Hardly anything symbolizes Witchcraft more than the besom (pronounced BEH-sum). The idea of Witches flying on brooms is as old as the Craft itself. We may never find out just where or when this phenomenon began, but it lends certain magick to the tales of old.
The significance of the besom (broom) rests with its ability to sweep, and therefore clean an area of unwanted dirt. European folklore is full of stories about using brooms along with certain incantations while sweeping out the house, the purpose being to sweep out the evil influences along with the dirt. The broom has also been used to form common law marriages. Both parties jump over the broomstick to signify they are joined in a union. Today, many Wiccans and Pagans still jump over the broom at the end of the marriage ceremonies to seal their union.
An authentic besom or Witches broom has seven distinct parts.
1. The Staff Butt: Usually solid, but may also be hollow and plugged with a wood cork.
2. The Staff: The long shaft of the broom, sometimes referred to as the wand, will vary in length, thickness, and texture. Its carvings and decorations also vary.
3. The Choke Ring: This binds the upper part of bristles to the staff and is usually made of metal, silver being the best as it represents the moon and goddess. Sometimes there may be several of these used. When more than one is used the first is silver, the second is gold, and the third is copper.
4. The Stalks (bristles): These are grouped evenly around the opposite end of the staff. The stalks should be about half the finished length of the broom.
5. The Stalk Tips: The thick ends are held by the choke ring, with the thin ends extending. All of the stalks should be bending in the same direction.
6. The Splay Ring: There is only one of these and it keeps the stalks evenly placed about the stalk. This ring is usually made of a very strong pliable cording, as it takes up the strain and pressure of the use that is exerted when sweeping.
7. The Stalk Butts: These are the thick ends of the bristles and are bound by the choke ring.
a small bowl of salt and one of water
a white candle
a small bunch of fresh rosemary
a small block of church charcoal
Perform this simple ceremony to bless and consecrate your broom. This will remove all of the negative thoughts and vibrations that may be attached to the broom making it ready for magickal works.
Place the candle, the bowl of salt, and the one of water, along with the censer and rosemary on a small table. Light the charcoal, and the white candle. Sprinkle some salt over the broom and then some water as you say:
Water and Earth Wash thee clean,
Of all that was And is unclean.
Place some of the rosemary on the hot coal in the censer. Pick up the broom and pass it through the smoke of the burning herb, and then through the candle flame as you say:
Essence of Air Flame of Fire,
Cleanse thee of all But what I desire.
The broom is now ready to use for both mundane and magickal works. Use your broom to purge your house of negative thoughts and vibrations as well as unwanted guests.