentration, travel, illusion, detection, divination.
Sacred to Libra and the Celtic goddess Arianrhod, called Shava and Ardiana by the Elves - the White Goddess of Stars and the Queen of Heaven. In Roman and Greek myth she is Venus and Aphrodite, goddess of love, but for the Elves she is the goddess not so much of carnal love itself, but of the enchanting power of beauty.. She is named Danu by the Celts, the grandmother, and is called Spider Grandmother because she created the starry net of the night sky. Her web is manifested in the twining limbs of the forest trees as they reach upwards in worship of her. Hazelnuts feed the Salmon of Wisdom in its deep pool. Its color is midnight blue, its stone lapis lazuli or blue sapphire. Its bird is the crane. Shava is considered the teacher of enchanters and all worthy wizards and bards are summoned to her table. Sacred to Shava, Hazel wood is imbued with magical power. Its nuts feed the Salmon of Wisdom in its deep pool. The hazelnut is also connected magically to the heart chakra. Well-suited to magick of wisdom, beauty, charm, love, stars, navigation, and creativity.
See Also: Hazel Tree: Corylus avellana
Sacred to the cross-quarter feast of Imbolc, which in the Elvish tradition, is the Feast of Shava, Queen of Stars. Yet it Cedar is also associated with the goddess Sezh or Persephone in her Underworld time, withdrawn from the mundane surface of existence during the season of snows. Evergreen Cedar is sacred, like Juniper, for the promise of eternal life. Its number is thirty, its color pale yellow, and its bird the goldfinch. Chakris recalls the Cedars of Lebanon, the wood from which the great Jewish Temple of Solomon was built. Associations with Solomon are, of course, always magical, that great king being legendary for his powers of magick and ability to bind spirits to his service. Cedar is a wood of protection and preservation. Imbolc or Oimelc is also, traditionally, the time of the lambing when the milk of the ewes comes, thus the linkage of the festival to milk, as well as to light. Chakris symbolizes and embodies the light in the darkness, and the brilliance of the Star Goddess in the inky blackness of the interstellar void. Cedar is especially powerful for clearing negativity from an area prior to magical work. The tree is also called Arbor Vitae, Tree of Life. Especially suited to preservation of sacred places, forests, and groves, dedication of sacred space for worship and magick, bringing of light out of darkness, star magick of all kinds, and summoning of helpful spirits.
Sacred to the Feast of Lughnasa and the Celtic Goddess Rhiannon, who is also one of Shava's masks, as Goddess of Stars and also of horses. Apple harvest comes on and after the feast of Lughnasa (August 1st) and marks one of the major foods of the Elves, often associated with the Faerie realms and the Isle of Avalon. Thus the wood has the power of Avalon and the immortality of the Faerie realms. The Q-rune is also called Quenda, in Elvish Eranor, which is the Rose bush whose bright colors evoke the spirit of light and love in the season of Lugh, or Obraash, Mellar of the Sun. Its sacred number is seventy; its sacred bird the rose-breasted grosbeak. Shamans and ancient poets are often described carrying apple branches as symbols of their office and the famous Silver Bough of Apple provided entry to Faerie. Especially suited to opening the doorways into Faerie, spells to do with horses or travel, illumination, enhancing any skill, love, harmony, and beauty, harvest, and magick of divine, shamanic madness or visionary experience.
See also: Apple Tree: Pyrus malus
The Linden, also called Basswood and Lime-tree, is the tree most sacred to the goddess Shava, who may be found in Celtic Arianrhod, and Greek Aphrodite: Queen of Stars and Love. Her nature is as much fiery as airy being the spirit of Divine Light. Linden wood is laden with the power of attraction that underlies not only love, infatuation, and harmony, but also the very fabric of the material cosmos in such forces as magnetism, adhesion, and gravity. It is a wood of truly cosmic power on every dimension and sphere of the Tree of Life. Linden is a very light, airy, and smooth wood, excellent for carving and capable of supporting fine details. Specially suited to star magick, spells of creation and transmutation, illumination, love, attraction, healing, enhancement of beauty and peace, and acts of enchantment.
See Also: Linden Tree: Tilia europea
Sacred to Mercury, spirit of intellect, thought, and communication and master of magick, incantations, and runes. He is also the psychopomp, guide of souls from one world to the next. As such, the evergreen Yew bears powers over travel between the worlds. In the Elvish pantheon, Mercury is Islaar, a shape-shifting, androgyne who is both the great Teacher and the mischievous Trickster. Patron of thieves as well as Poets and Seers, Islaar is a mystic power as well as the divine spirit of thought. As Trickster he is the inspirer of wit and eloquence. The Yew is the tree of the Ovate, the seer and healer in Druid tradition. As such it bridges the worlds and opens doorways into the Otherworld. Yew is especially suited to spells of transformation and transfiguration, illusion, astral travel, mediumism, necromancy, conjuration of helpful spirits, guides and ancestors, and also spells to bestow knowledge, eloquence, or persuasion.
See Also: Yew Tree: Taxus baccata
Woods of Elemental Fire
Oak (Duir, Dwyr)
The most powerful and sacred of Druid woods, Oak is magically linked to the constellation Leo. It holds power to draw lightning or the bolt of inspiration. The Sun, which rules Leo, is the source of life and light. Psychologically it is the center of the Self. Oak symbolizes all solar heroes, those who venture out from their homelands to achieve great deeds and bring home wondrous treasures. Oak traditionally provided not only one of the most durable woods for construction and fuel, but also the acorn from which the early tribes fed their pigs throughout the winter. Oak is one of the longest lived trees, thus embodying great wisdom as well as strength. The name Duir is related to dwyn, "door," or "portal," the great door of a manor dwelling. It is also, of course, often linked to drwyd, "druid" or "wizard." As the wizardwood, there is no more magical wood for wandmaking and it is especially noted for enhancing the endurance of spells against time and counterspell. The acorn is associated magically with a helmeted head and so to the crown chakra. Natural branches of Oak are often twisted and gnarly and have a coarse, dark grain. It is a hard and heavy wood. Especially suited to magick of kingship and wise rule, personal sovereignty, authority, power, protection, sealing or opening doors, endurance, and invocation of wisdom, fertility, and abundance.
See Also: Oak Tree: Quercus robur (The English Oak)
Associated with the Holly King who defeats the Oak King at Midsummer each year and reigns until the Winter Solstice, Holly is one of the most fiery of woods and second only to Oak for its sacred regard by the Druids. The Gaelic "tinne" is thought to mean "fire." It's rune in the Alferic Ogham is the same as the Futhark rune Tyr, and like that rune is associated with the Spear, one of the magical weapons of the Tuatha de Danann, and also of Odin. The spear is one of the prototypes of the magical wand, a phallic , yang instrument for projecting will and inseminating matter with life and creative seed-forces. Mars, or in Elvish the god Ambash, rules Holly. Ambash is also associated with the Wildman of the Forest, the untamable power of the forest depths and its procreative essence. It is associated with Midwinter, but actually reigns over the "dark half" of the year when the solar tide is waning, from Midsummer to Midwinter. Oak rules the waxing tide of the sun. It is calendrically associated with Capricorn as the Constellation presiding at the Winter Solstice; however, the Alferic tradition also associates it with Aries, a constellation ruled traditionally by Mars. Holly has been regarded as a powerful protective wood, good against evil spirits, poisons, angry elementals, and lightning. It is also associated with dream magick and fertility, and is well-suited for any magick dealing with the overthrow of old authorities, success in business or endeavor, or spells seeking progress to a new stage of development. Holly wood is very fine-grained, hard, and smooth, and almost ivory in color if it is not stained. It is a truly exquisite wood for wands.
See Also: Holly Tree: Ilex aquifolium
The giant redwood is the most magnificent of all conifers and its Elvish name, Thor, draws an association with the Norse god of that name, spirit of thunder, storm, and lightning. As an evergreen, Redwood is the embodiment of life and the assertive phallic striving upward to the sky. Its rune in the Alferic Ogham looks like a doubling of Tinne (see Holly above), a twin spearhead, barbed perhaps, and also resembling the stately conifer form itself. It is associated with the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, and the Centaurs. It is also associated with the Stag-god Orion, who in Greek tradition is the archetypal Hunter. Ambash, the God of Beasts is the Hunter in the Alferic tradition, but his counterpart, from whom he is inseparable, is Orion, the hunted Stag of Summer. The Stag or White hart is the magical animal of the deep forest whose appearance invariably leads the heroic hunter into some adventure in the Otherworld. Orion is in fact regarded as a spirit most closely linked to the planet Uranus and the Greek Titan Prometheus, bringer of fire and teacher of all arts to humankind, a spirit, as the poet Shelley argued, of rebellion and revolution. In Celtic tradition, the redwood itself does not appear, but Pine does and is attributed to Dionysus, another iteration of the Wildman. Magically, Redwood is excellent for drawing down power from Heaven to Earth, spells of religious seeking and discipline, spells of mystical union with nature and wild animals, hunting magick, the martial arts as spiritual discipline, and spells for innovation and sudden revelation. We usually use milled redwood for wands, which has a very broad and beautiful grain, is quite lightweight and soft, and which has a dark red color without the need of any stain. The wood tears easily as so is not well-suited to detailed carving.
Hickory is sacred to Obraash, God of the Sun, who is also Lugh and Apollo. His color is golden yellow, his stones citrine and yellow topaz. His sacred birds are the Phoenix and the peacock. Obraash is one of the principal fire spirits whose domain is kingship, the wise use of power, unification of peoples, and wholeness, both of the individual personality and of a society. Hickory is a hard and close-grained wood, with solar energies similar to Oak. Because of its durability, it is traditionally used for making bats, sticks, and clubs -- the primitive prototypes of the magick wand or royal scepter, signifying power to command and direct action. The Eranor word axara shares a root with axalla "majesty" and lex "crown." The hickory nut is linked to the solar plexus chakra. It is especially suited to magick of abundance, wholeness, power, presence, command, discipline, acquisition, giving of gifts, and the finding of direction.
Cherrywood is sacred to Ambash, God of the Hunt, of Beasts, and of War. He is also Ares, Mars, Herne, Teutates, Tyr. Cherry is sacred likewise to female deities of hunt and battle: Artemis, Morrigan. Cherrywood is red in color and darkens with age and exposure to the sun. Its companion stones are obsidian and sard. Its sacred bird is the Red-tailed hawk. The sound of the rune Oadha carries with it the aspiration of Thor (Redwood) and the vibratory qualities of Duir (Oak). Cherrywood carries the energy of the magical Will through which magical intentions are directed into the outer world of manifestation. Cherrywood is imbued with the power of making and doing, achievement, and self-assertion over obstacles and critics. It is the pure energy of Will and desire. The cherry fruit is magically linked to the root chakra and so to sex and birth: the life force of attraction and renewal. Its sweet-scented flowers evoke eroticism and the power of love in its more subtle forms as well as the essence of springtime with its powers of renewal. Especially suited to invocations and blessings of sacred fires, spells of finding, hunting, conflict, war, competition, sex, passion, communion with animals, unification of groups or tribes, and the amplification of magical will.
See Also: Cherry Tree: Prunus avium
Sacred to Vashaan the Lord of Winds and Lightning, Walnut partakes of Elemental Air and Fire. It is perhaps the consummate wood for weather magick. The shape of the walnut nut connects it magically to the head, and so to the crown chakra. Its color is turquoise blue, its stones turquoise, blue topaz, and sardonyx. Vashaan's sacred bird is the Eagle, particularly the Bald Eagle. The rune Yuin depicts the "First Swirlings" of the universe. It is the centripetal force of outward movement or expansion that complements Shava's powers of attraction. Thus Yuin has power over all magical acts of expansion: expansion of wealth, horizons, the mind, the feelings. Its scope is limitless and its age unfathomable. The nut of the walnut tree is linked to the Windlord's creation myth, in which his tempests shake the walnut tree so that the nuts fall to earth and are buried by the squirrels. From these nuts spring forth the race of Elves. So the war-helms of the ancient Sarith knights, the Shazarin, are shaped like half of a walnut shell. Vashaan is called by the Elves Valma, and is associated with the gods Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, and Vishnu. Walnut wood ranges from light to very dark and is well-suited to wand carving. It is especially suited for wind and weather magick, spells of expansion, vortices, enhancement of the powers of breath, spells to cast or avert lightning, teleportation and astral travel, and inspiration.
See Also: Walnut Tree: Juglans regia
Sacred to Obraash the Sun lord, whom the Elves call Alba, Beechwood is closely related to Oak. The Beech tree is a large and spreading tree that bears edible nuts. It was particularly valued by the ancient Celts -- and the Elves -- as a nut used to fodder animals, especially the sacred swine. Beech is the family of trees to which Oak belongs, thus is Beech sometimes called Atarya Dwyrion, "Grandfather of Oaks." The name Beech relates to the Germanic word for Book and tradition tells that beech wood was used to make the first writing tablets for the runes. Hence, Beech is deeply associated with learning and lore, and with the divinatory power of the runes. Like Greek Apollo, the Elvish Alba drives his sun-ship across the sky each day and passes to every world of manifestation, sources of light, beauty, and life. Apollo is also considered to be a spirit of youth, archery, and prophecy, the latter because of his conquest of the Pythian serpent at Delphi and subsequent assumption of the powers of the Delphic oracle. In Celtic tradition many gods are associated with the sun's light, among them Ogma Sunface, god of eloquence who created the ogham letters, and Oenghus mac Og, god of love and youth. The wood of the Beech has a superb grain that finishes most beautifully. The Elvish rune Sultan is the same as the Norse rune Sol, the solar rune which has also been interpreted to mean "victory." Magical operations especially applicable to Beech include: spells of information, especially seeking old wisdom; invocation of ancient guardians or Ancestors; research into old writings and the runes; magick of the Summer Solstice, culmination of desires; magick of victory.
See also: Beech Tree: Fagus sylvatica
Osier or Dogwood (Zallis)
Osier is a tree most sacred to Agni, the primordial Fire. Zallis is held, by the Elves, to be sacred to the spring fire festival of Beltane (or Agnianna as they also name it). Agni, who is not numbered among the twelve Mellarin, may be equated to the Celtic god Belinos (for whom Beltane is named). He is called Atarya Tulkazo, "Grandfather of Tulkas," who is the fire of passion, desire, and will. Agni is often considered to be a mask of Olan, the Great Spirit who goes before all and encompasses all. The Elves sing that Agni is the father of Shava, Star Queen, and also of Abban, the great subterranean Father of volcanic fire and the forge. The red-barked Osier is associated with fertility and sexual attraction. For Agni is not only the sacrificial fire, but also the fire of loins and procreation, the energy of bud and flower. The rune Zallis, shaped like an X, is considered one of the most powerful runes for magick invoking the protective and creative power of fire, and is often used alone as a sign for banishing disruptive forces and deception. By association with the Futhark rune Gifu, it also bears a sense of happiness and warmth, or comfort. The wood's name "dogwood" also carries associations with the Irish hero Cuchullain, whose name meant "the dog of Chullain" refering to his loyalty. This gives the wood magical links to the warrior heroism and superhuman physical prowess of the hero, and links to domesticated dogs, their healing and protection and their loyalty and affection too. Magical operations especially applicable to Osier include: magick of flowering; evocation of one's Ancestors; renewal of cycles of fertility; consecration of ritual or hearth fires; giving of comfort or healing, and spells of banishment and protection.
Woods of Elemental Water
Alder is sacred to the constellation Pisces, the Fishes. It is a wood which lasts a long time submerged in water and is often found on river and lake banks. When first cut its wood appears red like blood and so was traditionally viewed as ill-omened but this is an oversimplification. Its bloody appearance may have influenced Alder's popularity as a wood for warrior's shields in Celtic tradition. In Elvish Eranor Fearn comes from the root fe?, meaning "fey" or Faerie magic. This rune invokes astral protection as well as physical and can open the mind to the deep wisdom of the watery element in the form of dreams. It can protect one from the emotions of others, especially warlike anger or bloodlust. It is particularly potent for protection against drowning or disaster by storm or flood. Its use in bridges, half submerged, symbolizes not only its power as a bridge between worlds, but its mentality, amphibiously aware of the conscious and unconscious worlds, the above and below, the overt and the hidden. Fearn's ruling Mellar is Ulmaren, the Water Mother. Magical operations most applicable to Alder include: protection against drowning and death; death curses and shielding against them; shielding against all ill-omens and destructive emotions; cultivation of the vision of inner and outer worlds; bridging of the above and below; preparation for conflict; shielding against unwanted intrusions from beyond.
See also: Alder Tree: Aldus glutinosa
Sacred to the festival of Alban Eiler (Vernal Equinox). Its number is forty and its bird the white egret. In the Celtic Ogham Beith is accorded prestige as the first tree, one of the trees that emerges first to establish a new forest, a harbinger of youth and springtime. It is often associated with the beginning of the year, and in the Alferic tradition is linked to the beginning of the cycle of growth and renewal in Spring. It is a tree of beginnings in general and of the Bards, as the first grade of the Druid order. The Bards are according first honor as the singers of the Creation epics, those who sang the worlds into existence. Birch is also a wood with great powers to purify and discipline, to create the new forest in service to the great trees that will come after, such as the oak and ash and maple. Birch forest is young and so birch is linked to youth and all things new. It is especially suited to magick of new beginnings, spells of youth and fresh starts, bardic enchantment, creativity, procreation, renewal and rebirth, purification, and spells for discipline and service.
See also: Birch Tree: Betula alba
Sacred to the Moon, Omulan or Diana, Willow is a wood of the Water Element. Willow is a tree of emotion, love, intuition, and poetic inspiration. Awn is pronounced ahh-oon and is related to as the Druid term awen, the sacred word of inspiration. It is linguistically rooted to Eranor aw?, "inspiration" and hwenw?, "breath." Omulan is the White Goddess, who has affinities with both the Celtic goddesses Rhiannon and Arianrhod. She is the daughter of Shava and Vashaan, and sister to Islaar, god of magick and thought. As the Moon she rules the cycles of female life and becoming: menstruation, birth, and menopause. By extension she is mistress of hearth and home and all whatever is considered the traditional sphere of motherhood. As the great luminary of the night she also is Astarte, goddess of witchcraft and moon magick, which is to say magick that aims at transformation and natural harmony. Willow is especially suited to works of the New Moon, magick related to cycles of fertility or creativity, spells of glamour and bewitchment, change, relationship and female rites of passage. The Dark Moon, as it is called, is the time best suited for spells of dissolving and banishment, the time to get rid of old habits that no longer serve a good purpose in your life. Traditionally associated with witches, willow is the perfect wand wood for the ritual of "Drawing Down the Moon." As the source of salicylic acid, the main ingredient in aspirin, willow is also a wood appropriate for spells intended to remove pain and give comfort.
See also: Willow Tree: Salix alba.
Ebony is an exotic hardwood that comes from various sub-tropical climes. It is a wood that is used extensively for carving in Bali and in Africa because of its density and hardness. It is extremely difficult to carve, but the end result is a superb black wood (sometimes with lighter grain) that is very heavy and magnetically powerful. Ebony is not one of the sacred woods of the Celts, nor is it included in the version of the Elvish Ogham known to me. However, from working with this wood I have come to see it as a wand perfect for Dark Moon magic, those operations that seek to banish, dissolve, disapparate or cast off evil or outworn influences. The Elves tell me that it is a tree strongly attuned to Nienna, goddess of Memory and Forgetting, Joy and Sorrow. Ebony is quite a popular wood for wands, and is unquestionably very handsome. It's presence and energy is very strong, and so it is not a wood for the faint of heart.
Purpleheart is another exotic tropical hardwood that is readily available in milled stock. It is a wood with very long coarse fibers and so difficult to carve without splitting. This bespeaks the wood's sensitivity and flexibility. It is of a medium density and heaviness and can be finished to a lustrous smoothness which captures its remarkable purplish-red color. Like Ebony, Purpleheart is not a wood that has attached to it any Celtic lore, or Elvish lore that I am aware of. However, from my own work with this wood I have come to the conclusion that it is very well-suited for work with the heart chakra. This means that it is good for emotional as well as physical healing, for opening up the seat of compassion and generosity, and for any work involving the blood. Its color gives it attunement to the violet and ultraviolet frequencies of magick, which are those centered on control, especially over other magick.
Next, a crystal should be chosen. here below is a list of the common choices.
A type of quartz known as chalcedony with banded patterns of color. Almost any color can be found but often a dark brown with white or reddish bands is found. There are many varieties (see following). To agate has been attributed powers of protection, victory, attracting love, promoting fertility in crops, turning away lightning or evil spirits, finding buried treasure, curing insomnia, and giving pleasant dreams. Agate is said to reverse the energy flow of any chakra, thus removing blockages and illness. It gives strength to mind and body, increases balance and is useful when sudden bursts of energy are needed. It has been said to be useful in promoting marital fidelity and also in strengthening sight, analytical abilities, and perception.
Dark green in color. The Greek Orpheus said that to wear moss agate was to receive divine favor. To it is attributed powers of eloquence and persuasion, fertility, eternal life. It is associated with Taurus and Venus, and also Gemini. Moss agate is one of the most powerful healing stones. It protects and enhances the aura and aids in opening the "third eye." Useful for meditation, scrying, astral travel, and speaking with spirit guides. Well-suited for spells of wealth, happiness, long life, and to find friends.
This variety of agate is usually white with black, brown, red or green branchlike inclusions. It is a particularly Druidic variety of agate because of its association with trees. An idea reservoir stone for a wand intended for use in green magic related to agriculture, horticulture, arboriculture, or the preservation of the natural world. Forest magic and enchantments associated with the wilderness and its qualities with find a powerful aid in tree agate.
Not a mineral, but fossilized tree sap, Amber is not readily employed in our wands because it is hard to find in round shapes and is very fragile. A good substitute, from the standpoint of appearance is Honey Calcite (see Calcite below). Amber is, however, widely used in jewelry and highly prized for its connection to the ancient primeval forests. Famously, insects from the Jurrasic and earlier ages have been preserved in amber from the trees of that far gone epoch.
Purple or lilac in color and translucent, amethyst is traditionally given the power to avert intoxication. It is said to protect against evil sorcery and bring success and good luck. A powerful healing crystal, it calms mental disorders, purifies the blood, and balances all chakras. It is associated with the third eye, clairvoyance, prescience, and the ability to cut through illusions. Amethyst is especially suited to wandwork focused on spells of transmutation and transformation.
A dark Green type of quartz, sometimes called Indian Jade, it is a fortuitous stone used to release anxieties and inspire positive attitudes, good health, and independence. Linked strongly to Elemental Earth, it gives balance and calm. It is protective and can bring good luck in gambling, enhances creative visualization, writing, art, and music. Attracts prosperity and love, and unexpected adventures or incidents.
Green stone with red flecks like blood, this is another form of chalcedony, an opaque green jasper. Its old name was Heliotrope, signifying the turning of the sun. It is said to link the root and heart chakras, stimulating kundalini. It guards one against deceptions and preserves health. It creates prosperity and abundance, and strengthens self-confidence. Also can lengthen life, give fame, and invisibility, remove obstacles, control spirits, cause storms, and help in court cases. In healing it can purify the blood, remove toxins, renew friendships or love.
A soft stone, easily scratched, but lustrous in green, pink, blue, and many other colors, including the beautiful amber "Honey" calcite. The famous Carara marble of Italy is composed of calcite. It helps clear negative energies from the environment and the body, intensifies clarity, attracts love. Calcite helps sooth and calm the nerves, permitting one to focus one's attention more clearly. This makes it a particularly desireable stone for use in wand reservoirs.
An orange or reddish form of chalcedony, related to sard, bloodstone, and moss agate. Traditionally used to protect against the "evil eye," carnelian is said to fulfil all desires. It speeds all manifestations, revitalizes and aligns the physical and spiritual bodies, strengthens concentration, increases the sense of self-worth, brings career success, and balances creative and organizational abilities.
Clear, pale yellow variety of quartz which can be used in rounded forms for reservoir stones and in crystal form as wand points. The points, as shown at left, are usually white and golden yellow.. A highly solar stone, ruled by the constellation Scorpio, it is used as a talisman against intoxication, evil thoughts, overindulgence, snakes, plagues, and epidemics. It is useful for aligning one's ego with one's Higher Self, and for giving clarity of thought. Citrine has the power to strengthen one's ability to deal with difficult karma and opens channels of intuition. It may increase one's motivation, and creative energy. Finally, it is a good stone for spells of prosperity. Usually citrine points are in the natural state and irregular in shape. Occasionally, I can find one that has been cut and polished.
At left is clear natural citrine which I use from time to time in the reservoirs of wands. It is more transparent than quartz crystal and more brilliant. When subjected to heat, citrine turns more golden in color, but he natural, untreated stone is clear. Natural citrine points can also be found. It is said to transmute all negative energies rather than absorbing them.
More soft and breakable than quartz, translucent with brownish, golden, green, purple, or bluish stripes, flourite is connected to Pisces and Capricorn, and grounds excessive energy, mental, emotional, or nervous. A powerful healing stone for all chakras, good for cleansing the aura, flourite also aids communication with fairies and nature spirits. It enhances the understanding of abstract concepts, meditation, and study in general. It is an all-purpose amplifier of etheric energies.
A dark iron-gray stone with a metallic luster, which exhibits a blood-red color when powdered. Sacred to Mars, hematite has been worn to gain favorable hearings or judgments, to win petitions before those in authority, and to protect warriors. Associated with Aries and Aquarius, it energizes the etheric body and gives optimism, will, and courage. It repels negativity and gives strength to the physical and astral bodies.
Best known as apple green, Jade can also be white, pink, yellow, black, gray, or brown. There are actually two different kinds of stone called jade: jadeite and nephrite. Associated with Aries, Gemini, and Libra, jade strengthens the heart, kidneys, and immune system. It increases fertility, balances the emotions, dispels negativity, and gives courage and wisdom. Green jade is famous for producing vivid and accurate dreams.
A variety of chalcedony that is massive and fine-grained, it may take many colors, but is often red. When combined with hematite, it is called jaspillite. Bloodstone is a variety of jasper. Good for weatherworking, especially bringing rain, and for curing snakebite. Healing for stomach ailments, jasper balances all chakras, stabilizes energy, and protects from negativity, drives away evil spirits, hallucinations, and nightmares, and is generally a grounding stone. It builds up steady energy for long periods of time.
Not a single mineral but a magical combination of dark blue lazurite, hauynite, sodalite, diopside, white streaks of calcite, and specks of gold pyrite. Sacred to the Egyptian goddess Isis and associated with the throat chakra, it is useful for removing painful memories from the astral body or aura. Lapis lazuli is ruled by the planet Jupiter and is a stone of good fortune. It helps release tension and anxiety, increases mental clarity, creativity, and clairvoyance, helps overcome depression and aids communication with spirit guides.
Relatively soft, dark green stone with swirls and stripes of lighter green, malachite's color comes from copper. Reputed to confer the ability to understand animal languages, it is also valued as a protective stone, revitalizing to the body and mind. It repels evil spirits, inspires tolerance and flexibility, opens communication, and stabilizes energy. It is an excellent stone for creating through magical manifestation, strengthening the intuition and the power of transformation. Malachite acts as a psychic mirror, amplifying the energy one projects into it and drawing one into other worlds in meditation.
Known for its luminescent sheen, moonstones are used in jewelry and range in color quite a bit. They can be milky white or pale pinkish in color. Aside from obvious associatons with the Moon and the many deities which have been the personification of Earth's moon, it is particularly associated with the goddess Omulan or Rhianna, in the Elvish pantheon. According to the wise ones at Crystalshop.com in Australia, moonstone is "balancing, introspective, reflective and lunar. The energy relates to 'new beginnings'. A stone of hoping and wishing that allows one to absorb that which is needed from the universe. A stone of feeling, emotion. Travel protection."
A type of chalcedony similar to agate, except that it has straight rather than curved bands of color. Sacred to Saturn and Earth, onyx balances male and female polarities, gives spiritual inspiration, helps face past life problems and transformational challenges. It protects against black magic, evil spirits, and aids communication with spirits.
Black or White Onyx
When most people think of onyx, they think of the pure black variety often seen in jewelry. Black (pictured here) deflects negative energy. White onyx expands the imagination. According to the folks at Crystalshop.com, black onyx "can be used to banish grief, to enhance self-control, to stimulate the power of wise decision-making, and to encourage happiness and good fortune. It helps one to absorb, from the universe, those energies which are needed." Black onyx looks very similar to jet and to obsidian.
Perhaps the most generally powerful magical amplifier, quartz crystals are the most common stones for wand points. When rounded, however, they also make excellent reservoir stones. In fact amethyst, rose quartz, citrine, and aventurine all belong to the quartz family, but so-called Rock Crystal is colorless and transparent. It generates an electric charge when heated or placed under strain. Crystal balls are, of course, used for scrying, and ceremonial magicians have long used quartz points on their wands as magical amplifiers and aids to concentration. Ruled by the Moon, quartz crystal is excellent for meditation and communication with spirit guides, telepathy, clairvoyance, and visualization. For more on Quartz crystal in all its varieties see the Jewelry Art website.
Pink quartz is called the "love stone" and aids in healing the emotions. It aids in the development of compassion and love and reduces stress and anxiety. Enhances creativity and self-confidence through connection to the True Self. Connected specifically to the heart chakra, though by some linked also to the crown chakra and the pure celestial love accessible there. Excellent for healing emotional wounds. An ideal reservoir stone for a wand that will primarily be used for love spells and healing.
Grayish brown quartz which aids in discrimination, aids meditation by grounding and centering. It breaks up blocks and negativity, strengthens dream awareness, and aids contact with nature spirits. Very dark smoky quartz, called morion or cairngorm, is connected to the root chakra and helps transform dreams into reality. It is often a much more powerful magical stone than clear quartz.
Clear quartz containing thin threads of gold or titanium or asbestos, sometimes called "Venus hair" or "Thetis hair" stones. The rutiles are said to augment the transmission power and energy of the quartz. Associated with Gemini and Taurus, it enhances life energy, increases clairvoyance, transmutes negative energy, aids in communication with one's Higher Self, and increases the efficacy of magick. It is especially enchanting when light falls through the rutile needles in the stone.
Clear quartz with inclusions of black tourmaline, it is considered to have double the power of clear crystal. Sometimes associated with Libra, it balances all extremes and is a powerful grounding and protective stone. Tourmaline is a stone considered to be an aid to seership among shamans. It attracts inspiration and diminishes fear.
A pink or rose stone with thin veins or patches of gray or black, it is a good stress-reducer, calming the mind, and enhancing energy levels of both body and mind. It has the property of deterring unwanted interruptions on the physical or astral planes. Aids in keeping one's temper and reaching one's maximum potential. Quoting the dear wise folks at Crystalshop.com again, rhodonite "activates and energises the heart chakra and conveys the resonance of unconditional love to the physical plane. Displels anxiety and promotes coherence, observational abilities and attention to detail."
Striking green stone with light and dark hues and white or black speckles, relatively soft, associated with Scorpio, serpentine increases wisdom and self-restraint. It is said to protect against venom and has many of the same properties as green jade (see above). It is used to clear the channel of kundalini in the chakras in the Hindu tantric mysticism. I've recently discovered a striped type of serpentine from China. Very lovely and evocative of the layers of reality expressed in the chakras.
A variety of chalcedony or quartz with silky chatoyancy, yellow and golden brown stripes. Associates with Capricorn and Leo, tiger's-eye is a powerful protective stone, balancing emotions, and giving clear insight. It grounds and centers the user and strengthens the magical will. It also brings good luck and aids in seeing the truth. Especially good for protection against the Dark Arts.
A massive stone, not a crystal, turquoise varies in color. Sky blue, or greenish-blue and sacred to the Egyptian goddess Hathor, it is a powerful stone for weatherworking, protection, and prosperity. It has the power to build bridges between worlds, and is a stone of knowledge and seeking, highly prized among the Navaho of the American southwest. It is sacred also to the Elvish androgyne god Lir and so powerful for protection in astral travel and in communication, particularly articulation and expression of emotions, creativity, and intuition.
The crystal should be set in the pommel of the wand.
ALL THE WHILE THAT YOU MAKE YOUR WAND, YOU MUST POUR YOUR ENERGY INTO THE WAND.