Powers of the staff

April 16, 2012

This post describes my investigations into the powers of my staff. – an incidental tale whose only relevance  is that it shows what can be done with a combination of intuition, divination and dowsing.

After the Spring Equinox I was left with a starting point for how I should proceed along my path for the next few weeks. The instruction was suitably vague yet clear: “Determine the powers of your staff” was my guidance. How I was supposed to do that was for me to work out. Whenever I encounter uncertainty I first turn to my tried and trusted resources. In this case I turned to the Wildwood Tarot deck for inspiration.

Before I did a draw of cards I needed to ask the dowsing rods to assist me with creating a framework for doing the draw. For example, how many cards would I need, and why? What kind of a layout would this suggest? I began to dowse for some initial answers. As is often happening these days, when I blank my mind to get into “dowsing mode” the answers are placed in there even before the rods have been brought into action. It is then a question of using the dowsing rods to confirm the information that Intuition has provided me. This is a potentially dangerous step away from pure objectivity, I know, but anyone who thinks that dowsing is a purely scientific approach is deluding themselves in any case. It is merely a means to interact with an interface to knowledge that we label as “intuition”.

NOTE For me at this stage of my development, the use of psychic/intuitive responses is becoming a valid information source. Still, I treat the responses with as much scepticism and testing as I do the dowsing response. Oh yes, dear readers, even at this stage both Kal and I still often double or triple-check our results. Nothing can be taken for granted!

The Wildwood Tarot deck - a boon for divinatory druids

 Therefore, it will not surprise you to learn that as I began to ask questions concerning the source of the powers in my staff the answers began to emerge – from memory, from my ‘subconscious’ or from elsewhere – I cannot say for sure – yet they arrived. Here were my questions and their answers:-

  1. Is my staff imbued with some form of magickal power? Dowsing rods said, “Yes”.
  2. Is there a single source for these powers? Dowsing rods said, “No”. Further dowsing said “Two sources”.
  3. How many powers were contained in the staff? Dowsing suggested FIVE separate powers.
  4. What are the sources of the powers, I wondered…. The Elemental masters, and your Spirit Guide, was the intuitive response. Dowsing confirmed this.
  5. Was each power aligned to a specific master or guide? Dowsing confirmed “Yes”.

It seemed that I could therefore draw a set of five cards from the tarot deck, and ask that each one show me some information that would guide me to an understanding of the powers contained in the staff. Seemed logical? A simple elemental cross with a central card for the spirit element seemed like a sensible layout. I did the draw, and the results sent such a shock through my system that I had to leave the room and walk away from the cards for a minute to calm down.

See why….!

Powers of the staff

Wildwood tarot layout for ash staff powers
Earth card: Eight of Stones
  • Skill. Making individual mark. Craft.
  • Use: Creating circles and glyphs.

Water card: King of Bows

  • Adder. Earth energies. Increase of power.
  • Use: Enlivening subtle energies (Particularly male, it seems)

Fire card: Ace of Bows

  • Spark of life. Creating energy. Learning the power of the tool and the skills to use it.
  • Use: Resurrection of dead energy spots.

Air card: Seven of Bows

  • Clearance.
  • Use: Clearing energies to leave a blank canvas.

Spirit card: Nine of Stones

  • Tradition. The ability to relate to ancient knowledge and pass on the lessons.
  • Use: to know how to use the staff with wisdom and to teach others the same.


I can’t put an incident against every one of the powers learned from the tarot draw yet, but there are a few incidents that I can mention that do seem to provide some form of verification.

  1. Air – clearing energies. At Lud’s Church when I used the staff’s forked end (it’s North/Air end) to clear the bad energies in one small gully. My friend Mike saw this happening with his second sight.
  2. Earth – creating glyphs and circles. I have used the staff on a couple of occasions (notably at Alderley Edge wood) to create a glyph, but more often to draw a circle. I use the staff’s base (South/Earth end) to do this. Seems obvious now, but the cards did reveal this too.

I now look forward to finding out how to use the other two powers – creating energy and enlivening it. I’m pretty sure I’ve done this using the staff before, but the exact incidents escape me at this moment. Now I will specifically test whether these powers exist, whether I know how to use them, and where they can be appropriately used. So begins a new chapter in my use of the staff as a tool for harnessing my inherent powers to work with the subtle energy forces of our planet. Exciting stuff!

Thus endeth another valuable lesson from the wonders of The Tarot. I am, as ever, grateful to those intelligences who assist me in teasing our this information from the flow of the universal forces and symbolising their content in a form that I can understand, or at least that my hopes of understanding can be pinned upon.


Only registered users can comment.

  1. ‘Lady of the labyrinth’ – that sounds like the lovely Maria kilvaug (I know that’s not the right spelling, it’s Norwegian anyway!) I’m linked up with her on Facebook and Youtube, we’ve exchanged a few messages too, she’s wonderful and what she doesn’t know about the Edda you could fill a stamp with! Yes ‘Volva’ is a tricky word for some, not to be confused with a ‘lady garden’! It probably does have an entomological link with words relating to the feminine, of course the masculine is ‘Volvo’ as in the car! Many of the early Germanic peoples clearly were quite Matrifocal, as that extract confirms, I think it was Tacitus who said that no Germanic chieftain would go to war or do anything much without the advice of the local Volva, nearly always a woman, much like the Mudung of Korea – a purely female tradition of Shamanism, Maria says that often the Vikings adopted women of other cultures and they could rise in status to Volva – which was the highest status in the entire tribe, technically she would outrank a chief!

    Ha-ha – about the tablecloth, I got mine at Wilco’s – oh its the glamorous life for me!!

  2. The wonderful Wildwood tarot, one of the most crucial tools on my shelf! I’ve never had a tarot deck stop me in my tracks like this one. This is very similar to how I build a spread and reading as well. Love the one you came up with here and blessings on the upcoming staff work!

    1. Hi BR,

      The Wildwood Appreciation Society begins here! 😉 It’s a perfect combination of artistry and symbolism, druidry and nature. I recommend it to everyone who works with nature in a magickal way.

      Pretty classic spread – the cross – but is came about only because of the elements involved (literally The Elements!). Otherwise it might have been completely different. Regarding layouts I have a pretty relaxed approach. To me the card need to assemble themselves in a pattern that makes reading them a logical sequence or progression from the origins of the request to its conlusions or outcomes and that’s the only criteria I have.

      I know you work worh the tarot a lot – do you have any thoughts on how to select a payout for the cards? Do you use classic layouts (that some tarot readers try to tell me has meaning in itself), or have you created your own layouts to serve a particular purpose?


      1. (My apologies on not seeing the reply! Am going back and catching up and saw this.)

        Yes, the Wildwood Appreciation Society. I love it!

        I work with this deck every day. I’ll be writing up a whole slew of posts in order to catch up on my own blog but the deck assigned itself to be my own personal advisor in the magical. I draw a card every day to give me advice as to the magical/spiritual side of my life and what to watch out for. I typically will just have a conversation with them and let the spread build itself. However, shortly after getting them I was shown a spread in my inner eye and have used it on occasion. I posted it some while ago on my own blog. Do you mind if I put a link here?

        1. Hi BR,

          Please DO drop your link into the conversation. W’re happy to host links from friends, and I’d like to re-read that post anyway. I’m sure others would too.

          W.A.S. Avid Member,

  3. It’s an interesting idea that an object can become imbued with power like that, that you can very directly and precisely aim your thoughts. When I was researching into my own stuff way back, I was fascinated by the staff that the Norse ‘Volva’ Shamans used, I believe even someone like Tacitus mentions this staff of office being carried by the old druids and shamans of Europe. I like your tarot btw – and I have a tablecloth a bit like that!!

    1. You always make me work to respond! I love that. OK – I had to do a bit of reading about Volvos. No Volvic. No! Volva. I nearly said Vulva! Oops – there I said it.

      Here’s a great quote which is re-printed on the wonderful Freya – The Lady of the Labyrinth blog site:

      ““…it now seems correct to speak of an actual widespread cult which emphasized reverence for a staff-bearing prophetic goddess [in Western and Central Europe during the Iron Age]…The connection between women and various peculiar looking staffs and containers goes back at least that far in European prehistory [as La Tene, 450 B.C. Switzerland]…
      The rich female grave of the fifth century B.C. contained a large number of amulets…a staff with hanging chains and a peculiar Ringgefäss [a ceremonial mead vessel]
      …has rightly opted for “cult staff”…such staffs “are always found in very rich female graves” and scholars appear to be agreed that “a cultic meaning must also be ascribed to them”. But the exact significance of the staff is unclear. It obviously serves no practical purpose but must nonetheless have had a symbolic association with leading women…”

      (Michael Enright, Lady with a Mead Cup, chapter IV)”

      Don’t you just love scholars? Check out this line: “It obviously serves no practical purpose …” Ovbiously. If you’re not a shaman with an understanding of magick and energy! Then it’s obvious to people who are like that that the scholar has a limited perception and thus ends his useful addition to the discussion.

      I also had to go read some Tacitus. I re-read his Mona Invasion account and it made me wince, as it does every time. It makes perfect snese to me that the staff becomes an emblem of office due to association when considered from the scholar’s or the observer’s standpoint. From the Druid’s position or the shaman’s, then the staff is central to their work. I am finding. A bit late in the game. But at least I got there.

      Loving your taste in tablecloths. We must compare patterns one day.

Leave a Reply