Why and how do witches use brooms?
Ever wonder why witches put a broom over their door? It's not just to keep evil spirits out - it's because that is where they belong! When properly prepared, brooms have several different magickal uses.
First of all, let us start with the folklore surrounding the common household broom. From ancient times, brooms have been associated with pagan rituals. Brooms apparently originated with the Chinese who once used them to brush away evil spirits of sickness and death, which is also why they were placed over windows and doors to keep evil out of the house. Even today, brooms are hung on doors during certain holidays as a magickal protective charm - for instance, on Halloween in Gaelic countries, or on New Year's Eve in Greece. In Germany brooms are hung on the doors of newlyweds as a fertility charm.
In olden days, witches were thought to fly about on brooms with handles made from various enchanted woods - ash for knowledge and protection against fire, oak for strength and daring. The bristles of the broom were said to be made from either birch or willow twigs, and some witches preferred to use a besom (which is an old name for a broom) that had been cut on Midsummer's Eve.
In pagan belief it was thought that witches could fly on brooms to gather together for a Sabbat. But perhaps the more likely explanation is the one given by Doreen Valiente in her book, An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present. She felt that flying about on broomsticks was probably a misinterpretation of some kind of ritual dance. In as much as witches were reputed to "ride" broomsticks, it might well be that they danced around a single broomstick which was then tied up above the door or into the rafters of their home or place of meeting as a protective measure. This would make sense because brooms have been used for centuries to protect a home or place of business.
Now that we know a bit about brooms and their history, let us talk about seven different magickal uses for the modern-day witches' broom. Being DIY crafty witch, I prefer to make my own besoms, especially when I am looking to use the besom for a specific reason but the biggest reason is it's fun!
Seven Magickal Uses of a Broom
#1. Home Protection
This is probably the most important use for your broom - protecting your home. You can do this by carving runes, sigil of protection, names of archangels, etc., into the wood and hanging it above your front door.
#2. Cleansing and removing negative energy
You can use your besom to clear out any negativity or unwanted energies from a person, place or object. To do this, simply sweep away from yourself as if you were sweeping away all the negativity, aka "to sweep the bad vibes."
#3. Power and focus
This is the next most important use for a broom - that is, to add power and focus to your spell work. In order to do this, simply trace the desired rune or sigil in the air with your besom while you are concentrating on it. This will help to direct energy from yourself into whatever you're working on.
#4. Purify an individual or area
Like cleansing or clearing away negative energy, using your broom to purify a person, place or object is wonderful for preparing it for ritual work. To do this, simply sweep from yourself toward the object you wish to purify.
#5. Charge an individual or object
You can use your besom to charge someone with power before magickal work, a talisman or any tool. To do this, simply trace the desired rune or sigil in the air with your besom while concentrating on it.
#7. Glamour / invisibility
I use my besom to sweep a protective circle around myself whenever I'm going to do a ritual outside that guards me from unwanted eyes. This is done by "charging the broom" as you'd charge a candle with your magickal goal, except it would be more along the lines of charging your besom with its purpose. Afterward, simply use the besom to trace a circle around you, starting at the east and moving clockwise around your space or by bringing the broom with you into spiritual space.
#7. Magickal Tool for Children
As a witch and a mother, I found that using my broom to teach children about energy work was brilliant! Kids love to sweep just like mom and dad - it's in the blood! So when they wanted to learn more about energy work, I let them use my besom. They loved it! It was easy to teach them how to do this, simply by having them sweep with the bristles in a downward motion with a cleansing intent. You can add a sing along spell to it as well.
To conclude, I hope you have enjoyed learning about broom history and magickal uses. I have several besoms, made by myself or bought at witchy shops, that I have used for many different things - protection, cleansing, focus, etc.
What are some of the ways that you use your broom?