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Alright guys, I decided to make a topic explaining the properties of a wand. I have lots of fun picking my characters wands, and decided to share the joy. It's always fun to pick a wand for your character that fits them exactly. So I've compiled a bunch of information on wand woods, cores, flexibility, and length. Hope this helps you guys!
Witches and Wizards were not the original creators of the wizards main tool for magic casting, the wand. No the original creators were the ancient Celtic Druids, a name which actually means 'man with the wisdom of the wood.' In ancient times the Druids gained a lot of knowledge on the subject of the magical properties of each tree in their forests, many of the trees became sacred to them. We'll get to the properties of the woods later, however. Right now we will concentrate on the calendar. There were thirteen 'months' in the Celtic Calendar and each 'month' was given a corresponding tree, the year went as follows:
Birch - December 24 to January 20
Rowan - January 21 to February 17
Ash - February 18 to March 17
Alder - March 18 to April 14
Willow - April 15 to May 12
Hawthorn - May 13 to June 9
Oak - June 10 to July 7
Holly - July 8 to August 4
Hazel - August 5 to September 1
Vine - September 2 to September 29
Ivy - September 30 to October 27
Reed - October 28 to November 24
Elder - November 25 to December 22
There is no tree for December 23 because in ancient times a lunar calendar was used instead, the lunar calendar had thirteen months of 28 days making a year of 364 days. These Druids celebrated the 'year and a day' making December 23 a special day of significance, the day of the Winter Solstice, or time of Yule. Wands often choose a wizard or witch who was born in the 'month' of that specific wood. There are always exceptions though.
Okay this is the section in which I explain how woods interact with the cores and the wizard or witch themselves.
Alder - Alder is an extremely rare wood in wand making. Many wand makers refuse to take wood from an alder tree because of the 'bleeding' process, turning the wood from white to red, is considered to be a bad omen or a symbol of bad luck. The few wands that do happen to be made from an alder tree often have cores that are complete opposites of each other, this is because the wood imposes a high level of balance.
Apple - Apple wood is a gentle, outdoorsy wood that tends to bond with a witch or wizard skilled in Herbology or Care of Magical Creatures. The wood can get overwhelmed easily and as such it will hardly ever be paired with cores that specialize in the power of spells.
Ash - Ash wood is associated with the Dark Arts, because the ash tree is said to strangle the plants around it. The wood does excel at Dark Magic, but is also very good for transfiguration. It also makes good wands for students that excel in the field of Divination.
Birch - Birch wood has a reputation for weakness, though in actuality the wood from a birch tree is one of the finest light wand woods there is. The wood is associated with driving out evil spirits, thus producing a strong Patronus, and is particularly good at healing magic.
Black Ironwood - an African wood that sinks rather than floats in water. The strength of the wood makes it quite powerful, though it is rarely used, even in African wand making. The weight of the wood makes it difficult to cast multiple spells, and makes it practically useless underwater.
Black Walnut - An exceptionally beautiful dark wood, that actually isn't a great Dark wand wood. The wood itself makes for a great light wand, given that black walnut trees produce a chemical that kills poisonous plants in the nightshade family.
Blue Spruce - A strong wood that excels in all areas of magic except the Dark Arts. It does however take a witch or wizard with an exceptionally strong personality to coax the wood into strong spell casting.
Cedar - Given the cedar wood's perfume-like aroma the wood tends to excel in spells that concentrate on beauty and love. Cedar wand wielders are most often girls, or hopeless romantics.
Cherry - A 'happy' and willing wand wood that gives consistent results in any area of magic except the Dark Arts. Cherry wood tends to find a home with witches and wizards that aren't terribly skilled with magic, usually muggleborns.
Chestnut - Chestnut is a good wood for witches and wizards that are particularly skilled at transfiguration, though the wood tends to fizzle out when it comes to charms and defense against the dark arts.
Cottonwood - People with cottonwood wands tend to be defiant and talkative. The wood itself is good for Charms, but tends to be lacking in the field of healing magic. Healers rarely have a cottonwood wand.
Cypress - Cypress trees are commonly associated with Hades, the Greek god of the underworld. Because of this association it is common among dark wizards and excels at transfiguration and the dark arts.
Dogwood - Dogwood is an extremely hard and strong wood, and the wands made from it have a similar resilience. The wood itself was once used for daggers and other weapons, giving the wood a bit of a violent tendency.
Ebony - The most famous of the dark woods, though not the most powerful. Because of the black color of the wood, it is most common among dark wizards, it seems to be visually appealing to them.
Elder - Only one wand was ever known to be made of an Elder tree. If an elder wand were to ever backfire it would kill the wand maker or the wielder.
Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus trees are quick to grow, so these wands channel that liveliness to be both willing and powerful. The eucalyptus wood is rarely used in British wand making and is most commonly used in Australia.
Fir - Fir is a very uncommon wand wood because of the physical properties of the wood. The wood is rather frail and weak and does not make for a very sturdy wand. People with these types of wands are people who take extremely good care of their things and is occasionally seen in outdoorsy wands.
Hawthorn - The hawthorn tree is a symbol of protection, thus the wood harvested from the tree is good at protective magics and excels in the art of defense against the dark arts.
Hazel - Hazel is a quiet and versatile wood giving small boosts to charms and transfiguration. Wands made from hazel wood often find their place with witches ad wizards skilled in divination.
Hemlock - Hemlock is a 'quick' wand wood and thus is great for fast reactions and magic folk that are great at dueling. While not as powerful the spells cast with this wand are reliable.
Hornbeam - Hornbeam, or ironwood, is considered to be the most stubborn of wand woods, thus only those with patience and a stubbornness of their own will be able to use this wood in their wands.
Ivy - An uncommon and difficult wood to use, though wands made from ivy are deceptively strong making their magic potent. Making the use of the wood very much worth the trouble of harvesting it.
Kaya - A beautiful yellow wand wood that hails from Japan, and is therefore rarely used in British wand making. Those people who have kaya wands will have an easier time in the 'logical arts' such as potions, astronomy, ancient runes, and arithmancy.
Lime - Wood harvested from a Lime tree isn't commonly used in British wands. German wizards favor the wood of the lime (or linden) tree for it's strength in the defense against the dark arts.
Madrona - A gorgeous evergreen tree from the pacific northwest area of North America, again rare in British wand making. The distinctive peeling bark symbolizes the power of change, making the wood perfect for those who specialize in transfiguration.
Mahogany - A dependable wood all around, the wood does not specialize in any area of magic, but is reliable no matter the magic being used.
Maple - The wood of a maple tree is commonly used in Canadian wands because of their popularity among the Canadians. It is a good and sturdy wood that is rather versatile, and has a bit more magic than an oak wand.
Oak - Oak wood is strong and reliable that strengthens magic in defense against the dark arts and transfiguration. Because of the unbending quality of the wood, it makes it more difficult to learn a new spell.
Pine - The wood of a pine tree is rather soft, making the wands made from this tree quite flexible. Because the wands are so yielding those who wield them have an easier time learning new spells, though the spells are less potent. Pine is also popular among divination students.
Plum - Yet another wood not common in British wand making, though it is quite popular among Chinese wand makers and has gained some favor among the peoples of central Europe. The wood from a plum tree is very much the same as apple wood, except that it is slightly better at charms.
Poplar - Poplar, though considered a light tree, is often found in the wands of dark wizards. This is because the physical properties of the wood make it feel similar to human bones, making it quite appealing to dark wizards.
Redwood - Redwood is very good at all wand based magic, making it perfect for those who excel in the subjects of charms, transfiguration, and defense against the dark arts.
Reed - Reed is a very delicate and difficult wood to use in wands. But because of the wisdom and intelligence that the reed tree's symbolize the wood is very sought after by Ravenclaws and therefore almost solely used with those students.
Rosewood - Rosewood is a graceful wood and works well with cores such as unicorn or veela hair. It is a very female friendly wood and therefore is most often sought after by them.
Rowan - Rowan wood gives a boost to charms and transfiguration, and is also one of the most reliable wand woods. Rowan is often used in bow-making, meaning that the weapon-like feel of this wood makes a great dueling wand.
Sequoia - Another American wood not used in British wand making. Given the age of the trees, they have plenty of time to store up the ambient magical energy making quite potent wands. The wood usually finds a place with those that are strong-willed or in touch with nature
Spruce - Spruce trees make an all around good wand wood. It has no flaws but is not the most powerful of all woods in existence. A very good wood to use for muggleborns who have just discovered magic for the first time.
Sycamore - The sycamore wood excels in the subject of divination, making the subjects of arithmancy or ancient runes a breeze.
Vinewood - Vinewood is extremely flexible, which would make one assume that the wood is easy to work with. However the wood is quite erratic meaning only a strong willed witch or wizard can overcome the insecurities of the wood.
Walnut - A beautiful and versatile wood that has no alignment with the light or dark side of magic, unlike it's brother the black walnut.
White Pine - White pine wood radiates serenity and therefore does not work well under strain of constant use. The wood itself is rather docile and easy to work with, but not a great dueling wand as it is extremely fragile.
Willow - Willow trees are known as the trees of enchantment and is very popular among those who excel in charms. The wood is also good for healing magic and and overall feminine wand wood.
Yew - Due to the poisonous sap of this tree it tends to do well with Dark Magic, but is also quite good at transfiguration.
Wands have been known to be made with more than one of a particular core of a combination of two or more cores. It all depends upon the wizard or witch who makes the wand.
Augurey tail feather - Augureys, or Irish phoenixes, were once associated with powerful Dark wands, as their cries were thought to signify an upcoming death. However, they were in reality never a strong Dark core, and were more accurately a powerful core for Divination. Misunderstood students may find themselves bonded to an augurey wand, although these wands are altogether quite rare.
Ashwinder Ash – The ashwinder's ash is a good core for love magic much like the eggs of an ashwinder (a main ingredient in love potions). This core will often bond with witches and wizards who often get lost in their fantasies. Because of the ashwinder's connection to fire, this core is good at casting fire-type magic.
Basilisk skin - Basilisk wands are incredibly rare, as the beasts are rare to begin with and hard to kill. Due to the rarity, they often are passed down from generation to generation, so basilisk-core wands are either the heirloom of Slytherin-type pure-blood families or reforged wands from family cores. The occasional new basilisk wand will almost always bond to a Parselmouth or budding Dark Wizard. Very little good comes out of wielders of basilisk wands.
Billywig stinger - Billywig stingers are not common in Britain, but are occasionally imported from Australia, the native habitat of the Billywig. Billywig wands bond almost exclusively to light-hearted pranksters, and are extremely capricious - at one moment it will produce the strongest Cheering Charm in the school, but another time it will object to being used as a potion stirrer and siphon up hours of work without so much as a by-your-leave. When they do bond to a witch or wizard, they tend to be of Hufflepuff or Gryffindor.
Boomslang venom - Boomslang venom, whether crystallized or in a rarer liquid core, provides a small boost to jinxes and hexes thanks to its venomous qualities. However, when a wand maker undertakes the dangerous task of working with the raw venom, it is generally with the aim of creating a powerful Transfiguration wand. Whether or not the advantages outweigh the risks is not generally agreed upon in wand making circles.
Chimaera scale – Chimera's are known for their ferocity and bloodthirsty qualities, making this core very violent and a volatile. It often find's home in wizards that are quick to act and don't take as much time to think. Ravenclaws almost never have a chimaera scale wand, their natural think before you act instincts deter the chimaera scale.
Demiguise hair - Demiguise hairs were long considered to not have enough oomph to make a proper wand, but with the advent of multiple cores they have gained favor for their strength in Transfiguration and the subtle arts. When combined with a stronger wand core they make potent wands, however, on their own they can be rather one-dimensional and difficult to use for anything but Transfiguration. They have found favor in students of all Houses, although they may be slightly rarer among the open Hufflepuffs.
Doxy wing - Doxy wings, like the creatures they come from, can be unmanageable and mean-spirited. They are second only to basilisk wands in their abilities with the Dark Arts, and as such these rare wands are most often found in the hands of stubborn Slytherins without the familial connection to obtain a basilisk core.
Dragon heart string - Dragon heart string is a powerful wand with a lot of magical “heft”. It is not the core you want for subtlety, but for sheer power it is definitely the best. Although it is the most common core among Dark Wizards, Dark Wizards are most certainly not their most common users. Dragon heartstrings are by far the most common wand core amongst Slytherins, but their power often bonds to Gryffindors and Ravenclaws as well. However, they tend to overwhelm the archetypal Hufflepuff personality.
Erumpent hide - There is a very good reason this is an exotic- Erumpent hide wands are extremely dangerous, and don't take well to high levels of magic or sharp impacts. They may add a 'punch' to spells when combined with a gentler core, but most wand makers refuse to work with it completely due to the danger it poses to maker and wielder.
Fairy wing - This core makes for a light, airy wand, and is the absolute best for Charms. They also signify a connection to the mystic, so these wands, despite their relative rarity, are used by nearly half of known witches and wizards with the Sight. Despite their astounding strength in Charms, they are merely average in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration, and will often fail at hexes altogether. As such, they’re not commonly found in Slytherin House, but are common in Hufflepuff. Ravenclaws and Gryffindors may be drawn to this core, although they tend to react better to blends of fairy wings and unicorn hair.
Fwooper feather - Fwooper feather wands are said to be a mark of ill omen for the wizards they bond to, as, like the birds they come from, they are rumored to slowly drive their wielder mad. Despite their poor reputation, they do well with Charms and Care of Magical Creatures. However, they have a near-inability to cast Quietus. They are commonly combined with another feather core, such as the phoenix for health.
Griffin claw - A majestic creature of enormous strength, the griffin is consider to be king of beasts and birds; it possesses the bravery of a lion and the dexterity of an eagle. They are often known to guard vast treasures. A griffins claw is a wise choice for one who wishes to cast powerful defensive spells, charms or hexes. It would make an excellent companion to woods that draw off the elements of air and earth
Hippogriff talon - Hippogriffs are noble animals with a reputation for not taking a slight. These wands require constant respect, and if the wielder does not give it, they can watch its formerly stable and versatile magic backfire on it. It is not the strongest core, but it is one of the most adaptable. These wands are most common amongst Gryffindors, but they are rare overall.
Kelpie hair - Kelpie hairs are incredibly temperamental cores, explaining their rarity. They were once common in Celtic wand making, however, the import of demiguise hairs has resulted in them falling out of favor. They have similar qualities to demiguise hair, and are powerful Transfiguration cores when they don't backfire spectacularly.
Leprechaun Hair – You will rarely find a non-Irish person with a leprechaun hair wand. This is due to leprechaun hair being extremely temperamental to those who don't share it's Irish heritage. Leprechauns are known for their trickery and often find home with those sorts of people. They are great charms cores, and not too bad at transfiguration, though they are lacking in protection spells or healing spells.
Manticore hair - The manticore is an intelligent yet ferocious creature. With the brave heart of a lion and the cunning head of a human, the manticore is not a beast to be trifled with. A manticore hair would be a wise choice for one who wishes to cast dangerous hexes or miraculous charms. It would make an excellent companion to woods that draw of the element of earth, as the manticore dwells in the depths of dark forests.
Pegasus feather - The pegasus is a powerful creature of flight. Strong and agile, the pegasus is thought to create springs where ever its hoof touches the earth. A wing feather would be a wise choice for one who wishes to control the four winds or harness the power of lightning. It would make an excellent companion to woods that draw off the elements of air, lightning, and water.
Phoenix feather - Phoenix feather is a popular wand core due to its versatility and power. Its main strength lies in Defense Against the Dark Arts, although its adaptability can wrench it to hexes and jinxes if need be. As with the dragon heart string core, the phoenix core is common amongst Light Wizards, but its users are not necessarily Light Wizards. This core may specifically impede Dark spells, so it is not common amongst Slytherins. However, it is by far the most common Gryffindor wand core, and is not unusual amongst Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs.
Runespoor Fang – A very popular wand core among dark wizards given it's association with the dark arts. It is a powerful core for dark magic, but also casts powerful divination spells. Because this core is often taken from the runespoor's 'critic' head, it often finds pessimistic masters most appealing. Occasionally the fang will be taken from the 'dreamer' head of the runespoor, in that case it finds a home with a lot of Ravenclaws.
Serpent scale - The serpent is a mystical creature often misrepresented in literature. Dangerous and stealthy, the serpent was summoned to guard and defend ancient temples or places of power. They have the power to heal, poison or provide expanded consciousness, which would make a wise choice for one who wishes to brew potions or cast defensive spells. A serpent scale would make an excellent companion to woods that draw off the element of earth and water.
Unicorn hair - Unicorn hair is a more subtle wand, but it is quite compatible with Charms and Transfiguration. It is also hands-down the best core for healing, as it picks up some of the healing capabilities of unicorn blood. Unicorn hair has a reputation of picking gentler or more cerebral users, so it is common amongst Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws. More laid-back Gryffindors and subtler Slytherins may find themselves with a Unicorn hair wand.
Veela hair - Veela wands are temperamental like the creatures they come from, and are considered too volatile for a decent wand core in many circles. However, some wizards, particularly those with Veela blood, enjoy the boost it gives to outdoorsy magics, divination, and Charms. The veela's inherent intelligence makes finding these wands among the non-Veela blooded most common in Ravenclaw.
[small]The Length of a wand ranges from 7 to 15 inches in length and is supposed to be directly proportional to a witch or wizards actual height. Meaning that a very tall wizard will not have a short wand, as the wand will not behave well for it's master in this case, and vice versa.[/small]
The flexibility of a wand is a measurement of how willing the wand is going to work for it's chosen master and how potent the magic of the spells cast with the wand will be. A witch with a whippy wand will learn new spells much faster than a witch with a rigid wand but the spells cast with it will be much weaker than a witch with a rigid wand. Meanwhile a witch with a rigid wand will take a while longer to learn a new spell, but once the spell is learned it is quite powerful. The flexibility of a wand is also dependent on the type of wood used. You will hardly ever find a pliable oak or mahogany wand or a stiff pine or ivy wand. The scale of the flexibility is as follows:
whippy < easiest to learn, weakest magic quality
rigid < most difficult to learn, most potent magic quality
There is also a special case of flexibility called delicate. A delicate wand needs special care in order to learn a new spell and once learned the spell is rarely ever powerful. Once it is learned however the spell is extremely reliable and will work one hundred percent of the time. Delicate wands tend to choose witches and wizards with a frail personality.