Druid tools are items of mysterious purpose both to our modern understanding and to non-Druids in the past. Since no Druid practices were ever written down, it’s tough to know the real or exact purpose for some of the Druid tools of legend.
Historically, observations by writers like Pliny the Elder give us some written accounts. Not a Druid, he was totally guessing at the purpose for some of the things he described. Like his, any observational descriptions have been invariably coloured by the writer’s cultural frame of reference. And more often than not were based wholly on speculation rather than fact.
As a modern Druid myself, I was never given a manual for “This is how you Druid”. We just don’t know a lot about exactly what they did or why. Luckily, there’s a lot of latitude in Druidry and people are free to approach their craft from a variety of ways that work for the individual. You only have the energy you were born with, so everyone must do what feels correct for them.
As far as the Druid tools themselves – tools we use to work with our own energy and the energy of the land – no, we were never left instructions for those, either. In the modern day, it’s in understanding the basic principles of similar earth religions along with being mindful of what we gain by using them that we can glean their original purpose.
Simply listening to ourselves and using those tools in a way that feels correct for each person is the best way to go. And maybe that’s the way it always was and part of the reason the instructions were never written down.
Druid Tools – Wand Basics
A wand is a very personal tool used by an individual and so special that no one but the owner should touch it. The wand itself contains no power, though. All the power resides within the user who uses the wand as a conduit for their personal power. We’re fairly certain this was also true in the past.
To make a wand, the wood should never be cut and instead, should be found dropped from a living tree. Rather than take the wood in an act of violence, we should accept the piece of wood offered us for the purpose we needed it.
Ideally, it should be a branch with a naturally occurring spiral in it. This would be the kind formed by a vine, such as honeysuckle, that crept around the branch while it grew. A wand created from a branch twisted this way is referred to as a Dragon. So, a wand created from ash wood would be an Ash Dragon. If from an oak, it would be an Oak Dragon and so on. Oak Dragons are especially rare and the search for the ultimate oak wand could take years. I’m still searching for mine.
Any wand should always be made from wood that speaks to you in some way. You don’t even need to understand why. Only that you take note, pay attention when you run across such a piece of wood and pick it up.
The qualities of the wood from the kind of tree it came from add a special element to each wand. For example, hazel wood is the preferred wood for divination, often used in the manufacture of things like dousing rods. So a wand made of hazel would help focus the powers of divination, gaining knowledge. wisdom and so also poetic inspiration.
You can choose to increase or define the characteristics of the wood by carving Oghams or other symbols into it. Crystals can also be wired onto the ends of wands to further add to the natural properties. The properties of each type of crystal can be paired with the qualities of the wood to increase efficiency in your wand’s ability to focus energy for specific purposes.
Wands can be made very fancy using modern tools, such as turning them on a lathe or carving with a wood burning kit. Ideally, though, leaving the wood in its natural state and adding any embellishment by hand is always best.
For a more colourful demonstration of some of these Druid tools in action, check out my book, The Seer. This fantasy story about a Druid in the fictional realm of Edenshire in 4th-century Britain is waiting for you at Amazon!
[**Keep an eye out for further articles in this series on Traditional Druid Tools]