The Wand of the Hegemon is one of the more difficult Outer Order wands to replicate, given the peculiar split shape of the Mitre head at its top. To construct a faithful Wand along these lines requires at best not only a jigsaw to shape the two separate pieces that become joined into the shape of the head, but also a good electric sander to do a significant amount of shaping work. For some this may be a low bar to hurdle, but for many Temples just starting out, construction of all the requisite equipment–and especially the Wands of the Hierophant and Hegemon–can pose a high barrier to entry.
It is with these Temples in mind that I sought out to simplify the designs of both the Hegemon’s and the Hierophant’s Wands in order to make them constructible with nothing more than simple hand tools and paints, while doing my best to preserve the symbolism latent within these Wands. (The Hierophant’s Wand will be the subject of a future post.)
I have opted for a simple pentagonal head for the Hegemon’s Wand, emblazoned with the familiar red Cross, rather than attempting a Mitre shape. The bands and pommel are easy enough to do with hand tools. As a bonus, because the head of the Wand screws on to the shaft, it can be removed and replaced with a Mitre head of more traditional construction down the road if desired.
Here is the design for the simplified Hegemon Wand. You can see that the placement of the bands and pommel on the shaft preserve the Sephirothic structure and attributions.
- 3/4″ x 36″ length of dowel
- One 1.5″ doll head
- Three 1.5″ x 1/2″ flat wheels
- Small block (6″ x 6″) of 3/4″ thick wood
- Two 3/8″ x 2″ dowel screws
- 3/8″ drill bit
- 3/4″ wood drill bit
- 100-grit sandpaper
- Wood glue
- Gesso for basecoat
- Liquitex Heavy Body – Naphthol Red Light paint
- Liquid Leaf – Gold paint
- Clear gloss finish (brushable or spray)
- Electric drill
- Hand saw
- (Optional) Clamp
- Paint brushes
- Painter’s tape
- Needle nose pliers
Assembling the Shaft
The Hegemon Wand, like all of the other Golden Dawn wands, is fundamentally composed of two pieces: the head and the shaft. Of the two, the shaft is far easier to produce. The benefit of using dowel screws over pegs and glue, however, is that you can swap out the head for a different one down the road if you choose to do so.
The most difficult part of constructing the shaft, particularly when doing so by hand, is creating the bands that go around it to mark the Sephiroth. A pair of 1.5″ diameter “flat wheels” makes a very good starting point, and eliminates the need to use a hole saw to drill the pieces out of a board and then sand them down. The wheels already have a center hole which can be widened out to 3/4″ in order to fit around the dowel. I used a 3/4″ wood drill bit for this purpose, with a bit of sacrificial wood underneath to prevent drilling into my work surface. Be sure not to drill out all of your flat wheels, because you will need one as-is to go between the shaft of the wand and the head.
There were three big challenges with drilling out the center hole in these flat wheels. The first was holding the wheel steady. It’s possible to do this by hand, but difficult. A better option is to use a clamp affixed to the edge of the wheel and the board to hold it in place while you drill. The second challenge was breakage: if you press down too hard on the drill the stresses on the wheel will cause it to crack, so be sure to use a light to medium touch. Finally, I had difficulty getting the hole to drill straight. After drilling out about six of these, I managed to get several with holes that weren’t skewed. The ones that are askew don’t look too bad when fitted over the dowel, but it’s less than ideal. A drill press would have been a great asset here, as it would have ensured a straight-down hole all the way through. If I were doing this over again, I likely would have gradually widened the hole with progressively larger drill bits in order to reduce the angle of any resulting skew.
For a 36″ dowel, you will want to space the two drilled-out flat wheels along the middle of the band at the 12″ and 24″ marks. Glue them into place using wood glue. If the wheels don’t slide on smoothly you can take a bit of sandpaper and run it along the inside hole, but note that it doesn’t take much to accidentally widen it more than intended. You’ll also want to use a 3/8″ drill bit to drill one hole on either end of the dowel to a depth of about one inch, in order to attach the head and pommel.
Once the glue sets, paint the entire shaft with at least one coat of gesso. Multiple coats may make the color of the wand stand out more, but I didn’t feel the need for multiple applications. When the gesso is dry, paint the shaft (but not the wheels) red using Liquitex Heavy Body Naphthol Red Light. When they say “heavy body” they aren’t kidding, and I found I only needed a single coat to get a good overall color. Be careful when painting around the flat wheels so that you don’t get red paint on them.
Once the red paint dries, mask off the shaft using painter’s tape and use gold Liquid Leaf to paint the flat wheels.
At the same time, you can take the “doll head” (a wooden sphere with a flattened bottom) and the remaining un-drilled flat wheel, coat them with gesso, and paint them gold as well.
Once all of the paint is dry, brush or spray on at least two coats of clear gloss finish. Be sure to let the finish dry adequately between applications. When this is done, you’re ready to assemble the shaft of the wand. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to grasp the unthreaded middle portion of the dowel screws and twist them into the holes you drilled out in the shaft. Screw on the doll head pommel, apply a couple coats of gloss varnish, and you’re ready to move on to the head of the wand.
Assembling the Head
Because we’re working with hand tools, a mitre head isn’t an especially feasible choice in terms of shape. I elected to simplify this down to a pentagon, which is the approximate shape of the mitre. To begin with, I traced a 4″ diameter circle on a piece of 3/4″ thick wood and inscribed a pentagon in it.
Next I used a hand saw to laboriously cut out the shape. It’s a rough job, and using a jigsaw as opposed to a hand saw would have been a huge benefit for cutting out the pentagon.
I used 100 grit sandpaper to smooth down the edges and make the shape more regular. Since I’m coating it with gesso and painting, I didn’t see much reason to sand down the shape to a finer grit.
Drill a 3/8″ hole in the bottom of the pentagon for the dowel screw, coat it in gesso, and paint it gold using Liquid Leaf. Use painter’s tape to mask out a cross of six squares on both sides, and paint it with a coat of gesso and red paint. Be careful to press the painter’s tape down well, or you’re likely to get some bleed on the underside of the mask.
Cover the shape with a couple coats of gloss finish, attach it to the shaft of the wand, and you’re done!