“A walking stick or staff of blackthorn wood was considered a badge of witchcraft and was sometimes burnt with the malefactor in the 17th century.”
Magicians and wizards were often seen traveling with a long rod or staff, which could double as a walking stick, to aid them on their journeys. The branches of the blackthorn tree was one of the types of wood used to create walking sticks. The folklore surrounding blackthorn included the ability to protect the bearer from being attacked by evil witches and their malicious spells.
Magical wands made from wood are often cut to the length of the healer’s forearm, either as measured from the inner elbow to the end of the finger tips, or from the inner elbow to the base of the palm. Some traditions use a predetermined length of 21 inches for all magical wands. Wizard’s staffs, which can also double as walking sticks, are commonly made between 50 and 60 inches tall. These magical wands and staffs can be made from a variety of materials.
Wand and Staff Materials
In addition to blackthorn, a variety of other trees are traditionally used to make magic wands and staffs.
Ash (Fraxinus spp.) – ash wands were thought to be capable of warding off attacks of harmful magic.
Elder (Sambucus nigra) – the elder tree was supposed to provide protection from witches in addition to granting great healing powers to whoever possessed it. Wands made from this material could also be used to summon up storms as it was believed that lightning would never strike an elder tree.
Elm (Ulmus spp.) – the wood from this tree was supposedly the material of choice of Medieval magicians for making their wands.
Hazel (Corylus avellana) – hazel wands are good to use for nature based magical workings and are thought to offer protection against witchcraft.
Oak (Quercus robur) – oak wands were thought to be good to use for god based magical workings. Thor, a thunder god, was associated with the oak tree. Magic wands and staffs constructed with this wood gives one protection from lightning.
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) – AKA mountain ash, the wood of this tree was associated with a variety of protective properties including the ability to keep evil spirits at bay.
Willow (Salix alba) – willow was another good material to use for magic dedicated to the goddess. This material could also be used as a magical amulet and provided protection against disease and thunder.
Yew (Taxus baccata) – yew was a powerful magical material which had associations with both life and death.
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