A magic wand deriving from the biblical narrative of the rods of Moses and Aaron that were used in the miracles of dividing the waters of the Red Sea and in causing water to gush from a rock in the desert. When Aaron cast his rod before pharaoh and his magicians (Exodus 7), the rod transformed into a serpent, hence the occult use of Aaron's Rod with a motif of a serpent. An old Jewish legend states that Aaron's rod was created on the sixth day of Creation and was retained by Adam after leaving the Garden of Eden, subsequently passing into the hands of a succession of patriarchs. An apocryphal Christian legend states that the rod was cut from the Tree of Knowledge, eventually came into the possession of Judas, and was the beam of the cross on which Christ was crucified.
The hazel wand used by water diviners in dowsing echoes the water finding by Aaron's rod in the desert. Some form of wand has always been a symbol of authority. The wand also survives as the magical staff of modern conjuring magicians.
1. Ornament in the form of a staff with budding leaves.
2. Ornamented rod with a serpent twined around it, not to be confused with the caduceus.
Aaron's-rod, popular name for several tall-flowering, infrequently branching plants, such as goldenrod and mullein. The name is an allusion to the rod that Aaron placed before the ark and that miraculously blossomed and bore almonds.