By Isabella @TheWandCarver
If you have visited our Etsy shop, you have probably seen a stang or two being sold there. Perhaps you wonder a bit about what they are and why they are used. That is normal because not every witch walks the hedge path – which, by the way, is translated in many different ways I’ve seen from my online travels and many are not correct.
Firstly, a Hedge witch is usually a necromancer, or at least one who practises astral travel for his or her personal reasons. As explained in a past blog Necromancy – It Isn’t a Dirty Word Anymore, necromancy has nothing to do with literally raising the dead [as in re-animating dead bodies] as it did in the past. It may have done centuries or so ago, but today’s necromancer is generally happy to only reconnect with his or her ancestors. I say “reconnect” because the blood of our ancestors runs deep in our veins whether we are hedge witches or not. If at any time in your life you have felt a burning desire to visit a particular country or feel compelled by a certain culture, or even feel a propensity to live in a different century altogether, you very probably are being asked to do so by a long-ago ancestor of yours. Some of us are much more sensitive to this than others… why, I do not know. All I know is, my ancestors have run me through a gamut of interests in my life that often-made little sense – until I started visiting them and listening. Then, about fifteen years ago I began genealogy. The going was rather slow in the beginning and I could only get to about five generations deep into my past. Since then, I am now back to 30 AD in one line [the one where I discovered I’m the 28th great-granddaughter of King Henry I and Queen Matilda of Scotland – but then, most every one of you are probably related to them and all! – and there are still lines where I can’t get much deeper than the 14th great-grandparents. But there is a point to be made here. Without going over the top explaining, there were many things I inherently knew without being told. I always felt them since a very early age. My parents or grandparents did not tell me these things, I just knew. Still, I had no way of understanding how I knew until I focussed my path into necromancy and hedge witchery and genealogy, which gave me my proof.
Now, how do we use a stang and why? Perhaps more why to start… A stang, is, unlike a wand [although it can be used as a wand] is forked in representation of the Horned God [like, say, Cernunnos or Baphomet]. Many times, a stang is more like a staff, longer than the ones we create for sale and you will often see depictions of them with a candle between the forks or tines. That is because Hecate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone, guiding her through the night with flaming torches. Any wood can be used for a stang… many prefer Ash because Yggdrasill was/is Ash. But I feel for the shorter stangs used for necromancy/Hedge witchery, woods can be chosen to the personal tastes of the witch. And, because Hecate is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts, and necromancy I try to use a wood which also matches the occasion and resonates with Hecate. Our newest stang is made from Elm wood which is more than perfect for this reason. “Because Elm’s and Yew’s mythology are twinly bound to Death and the Underworld” is what I wrote in my blog called The Magick of Elm. Yew would also be a very good wood to create a stang from. You may also find that we sell a Magnolia stang. Sounds a bit lightweight for such a heavy journey, I’m sure you’re thinking. Yes, there is certainly a method to my madness here. Magnolia is profoundly efficient for spiritual opening. And, you must be spiritually open to allow yourself to cross over during a hedge walk. Magnolia is also a stress and fear reliever which can come in handy during a hedge walk. I added thirteen Howlite skulls because focussing on a piece of Howlite can assist in journeying outside the body and gaining insight from past lives. Then there are four small silver-plated keys as a nod to Hecate and her keys to the four Crossroads. So, as you can see, your stang is a tool of protection and help throughout your hedge walks and for various other instances of your necromantic life.
How do you use it? That is largely up to you and how you feel it best benefits you. I personally always hold it in my power hand or lay it across my lap if I’m feeling more at ease. I’ve read that some use it as a director of energy through their soul flight and others place it beneath their knees as they sit. I’m sure there may be many other ways of using a stang during a hedge walk and if you care to leave yours in comments, we would all love to read them.
Many thanks to all whom wander this way. Many happy astral travels to all and warmest blessings x
Necromancy – It Isn’t a Bad Word Anymore, by Isabella
The Magick of Elm, by Isabella
Crystal of the Week – Howlite, by Isabella