General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Why are wands the magical implements of choice?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10293points) March 7th, 2010

A magician without a magic wand seems like an amputee. Can anyone suggest just how came about this peculiar imagery?

I offer that any number of common articles could easily be considered as magical as a stick. A cup for instance.

Here are some ideas I have about the origin of this concept: Firstly, it is a stick that usually comes to a point. Since magicians deal with carefully directed magic, a pointed device would help put that magic exactly where they want it. Secondly, the bible has Moses carrying a magic walking stick, and the egyptian magicians he trumps carry them also. So it seems magical sticks go way back.

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14 Answers

Ltryptophan's avatar

checking wikipedia now….

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I have a magic stick. It’s gotten me into a great deal of trouble over the years.

MissAnthrope's avatar

As a Witch, I can tell you that we use wands in rituals to direct energy. How they are used is we gather and focus energy, send it down our wand-holding arm, and out through the tip of the wand. Knives or daggers are also used for the same purpose.

We also use cups (or chalices) in rituals, for various things.

filmfann's avatar

In the Harry Potter books, wizards are sometimes able to preform magic without their wands, but the wand, which is a magical device, is able to focus that magical power.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The notion of a wand as an instrument of power probably derives from universal notions of the phallus as an instrument of focused, directed power.

It is what is commonly termed an archetype. A notion that crosses time and culture.

That does not make it true, just a universal notion.

faye's avatar

I think it comes from the image of a woman’s pointed finger.

Jeruba's avatar

It’s directional.
It’s an extension of the arm, essential to most any action.
It resembles both a weapon and a tool.
And it is a device readily available from a natural source without necessity of metallurgy or special crafting.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Jeruba you act like magic wands grow on trees!?

Everest's avatar

It’s disney indoctrination. save the children!

ucme's avatar

They’d look pretty silly holding a spatula.

filmfann's avatar

In the Harry Potter books, the wand is described as having a feather from a magical creature incased in the wood.
Harry had a phoenix feather, i believe in alderwood.

Cruiser's avatar

I have a magic “Boomstick” that can make things disappear!

martyjacobs's avatar

Ignoring the religious meanings, there is a practical reason Magicians use magic wands (not many pros do so nowadays funnily enough). If you are holding a wand in your hand, it makes it look like your hand is empty (how could you be possibly holding anything else while holding the wand).

The traditional magic wand (black with white tips) may have been popularised by a Magician called Edwin Sachs in the 19th century (hard to tell for sure though). I read somewhere that the black part represents the spirit world and the white ends trap the spirits inside the wand, stopping them escaping.

The white tips also make the wand more visible on stage. Finally, the wand has become the symbol of the Magician’s power.

filmfann's avatar

@martyjacobs Nicely done! Welcome to Fluther! Lurve!

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