I want a stang. Y'all who are Pagans have seen stangs before - they are the 'staff with two or three points on the top'. Here's a grand article about them http://witchofforestgrove.com/2011/02/27/how-to-use-a-stang/. I have heard it can be used as a magical gateway, and want to try that out. I have to admit I don't quite get how that would work, or why it would be different than using a 'regular' staff, or my staff with the antler on top.
Today, a cold day with a seriously sharp wind, I moved from inertia into active on getting one. Or co-creating one.
We have a whole lot of Tree Of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) growing around here. It and I have decided that my stang will be of that wood. While a import (and, let's face it, an invasive one at that) in the US it already has a mythos here. Not only does it resist city pollution, but it's the tree that was the central image in the book/movie "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn". And it grows fast, which is part of why it and I are working together on this.
Because while I WANT a stang out of this wood, that doesn't mean that the trees here have the formation I want ready. Or at least ready somewhere that isn't 40 feet in the air. So today nature and I started working together.
I went out to the smaller of the two copses - the one my main altar and the huge holey stone is in - and started evaluating and conversing and building a relationship with the smaller trees. I removed the side branch buds forming under 6 feet high on their stems. Once they get to be about 8 feet tall, I'm going to be pruning the main stem back about 2 feet, and letting two or three branches form and grow up, competing to be the main trunk. Once those get to be a couple of feet tall, I will fell the tree and make the specialized staff.
You might have noticed that this is not an instant-gratification version of getting a magical tool. No, this is a form a relationship, grow together, work together, THEN work to turn out a tool (and working to a freshly cut tree whose fresh sap can cause blisters). This is taking time to build the right long-term relationship. This is not 'shopping for a tool'.
It is the tree working on my nature, as much as me modifying nature.
This, my darlings, is the Great Work.