In our tradition the Stang represents the Horned God Cernunnos in his aspects of protector, destroyer and life giver.
Robert Cochrane is commonly thought to be responsible for the introduction of the Stang into Wicca. Cochrane founded the Clan of Tubal Cain 1951 – 1966 a British Mystery Tradition. He called himself a “cunning man” or witch, and was an important figure in neo pagan witchcraft. Cochrane founded a religion called Cochrane’s Craft which some believe is a form of Wicca. Others believe that Cochrane’s Craft is a distinct and separate faith because he was openly opposed to Gerald Gardner and Gardnerian Wicca.
The word "Stang" is derived from the Anglo Saxon term staeng or steng which translates as pole or rod. A traditional Wiccan Stang is a staff, shoulder height in length, with a fork at the top resembling the horns or antlers of the male animal. The Stang is used as a greater magickal weapon of fire and represents the Horned God and the male aspect of nature.
In other traditions such as Raven Grimassi’s Strega the Stang is used as a tool portraying the Goddess.
The Stang is also symbolic of the World Tree with branches in the Upper World and roots in the Underworld with the trunk running through our Middle Earth. The Stang represents the channel between Sky and Earth.
It is a physical representation of the Goddess, the God and their Children. One fork is the Goddess; one fork is the God and the shaft, their Children.
The Stang can serve as an altar without anything else commonly used on altars. Symbolically the Stang can replace the Chalice (forked yoni) and the Athame (the shaft). The Stang is physically a Staff, which means it functions as a Wand and its base is often thrust into the ground, which completes the list of Elemental Tools, the Pentacle.
The fork (yoni) represents the Goddess, while the God is represented by the shaft (lingam). So, the Stang also represents Their Union, the Great Rite within Wicca.
Standing in or behind a cauldron, it reminds us of the greatest of all mysteries, the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Stang Consecration Herbs
Fennel: corresponds to Dionysus. Powers of protection, healing and purification
Pine: corresponds to Pan, Dionysus and Loki. Powers of healing, fertility, protection, exorcism and money
Ash: corresponds to Poseidon. Powers of protection, prosperity, Sea Rituals, and health
Bay: corresponds to Apollo. Powers of protection, psychic powers, healing, purification and strength
Cypress: corresponds to Mithras and Apollo. Powers of longevity, healing, comfort and protection
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Please note that Robert Cochrane was never part of Wicca and, in fact, thought little of Gerald Gardner and the early Wiccans. He created the Clan of Tubal Cain which practiced Traditional Witchcraft, not Wicca. In addition, Raven Grimassi practiced his own form of Italian Witchcraft and not Wicca. So neither introduced the stang into Wiccan practice. The only mention of the stang as part of Wicca is in Scott Cunninham's writings. Scott was a student of Raven Grimassi and learned about the Stang from him. although some may have adopted the Stang as part of their practices, I have never encountered any Wiccan Tradition that did so routinely.
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