Creating a Magical Wand
An exercise in magical handcraft
This page is a personal report on the creation of a magic wand based on the Arabic tradition of magick as outlined in Nineveh Shadrach’s ‘Magic That Works’. I am not a member of the Magic Society of the White Flame, nor do I have personal roots in arabic magic or folklore. My entire experience with this tradition and its rituals is based on the practical application of Shadrach’s books, enriched by personal approaches to the material.
May the serpent bite its tail.
Well, here I am sharing a report on a bastard magic device, partly derived from a tradition I hardly understand and partly based on my own syncretic approach. I don’t speak or read the native language of the source-texts (Arabic), nor do I have access to any material beyond the relatively recent publications of a single author. This author, Nineveh Shadrach again doesn’t waste a lot of time on the history of the techniques and rituals he presents but tends to cut through complex approaches and dives right into the practical application of whatever he shares with his readers. You got to ask the question therefore: How on earth can this report be worth anything?
To be quite honest, maybe it isn’t. And I guess the only way to tell is - unless you are okay to judge upfront - to validate the results achievable with this device through your own practice. I have no more evidence for its impact than my own experience, as well as the theoretical consistency that is underlying its creation. Each step in creation and each element of this magic device has been chosen deliberately and is the result of the inspiration from Shadrach’s exquisite book as well as my own practical experiences with instructions for creating magic wands according to the Western Occult tradition.
So what you are getting is syncretism at its best. A living expression of my personal magick informed, inspired and improved based on several authentic source-texts. The entity that has come to live in this device might be a bastard in the most beautiful sense of the word: bringing together the history, knowledge and skills of multiple traditions in one astral body and blood. May it speak and act for itself.
If you are interested in the steps it takes to create the wand only, feel free to skip this chapter. For all others I thought this might be a good occasion to explain what it takes to truly create magickal paraphernalia for yourself. Obviously this is my humble opinion only, yet as I haven’t derived it from books but from practical experience I thought it might be worth sharing...
The first step in creating any personal magickal device is a phase of conception in the most literal meaning of the word. From my experience it is not enough to simply follow the letters of a book or to process all steps of an instruction as if you were trying to put together a new piece of furniture... For a magickal device to be effective and connected to you in a unique and authentic manner, the traditional instructions can only be a starting point. The output of your work needs to be consistent and embedded into the tradition you are working with AND it needs to be a reflection of who you are or strive to become as a magician.
Creating a new magickal device is an act of creativity which has to be inspired by the magical current you are working in. For me such an act of magickal creativity resembles a flash of sudden intuition. In order to be ready for such a flash of insight it normally takes several months or even years of working through related material (i.e. books in most cases), the history of the respective current or tradition of magic, as well as meditations on the aspired impact of the device to be created. It seems these months are necessary for my consciousness as well as subconsciousness to be soaked and saturated by the spirit of the material I am working with; may it be Shamanic, Egyptian, Buddhistic, Kabbalistic or - as in this case - Arabic in nature.
I have never worked any magick successfully without getting to this stage first. Joseph C. Lisiewski called it ‘subjective synthesis’. An earlier and more in depth description of the phenomenon also described as ‘mental synthesis’ (Cassirer, p. 208) is given by Ernst Cassirer in his seminal work ‘The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms - Vol2: Mythical Thought’.
“Wenn der theoretische Gedanke die Glieder, zwischen denen er eine bestimmte synthetische Verknüpfung vollzieht, in ebendieser Verknüpfung als selbständige Elemente bewahrt, wenn er sie, indem er sie aufeinander bezieht, zugleich sondert und auseinanderhält, so fließt im mythischen Denken das, was aufeinander bezogen, was wie durch ein magisches Band geeint gilt, in eine unterschiedslose Gestalt zusammen.”
Here is the English translation:
"If the theoretical thought sustains the elements, between which it creates a specific synthetic connection, as separate items within this connection, if the thought while relating them to each other still differentiates and keeps them apart, then the mythical thought converges that which is related to each other, which is unified by a magic bond, in a coherent form.”
A successful mental synthesis is based on the time and effort it takes to unveil the essence of the material you are working with. Just like when you are learning a new language, it takes a long time of learning by heart, repetition and practice until you can engage in your first full conversation - or creative act. When working with a new magickal paradigm or current the same process takes place: You need to work through the related material for a long time, until you find its hidden spirit within yourself, until you can enter into its current and are able to speak in a new language. Only at this point can you create something new from what has been passed on to you. In a nutshell what I am trying to say is: We can all become creators if we have become vessels first.
"Try everything out without bias or preconceived ideas, and hold on to whatever works best."(Karl Spiesberger)
2) Creation of the Body
Traditionally the body of a magic wand is formed of wood. Many precise descriptions have been given which wood is preferable and how and under which conditions it has to be cut and crafted. This magic wand clearly doesn’t follow this tradition as its body is built from red bronze water pipes. More precisely: six red bronze water pipe connection pieces plus two screw caps. All pieces can be bought in your a DIY store and shouldn’t be more than 40$ in total. If you screw all eight parts together your raw magic wand body will still be incomplete but look like this:
In their raw state the pieces carry engraved part numbers and between each of the six pieces is an unhandy gap of about 0.5 cm. To get rid of these I visited a local manual work centre that offered access to equipment and large machines for a low hourly fee. There I screwed the wand into a machine that is normally used for drilling into all sorts of metals and sanded the wand until nothing was left of the engravings.
Then I created little rings from black iron wire of about 0.5 cm diameter. Each ring I placed into one of the five gaps between the pipes; then I only had to braze the ends of the rings in order to fill the gaps. Finally, I put the wand back into the machine and sanded it again until the wire rings were completely even with the surface of the wand.
As you can see from the result it clearly was the first time I brazed iron, sanded a red bronze wand and used this type of machine. Yet, I knew how the body should look like in the end and even though more experience would have helped to make the final result more perfect, it came out as intended in the end. Total costs for the body of the wand at this point were about 50$.
3) Dedication of the Body
At this point I had the raw body of the wand in front of me. Yet, it wasn’t sympathetic to any specific force, nor was it more advanced in its function as a container of spiritual forces than any other sanded and brazed water pipe. Thus the next step was to make this body specifically receptive and attuned to the forces I wanted it to contain once fully finished. This I wanted to achieve by engraving specific magickal symbols onto the six pieces of the wand as well as the top screw cap. Another technique I had never done before and was curious to explore.
Shadrach gives instruction to carve these seven sacred symbols into the candle that is used during the rites. However, as each symbol is directly linked to one of the seven planetary angels their practical application is much broader than that. For a more in depth introduction to their symbolism refer to pages 64 to 66 of Magic That Works specifically.
As I wanted the symbols to look exactly like the ones above I scanned and printed them from the book, cut the paper into pieces, fixed the pieces onto the wand with an additional layer of carbon paper below them and copied the symbols onto the red bronze body. Thus I had a precise copy of each symbol on the surface of the wand which I could start to engrave.
As with Trithemius’ Table of Practice before I used a Dremel tool to engrave the marked out symbols into the red bronze. Luckily this metal is pretty soft and therefore the process was relatively easy for an ordinary person like me. All in all this was not more than a half day of work and probably would be much less of a job if I had more practice...
The final step to make the body of the wand look like on the picture above was to darken the engravings with black color. As I had used this technique on the Table of Practice before I still had some of the sticky black paint left. I filled all engravings with it, allowed it to dry thoroughly and then sanded of the superfluous bits outside of the engraving. With this the body of the wand had its final shape and form.
4) Creation of the Heart
The interior of the wand I call its ‘heart’ as it is the engine that brings it to life. Well, to be completely accurate, it is the influence of the seven angels that bring the wand to life, not its heart. Yet just like in our bodies the blood is the fuel and the heart is the engine and both need to work together in any more advanced organism.
If the previous steps created the body of the wand they equally were a process that required the work of hands and raw tools. This next phase in bringing the wand to life is much more subtle and less guided by the work of hands then by the work of my own heart.
The approach to creating the heart of the wand is not derived from Shadrach’s work or any arabic sources. It is much more recent and predominantly based on the works of Wilhelm Reich and Franz Bardon. I have used this technique in other magickal devices before and the results achieved have never been disappointing. Quite the opposite to be honest, bringing these four basic ingredients together seems to create a hugely powerful accumulator or battery for spiritual forces.
The four things you will need are the following:
- Natural sheep’s wool
- Natural metal wool
- Solid condenser (according to Franz Bardon)
- Essential oils of the seven planets
In the late 1930s Wilhelm Reich discovered a specific type of life-related energy which he ended up calling ‘Orgone’. This concept as well as Reich’s instructions on how to manipulate, attract, save and store Orgone energy has been the matter of much debate ever since then. For any practicing magician the nice advantage is that we don’t need to debate concepts like this, but we can put them into practice and blend them into our own works - as long as they proof to be working in a reliable manner and foster predictable results. Judging from my personal work again only I can confirm that Reich’s basic approach for attracting and storing significant amounts of energy - call it Orgone, Prana, Od, or anything else - has proven to be hugely efficient and helpful: All you have to do is to combine natural (i.e. sheep’s) wool with alternating layers of steel wool. This is what I used to create the basic heart of the wand.
I cut the steel wool into rectangular slices shown above and then tightly wrapped these into sheep’s wool like the corpse of a mummy into linen. In addition I poured small amounts of solid condenser into the inner fold of the steel wool before wrapping it.
Instructions for creating a solid condenser are given in Bardon’s seminal work “Initiation into Hermetics”. The ingredients are the following, none of which can be left out in order for the condenser to truly work as intended. All ingredients need to be added and mixed in form of natural powders; their measurements are given in volume not in weight:
- Lead - 1 part
- Tin - 1 part
- Iron - 1 part
- Gold -1 part
- Copper -1 part
- Brass - 1 part
- Silver - 1 part
- Aloe resin (Gummiresina Aloe) - 1 part
- Animal charcoal (Carbo animalia) - 3 parts
- Mineral charcoal - 7 parts
Yes, you are right - this is the ingredient that really boosts the complexity and price of the wand. Obviously you can finish the heart of the wand without a solid condenser and it is likely to work in a similar function. Just like the heart of a child will work just as well as the one of a trained athlete - or that of a raging bull.
Finally, I applied seven drops of each of the sacred oils of the seven planets - whose angelic names have been engraved on the body of the wand by means of their symbols - onto the wrapped sheep and steel wool roll.
If you are lucky enough to have your own alchemical laboratory - plus the necessary ingredients and financial resources - you can create these oils yourself. I strongly assume that if this is what you can do, you won’t need any magickal wands anymore? For less advanced magicians and alchemists like myself the planetary oils of ARMANA certainly provide the best quality accessible: On a basis of jojoba oil and corresponding to the respective planet they contain flower essences, essential oils and precious stone’s elixirs. They are pricy; but will last a long time and provide wonderful support in all sorts of magickal workings.
Once we have created the heart of the wand we need to insert it into the body. The soaked roll needs to be pushed into the red bronze wand. Once inside it should sit perfectly tight, establishing as much contact to the surface of the metal as possible.
Finally, you can seal the top and bottom end of the wand with sealing wax. This will make sure that any spare oil will stay inside and not smudge the screw caps of the wand. As the charge of energy, however, still needs to run through the wand from top to bottom you can insert a nail at both ends through the sealing wax (when it is still soft and hot) that sticks out enough to be in solid contact with the metal screw cap once tightly closed on both ends.
5) Bringing it to Life
Well, anybody who has followed the instructions to this point - or used them to create his/her own version of a sacred wand - will have established a wonderful mental synthesis on the power of a magick wand by now. Therefore inspiration and insights on how to create your perfect consecration rite will be abundant.
In case you need some further ideas, I have shared my two cents on consecration rites in this blogpost.
However, before jumping into your consecration exercise without further ado, I recommend to check and verify the already existing spirit pattern of your sacred wand in advance. The process of creating such a device - its body and heart as well as all necessary ingredients - can easily be more demanding and intense than any rite you can perform subsequently to ‘consecrate‘ it. Chances are, your actions and thoughts while crafting the device might have already attracted the spirits in question and no further consecration rite is necessary...
Here is to your new found spirit friend. May its body and heart always be in tune with your own and both remain powerful and strong during all your rites.
May the serpent bite its tail.
- Bardon, Franz, Initiation Into Hermetics, Merkur Publishing 2009
- Cassirer, Ernst, Philosophie der symbolischen Formen, Zweiter Teil - Das mythische Denken, Felix Meiner Verlag 2010
- Frater U.’.D.’., High Magic: Theory & Practice, Vol 1, Llewellyn Publications 2005
- Frater U.’.D.’., High Magic: Theory & Practice, Vol 2, Llewellyn Publications 2008
- Lisieweski, Joseph C., Ceremonial Magic & The Power of Evocation, Original Falcon Press 2008
- Shadrach, Nineveh, Love Healing Prosperity Through Occult Powers of the Alphabet, Ishtar Publishing 2006
- Shadrach, Nineveh, Magic That Works: Practical Training for the Children of Light, Ishtar Publishing 2005
- Shadrach, Nineveh, Occult Encyclopedia of Magic Squares: Planetary Angels and Spirits of Ceremonial Magic, Ishtar Publishing 2009