A besom broom, also known as a witch’s broom, has a long history rooted in folklore, superstition, and traditional craftsmanship. Here’s a brief overview of its history, uses in modern spiritual practices, and how to make one:
History of the Besom Broom
The besom broom has a history that dates back centuries. It is most commonly associated with European folklore and witchcraft traditions. In folklore, the besom was believed to have protective and cleansing properties. It was used to sweep away negative energies, evil spirits, and bad luck from a home or area. It was also thought to have the power to sweep away illness and negative influences.
In witchcraft and pagan traditions, the besom broom plays a significant role in rituals and ceremonies. It symbolizes the union of the masculine and feminine energies, with the handle representing the masculine and the brush representing the feminine. It is often used for ritual purification and cleansing of sacred spaces.
Spiritual Uses Today
Today, many modern spiritualists, Wiccans, and practitioners of various pagan and witchcraft traditions continue to use the besom broom in their rituals and practices. Here are some common uses:
- Cleansing Rituals: Besom brooms are used to ritually cleanse a space before a ritual or ceremony. Practitioners believe that sweeping the area with a besom can remove negative energies and create a sacred and pure space for their work.
- Protection: Some use besom brooms as protective tools, placing them by doors or windows to ward off negative influences or energies.
- Sabbat Celebrations: During pagan sabbats (seasonal festivals), besom brooms may be incorporated into rituals as symbols of purification, fertility, or other relevant themes.
- Altar Decor: Miniature besom brooms are sometimes used as decorative elements on altars or in other ritual settings.
How to Make a Besom Broom
Creating your own besom broom can be a meaningful and crafty endeavor. Here’s a simplified guide on how to make one:
- Birch or ash wood for the handle (approximately 3 feet in length)
- Broomcorn straw or other suitable natural fibers for the brush
- Twine or cord
- Scissors or pruning shears
- A sharp knife
- A drill and drill bit (optional)
- Select and Prepare the Handle: Choose a straight piece of wood for the handle. Remove any bark and smooth the surface. If desired, you can carve symbols or decorations into the handle.
- Prepare the Broomcorn: Soak the broomcorn straw in warm water for about 30 minutes to make it pliable. After soaking, shake off excess water and allow it to dry slightly.
- Bundle the Broomcorn: Gather a handful of broomcorn straw and trim the ends to make them even. If you have a drill, you can drill a hole through the center of the bundle to help secure it to the handle. If not, you can simply tie it tightly with twine or cord.
- Attach the Brush to the Handle: Insert the handle into the center of the broomcorn bundle. Secure it tightly by wrapping twine or cord around the broomcorn and handle. Make sure it’s tightly bound to prevent the brush from coming loose.
- Trim and Shape the Brush: Use scissors or pruning shears to trim the broomcorn to your desired shape. You can make it round or fan-shaped, depending on your preference.
- Finishing Touches: Trim any excess twine or cord and make any final adjustments to the shape of the brush. You can also add decorative elements or symbols to the handle if desired.
- Bless and Charge: To use your besom in spiritual practices, it’s common to bless and charge it with your intentions. You can do this through a simple ritual or prayer.
Remember that the besom broom holds significance in various traditions, so it’s essential to approach its creation and use with respect and mindfulness of its cultural and spiritual context.