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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 7)

About Dumbledore's wand(the Elder Wand), Snape never had it. Before Dumbledore d Draco disarmed him and won its allegiance even though he never touched it. The wand was placed in Dumbledore's tomb where Vodemort later picked it up without becoming the master. Harry became its master when he took Draco's own wand at Malfoy Manor. That's why the wand refused to Harry in the graet hall.

I agree the power comes from the wizard and the wand is used to channel magic, but I'm confused about Harry's wand in DH. When it had broken it would not work properly, like Ron's in CoS. Hagrid's wand pieces in his umbrella seem to work fine. Would all wizards be able to put parts of their wand in a container and use it properly or does Hagrid's umbrella have something special done to it?

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on August 12, 2008 5:16 PM

That's a wonderful point anonymus, but when harry's wand got broken it was broken by a spell, but hagrid's wand was snapped into two by hand, maybe the damage is more when it is done by magic, so hagrid can still use his wand.
But i still not sure about it.

Posted by Apoorva from India on August 23, 2008 07:05 AM

Someone said, infact it's been said a few times here, that magic is about intention and not spells in and of themselves.

This was diproven in HBP when Harry used Sectum Sempra (I believe that was the name of the spell) without knowing what it did after reading the name in Snape's old potion's book.

Granted, he did want to cause harm, but that alone shouldn't have caused the spell to do the right thing if it really is only intention that matters. After all, Harry didn't intend to cause THAT MUCH harm...

Maybe, and this is a bit far fetched, I'll admit... Maybe when a word is used to set a certain effect into motion it sort of become affixed to that effect? That being said, spells could be 'writen' in any language.

It's not so far fetched when you think about the taboo on Voldemort's name. That almost proves that a magical action can effect a word on a global scale.

So we can think of the creation of a spell as a spell in and of itself that assigns an effect to a certain word or phrase. After the first time the spell is cast, any time someone says the same words (or thinks them very strongly as per wandless magic) the effect is again called into play.

That being said, spells could be writen in any language, but perhaps latin is used so it is easier to organize.

For instance, I believe Sectum Sempra, roughly translated, means rip apart, yes? It would be extremely confusing if there were ten spells, in ten diffirent languages, with similar effects, all called 'Rip Apart'. Using latin means that only one spell has that name, period. A similar spell would have to find a name more fitting to it's level of effect; for instance Shred, Rend, Sever or something along those lines. It's a more specific system.

Then again, that's just a theory from an avid FanFicer...

Posted by KonKat from La Puente, California on October 13, 2008 06:47 AM

Anonymous- I just wanted to point out that Hagrids wand did not work as well as other wizards wands did. There are times when spells that Hagrid had cast went wrong. An example of this is when he tries to repair Sirius's motorbike in DH while he and Harry are heading towards Ted and Andromeda's house. Instead the two parts of the bike sever completely.

However I'm not sure whether accidents like these are due to the wand being broken or Hagrids magical ability.

I have always wondered about the way wands are made and how the different materials used aid the witch/wizard. Is it just the core that focuses the magic (as all the cores are from magical beings) or is it the wand as a whole?

Also, I wonder about what seperates wizards from muggles. As in why do only some humans have it while others don't? Infact, what is magic? Is it a substance or not? When I think of magic I imagine it similar to an emotion, that is to say, you can't see it but it is still part of who you are. Some of my friends think differently however. One thinks that what separated muggles from wizards and witches is some sort of chromasonal mutation?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Posted by Poppy from Christchurch on January 11, 2009 02:08 AM

well what wand would be for a person born on the 23 of december because that happens to be my birthday.

Posted by Hampton from Advance north carolina on May 24, 2009 6:55 PM

We know that the wand chooses the wizard...but is there anything as the broom choosing the flyer?

Posted by Apoorva from India on May 31, 2009 09:36 AM

Poppy, the idea of chromosomal mutation is very fascinating. It could explains the existence of the magical dimension with magical animals, plants and other creatures being mutations of normal ones.

In terms of the actual definition of magic: I think it could be something similar to electricity or electromagnetism. For example we can't see, or hear, electromagnetism. But we can see the effect it causes when a metal object seems to be pulled as if by "magic" towards a magnet.

Another thought: Maybe wizards and muggles had a common ancestor but we branched off sometime in the past. This could have been due to mutation as Poppy suggested or one group of humans developed a super advanced form of ancient technology based on discoveries that were made by one group of humans.
The pre-Wizards of the time and muggles probably lived in harmony but a split occurred years ago, maybe because the muggles did not like the idea of living with mutated humans or because they thought that this new technology was "against the of God" the wizards were persecuted and as a result went into hiding; Or maybe the wizards hid themselves before they were discovered; Sheilding their entire world making it impervious to muggle eyes ever since.

The stories that muggles have of the magic world since then, would have come from early legends and superstitions passed on through the generations and also from brief encounters throughout history e.g. from ghosts, werewolves, vampires and other "paranormal phenomenon".

Posted by AJ from Jamaica on July 30, 2009 06:12 AM

oh another thing, how come we never see or hear about vampires in the HP series. There are werewolves, trolls, dragons, centaurs and other creatures from ancient lore but no vampires.

Posted by AJ from Jamaica on July 30, 2009 06:17 AM

There is a vampire in HP, although he doesn't get to do much. Sanguini appears as a guest at Slughorn's Christmas part in Half-Blood Prince.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on July 30, 2009 06:53 AM

wow this article is soo cool. i would have a holly wand 2! just like harry potter!

Posted by Syd from abilene ks on July 31, 2009 11:44 AM

Magic may be a force that is, as AJ said, similar to electricity or magnetism. How this became a part of living creatures? Maybe they evolved; maybe at one point, all humans were magical, but the number of magical people are diminishing. There is a theory in the wizarding world about this. On JKR's website, one of the wizards of the week has a theory that wizards came from Mars and Muggles came from mushrooms.

Posted by Ellimac from The Computer under the Stairs on July 31, 2009 10:15 PM

Wow that is really cool! I did some research and I guess my wand is a rowan/unicorn combo...
I still don't see how you can find your wand size

Posted by Nikki on October 18, 2009 1:35 PM

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