My first published book came out about a year ago now. Wandlore: The Art of Crafting the Ultimate Magical Tool (Llewellyn, 2011) is the first full book-length treatment of the topic of wandmaking. Far more than a few instructions on how to whittle as stick or paint a dowel, this book presents everything I have learned about wands in thirteen years of practice as a professional wandmaker. The chapters are organized thematically around the four alchemical elements and the Quintessence, each of these correlating to an aspect of the art.
Part One gives a history of wands and explains their meaning as a symbol of the wizard’s will or agency. As an agent, the wizard acts upon the astral dimension of things, and through the astral body effects change upon the mundane material plane. I discuss the Will and the element of Fire, as well as the nature of the dryad spirits of the trees that reside within a wand.
Part Two is dedicated to elemental Fire and details the magical properties of twenty-seven trees, those which I most commonly use for wandmaking. These trees are categorized according to the alchemical elements, some trees embodying the qualities of Air; others, Water, Earth, or Fire. All of the trees are treated in the “Fire” chapter of the book because all trees represent the life-force and will that strives upward and roots downward, bridging Earth and Heaven.
Part Three of the book is given to elemental Air and treats the intellectual work of the wandmaker — designing the shape of the wand and its symbolism. The four parts of a wand are explained with their elemental correspondences and functions. Choosing symbols to be carved on the wand as well as inscriptions are discussed in detail.
Part Four is given to elemental Earth and not surprisingly discusses the use of stones and crystals in wandmaking. The craft side of setting stones into wood is demonstrated step-by-step with photographs. The magical properties of twenty-seven stones are discussed at length.
Part Five of the book is given to elemental Water and the spiritual dimensions of the carving and inscribing process, the stages of shaping, smoothing, and finishing a wooden wand. Photographs show the process I follow and suggestions are given here for some of the many options one has when bringing one’s design into material manifestation.
Part Six is devoted to the Quintessence, that spiritual substance from which the four elements emerge. The final stage of wandmaking is to enchant the wand. I share my own ritual process and discuss the visualization of wand cores. My own enchantment process usually includes the astral body of some part of a mythical spirit-beast and I show the reader how to actually work with phoenix feathers and unicorn hair, not as in Harry Potter, but as a real wizard.
Those instructions into enchantment are not intended to teach the novice how to do magic, but may serve as a guide. A certain dimension of talent is necessary both in the act of enchantment and in the handling of carving tools.
Overall, Wandlore is a book that is about more than just making wands. It presents my own views on the magical arts and the importance of magic wands in the symbolic working of the Art.
Throughout the book many illustrations complement the text, including a center insert of color plates illustrating different wand styles. You can buy Wandlore through Amazon.com or through your local metaphysical book store.