Besom Broom

Besom Broom

Uncover hidden spiritual meanings

It is a ceremonial broom which is normally used to clean an area of unwanted energy in order to create a sacred space.

It can also be used to protect the home against evil spirits. For marriage and other ceremonies, it can be used to symbolize the end of one thing and the beginning of the next. Its construction is made of traditionally constructed twigs which are bundled together and tied to a central stouter wooden pole.

How the Besom Broom Is Used?

It was used by the witches of the Middle Ages together with a flying ointment, which was also known as a green ointment to enable them during their journeys to fly. The recipe of this ointment included Mandragora or Belladonna, which is both psychoactive drugs that produces visions and encourages astral projection and when it is mixed with the clove oil it gives the witch higher powers. We all know the mythical tradition that witches used to fly on brooms at night; it is based on the ritual which involved a drug which is psychoactive, it takes them on astral trips. The oil was rubbed on the entire body using the broom and especially on the feet, forehead, under the arms, wrist, between the legs, and wrists, it gave someone a sensation of flying.

The witches leap around the fields using the broomsticks; the broom was smeared with the flying ointment which enabled them to feel that they were flying all over the fields.

Despite the fairy tales where female witches flying on brooms, the first known case of a witch flying on a broomstick was recorded by a French male witch; though there are other unrecorded incidents prior to this one. The German and French recorded the first broomstick flights in the 15th century.

The Wiccan Besom

The besom being used in the modern Wiccan comprises of a hazel stave handle or ash with bristles which is made from birch twigs.

The bristles can be replaced with herbs, twigs, or straws, which are tied using thin pieces of willow, wood all sacred and traditional wood. Its main purpose is to purify and protect and especially the circle where the casting area is before a ritual or magic spell is performed by sweeping to symbolize the removal of all the energies which are negative and building up the astral. The high priestess or the high priest then walks clockwise while tracing the circle of the ritual while sweeping the brooms a few inches off the ground.

It is at times seen as masculine due to the way it is shaped and symbolic, but the truth is that it complements are unisex in orientation; the birch used for the bristle is believed to be feminine while the ash stave and handle are thought to be masculine. It is an important part of the Wiccan marriage ceremony - handfasting - in the traditions where the couple is supposed to jump over the besom during the ceremony.

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By Florance Saul
Feb 10, 2017