from ‘A-Z of Wicca’
by Gerina Dunwich
A (straw) broom which represents the union of the God and Goddess (the staff and the bristles). The majority of Witches who own them use them as altar decorations and as magical tools to symbolize fertility and to sweep the magic circle clean of any traces of negative, spiritual or psychic energy. It is also used in various spells and weather workings and during ceremonies such as Handfastings and the Sabbat of Candlemas. Although the broom has always been associated with Witches it was never actually used for flying as the legends of olden times claim. Instead according to one theory, Witches practiced sympathetic magic (which works on the bias principle that like produces like) would straddle the broom and jump up and down in order to show their crops how high to grow.
The Broom Purification
From “The Magical Household”
by S. Cunningham & David Harrington
Before dawn, take a branch from any tree. Thank the tree for its gift and leave a coin or semiprecious stone at its base in payment. Next, obtain several brightly colored flowers on long stalks. Tie these flowers to the branch to fashion a sort of broom, then sweep the floor in every room of the house, visualizing the flowers of the broom absorbing negativity and “evil” as you work. Then, still before sunrise, leave the broom at the crossroads’. Traditionally in the Southwest United States and Mexico, this ritual is repeated at the first of each month.
By Barbara Walker
(The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects)
The broom has been associated with female magic and the social contributions of the wise woman ever since ancient Rome, where sacred midwives used special broomsticks to sweep the threshold of the house after childbirth to repel negative influences from mothers and their babies. The broom was also associated with the ceremony of marriage as conducted by priestesses. Among Gypsies, whose marriages continued to be performed by wise women, jumping over the broomstick was an essential part of the rite.
New Broom Ritual
For us today, the new broom ritual is an invitation to return to beginners mind where the world is once again fresh and filled with wonder. Those of us of European heritage may have had Grandmothers who shared the New Broom ritual with us. For some of us, particularly from the Scandinavian countries, the New Broom ritual was a way of ritualizing the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, our Grandmothers swept the house with vigor and intention. They swept each room, clearing it of any negative energies or memories that had accumulated there during the past year. All of the disharmony and emotional clutter was swept over the threshold and out into the winter wind to be blown to the far corners of the earth. But just in case, the old broom was left outside by the door to discourage old negative energies from returning. The new broom was blessed with hopes and intentions for the new year-for health and happiness and prosperity and meaning and hope and generatively, and all those things that we bless one another with as we gather in the Wisdom Circle. Then the new broom was used to sweep in the positive energies and hopes and dreams and prayers for the new year.
Today we sweep away despair and sweep in hope,
Sweep away separation and sweep in connectedness,
Sweep away perfectionism and sweep in wholeness,
Sweep away comparisons and competition and sweep in kindness and companionship,
Sweep away expectations and sweep in wonder,
Sweep away the seeking after of approval and sweep in the capacity to give and receive love,
Sweep away inflexibility and sweep in going with the flow…
You are invited to take this ritual of the new broom home with you and to give brooms for weddings and new births and housewarmings and new years. Give a broom to someone you wish to mend a relationship with; a mother or father, daughter, son, or an estranged friend.
I consecrate this broom
Not only as a tool of my craft,
But as a symbol of my faith.\
Sprinkle salt on the broom)
I bless this broom with the spirit of Earth,
of rocks and trees,
of comfort and security.
(Brush broom with a feather)
I bless this broom with the spirit of Air,
of bells and feathers,
of spirit and mind.
(Touch candle flame (very quickly) to broom)
I bless this broom with the spirit of Fire,
of spice and flame,
of courage and energy.
(Sprinkle water on the broom
I bless this broom with the spirit of Water,
of pearls and shells,
of emotion and cleansing.
(Blow your breath across the broom)
I bless this broom with the spirit of Life,
that together we may honor the Lord and Lady.
Besom, besom long and lithe
Made from ash and willow withe
Tied with thongs of willow bark
In running stream at moonset dark.
With a pentagram indighted
As the ritual fire is lighted;
Sweep ye circle, deosil,
Sweep out evil, sweep out ill,
Make the round of the ground
Where we do the Lady’s will.
Besom, besom, Lady’s broom
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom
Rid ye Lady’s hallowed ground
Of demons, imps and Hell’s red hound;
Then set ye down on Her green earth
By running stream or Mistress’ hearth,
‘Till called once more on Sabbath night
To cleans once more the dancing site.
no author noted
One old wart cure consists of measuring a wart crosswise with a broom
straw, then burying the straw. The straw, so intimately connected with the wart, will decay, and so too should the blemish.
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