When a Peddler turns thirteen, they get their first wand. This wand allows them to do more complex and power magics and is a sign of their magical studies moving beyond childhood. Over their lifetime, a Peddler will get many wands, but it is that first one that lingers in their memories the most. Not every Peddler gets a wand. Only those who are good magical students will have the skills and ability to learn the art of wand making taught during the ceramony. It is this moment, when a Peddler learns that they are truly destined to learn magic that makes their first wand so important.
What Is The First Wand?
Every Summer Solstace the Peddlers gathers as a clan or family as best they can for wherever they are in the world. The day begins as any other Lemon Day for the family which lives within a Peddler Wagon. Here the mother begins preparing the Lemon Cream . The father takes all the children old enough to keep up, out hunting for hedgehogs or rabbits to be roasted for supper. Sometimes this is taking them fishing instead. Either way, the father and children are gone for a few hours getting meat for supper. By the time they return, the Lemon Cream is chilling in a tub of ice water. Clatita sandwiches, a flapjack rolled about an egg and cheese center, have also been made and handed out to the whole family. Cups of cider are served to wash it down. Once all the sandwiches are eaten the family then leaves their wagon to gather with the rest of the caravan or clan gathering if they have reached such a place. Until the sun begins to set, they enjoy a festival of music, games, and storytelling. Soon as the sun starts to set, everyone returns to their wagons where the cooking parent prepares the meat using a lemon juice, even making a sauce or gravy, depending on the type of meat. After supper is eaten, the Lemon Cream is served with shortbread cookies or sweetrolls. This Lemon Day, it is the thirteen year old who eats their own private bowl of Lemon Cream at the head of the table. This is generally the first time in their lives that they are the honored one on a Lemon Day, their only other time has been on their birthdays. When the precious Lemon Cream has been eaten, it is time for the real ritual to begin.
While the mother gathers the younger children, the father lights a candle lantern then prepares two rushlights for each member of the family. He then, one by one lits a single rushlight for each family member and, with the other rushlights in a satchel lung over his shoulder, he picks up the lantern and leads his family into the woods. Other fathers lead their families as well, brightening the woods. They continue on until the rushlights burn down. When the rushlights go out, the father sets down the candle lantern. Every other father does the same and, together, they form a circle around which everyone sits. Only two, the Elder Man and Elder Woman remain standing holding their own lanterns.
Into The Woods
"Come, Ye saplings. Come and test the way of the Wand." The Elder Man intoned. "Amy, go ahead." Her father smiled and gently helped the thirteen year old girl to her feet. "Go to them." She looked up at her father with wide eyes. "Go on now, Amy." Her mother udrged gently. "You will do just fine."
The thirteen years olds gather about the Elder couple. Elder man instructs them to each go cut a small branch from the tree in the middle of the circle. When this is done, he has them sit down and he instructs them in how to trim and whittle the branch into an over-long wand. When this is done he sets up a little iron cauldron over which he begins to carefully warm several little spools of copper wire. As he does this, Elder Woman takes over. She calls them one by one to come to her and reach into a velvet satchel. There they dig aroud until they feel a crystal and pull it out. Once all the children have a pointed crystal, she has them sit back down and trim their overlong wands down until the rounded bottom of the crystal can fit on the tip without sticking out. When they finish, Elder Woman once again calls them to her one at a time. There she has them use a child spell to apply glue from a pot she holds to one side of a ribbon or leather strip, then wrap it about the wand and crystal to hold the crystal in place. When the child finishes, she sends them to Elder Man and calls the next child. The Elder Man has them again use their child magic to take a spool of painfully warm copper wire and wrap it over the ribbon or leather, then in a looser wrap until it almost reaches the child's grip on the wand. He then tells the child to sit back down.
After all the children have made their wands, they are taught a new spell that brings gentle moonlight into their crystals. When a child can raise their wand high with their crystal glowing like the moon, all those who have been watching applause. Those children who cannot make their wands glow like the moon are destined to never be magic casters. Their wands are taken and each is given a leather vest, if a boy, or a leather apron if a girl. They, too, are applauded. Other professions vital to Peddler society will be chosen for them by their parents but they will never be able to attain their own Peddler Wagon. When the last child has lit their wand or recieved their leathers, the ceremony ends. The fathers light rushlights for his family and leads them home to their wagons with his candle lantern.
The Children's Destinies
The wrappings of a wand must be fabric for a female or leather for a male. This attunes the Peddler's birth gender to ley magic allowing them to have a deeper access to it through their wand. Gender prefernces can change but an individual's connection to the ley magic is always determined at birth. This link will never weaken or change no matter how the Peddler identifies or even if they are physically gender changed. The fabric or leather, covered in pine pitch glue, is wrapped in a deisul, or clockwise, direction about the the wand and crystal. The warmed copper is wrapped about in the opposite direction which is called widdershins, or counter-clockwise. These countering directions produce a balance within the wand. As the Peddler grows older, they learn how to add further skins and wraps over their wands than cover the copper and the wrap. A decorative metal cap can also be placed over the crystal.