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Magical Brooms or Besoms
(c) Atham Z 2003-7

Brooms are often used for magic or ritual purposes. Perhaps to invoke deities, banish negativity, or direct energy through thought and intentions. In this day and age they are very popular because of the "Harry Potter" Quidditch craze.

You can purchase brooms in your local occult shop, but they also can be found in a variety of surprising places - antique and junk shops, swap meets, yard sales and flea markets The broom is no more right or special if you swapped for it than if you made it or bought it new. In any case, whatever time and effort you expend searching for or making your own broom is well worth it

The old picture of the witch riding around on the broom's stick when casting magic spells is believed to have come from a agricultural fertility rite, where the women rode around the fields (like on a hobby horse), with the broom between their legs, hoping to bring the farmers a good harvest.

Many pagan traditions have the bridal couple, jump across the broom, a symbol of fertility (another old bit of agricultural fertility magic), to signify the desire for children and the establishment of their new household. The brooms are usually decorated for the occasion and then kept in a place of honor in the home. Historically, brooms made great wedding gifts, just add a little ribbon, some flowers, and no wrapping is required. Every new home needs a new broom! Taking an old broom to a new home brings any residual bad luck along with it. Possibly because of it's phallic shape, the broom became a powerful tool against curses and practitioners of evil magic. Laid across a threshold, the broom halts all spells sent to the house or to those who reside within. Many witches keep a besom by or hanging from their door to protect the home from unwanted outside energies. Placed under the pillow, it brings pleasant dreams and guards the dreamer at the same time. Besoms have been used by witches to indicate to other occultists that they were resident, or at work, by placing a broom outside the door. This is NOT to say that anyone who has a kitchen broom sitting outside their door is a witch.

European witches became identified with the broom and were accused of flying on broomsticks, and this was considered proof of their alliance with the "dark powers." Such an act, if it could be performed, would indeed be supernatural, and therefore "of the Devil" in the eyes of persecutors, in contrast to the simple healing and love spells that witches actually performed. A witch may begin a ritual by sweeping the area (indoors or out) lightly with the magic broom, while visualizing the psychic dirt being swept out of the ritual area. The broom's bristles needn't actually touch the ground. The sweeping also helps to get the mind ready for the ritual, quieting thoughts and narrowing the focus for the witch. The besom is a purifier and is related to the element of Water. Thus it is used in all types of water spells including those of love and psychic workings.

If you wish to make your own magic broom, you might try the standard old magical formula of an ash staff, birch twigs and a willow binding. The ash is protective, the birch purifying, and the willow is sacred to the Goddess. Of course, a branch from any tree or bush can be used within the broom. And while cutting it, make sure to thank whatever tree for it's sacrifice. A tiny broom of pine needles can be another alternative.

Suggested plants for making your own broom include, Yarrow, Cedar, Juniper, fruit tree sprigs and Oak tree sprigs. If there are certain qualities or capacities you wish for your broom to carry, do a bit of herbal research and add whatever additional plants you feel would help you achieve your goals.

Bundle plants together and tie cut ends together. The bundle may then be tied to a branch if a longer handle is desired. Once assembled, sturdier sprigs and branches can be lacquered to help keep young Quidditch enthusiasts from damaging their brooms during enthusiastic matches!


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This page was updated 2007-5-19.