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Wand Basics 101

by David Haber

As long as there have been Witches and Wizards, there have been magical wands. No part of Harry Potter's magical heritage goes back further. The ancient Celtic Druids who lived in what is now called Scotland employed wands all the way back to 500 BC. As a matter of fact, "Druid" actually means "man with the wisdom of the wood".

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Reader Comments: (Page 6)

I'm quite liking the fact that Dumbledore beat Grindelwald WHILE the latter had the Elder Wand.

Makes Dumbledore that little bit more special to know that he got the better of the "Unbeatable Wand".

Posted by Roxy from Glasgow on November 20, 2007 01:04 AM

I believe our wands are living, magical beings in and of themselves. This could be why in the movies each wand seems to have a unique and exotic handle: it is reflecting the personality of its user as well as itself. A 'blending' so to speak. What do our readers say?

Posted by Nat D. Aiken from Bronx, NY on March 25, 2008 07:33 AM

In the 7th book in shell cottage, ollivander says that a wizard or witch can pass magic through any object other than a wand if he is sed in magic, dumbledore and voldemort are known to be the 2 most strongest wizards but still we never saw any evidence to this. In no book it's mentioned that dumbledore uses a sneakoscope to make magic or woldemort using a cauldron or something like that. What can be the mystery?

Posted by Apoorva Yadav from Dehradun,India on May 31, 2008 12:07 AM

Jeremy, yea i just read what you sead about latin spells and stuff. and yea, that is a very good question.

but maybe there's a way around that. remember that wizards dont have to have wands in order to perform magic, and also dont need to know spells to perform magic.

remember, for one thing, hagrid uses an umbrella, not a wand, and though he's not the best wizard, we must remember that his umbrella performs very well considering he's a weak wizard. no offence, i meant weak psychologically, because he has a bad memory and is quite gullible and all that. constantly making mistakes and all, so in that respect, his umbrella performs very well. and in the cases of wizards who are very young and dont have wands yet, we know that they perform magic when at an emotional stage, where magic just bursts out of them. examples of this could be found when little severus snape made a tree branch snap and land on little petunia, or when harry manages to regrow his hair when uncle vernon shaved his head or cut his hair.

about spells, remember even in those kids who dont know magic yet and dont have wands, they manage to intentionally cause things to happen magically without a wand, and more remarkably, without knowing the spells and incantations and jinxes. this is surely proof that spells arent absolutely required in order to do magic, its more intention. so spells may be just a standard way of teaching people to learn magic standardised by the people of a particular region.

so with that said, it would be safe to assume that chinese wizards had the same spells english wizards have but have different incantations related to their nation's language.

Posted by Ayoub from Kuwait on June 1, 2008 05:11 AM


yes, you are right that dumbledore and voldmort have never, as far as we know, used a sneakoscope or any other object to do magic except for the wands. but what about hagrid? he uses an umbrella, because his wand was snappd by the Ministry of Magic.

but even if the umbrella had wand-like properties, lets examine the characters of dumbledore and voldemort, shall we?

i start with dumbledore: we know that dumbledore had a very good wand and he was sd at magic, but he had a wand, didnt he? why would he look for anything else when a wand also has magical properties of their own? the wand had chosen him, and so the magical bond between them meant the wand would hav been more powerful for him than any other ordinary object. and even after he stopped using the wand he procured from ollivander, he got the Elder wand, the most powerful wand. why would he need to use anything else? to prove to us that he can? it doesnt make sense, so dumbledore wouldnt be a good example.

so now let us examine voldemort: he was arrogent, he, according to ollivander [or it might have been dumby, i dont remember], had always been happy with his wand, until he found out about the core connection between his wand and harry's. and voldy wouldnt be a good example either because he wouldnt WANT to use ordinary objects as a substitute wand. he seeks grandeur. therefore, for Jo to write somethin about either of them using anythin other than wands for magical purposes would hav been out of character.

but yea, i understand that there is no proof of anythin being used other than wands, but that may be because wands are just better for magic. not becos only wands can be used. and let us not forget hagrid's umbrella!

hope i cleared that up.

Posted by Ayoub from Kuwait on June 1, 2008 07:54 AM

Ayoub, you make some good points, but you missed one thing.

Hagrid's umbrella IS a wand! The umbrella's got the peices of Hagrid's broken wand inside of it. Ollivander as much as accuses him of this, when remembering that his wand was snapped, he asks Hagrid something to the effect of, "...and you wouldn't be using the peices, now, would you?" which of course, Hagrid quickly denies.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on June 1, 2008 10:11 PM

Dave Haber
oh yea i totally forgot that part.
ok, im not trying to change the subject, but the main point i was trying to make to Apoora was that Jo had little, if any, reason to write in a part where dumbledore or voldemort, the latter in particular, used an object other than a wand to channel magic.

but yea, i made a mistake with hagrid

Posted by Ayoub from Kuwait on June 2, 2008 04:42 AM

The article's great and i came to know which wood would be used in my wand, but don't you think that it's the core that really matters so if you could research something on the cores too we could really know which wand we'll have.

Posted by Apoorva from India on June 17, 2008 11:54 PM

the article's just awesome and i came to know about my birth wood..but i also want to know that only special people can make this or as some other articles say that its you who make a wood a wand..but the wood certainly attaracts you saying 'i would like to be your wand''

in that case it says that the core is not important its only you and your feeling, love, attaraction towards that piece of wood which act like a wand in your hand as the wood had chosen you... all the magic is your concentration and feeling to do the thing you are going to do by that wand!

Posted by RIJUL from INDIA on August 2, 2008 6:23 PM

Very astute, Rijul! I'm sure Dumbledore and Olivander would both tell you, you can do wonderful things with the help of your wand, but the magic comes from the Wizard, the wand is just an instrument, in the same way a guitar is an instrument. Is the music coming from the guitar, or the musician playing it?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on August 3, 2008 09:12 AM

you are saying it right, but as there are muggles also... i think we can consider us as muggles... so as hermoine can do magic as muggles so as we also can.

Posted by RIJUL from INDIA on August 4, 2008 04:18 AM

Dumbledore had the Elder Wand when he d. And then it got passed onto Snape. But then Voldemort ed Snape so it was Voldemort's. Then it was passed onto Harry. That's what happened to Dumbledore's wand.

Posted by Hanna Potter on August 12, 2008 10:21 AM

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