There are so many trees! Many magical traditions speak of one tree
or another. The Celtic calender is well known, for instance, and
the Greek and Roman gods are often associated with trees. The
Norse god Thor belongs to the Oak, Baldur to the Yew, Frigga to
the Birch. These magical correspondances are spoken of on each
page that shows the wands in that wood.
The Oak tree symbolizes the growth energy of the Earth and Sun,
Royal Majesty, and the force of Truth. It is the tree of the Kings
of the Gods- Odin, Zeus, Jupiter- all thunderbearers; perhaps
because the Oak's roots reach so deep, it tends to draw Lightning.
In Celtic traditions, the Oak is the tree of Lugh the god of Sun
and light, and the Queen of the celtic goddesses, Brigid.
The Oak is, of course, closely connected with the Druidic
Tradition. It is the sovereign tree of England. There is a
tradition that no king of england will be legitimate unless he
sits on an Oaken throne. The great Druidic magician, Merlin, and
the later Magus John Dee, both wielded Oaken staves and wands. Oak
is a grounding wood, and I like it for Children's wands, for that
reason, offering the gifts of stability and strength to the child
as he grows.
If you are born in the month of May, an Oak wand might be just
right for you. Oak people are determined, self-motivated,
enthusiastic and responsible. They are gounded people, who can
stay calm in a crisis. Although serious minded, they are cheerful
and optimistic in the face of opposition, and do not give up
Oak comes in nearly as many colors as there are trees. Its
reactive nature can be exploited by an old alchemical process,
which creates an magnificent rich black color. This is not a
stain, but a chemical change within the wood itself; Every detail
of the grain is visible, in all its intricate beauty. A careful,
meditative look at your wand will reveal streaks of black, brown,
even pale yellow, in the darkened wood
Ash is a big grained, generally light colored, yellowish wood. The
fibers have a peculiarly translucent quality, that at times seem
opalescent. I look for the whitest peices for this reason, but Ash
can also be a warm, dusty brown. -The Ash tree symbolizes the
Solar forces, Health and Strength, flexibility, and justice. Ash
trees grow exceptionally high, and their roots go very very deep.
For this reason, Ash links the Three Minds; the concious,
Subconcious and Superconcious. The Nordic World Tree, Yggdrasil,
is an Ash tree.
Birch is a beautiful tight-grained hardwood that cuts cleanly and
is wonderful for whittling, if you are inclined that way.
Magically, Birch is the Queen of the Woods, Beloved of Freya. The
heartwood can be very dark red, while the lumber wood can be very
white. Symbolically, this wood is The Maiden and Mother. The sap
of the tree can be tapped and fermented into birch-wine, the milk
of the Great Mother. The Birch is the protector of childbirth, the
Cradle of The Child and keeper of peace.
The Rune "Beorc" symbolises birth, and beginnings of all sorts. I
like to use Birch wood for wands for young children, for this
reason, especially the Prism wands.
But this wood is not for women and Children alone. The great
Thunderer, Thor, made the handle of his hammer from the Birch
tree. For men, Birch becomes the helper, the hilt of the sword. It
creates an interface between the magician and his tools.
This wood comes from several varieties of fruit trees; Flowering
Cherry, Fine cherry, ChokeCherry. The wood is finegrained,
somewhat soft to carve, with wonderfully variegated grain showing
many shades of red, from foxy to cinnamon, Rose to Burgundy.
American Cherry wood is deeply associated with the particular
energies of the North-eastern American continent and the histories
of the nations upon it. This lovely tree is one of the first to
flower in the spring, and symbolises the health of the earth, and
the joy and bounty of nature. The rich color of these woods will
continue to deepen and grow richer as the year goes by. Cherry,
like any flowering and fruiting tree, is beloved of the faery folk
and so is eminently suitable for wish making; This wood just
buzzes with joyful energy!
The evergreen trees- Pine, Spruce, and Fir- are naturally
associated with immortality. The essential oils and resins from
these trees are incredibly useful medically, and add the magical
property of purification. The tall shape of the growing tree gives
it the magical association of male fertility. Its elements are
Earth and Air, dieties associated with it are Mars, Pan, Dionysus,
Sylvanus- Masculine, woodland energies
My fir wood comes from the salvaged beams of a house built 120
years ago. Back in 1880, the trees being logged for lumber were
Old Growth- the tree might have been four or five hundred years
old when it was cut! The reddish color is natural, and will deepen
Spruce and Yew branches are available from time to time. This is,
of course, the tree most associated with the Winter Solstice, or
Yule- Christmas trees!
Apple is symbolic of peace, plenty and joy, and sacred to Venus.
It is a relative of the Rose and I use it for any correspondance
that calls for Rose wood (Not Rosewood, that's a different tree)
Elm is a beautiful and much loved shade tree. Our trees are
affected by a blight now, that has decimated the biggest trees
across the continent. It does not kill the roots, however, and
shoots spring up from the trunks of the trees- regenerating
itself. Once the shoots and saplings reach a certain height
though, the blight attacks them again. Elm is considered a Border
Tree that marks the boundaries betwen this world and others, and,
because of the blight that affects it, is associated with death
and rebirth. Elm can protect against danger from unknown
directions and shadow the user against discovery. Elm is not
commonly cut for lumber. My wood came from a small tree that was
bulldozed by a construction company- I made the workers drag it to
my backyard! After a year of drying, I am able to present this
interesting and poignant wood.
Fine Walnut, Black Walnut: Golden to dark Chocolate brown; Walnut
is sacred to Diana. It symbolizes abundance and growth and
learning. The dark color of the wood allows a link with the
subconcious, while the fruiting tree signifies prosperity and
abundance- so this wood is good for a tap into the creative mind.
The willow I can get is too soft to turn, I can only use it in the
whole branch. There are varieties that can be worked- In England,
Cricket bats are made from it. My willow is corkscrew variety, so
the wands are serpentine and irregular. Willow is the Lunar wood
of choice, water element, feminine energy.
THE TREES OF NORTH AMERICA
are understandably, unremarked in the European Tradition. The
information I give here is based on the little I find relative to
Native American traditions, and my own work in correlating the
tree's characteristics with other energies and smbologies.
This is an uncommon wood, and I don't know when I'll see more of
it. The Butternut is a close relative of the Walnut, with it's
Dianic and Mercurial associations, but the golden color gives it a
solar, rather than Lunar correspondance. This particular wood came
to me from an orchard in Minnesota, where the trees were well over
100 years old. The boards are so light they surprise me when I
pick them up, and the wands are exceptionally light in the hand.
The first magic wand I made from this wood was for a woman with
wrist damge, who didn't want to tire her hands out! The grain of
this wood is finely drawn in gold, tan and black- looking like the
hairs of a tabby cat. Not all butternut looks like this. I have,
therefore dedicated this particular tree, and the wands that come
from it, to Bast, the Cat Goddess of the Egyptians. Bast, or
Bastet, is a goddess of Maternity like her ferocious sister
Sekhmet, but represents love, pleasure and joy rather than the
The Maple tree gives us delight. For many peoples ts sweet sap was
the only source of sweetness, And the radiant colors of its Fall
foliage are a joy to the eye. I say that the Maple is Mother
Nature's skirt of many colors, and so it symbolizes the beauty and
bounty of nature.
The wood is very regular in density, and light in color. The grain
can be regular and straight, or it can be wildly idiosyncratic. A
wonderful varient is caled "Tiger" or "fiddled" Maple, with
spectacular shifting rays of satiny grain This wood is often
almost paperwhite. This particular wood looks more like Starlight
than anything else. I correspond this wood to the energies of the
Prized for its great strength and flexibility, Hickory is
well-known for its use in a magical tool of another kind- Baseball
bats. Humble tools like hammers and brooms rely on the endurance
of Hickory wood. This hero among trees gives us gifts also- the
oily smoke that flavors our barbeques and preserves dried meats,
and the hard-to-crack hickory nut. This native of our continent is
especially suitable for American born wizards! Known even in
American vernacular lore as a tree of strength and abundance, and
therefore ruled by Mercury, Hickory represents the storm energies;
Driving Rain, Strong Wind, Lightning and Thunder. It symbolises
the "brainstorm" type of thought and learning, that seems to hail
down upon you from above.
Pecan is also called "Papershell Hickory" and is a close relative.
In the lumberyards, Pecan and Hickory will be sold
interchangeably, but I keep mine seperated. Pecan trees grow much
taller than Hickory, they are truly majestic. As the nuts are so
much more abundant, and the wood is a trifle softer, I consider
Pecan a "Yin" (feminine) counterpart to Hickory, sharing all other
The Eastern tree is consecrated to Hera, the Great Queen of the
Greek gods. I see no reason not to continue the tradition here in
the U.S. It's not the easiest wood to work with.. but what woman
is? its color ranges from paperwhite to a rosy color that fades
Exotic woods have a secondary magical correspondance that overlays
any other; that they are exotic. Symbolising the rarified heights,
the search for Wisdom, the fruits of Endeavor, the successful
Quest, woods such as Ebony, Mahogany, PurpleHeart, and Teak all
have their extraordinary beauty and virtues.
PURPLEHEART, OR AMARANTH
Yes, that delicate violet shade you see is the natural color of
this wood. It is as beautiful as a fairy tale- and as strong as a
factory beam. What a potent combination for magical workings!
Called Purpleheart here in the states, it's also called Amaranth
in Central America, where it comes from. Amaranth is very heavy,
dense and strong and in Mexico it is often used for the beams in
bigger structures, like factories. So, Purpleheart denotes a will
of steel, hidden behind a delicate facade, like Cinderella, or
Joan Collins- or Prince Andrew. Willpower lightened with elegance,
grace under pressure- an excellent wand for a prince, princess, or
diplomat. You must take care with this wand, and put it away out
of the sun between uses. The color will fade in UV rays, turning
mahogany brown- a lovely color but not nearly as magical as the
violet of the fresh wood. I slow this process down considerably
with a UV protectant finish.
A tough wood with a great deal of natural oil, it is highly prized
by shipbuilders. Oddly enough, though, the wood is so dense in its
green state that it will not float! The lumbermen have to girdle
the tree and wait for it to dry naturally. Only then is it cut
down. When treated in that way, the cells are empty of liquid and
light enough to float.
There are some interesting magical correspondances for Mahogany.
It's possible that the Celts knew about the new World. They spoke
of a land called Hy Breasil "The land of the red-dye-wood". Brasil
may be named for this Celtic myth; the center device on the
Brazilian flag, a circle with a channel across the center, is the
symbol for Hy-Braesil on early maps. Let me tell you, Mahogany can
really dye things red! So, I feel that Mahogany is perfectly
suitable for anyone with Celtic leanings....
(Rosewood is available very rarely as recycled wood. It can be
purchased as lumber, but there is no proof that this wood is being
managed in any ecological fashion, and I'd rather not contribute
to its rarity.)
Rosewood is the name of a large group of trees, not all of which
are species related. They all are known as "rosewood" for the
sweet smell of their flowers and leaves, and also the wood itself,
a warm sweet scent like Pipe-tobacco. Rosewood Oil is prized in
Aromatherapy as an anti-anxiety medicine.
The wood is extraordinarily beautiful. When first cut it shows as
a variety of tones, from pearly white to black. It changes color
nearly before one's eyes, first turning sunflower yellow, then
orange, and it continues to darken and intensify. Old Rosewood is
deep red, brown and black in color. This process takes a while-
from several months to several years, and I know of no way to
hurry it up or stop it. As you can imagine, Rosewood corresponds
with the Queens among the goddesses; Venus/Aphrodite, Hera/Juno.
I just recieved a gift of several branches of this wood. The color
is amazing while it's fresh-White, with rasberry streaks and
heartwood lines, and the scent is wonderful! The aromatic Cedar is
known from the earliest days, as a powerful conduit for Spiritual
Energy, both for Gods and Goddesses. I especially like to use it
for Isis tradition tools.