It's beginning to be that season where it's time to go out and make a new wand. Wand's are ritual tools used in the craft to direct energy sort of like an athame. I tend to use wands for specific rituals that have to do with heavy elemental or healing magic as they belong to the element of Air. Wands are heavily used by the Druids and it's considerably their most valuable tool in ritual. I for one, believe that wands should be handcrafted as the materials are quite easy to find and they hold a very personal power.
The best time to harvest a wand is in the spring when saplings are coming to life with energy from the sun and the energy of the Earth is feeding through the tree up to its tall branches which will be budding. This energy can be harvested in your wand. Some people prefer to pick up fallen branches from the grounds as not to harm the tree it came from and also in an effort to remain eco-friendly which is absolutely acceptable and understood. However, most Druids prefer to cut a branch from the tree so they know exactly what type of wood it is and from what specific tree it came from as location can be very important when discerning the type of energy it is giving off or being used for. When harvesting your branch you want to make sure to seal the cut on the tree with some beeswax and to leave an offering for the tree it came from such as a libation of spring water, herbs, stones, or a small talisman.
A wand can be as long or as short as you wish it to be, however a good estimate would be from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger for length and about as wide as your finger. You will need to let the wand dry in the sun for at least 3 days or longer. You want to choose a branch on the tree that is mature. After the wand has dried, you can begin by stripping the bark from it. Some people choose to keep the wand in i's raw form or may wish to keep some of the bark on it. I like to take the bark off and use it later in my ritual to purify and charge it.
Once the bark has been stripped, seal it with beeswax. You may then begin to decorate your wand however you please, with stones, or wire, or leather. I prefer to decorate within the Circle so then I may purify and charge it at the same time. The best time to do this would be upon a Full Moon. There are many ways to purify and charge a wand, so choose the best way for you!
Wands can be made from materials other than wood such as stone, bone, clay, or metal. Of course, you don't have to make your own wand but it may not have the same personal touch to it as when you create your own. It's always good to have several wands available because different materials and especially different woods give off different energy. Choose what is best for you.