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.

Advertisements

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.

BROOMSTICK

Possessed by you

BROOMSTICK

Brooms aren’t just for sweeping-at least not in the way that most people think.

Witches use brooms to clear away negativity from a room (spring cleaning, anyone?) or a ritual circle.

Brooms are also a symbol of Witches and Witchcraft that have been in use for centuries. They represent the freedom of flying (alas, only in our minds and spirits for most of us, unless we’re Harry Potter) and the comfort of hearth and home.

A Witch’s broom should never be used for everyday cleaning, but feel free to keep another broom for that-they are a handy household tool. As with your other tools, a ritual broom should be carefully tended and only used for magickal purposes.

One way to keep a special broom if you’re still “in the broom closet” is to craft one out of broom straw, aromatic herbs, and colorful foliage (topped off with a spritz of glycerin to make it last), and hang it on your wall in full sight. After all, no one but you needs to know it is anything other than a clever, crafty decoration. (If you’re craft-impaired, you can also just buy a pre-decorated rated broom and hang it up. I’ll never tell.)

 

Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft
Deborah Blake

 

Let’s Talk Witch – Salt’s Usages & Superstitions

52947_letter_w_lg

Let’s Talk Witch – Salt’s Usages & Superstitions

Since time immemorial, amazing properties and superstitions have been attributed to salt. Salt is a crystalline substance that is produced as if by magic in water… and disappears in water. Salt is a pure product – that is, it does not contain any additional substances – that is white in color, and for this reason is considered to be “sacred.” We must remember that in days of yore, salt was extremely valuable, expensive, and indispensable to human life. Salt was so expensive that in many countries, gathering and mining salt was the monopoly of the king or ruler. Salt has good and bad properties.

The first superstition states that salt protects the person against the devil. This is why, when salt is spilled, it is a sign that the devil is in the vicinity, and the person’s guardian angel caused him to spill the salt. Since the guardian angel is stationed behind the person’s right shoulder, and the devil is behind his left shoulder, he must immediately take a pinch of the salt and throw it over his left shoulder in order to blind the devil! However, spilled salt also foretells an imminent quarrel between the members of a couple, perhaps as a result of the fact that in the past, salt was very expensive. “A quarrel with a husband always starts with spilled salt!”

Spilled salt is not only the sign of a quarrel, but also foretells days of sadness. In North America, it is believed that salt predicts sadness… since many tears are needed to “rinse out” the salt. For this reason, it is customary to pour salt onto fire, or onto a range – in order to “dry up” the tears of sadness. Obviously, the fact that tears are salty is connected to this superstition.

When salt is sprinkled on the threshold of the home, the devil and his henchmen cannot get in. (In fact, when salt or ash is sprinkled on the floor, the devil won’t come because he is afraid of leaving tracks.)

In order to greet an important or beloved guest, he is received with a gift in the form of bread and salt, or by placing a pinch of salt in his right hand.

If a pinch of salt is placed on a baby’s tongue, he will have a long, happy, and healthy life.

Incidentally, salt was used as currency in the past, both in trade, and especially as soldiers’ salaries. In fact, the word “salary” comes from “sal”, the Latin word for “salt.” This in fact means that “he is worth his salt.” There is a belief that salt provides immunity against poisons. This belief stems from the custom of former rulers, who would take a pinch of poison with their food in order to fortify their immunity against genuine poisoning. They mixed the poison with salt. This is the origin of the expression, “A pinch of salt a day prevents a change of ruler.”

The expression, “salt of the earth,” describes the cream of humanity. A Muslim proverb states that “salt was spilled between us,” meaning that a covenant was sworn between people. In the East, salt is still a purifying and sanctifying substance. Salt is sprinkled in the Sumo wrestling ring before every match in order to purify it of the evil eye.

 

Day-by-Day Wicca: A complete guide to Wicca from Beliefs and Rituals to Magic and Witchcraft
Tabatha Jennings

In the Witch’s Tool Chest: “Cauldron and Chalice – My Cup Runneth Over”

queen of dragons:fire cave angel

“Cauldron and Chalice – My Cup Runneth Over”

 

Many of the tools that Witches use are said to represent either the masculine (the god) or the feminine (the goddess). Two of the most common “female” tools are the cauldron and the chalice. Because of their cupped shape, they symbolize the womb of the goddess.

Who isn’t familiar with the image of the Witch stirring up some magickal potion in her cauldron? (Okay, I think most of the time it was probably just her dinner, but who are we to argue with centuries of fairy tales?) These days, Witches are more likely to use the cauldron-usually an iron pot with three legs-to hold a fire during ritual or just for decoration. The Celtic goddess Cerridwen was famous for her cauldron, in which she brewed the mead of wisdom and inspiration. (Don’t you wish you had that recipe?)

The chalice is used to hold the wine or water for use during ritual, and it represents the feminine forces of intuition, understanding, and receptivity. They are often made of silver, glass, pewter, or pottery. I think it is important to choose a chalice that you truly love the look and feel of, and set it aside for use during rituals only. Somehow using that Batman juice glass doesn’t seem to cut it.

 

Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful  World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake

 

Meditation on the Pentacle and Earth

Meditation on the Pentacle and Earth

Into a dark world comes the dawn, the start of a new day coming from the East. The powers of Earth spring from the same source. Buds burst forth into new growth. Animals come out to look at the world as it blooms again and fill their bellies once more, the starvation and hunger of winter at an end. The Earth is our foundation and our stability as we learn to frolic and play.

The powers of Earth are vast and abundant. When she is angry, the ground shakes and trembles, warning us to change our actions and helping to shake us free from standing around and watching life pass us by. The gifts she gives are boundless.

If this element were to be placed on the face of a clock, following the path of the sun, it would be in the east, at dawn, when time is new and the earth is just beginning to burst forth with new life. It is a light, creative time that holds the promise of the day to come.

Similarly, the moon rises in the west, and if a witch wished to follow the lunar cycle, the element would be placed there. The new, waxing moon is a time of promise of things to come. It is a time of bringing things into being and manifesting growth into the world. This is the time of the Maiden, of the Huntress, those who hold the reins of creativity and inspiration.

The earth, for a witch, is symbolized by the pentacle. It may be as elaborate or as simple as is meaningful. Simple rocks have been used along with things as complex as sun catchers, crystal plates, and hand thrown pottery. It is the foundation to all a witch’s works and all her spells and magick. It helps to keep them stable and able to work their magick and let go of themselves into ecstatic states, knowing they will find their way back.

If a stone is to be used, the best kinds are ones that are found out on one of the walks or trips that the witch takes. Tumbled or polished ones will work, but they are somewhat distracting from the natural ties that the pentacle has to the earth at times. If you want a shiny one, purchase a small rock tumbler (Most are less than $20.00) and tumble the rocks that you find outside on your own. Granite also works well, if there is a source nearby, since it has both a rough surface and a glossy one.

Marble is another choice, if available, that is a good option if a fancier pentacle is desired. Since the pentacle represents the north and is the stability that a witch ties her spells to as she casts them, it is the anchor point for a circle. Make certain that your pentacle is sturdy enough to take the strain of these things before you acquire and consecrate it.

Meditation on the Pentacle

Meditation on the Pentacle

Pick up your pentacle or a rock if you don’t have a pentacle, and see how it integrates itself into you. See how it balances who you are and what your strengths are. Find out for yourself how to draw the pentacle into balancing your weaknesses.

When you find your pentacle, take it to your private place. If you can take time to be outdoors with it, this is even better, but not necessary. Examine it in great detail, finding all its quirks and attributes. Look for tiny cracks and fissures that could widen or break your pentacle after heavy use. It is wise to check from time to time for these things even after you consecrated it. If you use it a great deal, eventually you will have to replace it, as the stresses on it eventually will damage it.

After you feel you can find nothing more out just by looking at it, hold it and get to know the feel of it. Is it heavy? Does it make you feel more within yourself when you hold it? Does it make you think of earth and growing things?

Hold the pentacle close to you so that you and it can begin to work closely together. Meditate with it and see if there is a difference in meditating with or without it. Notice if your circles are more stable with it. Take as much time and as many sessions as you need in order to be positive that this is the right thing for your pentacle.

Meditation on the Wand

Meditation on the Wand
Take your wand with you to your meditation time. See how it fits into all the things that you have found out about yourself and the element of Air. It is what balances out your weaknesses. Find out how the interaction of the wand and your own self create one unified whole to allow you to work with Air completely.
Once you have truly seen your wand, lift it up. Feel the weight of it and the balance of it. Hold it to you so that it can learn about you. Listen and see how it reacts, learn about its skills and knowledge. You will find that your wand, like all your tools, has its own personality and ideas. This is what you must learn to work with. Once you can, it will help you to bring what you wish into being as well as calling it down and directing it.