In our tradition we perform most of the Obrussa (first degree grade work) in a Table Lodge setting. It's appropriate and comfortable, yet formal. And unlike the Masonic form, there's no alcohol. But at least once a week a few members of our Coven gather together at a local Coffee house for "Coffee Table Lodge," where we spend the morning talking about our Craft, the state of our union and the latest Wild Hunt Hot Topics. A few weeks back at one such coffee table, I was told an intriguing story about how a Coven-mate happened upon his Wand.
He told me about how he frequents a special place in the Sequoya National Forrest, and how one day he was inspired to take a healthy walk in a new direction. After some time at a quick pace he felt drawn to a particular spot near a log to rest. He sat for a time in silence as he enjoyed the morning air, until his attention was drawn back beside him where he found the small branch pictured above. He picked it up and his first though was that this would make a fine wand.
As he looked it over he realized that the wand had already been worked smooth, and a closer look revealed tool marks. As he expanded his examination he found strange characters inscribed into the handle. He left me on the edge of my seat when he told me that he had taken it home that day months ago, only to lay it to rest on a shelf over his altar. That was the end of the story.
Oh no, this would not do.
I begged, pleaded and insisted that he bring it for a show and tell to our next meeting as I had to see this wand for myself. Sadly he was feeling ill and couldn't make it to that meeting. But his wife did, and she brought it. We all hovered over it, all trying to get a good look, all at the same time. I vaguely recognized the characters and asserted they be either Japanese or Korean. There was some discussion, then I remembered, I have the internet!
I Googled for Japanese Kanji images and blew through a few sets until I found the first symbol. Then another, and another. I made the mistake of thinking the second and third symbols were two separate symbols, but later turned out to be a single Kanji. Once we had each of them decoded, I went to Google Translate and entered the syllables. I added and removed spaces between the syllables until the GT asked me if I meant "something" and when I clicked yes, guess what it turned out to be...
Go ahead, guess...
The kanji on the wand actually literally translates to "Magic Wand." How cool is that? I mean what are the odds that a Wiccan goes for a hike in a National Forrest, sits down to take a rest less than a foot away from a cool magic wand looking stick, that actually turns out to be a Japanese Magic Wand. A fine Wand indeed.
Thank you Lord and Lady for cool stories of serendipity. Blessed Be.