Book Review – The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague

Book Review
The Witch’s Guide to Wands
A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague
Published by Weiser Books
Pages: 243

“The Witch’s Guide to Wands” is the reference book Gypsey Elaine Teague had been trying to find – one that explained the properties of the woods and metals from which wands are made.

“You would not use a holly wand for a new moon ritual any more than you would use an ebony one for a full moon. If you want strength, then you would use oak and reserve the willow for resilience and survival spells,” Teague writes, explaining one tool is not used for every purpose.

“As witches, we are very specific about our spells and our rituals,” Teague states. “We demand the finest tinctures and oils, the purest herbs, and if possible, we grow everything ourselves. We fill our bookshelves with tomes that explain in detail each and every ingredient that will go into our brazier, but when it comes to wands, the books usually say, ‘walk among the trees and find a piece of wood that suits you.’ Really? ‘Suits you?’ Would you dress for ritual in whatever suits you without some research or discussion?”

A woodworker, she describes how she turns or fashions wands, sandpaper grit and the oil she uses. Nowhere are there instructions to do the same. Rather, readers are told, “not just anyone can make a wand. A wand is a sacred tool and should created in a sacred way. … In conclusion, find a wand maker you trust. Then allow your wand to find you. Both you and the wand will be happier and more successful for the experience.”

Based on her knowledge of plant science and ethnobotany plus years of magical practice, Teague gives the common name, order, family genus, species and hardness rating for each wood. Its energy (masculine or feminine), history, metaphysical properties, its element (earth, air, fire, water), and the deities associated with it are presented for acacia to zelkova. There is also a discussion of the general characteristics of each such as reasons for use, areas it can be found, myths, spells and cautions.

She makes no attempt to standardize the length, width or shape of a wand – other than it be thicker at the base than at the tip – explaining “the wood will call out its own ultimate shape.”

Part three of the book is comprised of six pages dedicated to the wands used in Harry Potter’s world.

The appendixes contain lists of woods organized by use and deity. There are also lists of woods noting sexual energy and elements.

The subtitle states, “A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing and Using the Right Wand.” I think of it as more of a reference for materials that comprise a wand. Considering the first line of the introduction is “The wand chooses the witch, the witch does not choose the wand,” I can’t help but wonder why I would need to know what’s in the book when I need just run my hand over wands in protective bags.

The book gets a 4.1 out of 5 by 27 customer reviews on Amazon.

About the author Gypsey Elaine Teague

Gypsey Elaine Teague is the Branch Head of the Gunnin Architecture Library at Clemson University as well as a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors, an Elder and High Priestess in the Georgian tradition, a High Priestess in the Icelandic Norse tradition, and a High Priestess and originator of Steampunk Magic. Teague is published in a number of areas and presents nationally on Steampunk history, literature, and popular culture.

The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand on Amazon


About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.