A selection from over 209 client variations I created for Harry Potter's "Patronus" Spell wand effect, circa 2003. (Probably Maya4 or 5)
The first version was a cool and wacky idea by the VFX Supervisor to use a cloth simulation as "electric liquid light" effect- the cloth was simulated spinning in a cone and pulled through with keyframed vortexes. I ran the footage backward to give it a look of emitting from the wand. This approach was quickly ditched as the "electric" was toned down.