Charm Wands and Charm Sticks, An Addendum

As an addendum to my three part series on charm wands, here’s a passage from Ithell Colquhoun’s The Living Stones: Cornwall (1962), in her chapter describing her visit to William Paynter:

In the West Country the ‘witch’s stick,’ a rod with a crook-end made of glass from Nailsea near Bristol, is the equivalent of the magician’s ‘wand of power.’  Sometimes these rods were twisted, sometimes hollow and if so were filled with coloured threads or the tiny sweets called ‘hundreds and  thousands.’  The stick was suspended above the chimney-piece so that if an ill-disposed member of the craft entered the house he or she would be obsessively compelled to count the contents of the glass tube, and so dissipate the energy intended for magicking.  These sticks are called ‘medicine-rods’ since disease ‘settled’ upon them; but if carefully wiped each day they could be used as a cure-all.

Published in: on January 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. I’m reminded of Crowley’s anecdote about Allan Bennett blasting a Theosophist senseless with a glass wand. Its use as a magical taser notwithstanding, I wonder if Bennett was aware of West Country traditions.

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