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Making a Shaman Crystal wand

Making a Shaman Crystal wand

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Published by PhotoArtist
Making a metaphisical wand
Making a metaphisical wand

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Published by: PhotoArtist on Jan 06, 2013
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Crafting a Shaman Crystal Healing Wand
Vince Migliore,
BlossomHillBooks@aol.comThe shaman in ages past often used medicine sticks, crystals and healing wands to cureillnesses and drive out evil spirits. These hand-crafted instruments are enjoying aresurgence due to the popularity of New Age ceremonies and the renewed interest in nativecultures. Here we look at a simple method of creating a ceremonial healing wand fromrosemary wood, quartz crystals, and semi-precious gemstones.
Wood from the rosemary plant
 Art forms are all around us, but I never expected to find materials in the dead shrubs of agarden. An old rosemary plant had to be dug up, and there I noticed unique and fascinatingshapes in the wood, the skeleton of the rosemary herb. With a little snipping and cleaning,the wood became the basis for several bejeweled art projects. Here's a look at some of theways to combine the wood with semi-precious gemstones and quartz crystal.Rosemary wood is rich in nooks, channels, and twists that enable unique combinations withother media, such as gems, wire, and beads. The creative artist can implant other objects ina way that takes advantage of the natural contours of the wood, making it appear the vineactually grew around, or gave birth to the cradled object. I've used bare copper wire,colored wire, jewelry stones, crystals, and polished rock.My personal interest has been quartz crystals and gemstones. The rosemary wood worksnicely as a support for long, unfinished crystals, while crevices and indentations providenatural sockets for the gemstones (Figure 1). Depending how you cut it, you can use thewood for simple handles, wands, frames, or even miniature trees with many branches.Figure 1. Select stones to fit the natural contours of the rosemary wood.
Find and harvest the wood
 The rosemary plant, fortunately, grows in almost all climates; zones 4 to 24 in the SunsetWestern Gardening book. The best wood comes from plants that have recently died or goneover the hill. These yield thick stems with many twists and branches to work with. Look forplants with stems at least 1/2 inch in thickness. This reduces the chances of breakage, andmakes a nice grip for a hand-held object. The wood is relatively hard, so pests and rot arerarely a problem.If you don't have plants on your own property, look around the neighborhood for brown ordead bushes. Every gardener that I've ever approached has been more than happy to havethis strange man dig up and haul away the dead plants in his yard. You'll need a good set of rose clippers, a pair of branch loppers, and maybe a small hand saw to retrieve the wood.
Scraping and shaping
 The raw rosemary wood is covered with a loose, flaky bark that is readily removed with awire brush and sandpaper. This dark outer layer clings deep inside the crevices andcrannies, so you'll need to decide if you want to remove most of it with a blade, or leavesome in the deeper pockets and seal it with a finish, such as shellac. Leaving the gulliesdarker is just fine, as it contrasts nicely with the lighter, pine-colored wood. If you plan toimbed stones or gems into the crevices, however, be sure to expose an area of heartwood,so the glue will make a secure anchor into the wood.You'll need to trim the smaller branches, and smooth off the ends. Handheldrotary tools,such as Dremel, do a good job here, as they have different attachments for cutting,sanding, and polishing the wood. A decent set of hand carving tools is also recommended.Figure 2 shows the appearance of a typical project from raw wood, to debarking, and finalstone setting.
Figure 2. Steps in the process of making the wand. Top: Raw wood. Middle: Trimmed andsanded. Bottom: Stones placed and wood finish applied.
The creative process
 Next is the fun part, where you figure out what design you are interested in creating.Actually, you might have more success with Michelangelo's method, where you just studythe wood piece and let it tell you what lies inside. One specimen, for example, might have along furrow running the full length of the stick. Maybe a bare copper wire would fit in there,reflecting the flow of life-giving nutrients to the leaves of a tree. Or another might have astring of pockets that would hold matching gemstones. Use your powers of intuition andcreative abilities.

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