A wand is a symbol of masculinity, as opposed to the cauldron's association with femininity, and is used in similar ways to the athamé. Its purpose is for the direction of energy and will, and considered more "global" than an athamé, which is usually used in the altar space. Rituals affecting large groups of people frequently employ a wand instead of an athamé. The physical appearance of a wand has no set guidelines; in parts of Wales, wands are usually equated with staffs and can be up to eight feet long. In Germany, broom handles may also be used as wands. For modern Wiccans, however, the wand is a much shorter length of wood (or metal) that fits easily into the hand. One wand per practitioner is another rule of thumb, but, as with all things phallic, this isn't true for all Wiccans. A smaller percentage prepares wands for specific purposes and may own nine or more, combining different woods, colours, crystals, and runes for a single desire, such as healing. As they are considered highly personal items, each practitioner symbolizes their goals on their wands with knotted strings, symbols and others. It may take an entire lifetime to create a wand. In fact, one Welsh poem tells of a young druidess growing a tree for her wand's wood. As the wood used was deadfall, the girl was quite old before she even began the wand.