Monday, August 7, 2017

Why Oakmist Assigns the Wand to FIRE

Oakmist is not a Wiccan tradition.
We never have been and we don't claim to be now.
And so what Wiccans do and what we do doesn’t always correspond.
Though we may have some of the same roots,
we see things differently

For us...
The Wand is a tool of Fire.
It is wood.
It burns, like a torch.

I'm aware of the "blinds" theory of the Golden Dawn.
I've never seen any hard proof, which isn't to say it doesn't exist.

Much of the confusion stems from Janet Farrar, who claimed the Golden Dawn perpetrated a deliberate blind. The authority of this statement being as a deliberate blind was from "Techniques of High Magic" which was written by Francis King and Stephen Skinner, occult historians. According to King and Skinner:

“The attributions of the Weapons to the Elements has for a long time laboured under the ascriptions given by the Golden Dawn which associated them as follows: Wand - Fire Dagger - Air Cup - Water Pentacle – Earth

However this incorporates a blind, and in fact if these attributions are considered in depth it will be seen that for some reason the two active weapons, the dagger and the wand, have been interchanged.”

This book, however old the cover may appear, was just written in the mid-1970’s by a man who could be considered by some to be an oath-breaker, a warlock. He published many of the secrets of the O.T.O., and gives no evidence as to where he got this information that the attributes are a deliberate blind.

On the other hand, he WAS a member of the Golden Dawn and this book is considered to be a “classic.”

As far as the blade goes, consider doing some research on The Kila or Phurba of the Tibetan Buddhists.  In the early days of metallurgy, ceremonial blades were often made from “Sky-Iron”, or meteoric iron. It was thought to be very potent because it flew through and fell from the skies.   Just the name, “Sky-Iron” sings “AIR” and though metal is refined by fire, fire does not CREATE metal. Metal, in its natural state is cold.

Think about sayings like “cold as steel.” Metal, in the Chinese system, is a “cool” substance. It is generated by Earth and itself generates Water by condensation. So here is one reason we assign blades to AIR.

So what is one to believe?
Is there a right or a wrong answer?
I don't know, is there? What do you think?
Each tool is a combination of all elements.
Magic is ultimately better served by flexibility of thought than by rigidity of attitude.

For the purpose of training; for the purpose of having a logical starting place, we assign elements and directions to certain tools. 


There is a lot of talk about polarity when you are studying magic. In our Circle, we pay attention to polar pairs. God as well as Goddess are equally important to us. Male as well as female. Our tools also are polar pairs.

The Cup and Blade are natural polar partners.
They stand opposite each other in the Great Circle.

Both Cup and Blade, of course, CAN each be used to project energy as well as to receive it. Some say the blade is double edged to represent fe/male, but in our view it is mainly phallic. It is used to PROJECT, not to draw, in most cases. The cup is receptive.  It represents the womb, which receives the seed of life from the male element. The blade projects energy more often than it sucks it up.

When the HPS and HP do the Rite of Cup and Blade, the Cup (WEST – WATER – right brain) represents the female principle and the Blade (EAST – AIR – left brain) represents the male principle. They are polar opposites.

Cups have long represented the female principle: the womb. Blades have long represented the male principle: the phallus.

·      The HP combines Fire and Air as he lights the incense (Breath). The HP IS Fire/Air.

·      The HPS combines Earth and Water as she prepares the Blood of the Mother, or the primordial soup. The HPS IS Earth/Water.

·      When these 4 elements are conjoined (Fire, Air, Earth, Water)
by the Rite of Cup and Blade,
i.e., when the blade (God) is plunged into the cup (Goddess), or when the God projects his seed into the womb of the Goddess, LIFE happens.  And to be fair, as you will learn later, there are advanced thoughts on this. But for now, simplicity . . . 


The Wand and Pentacle are natural polar partners. The Wand in the South ensouls the Pentacle in the North. They stand opposite each other in the Circle.

Both the Wand and the Pentacle in our tradition have a positive and a negative side/end.  The wand projects from the furthest tip, the smallest end, and it absorbs or receives energy from the larger end, the end closest to the tree. It does this naturally. This is it’s moda operandi. Nobody has to tell it how it works, it just knows.

The Pentacle has a white and a black side. One side is positive and one is negative. Think of an old photograph that came with negative images. The white side is the photo; the black side is the photo image in negative.

The Wand can project onto the Pentacle whatever the witch asks, whether it be a drawing, a sigil, a color, a photo. This is done using the positive projecting end.  Think of the Wand as being a pen that writes on the paper (Pentacle). 

The Wand can absorb energy from the Pentacle. So, for instance, if the witch considers the black side of the pentacle a pond of water, or paint, or oil, or health, or (fill in the blank) she can use the negative end of the Wand to draw the water up and carry it or spray it (via the other end) wherever she wishes. Does this make sense? If not, please ask your teacher for a better explanation.

Anyway… just learn that in our tradition, the Wand and Pentacle are polar partners and stand opposite each other in the Great Circle.

For now, that’s all you need to remember.
As you advance, you will gain more insight into this issue.

You can meditate on this material at your leisure and you will receive much more information – but some things must be learned by direct experience; they can not be taught.

So now, let’s talk about WANDS, wood, and fire.


Before we had matches and lighters, we started fire by rubbing to wooden sticks (Wands) together or by using a fire-drill; drilling one stick (wand) into another (fireboard)! Thus, the “conjuring of fire” is not done with a blade, but with a WAND.

Nearly ALL things are changed by FIRE.
Even the hardest metal becomes liquid at the core of the earth.


LIGHT is created by FIRE.

The quality of giving off light is called ILLUMINATION.  Illumination can be physical, mental, or spiritual. 

 “The illumination of the full moon is such that you can practically read by it.”

“Suddenly, the light bulb went on in his brain, and he understood!”

“They traveled to the temple in search of illumination.” Fire, like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, is the giver of knowledge.


The serpent is shown over and over in mythology as a potent deity.  Among other things, it is a symbol of light or illumination, just like fire. The snake is close to earth energies, slithering along the ground, and represents life force

Esoterically, it represents the vital energy (aka kundalini), coiled at the base of our spine.

It slithers, or moves in zigzag waves, like lightning or electricity.  

Below are lightning serpent petroglyphs from Tenabo, New Mexico.

When moving, the serpent is absolutely silent, as are most of the waves of light that fill our existence.

Snakes are invisible when resting and are often seen lying in the sun in order to get warm.  It is a perfect representation of the waves of vibration present in everything on our plane of existence.  

The serpent also makes a hissing sound, like electricity, sizzling, hissing, burning.

The serpent is a symbol of transformation, rejuvenation, and new life. This is because it sheds its skin.  The shedding of the skin also reminds us of astral travel and out of body experience. Before shedding their skin, the markings on the snake become obscure and the eyes appear opaque or pale, giving them a trance-like appearance. 

Fire is also transformative. It reduces things back to basic molecules – burns them to ash. Fire releases molecules from the chemical ties that bind them. Like a snake, fire allows things to shed their skins and become new again. In this sense, it is cleansing.

Here are some other historical serpent (fire) and wand connections:

The TREE in the Garden had a serpent entwined around it:

The seal of Ningishzidda (2200 BC):  
Serpents (FIRE) entwined around a rod:


Quetzalcoatl carried a staff entwined with snakes (FIRE) Quetzalcoatl was considered the Logos; he is what is, what was, and what will always be; he is the life that palpitates within every sun.

 Not only pagan religions aquaint wands with fire/serpents. The staff carried by many Christian religions are entwined with fire serpents.

Indian Orthodox Church Staff:

Russian Orthodox Church Staff:

Here is a feathered serpent rod in Tienanmen Square:

Hermanubis carries a serpent entwined Rod.

In the Voudon religion, Dumballah is one of the most important of all the loa.  Damballah is the Sky God and considered the primordial creator of all life. The veve of Damballah comprises two serpents prominent alongside a wand or cross. The symbolism of the serpents is associated with FIRE.

Among the oldest predynastic Goddess figures in Egypt was the serpent-mother Iusaset, or Ua Zit, or Per-Uatchet whom the Greeks called Buto. Pyramid Texts say she is the Celestial Serpent, giver of the food of eternal life.  Her symbol, the uraeus, meant both "serpent" and "Goddess." She was also Mehen the Enveloper, the female serpent like Ananta who enclosed the phallus of Ra the sun god every night. There are mythic indications that this nightly sexual communion with the serpent power of Mother Earth was at times considered the real source of Ra's renewed power to light up the world again each day.

The Sun = FIRE

 4th-5th Century BC. The BARESMAN (Phl. barsom), or sacred bundle of twigs (or "slender wands"), is a ritual implement which has played an important part in Zoroastrian religious practices since prehistoric times.
According to Kotwal and Boyd, the baresman is an "ancient Indo-Iranian emblem of seeking the Holy", and it "establishes a connecting link between this getig [material] world and the menog [spiritual] realm. The barsom is, as it were, the conduit through which the archetypal principles and powers manifest their presence and receive the offerings." . It is also an instrument through which one acquires the sacred power . Perhaps then it is also a conduit for channeling the power outwards, and thus is a prototypical 'magic wand'.
During daily prayers, at each Gah (or prayer period), Zoroastrians pray,
thwãm âtrem ... hadha-zaothrem hadha-aiwyånghanem imat baresma ashaya frastaretem ... (We honor the FIRE ... with Baresman, with (its?) girdle (kusti), provided with this Zaothra (libation), spread with Asha...)
 And in the FIRE litany we pray,
ýase-thwâ bâdha frâyazâite aêsmô-zastô baresmô-zastô ... âat ýezi-shê aêm baraiti aêsmem vâ ashaya beretem baresma vâ ashaya frastaretem urvarãm vâ hadhânaêpatãm â-hê pascaêta frînaiti xshnûtô atbishtô hakhdhanghum, 
(May there be hope to that person who truly shall sacrifice to you with fuel in his hand, with the Baresman in his hand.... Then if that one brings to the fire either fuel rightly brought, or Baresma rightly spread, or the plant Hadhanaepata, to him thereupon, in fulfillment of his wish, the Fire of Ahura Mazda, propitiated, unoffended, gives a blessing.)

Like the Zoroasrian magi, the ancient Roman Flamines or FIRE-priests, also carried such bundles of twigs in their hands. (Modi RCC, 1922, p. 280).

According to the Key of Solomon (Book 2 chapter 8): "The staff should be of elderwood or cane, and the wand of hazel or nut tree, in all cases the wood being virgin, that is of one year's growth only. They should each be cut from the tree at a single stroke, on the day of Mercury (i.e. Wednesday), at sunrise. The characters shown should be written or engraved thereon in the day and hour of Mercury." (Mathers tr. revised by JHP)  

Why ELDER?  "Elder be the Lady's tree - burn it not or cursed you'll be!"  Also known as Ellhorn, Elderberry, Lady Elder. Sacred to the White Lady and Midsummer Solstice (SUN/FIRE).

Some sources attribute Elder to Water or Air, but most folklore associates it with the Solstice, either winter or summer.

Lastly, from Franz Bardon:

"Above all, the magic wand is the symbol of the WILL (fire), the power and the strength by which the magician maintains his influence on the sphere for which he has made and charged it. " and 

"... with the wand the magician is in possession of an accumulator equivalent to a battery powerfully charged with electricity." and

"Charged with life-force or magnetism, with the right idea of setting limits or conditions (that is, in this case, with the idea that the life-force or magnetism in the wand will be automatically intensified from one day to the other) the wand will easily enable the magician to call into existence any phenomena that can be effected by life-force. "

A magician may make a wand for each element, to work with each element, but the tool remains a tool of the WILL, of FIRE.

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