The Dirt on the Besom
A besom is a witch’s broom and the practical kitchen witch may choose her broom for looks or function or both. Many of us have two or more brooms. One for sweeping dirt indoors, one for sweeping energy indoors or out and maybe another for sweeping outdoors. They may be handmade or mass-produced.
There is a great deal of lore associated with the broom spanning many cultures. Indeed it can be argued that the broom is one of the most magical of a witch’s tools. The image of a witch riding across the sky on a broom is familiar to many, the true magic of a broomstick lies at home.
The broom is a symbol of domesticity and represents the safety and security associated with being inside the house. The home itself is separate from the outside world. It is almost like another dimension. Your own world, where your family resides, a safe haven from the rest of the world. Your broom is the scepter with which you rule this little world and the magic staff with which you direct its energy.
Magical Correspondences of the Broom
A broom can be used like a wand or a staff to direct energy. Many would say it corresponds to the element of air. Some will point to their purifying nature and say that they correspond to the element of water.
The Broom as A Boundary
When you step or jump over a broom with your sweetheart at your wedding, the broom is serving as a boundary between one state of existence, single life, and another, married life. It symbolizes your leap together into your new life, your new combined household and the new family that marriage creates. One one side of the broom, none of that exists, it is just a dream. On the other side of the broom, it is reality.
Looking at the broom as a boundary marker, its easy to see how the iconography of the witch flying on a broom makes sense. What is she doing on that broom anyway? She is travelling between worlds. She is astral projecting. The broom is both the gateway and the means to pass through it.
Using Your Broom for Home Protection
Placing your broomstick across your threshold will keep out unwanted intruders and people with ill intent. Like the broom, the doorway is also a boundary marker, protecting our private world from the public world outside. The broom reinforces this.
Many witches like to make a small broom, decorate it and hang it on or over the door as a protective amulet. This protects the home and attracts general luck and prosperity, especially if you tie a few cinnamon sticks to it with a ribbon, or scent it with cinnamon oil.
Just bringing a new broom into a home brings good luck. A new broom is a great magical housewarming or wedding gift as it helps sweep away troubles in the family’s future life.
Using Your Broom to Bless Your Space
Many witches will sweep the area they plan to use to do spell work before casting a magic circle in order to sweep away any energies that are residing there that might interfere with spell work.
Kitchen witches may also use a broom to sweep negative energies out of their home as part of a regular home blessing ritual. Simply begin in the center of your home and sweep outward, sweeping everything back door. Never sweep out your front door, or you’ll sweep away your friends (exceptions below). Or play it safe and just sweep into a dustpan and carry the dirt out.
In China, you should sweep out your front door on the Lunar New Year only. If you sweep out the door any other day, you’ll sweep away you’re good luck. On the Lunar New Year, sweeping out the front door gets rid of all of the last year’s stale energy to make way for new things.
But if you have unwanted guests, sweep out the door after them when they finally leave to prevent their return! If you do like your guests, don’t sweep immediately after they depart to ensure their safe return.
- When jumping the broom, the person who jumps the highest will dominate the household. If the broom is jostled or bumped in any way during the jumping, the marriage will not last.
- If an unmarried woman steps over a broom, she will have a child out of wedlock. Or she will not marry that year.
- If a woman drops a broom while sweeping, she will marry in a year.
- If someone sweeps over your feet accidentally, you will not marry.
- When a broom falls down inexplicably, it foretells a wedding.
- If a broom falls into or onto the front doorway, it means company is coming.
Some More Broom Magick
- To keep your spouse true, sweep in a circle around him/her.
- A married couple should step over a broom upon entering their home for the first time to ensure good luck and fidelity.
- If you come across a broom lying on the floor and pick it up, you will have good luck.
- It is considered bad luck to sweep at night. This can be averted by burning the sweepings.
- Some say it is bad luck to sweep on New Year’s Day at all. But others say that if you burn what you sweep up, you make way for abundance for the year!
- Sweeping under someone sitting in a chair or in front of someone walking is very bad luck for that person.
- Laying a broom on a bed or leaning it against a bed will bring great misfortune to the person who sleeps in it.
Replacing Your Broom
Brooms collect negative energy (and filth) over time and should be periodically replaced. Some witches like to replace their broom annually as part of a Sabbat ritual that may involve burning the old one and blessing the new one. You can really do this at any time, but many witches like to do it at Samhain or Imbolc or the anniversary of the day they moved into their home.
Some say burning a broom is unlucky. If you subscribe to this you’ll have to come up with a different way to dispose of it. If your broom holds particular sentimental significance, perhaps it is the one you and your spouse jumped over together, you may wish to simply replace the bristles.
You should never bring an old broom into a new home, especially if you are moving into a new home with your new spouse or partner. It brings with it all the baggage of your old life. It’s best to start anew. Again, if you’re really attached to it, dispose of the bristles and add new ones after the move.
Read More Online
Make Your Own Besom on About.com
Buy Handmade Besoms/Brooms
The Granville Island Broom Company in Vancouver, BC
Brenwood Forge and Broom in Hillsboro, West Virginia