The image of the magic Wand symbolizes the force of pointed will which bends and in some cases, creates unimaginable potential. The elements of sexuality related to this phallic object date back to ancient times where it was recorded that the phallus routinely transformed into a writhing serpent possessing a semidivine pleasure principle.
However, the wand as staff is most prevalent in written history; the sturdy axis toward heaven and God which equates balanced leadership the measure of its lowest focal point, under which, all men and women serve a common cause. Accordingly, we need to determine the full intention of the magic wand in our dream landscape and who (if not ourself) wields the stalwart staff.
The wand is the symbol of authority and of second sight. Such powers might come from God, they might be Devil-given, the magic wands of wizards, sorcerers or fairies. Without his wand, the seer would be unable to trace either on the ground the circle in which he stood to summon the spirits, or in the sky the square in which he would observe the flight of birds. Wands, especially those of hazel, used to be employed to dowse not only for wells, but also for mineral or other deposits.
The wand was the Celtic instrument of magic above all others and the symbol of the druids’ power over the elements. The Ulster druid, Sencha, had only to wave his wand to silence utterly all those around him. However, it was more usual for the druid or file to touch a person with his wand and change the latter into some creature, generally a bird such as the swan, or a pig or wild boar. In the seven grades within the Irish bardic order, the doctor or ollamh was entitled to a golden wand, the file of the second rank to one of silver and the other grades to bronze wands.
Palomancy is the art of fortune telling by the use of small rods or wands and was not only practised throughout the East and in China, but in Germany as well. It was customary ‘to strip the bark from one wand and to retain it on another, so that they could play the roles of heads and tails’ or else to preselect one as the mark of a good and the other of an ill omen and then, ‘when they fell, if one lay above the other the significance of the uppermost was the one accepted’.
Rhabdomancy (foretelling the future using a stick), palomancy and dowsing undoubtedly all have the same distant ancestor for, since wands and staves all come from trees, their use on the human level must surely be that of the hand of God, since God merely had to touch something to give it shape or create it. Similarly, the magic wand will change something from its existing shape, as Circe’s guests were changed into swine when she touched them with her wand, and the pumpkin from the kitchen-garden into Cinderella’s splendid coach. The magic wand is the badge of an individual’s power over material things when that power is derived from the superhuman.
In the Old Testament account (Numbers 17) of the budding of Aaron’s rod, the rod itself symbolized a group and an individual with whom it was identified. When the rod budded, the family itself was regarded as prospering. Furthermore, once it had been distinguished by its budding, it symbolized God’s choice and the authority invested in the family which he had chosen. This authority made the chosen person an intermediary between Jehovah and the Children of Israel. Their complaints would no longer rise up to God and consequently God would no longer punish their rebellion. The rod or wand symbolizes the mediation of the person to whom it belongs and who henceforth holds and carries it.