A seeker should read more, read widely, research, experiment, and question everything and everyone – including the “Masters”. Many of us are spiritual refugees from culturally powerful mainstream religious institutions that claim to be the “one true right and only way.” After rejoicing in our newfound freedom, and glorying in our rebellion, we then attempt to find the “one true right and only way” on our new path, only to run into contradictions that confuse and/or frustrate us. The scary – or the freeing – thing is that there is no one true right and only way. What one camp says won’t work, actually works very well indeed. The trick is to use common sense – which doesn’t appear to be all that common. Any source that claims that wands must be made from 3000-year-old bog oak, dredged on a black moon, carved on a new moon, consecrated on a full moon, and tipped with tanzanite wrapped in purified copper is probably the principal shareholder in the company that sells that precise item for $200-500 a pop!
It would be so much easier if the wand really did choose the wizard. However, while that particular aspect of the Harry Potter books hasn’t yet materialized in this world, there is another aspect that has made a welcome appearance. The idea of a wand core that contains something from another living being is really quite marvelous. Thanks to the popularity of the Harry Potter series, the number of wand makers has grown exponentially, and some of the more clever ones carry well-made wooden wands that you can take apart in order to insert your own core. My daughter has such a wand that she filled with her own hair, as well as that of her special cat and her favorite goat. She says that this wand really works, and I believe her, because she has filled this instrument with something of herself and what she loves. Therefore, it is a tool of power for her.
Depending on whom you ask, wands are used in ritual either to cast the circle or to direct energy. Some say it all depends on the intent of your working. If your working is one of banishment, protection, or the seeking of justice, then a sword or an athamé might be more suitable. Then again, if the image in your mind is of Gandalf and the Balrog, or Dumbledore creating the tunnel of fire, then a staff or a wand is the obvious choice. While the witch chooses the wand, J. K. Rowling is right about one thing: Just because it’s in our heads doesn’t mean it isn’t real.