Magickal tools are extensions of your own inner power. If you have not done the work prior to developed your own power, your staff will not reflect that when used.

In the story Bethia takes Shion to receive her ran, the ypsy word for  staff. In doing so, Shion must open herself to the realm of faerie and trees. Yes, you must go out and carefully choose your own staff but you must also make sure you have permission from the tree or branch first, for it might not want to be a tool of power. Just as if you have the inclination to pick up a rock, it is only because you heard it's calling to be moved; it wanted to see other sights!

The staff in the picture is my personal staff. It took a few trips in the woods to find the right one. And it took much toil and blood for it to become part of me. I spent many an hour sanding and then carving the runes in it and if you look close you might see on of them. The feathers of flicker, duck, hawk, and owl along came to me during many of my hikes in the woods. Tt is unlawful to take feathers from any birds and use them for material gain.  The horse hair is from Lucky/Nero and Sterling/Sterling's tail.

The crystal at the top is called the Spirit quarts. If you look close you can see that it has many smaller crystals pointing out from the main body of the crystal and each tiny point projects energy out in all directions. At the bottom of the staff is what I think is a pretty close match to a deers hoof-remember the horse and the deer takes the shaman to the otherworld...

This staff has been to many full moon circles, sweat lodges, solstice and equinox celebrations. When I am performing magick on my own, my staff helps me to open the circle of protection needed. When it is not in use I keep it away from hands, one never wants anyone elses energies attached to their magickal tools. It is in a hidden corner of my bedroom near my bed and brings me many interesting dreams.

I once brought it to Witche's Ball in Denver Colorado for Samhain, what you call Halloween, and an indian fellow came up to me and asked me if I had a lot of dreams. He said the collection of feathers I had on my staff could bring very vivid and powerful visions, and to be careful with that energy. I knew what I was dealing with when putting them on my staff. When I raised the energy within my staff I was very mindfull of that.

So, young seekers, when you think you are ready to collect your own magickal tools remember to be very careful where you tread. Ask first and only take when given permission. And always leave an offering behind. If for some reason you find the stick you brought home just isn't right, please put it back where you found it. Always be very mindful of what you do and take when in the woods, for there are those watching you very closely. Remember the path of the true seeker is always being tested and to move forward you must pass each consecutive test first. If you are doing your work, you will know in your heart when to move forward. And always remember, Harm None. 

Picture of what Bethia's vardo might have looked like with the traditional red and yellow paint, some even added a little green. Isn't it beautiful!

This is a picture of a Rom Gypsy girl. I found this from the book Bury me Standing. The gypsy is believed to have come out of India, captive tribes brought to what is now known as Afganistan. They were brought there to build a city. The tribes of India were well known for thier artisians, copper smiths, jewelers, potters, etc. Since in 14th century India it was taboo to have different tribes intermarry the captives had no choice. They were set free about a century later when the Khan Dynasty come through pillaging and conquering. They knew they could not go back to their homeland since their blood had intermingled and was not longer clean. 

Music was a very big part of the Gypsy culture. You read about the vestingri the tambourine in the story. Here are two brown skinned Gypsy children with their vestingris getting read to perform.