With the Chinese New Year coming up I started thinking about traditions. One of these is sweeping out the house with a broom, sweeping all the bad luck out the front door to make way for the good luck. That got me thinking about brooms in general and all of the traditions we have attached to them over the years.

There is, of course, the old flying witch on a broomstick and flying ointment business. I won't get into that.

In the same token of the Chinese New Year tradition, many witches use our broomsticks to ritually cleanse our sacred space, which in the case of we Kitchen Witches just happens to be the whole house! With the exception of New Year's Day, you should never sweep out the door, however, or you'll sweep away all your good luck. However, if you do it after dark, a stranger will come visit in the morning.

A fellow Kitchen Witch of my acquaintance burns her old broom every Samhain to get rid of old stale energy and then blesses a new one to bring luck and positive energy to her home. I have also heard that you should never take an old broom along with you when you move but should buy a new one for the new house. Indeed a broom features in many house blessing rituals.

Then there's jumping the broom, something I happily did five years ago with my childhood sweetheart. This is a marriage tradition symbolizing the beginning of a couple's domestic life together. It is said that whoever jumps the highest will be the dominate partner in the household. If a single woman steps over a broom alone, she will become pregnant before her wedding.

I have heard it said that if you place your broom across your door at night, it will keep intruders out. If you want someone to never come back, sweep out the door after they leave.

If you lean a broom against your bed at night however, you will have very bad luck.

A great housewarming gift, especially for a new couple, is salt so life will always be full of flavor, bread so the household will never be hungry, and a broom to sweep away trouble.

It is bad luck to buy a broom in May. If you do, the head of household may die soon!

(1/23/12)

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