Most of us are familiar with the old=fashioned magical show where a magician waves a wand and “presto”—pulls a rabbit out of the hat!
The wand and its magical powers had its cultural origins in an ancient symbolic language, which was also used in the narratives of Holy Scripture. For instance, when Moses frequently stretched out his “rod,” miraculous things always followed. A wand or rod symbolizes power. Moses’ and Aaron’s rod symbolized power from God or Divine power.
According to theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, in the original language used by ancient shepherds, a rod referred to a traveler’s staff. A traveler’s staff (as well as the modern walking cane) represents the power of supporting the body just as the power of truth supports and serves the soul. This is the reason why shorter “rods” or “staffs” were used by kings to represent the power of truth (from God) residing within their royal proclamations and edicts. These rods or short staffs used by the royalty were called scepters.
A shepherd’s staff symbolized the power they exercised over their flocks. The Romans even used sticks tied together in bundles to symbolize the power of laws that served and promoted the common good of society.
It is because of this symbolism that Egyptian magi made use of rods to perform their miracles. Finally, this symbolism was further modified to become a magician’s wand.
What is the reason a length of wood can communicate this power?
In the ancient and universal language of symbolism, tree branches (or sticks) represented the power of natural good. Trees are good for the health of nature’s ecosystem and therefore tree boughs symbolized the power of that goodness,
Therefore, in a person’s hand, a staff, rod or wand becomes an extension of, and represents the power not merely of a tree, but the moral power of that person’s heart and mind to do good (or evil) for society. It is the outward power of the principles and worldviews we apply to our lives.