"Merry Meet and Blessed Be!"

"Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust..."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Broom sticks!

Witches and brooms are a familiar combination! Though I do get a little irritated being asked if I can fly on mine! My best come back for this is asking them if they can walk on water! That being said a witch's besom is a very important part of magic. We use it to "sweep" all the negative energy out of our ritual areas. I make brooms and sell them for handfastings and other ritual use. I make them big and small! Usually when I make them for weddings I ask the couple for their colors and I tailor make it to fit their details. I have found that many people like several different styles from fanned to round, from thick and bristly to long and slim. Several things should be remembered about brooms. First being, their brush should never actually touch the ground when it's used to "sweep" out the circle. It is a symbolic cleansing. Second I have never actually flown ON my broom (flew to India once WITH it!). You can hang your broom over the door to your house to ward of negative energies that may try to come in. 

The besom is a phallic symbol in magic and represents the God. I usually make the handles from either oak or ash, both of which I have in my yard. I have a small patch of hay that I harvest for the bristles but I also use small branches from the trees as well. When you use a besom during a handfasting you point the handle end toward the east and the bristled end to the west. This tradition has deep roots in early pagan history and is most commonly associated with African slaves for symbolic weddings when they weren't allowed to legally marry. Jumping the Broom is a wonderful part of weddings, it symbolizes the cleaning out of two old lives and the beginning of one new life together.

The Myth of flying is simple to explain. There is a theory that the origin of the idea of witches flying with their brooms is based in a ritual involving a psychoactive drug trip. The witches would prepare a flying ointment to aid them in their journey. There are many recipes for this ointment all having a base of either Atropa belladonna or Mandragora officinarum, both highly psychoactive drugs producing visions and encouraging astral projection. Some speculate the ointment was applied to the handle of the Besom. Witches mounted broomsticks and would leap around the fields, hallucinating with the aid of the flying ointment, in order to "teach the crops how high to grow". The ointment would give them hallucinations, which made them believe that they flew distances. I would not suggest this today because for the most part it is illegal but also dangerous and could be deadly!

Making your own besom if you can is the best way to charge your besom, but however, if you buy it or get it from someone else you can still charge it. Contrary to what some think no one can charge you tools for you! You are the only person who carries your energy. The best way to do this is to handle it. Pick it up often, polish the handle with a mixture of oil (I use grape or olive) and natural beeswax. Add bits of you to it! I have a ribbon from a dress I wore as a little girl tied in a bow on mine as well as my handfasting cords, but anything that is "you" is perfect! When you store your broom place it handle down with the bristles pointing up.

Blessed be,

Lady Alice