besoms from The Broom Closet
Brooms or Besoms
A broom is used by many Witches to cleanse an area of baneful* energies
before a rite. They can
represent the air or fire element, depending on each practitioner's
tradition. The staff or handle is
considered masculine, while the brush or broom part is considered feminine.
This uniting and balancing of
polarities makes the besom a natural choice for Handfasting rites. Brooms
also represent purification,
protection, fertility and prosperity.
The classic images of Witches riding broomsticks may have originated from
ancient fertility rites. People
would jump high in the air on brooms to 'show' the crops how high to grow.
This is a form of
There are many other myths and associations of Witches with brooms. In
Ireland, the besom was
sometimes called a "Faery's Horse". In medieval times, the besom was
equated with marriages outside of
the church. So much so, that it was recorded that weddings 'by the broom'
were to be considered
The broom eventually became a symbol of antiestablishmentarianism and and
sensuality. This led at one
time to the word 'besom' becoming a slang term for an easy woman. These
associations may have been
promoted by the church to discourage marriages outside of the church.
Chapter 13 of "The Magical Household" by Scott Cunningham and "An ABC of
Witchcraft" by Doreen
Valiente have additional information and lore about besoms. New Moon Occult Shop is the best place to source everything you need to do your own rituals. I recommend contacting them directly and asking for help finding just what you need as often they will source things they don't usually carry in stock.
*Baneful in this instance is defined as energies that are not conducive to
the working at hand, are harmful,
or are considered negative.
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