Over on the Golden Dawn Group (yahoo forum), there is currently a discussion going on about wands and their use. Being the clown that I am, most of my thoughts about wands and their use are irrelevant.
Nevertheless, I am going to share some of them with you. Free feel to mock me in the comment section.
Before the current semester started, I was reading the Harry Potter books. In my defense, it is my first time reading any of them past the first two books; and considering that the Fall 2011 senior seminar in Literature is going to be Children Classics for Adults (The Hobbit, A Winkle in Time, Alice in Wonderland, and other books which titles escape me at the moment), I thought I would finish the series before the summer was over (I am only 23% of the way though book 5---Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix---so I do have a ways to go still). And during the course of my reading, I decided that I want Potter's wand (or one of the same family).
While we joke in ceremonial circles (or at least I do), that Harry Potter's wand is a wimpy wand (it is so small)---just look at the stuff that wand can do. My own wand can barely convince the cat to get off the kitchen counter. In fact, my cat thinks that the lotus is good for itching his face against. (I get no respect, I tell you.)
As for the amount of information about wand use that I have picked up in Golden Dawn circles, well before dealing with my current Advanced Adept Advisor, it mainly came from the Thelemic Golden Dawn (which I spent a year in). Or at least, the information that the rest of the Golden Dawn community would find acceptable.
(Hathoor Temple did have some teachings about the wands and their use, but the information is not the type that the rest of the Golden Dawn community embraces. It is one of those times that if you only know Regardie's stuff, then the practices of a working lodge look highly wrong and downright awful.)
Honestly, as I noted in a post to the wand discussion (whether it was true or just a joke is for the reader to decide), I picked up more about proper wand use when I was a kid and studying sleight-of-hand and stage magic. One of the things that has been said in the discussion is that a wand is supposed to be used without thinking about it (you know it so well it is an extension of you). That sums up what a stage magician would say about using a wand, if you ignore the bits about distraction and showmanship.
There is a section in one of the Potter books (it may be in one of the movies also) where part of learning a spell is practicing the proper swishing motion with the wands. Outside of practicing the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram in a group setting, both in TGD and in a couple of classes at the local occult shops, I have no training in how to "swish" a wand correctly. (Or is it "swosh"?)
My current Advanced Adept Advisor has addressed some of these issues with me. (If you are curious, they belong to the awful and completely wrong version of Golden Dawn, especially if you think Regardie is the only way to do things.) I pass the information onto my lodge (which makes them completely and utterly wrong also).
Another thought about the wands in the world of Harry Potter: the core of the wands contain magical stuff. In the case of Harry's and Voldermort's wands, it is a phoenix feather (both from the same bird). This reminds me of two things.
First, the Golden Dawn Fire Wand which contains an iron rod that is magnetized (if you go by the literature). Second, it reminds me of the liquid condensors of the Franz Bardon school of magic. Make what you will of those two ideas.
My final thought about wands for today is how flashy some of the wands are in the occult shops and on the internet. Crystals wrapped with feathers wired to a tree branch. And all for the sweet price of a couple of hundred dollars. I am sorry...is it a cat toy? Or something else?
(And if you are curious, my wands, like my Enochian Chess set, are runner-ups in the world's ugliest and worst made magical tools. Blame it on me making them myself.)