Odyssey of the Fire Wand
July 3, 2011 1 Comment
…or, I Like Planning Stuff and Hope to Actually Build This Shit.
Earlier I mentioned that I was building a wand from copper and brass hardware, and the brass bits would have planetary symbols engraved on them. It’s a good idea for a wand and I like the feel of it, but since I’m hopped up on some major air influence I’ve decided to make the whole thing so much better. I also had fun with OpenOffice Draw, so get ready for some awesome drawings with my formidable artistic skill. I just have too much time on my hands, really, because what else am I going to do on a three-day weekend?.
So, the wand is the symbol of fire or divine Will and is related to the phallus. It’s used to point, direct, and issue forth power and commands (lol inadvertent male chauvinism). Having a wand that was the same on either end and flat on both ends without any actual focal point left the wand feeling, well, pointless. The old plan of the wand looked something like this:
Simple and basic, but it has the problem of being without a point or a focus through which I’d channel energy. I decided to rectify that by swapping one of the end caps with a flare nut that has a hole in it, through which I’d put a long thin quartz point:
Better, but there’s still something awry: the wand is hollow. I want to empower the wand by making some kind of core inside the wand, something that would give it a real kick. I didn’t know where to begin, though, so I turned to a few people on the Internet and returned with a flurry of ideas and suggestions. Working with a hollow tube, I had a lot of flexibility of choice, and some of the suggestions were outlandishly wonderful. I eventually came up with something fancy:
There’d be three gemstones inside the wand besides the quartz: two bits of obsidian at either end of the shaft pointing towards the quartz, and a ruby (uncut and small, unlike me (we’re talking about a symbolic penis, let me have my jokes)) between the two. The obsidians and ruby would be connected by a wire, probably tungsten if I could get enough due to its association with lightbulbs and heat, which would also be connected to the quartz. I’d loosely pack the shaft with a sort of “fire powder”, which would contain volcanic ash, sulfur, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, all reasonably fiery substances. The cotton fluff (or wool, if I wanted to be traditional) would be there to insulate and buffer the ends of the wand.
This is really awesome and sounds more like I’d be making a fire lightsaber than a fire wand, but there are problems with this: the extra weight of the crystals inside, the cost of the crystals, and the ability to get sufficient tungsten wire (those filaments in lightbulbs are short and hard to work with). Plus, if I’m right in guessing about the natural power of these ingredients, I’d probably be starting off at way too high a level and might injure myself in the process. It’d be more like a spiritual pipe-bomb, and I’m not sure I’d be too pleased with the results.
So, I decided to step back and come up with a simpler plan:
I’d omit the inside gems entirely but keep the fire powder. Running the length of the wand, from the bottom cap to the quartz, would be iron and gold wire. Iron and gold are metals corresponding to elemental fire due to their associations with Mars and the Sun, according to Agrippa (Book II, Chapter VII). I’d have the wires soldered to the bottom cap, and since the cap would be touching the metal shaft, I could use the whole wand inside and outside to direct or “conduct” my energy and will to and through the quartz at the focus. Nifty! The use of the fire powder, though, causes a slight problem: it’s hard to loosely pack powder into a tube without messing up the balance or weight, and it’s not like it’s pumice-like chunks of powder. To fix this, instead of using cotton fluff, I’d use cheesecloth or cotton muslin. The fire powder gets sprinkled on top of that, then wrapped around the bundle of wires in the wand. The wand would still have the fire powder while staying light and balanced.
After all this, I realized that I goofed on some of the parts. The flare nut I got was the wrong size both for screwing onto the shaft and letting the quartz I already bought through the hole in the top (you’d think I’d have tested these things more thoroughly, but noooooo). Thankfully, I have a few other crystals around, and it turns out that I have one with a small metal ring inserted into the bottom (it was once a keychain). I could use the ring to “plug” the wires into the crystal. Plus, since I knew in my flurry-of-ideas mood that I might want to try other caps besides the flare nut, I had a brass connector that was wide enough to fit the quartz snugly. Just to make sure the wand was tightly sealed from both ends and the quartz sealed in for good, I’m electing to solder the crystal around the top of or inside the connector; the torch gently applied to the quartz could bathe it in the heat and energy appropriate for this kind of tool.
- Getting the fire powder and wire supplies. The local metaphysical shop doesn’t carry them, but Amazon does.
- The thread on the ends of the copper pipe are exposed. Turns out that the thread is tapered slightly, so while it feels that the brass ends don’t screw on all the way, they can feasibly screw on tightly and permanently. If I can’t muscle this, I’ll apply solder to cover the thread and seal the ends.
- Applying the torch to or near the quartz can shatter it. I might be able to simply drip the solder around the quartz to seal it tight, but this might be tricky.
- Unclear if I want to inscribe anything on the six sides of the brass connector or the copper tube itself. If so, this will be done first.
- The order of construction. That the bottom cap to the quartz to the top cap are all connected by the wires poses a problem of sensibly arranging the assembly process.