It seems, in the current world,
that wands and staffs have been around forever.
What well dressed witch or wizard does not carry their own wand
or staff (which is simply a larger version of a wand)? When did this
start, the using of wands?
There are some wizards who study ancient times, and they cannot
find documentation of a first use of a wand. My own feeling is that
a witch picked up a stick, to fend off another being or beast, and found
that her own magical abilities were magnified through the use of the
stick. Sharing her experiences with others, gradually wizards and
witches, throughout the world, found that different woods had
different "powers", that could emphasize or enhance their own
innate abilities. Additions to the simple piece of wood were
experimented with -- adding 'cores' of different animals or creatures
and carving runes on the wood or attaching crystals or other objects.
[In lesson two, we will talk of the different magical properties of trees and shrubs, as well as talk about the possible meanings for the length of the wand, any designs on it, the color and any adornments that are attached to the wand.]
So, today, all wizards and witches take for granted the use of wands and staffs. You may walk into several different shops and purchase a wand of your choosing that will be 'just right' for you. Or so some think. But let's look at that again.
Does the wizard choose the wand -- or does the wand choose the
wizard? Various wizards have expounded learnedly on the wisdom
of 'choosing' the proper wand. They cite the different properties and
qualities of the wood that the wand is of, the core of the wand, if
different, and various items that can be attached to the wand, like
crystals or charms.
They say that it is important to know if you are going to choose a wand to emphasize your strengths, or one that will complement you, and add strength of qualities in which you might be weaker.
Then there are others, some of whom are wand-makers, who say that the wand chooses the wizard, or witch. Sure you might inherit your brother's wand, or great-aunt Enid's wand -- but until you have your own wand, you will not truly experience the unity of flow of intention and will and manifestation that a wizard who uses their own wand can develop. These other wizards say that, magically, your wand will suit you better than it would suit any other wizard.
So how do you know if it is your wand? Or does it matter?
[Side note: Mr. Ollivander, who says the wand chooses the wizard, is the same wizard who sold wands to Harry Potter and Tom Riddle. Each wand had a feather from the same phoenix, but were of different lengths and of different wood. Lord Voldemort's wand is of yew; Harry Potter's wand is of holly. Think of it -- if the wand made of holly was made at, or around, the same time as the wand made of yew, that wand was lying there, waiting for Harry Potter, for perhaps up to 50 years. It was his wand, and no one else's.]
So, it was found that a wand, or staff, could act as a focus for one's
will and intent. Whether or not the wand choose the wizard, or the
other way around, they are an effective tool. What are the ethics of
using this tool? Are there any?
Amazingly, the question seems largely ignored amongst the persons of the wizard world. Most of the focus seems to be on how well does the wand perform, rather than wondering if the wizard is using his wand for good or for evil. It seems that the wand is held 'innocent' of what is done with it -- and that wizards simply use them as tools. One wizard can pick up the wand of another, and perform charms and spells with the unfamiliar wand, even against the wand's actual owner.
It is known that wands can 'fall apart', their cores leak out, and that
they can even break. Yet, at the same time, there are times when
a wand has been 'broken', snapped in two, to indicate that the wizard
has gone beyond the bounds of law-abiding behaviors. When this
is done, usually the miscreant, for whatever reason, doesn't hasten
to replace the broken wand with another, but tries to salvage it.
Why is this? Could it be that the wand, even if broken, retains some power(s) invested in it by its owner? Could it be, in some cases, even acting as a storehouse of power, with some unconscious part of the wizard going into the wand, with continual usage?
Again, the learned wizards debate this. Being as it is known that certain gemstones can act as storehouses for energy and magics -- the current popular theory is that a wand will develop a particular resonance to 'their' wizard, above and beyond their innate properties, and thus the wizard will feel, perhaps illogically, that their wand is a part of themselves.