Besom/Besom Blessing

BESOM

(BROOM)

 

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.

 

Besom Blessing

Items needed:

a small bowl of salt and one of water

a white candle

a small bunch of fresh rosemary

a censer

a small block of church charcoal

your besom.

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.

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Athame/Consecration of the Athame

Athame

The athame is a double-edged knife used to inscribe, or cast, the circle of power onto the earth or floor. It is associated with the element of fire, and it represents strength, power, and the masculine force of nature. Since the athame is a weapon, it also has the power to subdue and banish rebellious entities or spirits.

In magick, the athame is used for directing personal power and to focus energy in a desired direction. The athame also regulates, as well as conducts, the flow of internal expression toward the desired destination during magickal operations.

 

CONSECRATION OF THE ATHAME

 

Items needed:

Athame

small bowl of water with three pinches of salt added

one white candle

one black candle

sandalwood incense.

On the night of the full moon, place the above items on your altar or small table. Light both of the candles and the incense. Relax and focus on the athame. Pass the athame blade and handle through the flame of the black candle as you say:

All negative thoughts be banished,

all unwanted vibrations be gone.

Now pass the athame blade and handle through the flame of the white candle as you say:

Let only the forces and powers

I wish be within from this moment on.

Pass the athame through the smoke of the incense, through the white candle flame, and then sprinkle with salt water as you say:

Elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.

To this tool of the magick now give birth.

Blessed and consecrated in this hour

Be thou athame of strength and power.

Wrap the athame in a red silk cloth, and keep in a safe place. Only use the athame for magickal rites and spellcrafting.

Wolf’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Wolf

(power, protection, psychic development)

 

Wolves howl at the moon, they mate openly, and walk silently through the woods. The wolf lives by instinct. The wolf is the pathfinder, the discoverer of new ideas who returns to his family to teach them the ways of the world. The Wolf has keen senses, works with the power of the moon, and is a symbol of psychic energy.

 

Wolf Associations

Direction: North

Element: Earth

Deities: Loki, Odin, Diana, Artemis, Brighid, the Morrigan

When you are in need of more personal power or psychic energy call on the wolf. The wolf will take you to his private den and teach you how to walk silently and work with the power of the moon to build psychic skills.

Skunk’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Skunk

(reputation, respect)

 

The significance of the skunk is no joke. This adorable, furry little animal has a reputation that demands great respect. Due to its distinctive behavior, humans, and other animals, give this tiny, odoriferous creature a wide berth. The fundamental concept here is respect. The skunk’s message to all is walk your talk, respect yourself and others, and you will create a position of strength and an honored reputation.

Skunk Associations

Direction: North, East

Element: Earth, Air

Deities: Diana, Cernunnos, Artemis

If you feel a need for respect from friends or family, call on the skunk. He is sure to liven things up. If you live alone, ask the skunk to warn you of danger and protect your home.

Owl’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Owl

(clairvoyance, magick, astral projection)

 

The owl has been called the night eagle because of its connection to the world of spirit. The owl hunts at night. The owl can see in the dark and pinpoint prey by sound. Humans may be afraid of the dark, but night is owl’s friend. The owl is silent; you can’t hear it when it flies. The owl has often been associated with the Witch because of its connection to the night.

Owl Associations

Direction: East

Element: Air

Deities: Athena, Lilith, Hecate, Bloeuweed, Isis, Minerva

During meditation, ask the owl to help you unveil the truth and see things clearly. The owl can also help you learn to interpret omens and intuit dreams. Before doing any kind of divination, ask the owl to be present and help you interpret things correctly.

Horse’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Horse

(swift action, power)

 

The horse has long been a symbol of swiftness and power. In ancient mythology it is the horse that bears the heroes and the gods across the earth, and even across the sky, at great speed. The horse is physical power and unearthly power. In shamanic practices, the horse enables the shaman to fly through the air to reach the heavens or spirit realm. The horse is able to carry great burdens for long distances with ease.

Horse Associations

Direction: North, East, South, West

Element: Earth, Air, Fire, Water

Deities: Epona, Helios, Brighid, Apollo, Godiva, Mars, Artemis

When you need to respond swiftly to a situation, call on the horse. If you need more personal power, or are overburdened by too much work, ask the horse to give you strength.

Elephant’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Elephant

(wisdom, stability)

 

The elephant has always been revered for its size, intelligence, and devotion to family. The Greek philosopher Aristotle admired the elephant for its great wisdom and intelligence. In Hinduism, the elephant-headed god Ganesha is invoked before any undertaking for his wisdom. Ganesha is said to bring stability and abundance to shop owners.

Elephant Associations

Direction: North

Element: Earth

Deities: Ganesh, Indra, Siva

If you’re having problems making decisions, work with the elephant for wisdom and stability. If you’re considering starting a business or need to attract more customers to your present business, ask the elephant-headed god Ganesha for help.

Eagle’s

Eagle

(spirit, connection to the Divine)

 

The eagle is believed to be the messenger or connection between humans and the divine. The eagle has the ability to live in the realm of the spirit and yet remain connected to the Earth and its inhabitants. The eagle represents the grace that is achieved through hard work. The eagle teaches humans how to have courage and learn from the lows in life as well as the highs.

Eagle Associations

Direction: East

Element: Air

Deities: Zeus, Indra, Jupiter, Mithras, Apollo

When you need help with spiritual development ask the eagle for help. In meditation merge with the eagle for help with rising above material desires. Ask the eagle to enter your dreams and impart knowledge of about the Ancient Ones

Dog’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Dog

(friendship, loyalty)

 

Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend. The dog is loyal to a fault, content with the bare necessities of life, and, like the wolf, protective of home and family. For thousands of years, dogs have been honored for their loyalty. Hermes (Mercury) was frequently accompanied by his faithful dog. Argos, Odysseus’s dog, was the only one to recognize him when he returned from the Trojan War. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, hearing, and sight. It is said they can sense evil and death approaching.

Dog Associations

Direction: North

Elements: Earth

Deities: Odin, Lugh, Demeter, Mercury/Hermes, Ishtar

Use the dog when you feel the need for support from your friends, or when you feel loyalties are divided. During meditation ask the dog to protect you from the negative thoughts and vibrations others send your way.

Cat’s Associations as a Spirit Guide

Cat

(independence, secrets)

 

The cat is very independent, a mighty hunter, and has many secrets. The cat was worshiped by the Egyptians because of its cunning and ability to purge the house of undesirable elements. Bast, the cat-headed goddess, was considered to be a great protector of women. In ancient Rome, the cat was a symbol of freedom. The cat is known for hiding and being secretive.

 

Cat Associations

Direction: North and South

Elements: Earth and Fire

Deities: Bast, Brighid, Hathor, Isis, Maat, Osiris, Ra

If there is something you need to find out about yourself or others, ask the cat for help during meditation. If you feel overburdened and feel the need for more for independence, invite the cat into your dreams.