Monday Make A – Litha Blessing Besom

June 14, 2010 at 8:56 am (Besom, Broom, Crafts, Litha, Magic, Midsummer, Monday, pagan, Witch)

Litha Blessing Besom
From About.com

Litha is the time of the summer solstice, and it’s a season of great solar energy. A great project to put together is a blessing besom. Sweeping is, after all, one of the best ways of making a space sacred and clean. Make a blessing besom, and you can use it to physically cleanse your home, and then hang it up to keep positive energy flowing around you.

To make a blessing besom, you’ll need the following:

  • A broom – either make your own, or purchase one at a craft store
  • Ivy or vines
  • Flowers and herbs from your garden
  • Ribbons
  • Small bells

Wrap the ribbons and ivy around the handle of the broom. Don’t wrap them too tight, though, because you’ll want to be able to tuck sprigs of herbs and flowers into the ribbons. Once you’ve added all of these things, tie a few small bells onto the broom, so that it will jingle as you sweep. In many cultures, bells are used as noisemakers to frighten away evil spirits and negative energies.

If you like, you can consecrate your blessing besom as you would any other magical tool. Use it to sweep around your home, starting near a window or a door, and working in a deosil (clockwise) direction. As you do so, you may wish to chant something like this:

Sweeping, sweeping, ’round the room,
Blessings from this cleansing broom.
From floor to ceiling, and all between, 
May this space be fresh and clean.
Sweeping good energy here to me,
As I will, so it shall be.

You can find additional broom/besom info and blessings here

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – New Year’s Broom at Samhain

October 5, 2009 at 10:24 am (Besom, Crafts, Decoration, Halloween, Magic, Magical Stones, Monday, pagan, Samhain, Tools, Witch)

Making a New Year’s Broom at Samhain
by Meredith

Needed:

  • Plain old fashioned corn broom
  • Spray paint (only needed if you don’t like the color of the broom you buy)
  • black paint
  • thin paint brush
  • crystal points
  • jewelers wire (can be found at craft store)
  • feathers
  • other items you may want to use to decorate your new besom

It is almost time to start a new year and that means, for many of us, getting a new broom.. I have worked on mine today and thought I would pass this along as it is a simple project and makes for a really lovely and powerful broom for your home. Go out and buy a new corn broom (a plain old fashioned broom). I got one at Dollar General for $3. If you do not like the color of the handle…paint it the color of your choice. Mine is red. Luckily, it came that way! But had it not, a can of spray paint goes a long way. $3 a can. I have painted Witches’ Rune Symbols on my broom handle. I used black paint ($1.00) and a thin brush ($1.00). I am not the greatest artist in the world but it looks fine to me. At the base of the broom, .where the actual broom starts, I have attached 4 different crystal points with jeweler’s wire. I have a quartz crystal, an amethyst, an obsidian and a jade. I have attached feathers as well. Now I have a broom that is functional and powerful. It also looks very nice. I found the crystal points at Hobby Lobby for an excellent price $2.89 cents a crystal. I bought 4 of them. And they are real stones already wrapped. They sell them for people making jewelry and such. I got the wire there as well and paid $2 for a spool of silver and one of copper.

These brooms would also make excellent housewarming or handfasting gifts. Cost me about…OH… twenty two dollars in all. Then an hours time.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Besom

October 13, 2008 at 2:31 pm (Besom, Broom, Cleansing, Crafts, Magic, Monday, Samhain, Witch)

How To Make A Besom
From Strega

You will need

  • a straight branch, approximately 12 to 18 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter (if you can’t find a branch, a dowel will do)
  • scissors
  • \raffia
  • a bowl of salt water.
  • You will also need bunches of any of the following plants:
  • cedar
  • fennel
  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • broom

Ideally, these plants should come from your magical garden. Assemble your tools and materials and create a sacred space to work in. Charge the branch and plant materials by taking each in turn in your hands and sending purifying energies into them. Visualize a white cleansing light emanating from your hands and being absorbed by the branch and plants. Take the raffia and tie three circles on one end of the branch while you say:

“I bind you in purification.”

Now take several stalks of the plant materials, leafy ends down, and place around the end of the branch with the three loops of raffia (to form a round broom shape). Visualize the white light, and tie three loops around the branch and plants. Place another layer of plant material around the branch, tie three more loops while you visualize. Do this until your broom is as full as you want. Tie the end of the raffia three times around the branch and plants, pull the end through some of the loops and tie three knots. Snip off the excess raffia. Thank the branch and plant materials for their sacrifice. Sprinkle some of the salt water on the broom sweeps and visualize all negative forces melting away. Now walk to your door, open it and vigorously sweep close to the floor (you don’t actually have to sweep the floor). Visualize all negativity being swept out the door. Now moving clockwise around the house, sweep each door and window and at the upper and lower corners of each room. When you’ve made your way back to the door, open it again, sweep out, then shake your broom vigorously three times to shake away anything that stuck to it. Leave it outside your door, do not bring it in again. At your first opportunity, take it apart and bury all the materials.

Materials needed:

  • A straight branch, approximately 4 to 4-1/2 ft. long and at least 1 inch in diameter
  • raffia
  • salt water
  • Bunches of any (or all) of the following plants
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Broom.

Take the raffia and tie three circles on one end of the branch while you say:

“I bind you in the name of the Art.”

Now take several stalks of the plant materials, leafy ends down, and place them around the end of the branch with the three loops of raffia (to form a round broom shape). Visualize the purpose of your besom, and tie three loops around the branch and plants. Place another layer of plant material around the branch, tie three more loops while you visualize. Do this until your broom is as full as you want. Tie the end of the raffia three times around the branch and plants, pull the end through some of the loops and tie three knots. Snip off the excess raffia. To charge first thank the branch and plant materials for their sacrifice, ask whichever Goddess/God seems appropriate to your work, and then sprinkle some of the salt water on the broom sweeps. Use your new besom immediately and store next to your altar when you are finished.

Broom Magic – Making A Besom
by Silver Thym

While tools are not always necessary or even sometimes desirable they are fun, and making those tools that you can for your own use, and for others is even more fun. You tend to invest more of your energy and creative essence in any tool that you have taken the time and patience to create. So with that in mind I am going to share with you how I made my Besom. Making a Besom or witch’s broom is not difficult and there are many good ideas around to borrow from and improve on. In choosing the wood you want use wood that has protective properties and most important what feels right to you. Good choice’s for wood are

  • Ash (protection, prosperity, health);
  • Birch (protection, binding, purification) – the traditional broom of the Witches was made of birch twigs;
  • Dogwood (wishes, protection);
  • Elder (binding, protection, healing) – though this is more often used for wands;
  • Oak (protection, health, money, healing) and a tree scared to the Druid’s;
  • Pine (healing, protection, binding, money);
  • Rowan (psychic powers, healing, power, success, protection).

The wood of my Besom is unknown, I found it on our then new property and loved the shape and feel, it had been lying waiting for me to find it for years and looked akin to driftwood, which would also be a good wood to use. After leaving it natural for a long time I decided to sand it, it turned out with a dark, finely grained and satiny pattern. If you decide to finish your wood, strip it first and let it dry, then do any sanding necessary. After you find the wood that you want to use as the handle taking in account the size and length best suited to you, properly thanking the Goddess, cut very carefully, you don’t want to kill the tree, only take what you need, and use a saw as your bolline will not work.

The next step is gathering the materials for the “broom straws,” the binding and any decorative touches. I suggest straw as it can be easily obtained and attracts fairies. Wheat can also be used, but might shed more than you wish. The traditional binding for a magical, or Witch’s broom is a Willow branch, it is very flexible and easy to work with.

Straw can be dyed using herbal dyes

  • black use alder, black walnut or yarrow
  • blues, elder, indigo, woad, oregon grape.
  • brown use comfrey, fennel, hops, onion, pokeweed.
  • golds use dock, goldenrod, safflower.
  • greens use barberry, bayberry, sage.

Binding the straw: I use a double binding method for this. Before cutting the straw the length you wish add about two inches. I have found that it is easier to work with the straw if it has been soaked and then just left damp. Gather the straw with the ends even and pointing towards the top of the handle and distributed around the handle, bind the added two inches with strong twine, fold the straw down pointing in the right direction and bind with the Willow branch.
Personal touches. Now comes the most fun part – making your Besom uniquely your own. If using pine you can add small pine cones strung with twine and attached to the binding, if using oak do the same with acorns. Slip lavender under the binding or heather, add dried flowers…this is your Besom so play with it. You can also decorate the handle anyway you wish, and if you can whittle or carve you can create a beautiful one of kind Besom.

My husband and I are currently working on a Besom that will be used by friends in the handfasting ceremony. We have a piece of wood that had honeysuckle growing around it and when removed left a grooved spiral running down the wood. For handfasting Hawthorn is an excellent choice and has long been used in weddings. Again use your imagination and most of all have fun creating your Besom for whatever purpose. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herb’s is an excellent reference on Herb’s and woods.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Mabon Activities

September 1, 2008 at 11:24 am (Apple, Autum Equinox, Besom, Broom, Crafts, Kids, Mabon, Magic, Monday, Protection, Witch, Witchlets)

Mabon Activities
compiled by
Lady Geenwood
(added to by Me:)

  • Making a Harvest Wreath
    from the Wild Violets Newsletter, which I cannot locate online 😦
    Here’s an easy fun craft that will use up the last of your garden and one that you can share with a friend.
    Materials that you will need:

    • 12″ straw or grapevine wreath
    • paper ribbon to cover straw (optional)
    • small pins or tape
    • 20-30 gauge wire on a paddle (floral supply)
    • plenty of herbs and flowers material (see below)

Make grapevine wreaths using dried bitter-sweet herb for protection. Use ribbons of gold and yellow to bring in the energy of the Sun, and decorate with sprigs of dried yarrow or cinnamon sticks. Wrap the paper ribbon in the color of your choice around the straw base to cover it and secure with pins or tape. I like to use a dark green because is blends well with the plant material. If you’re using grapevine then skip this step. Gather many, many bunches of herbs and other plant material (about 4-5 in. in length) that you want to be in the wreath. Choose herbs and flowers that dry well (see below). Maybe as many as 30 bunches. Remember they will shrink considerably as they dry. Think of the base as a clock. Start at 2 o’clock. Begin placing bunches on the wreath starting on the outer part and working towards the middle. Secure them in place by wrapping the wire around the wreath enclosing the bundles as you go. Continue with another layer of bunches below the first layer with the second one slightly overlapping. Continue overlapping layers until the wreath is complete.

**In about a week if you have noticeable bare spots consider hot gluing accent pieces like nuts, cinnamon sticks, chili peppers or garlic to fill in the wreath.

Plant Suggestions:

While the traditional Horn of Plenty, or cornucopia, is a symbol of bounty and a good harvest, it also has definite magical overtones. The horn itself is a phallic symbol, representative of the God. The inside of the horn is womb-like, especially when it is full of bounty from the fertile earth. This represents the Goddess. And since Mabon is the Witches’ Thanksgiving, it is very appropriate to utilize this symbol for our altars or table tops.

  • Make or buy a cornucopia. I bought a wicker one in the basket section of a local craft store. Some of the more crafty among us may opt to make one out of grapevine or other material.
  • fruit
  • veggies
  • flowers.
  • glitter
  • oak leaves
  • acorns
  • hazel nuts
  • tarot cards. The Justice card is a card of balance, and Mabon is a day of balance. Justice also corresponds to Libra, the astrological sign of Mabon. Look through your deck, you may find other cards that suit the season.

We’re going to borrow an idea from Yasmine Galenorn’s book Dancing with the Sun. (Buy this book! It’s excellent.) She puts magically charged charm boxes in her cornucopia. Following are instructions:

  • Charm Boxes (pp. 124-126, Dancing With the Sun by Yasmine Galenorn)

These are simple charms that you can keep year after year for your altar. (I put them in the cornucopia), or you can make new ones each year. You will need tiny boxes (ring size boxes), one for each type of charm you are making. You can make them for the household, or if anyone has a particular wish, make personalized ones.

  • Prosperity Boxes
    You will need:
  • sandalwood or cinnamon incense
  • a box
  • green wrapping paper
  • a quarter and a dime
  • 9 kernels of dried corn
  • 9 oats
  • a malachite bead
  • a peridot bead
  • Scotch tape
  • a pen with green ink

Light a stick of sandalwood or cinnamon incense. Hold the box over the smoking incense to thoroughly saturate it with the scent. Hold the money, the corn, oats, and beads in your hands. Charge them with energy, focusing on an increase in wealth and prosperity. Visualize yourself harvesting the rewards toward which you have been working. Put the ingredients in the box and close the lid. With the pen, draw prosperity runes on the box and then wrap them in green wrapping paper. Hold over the smoking incense again and say:

Summer’s sun is Autumn’s gold
In my life, wealth be foretold
Fortune increase, luck be mine
By harvest dreams and barley wine.
Lady, see my need for more
Send abundance to my door.

  • Protection Boxes
    You will need:
  • heather, sage, pine or cedar incense
  • a box
  • white wrapping paper
  • a sprig of rue
  • a holly leaf
  • a tiger’s eye bead
  • a piece of dragon’s blood resin
  • Scotch tape
  • a pen with red ink

Light a stick of heather, sage, pine or cedar incense. Hold the box over the smoking incense to thoroughly saturate it with the scent. Hold the herbs, bead, and resin in your hands. Charge them with energy, focusing on protection and safety for all who dwell within your household. Visualize a web of protective light encasing your home. Then put the ingredients into the box and close the lid. With the pen, draw protection runes on the box, and wrap it in the white wrapping paper. Hold over the smoking incense again and say:

Amidst the Autumn’s darkest nights
Our home be bound by brilliant light
A web of hope and joy and peace
Be woven now, all danger cease
By watchful eye, by lock and key,
Protect our home, so mote it be.

Needed:

  • 9 hazelnuts
  • Red colored twine
  • Nut pick

Using the nut pick, bore holes in the nuts. Don’t shell them; use whole nuts. String them on the twine, making it just long enough to hold the nine nuts with a little bit of space, then tie off in a circle. On Samhain night, consecrate it in the fire, passing it back and forth 3 times, and chant:

“Hazelnuts nine in a ring
By the smoke of the Mabon Fire bring
To those within our humble home
Form over this a protective cone
Guard for a year, I charge thee
And as I will it, so mote it be!”

Hang it up in your home somewhere as an amulet of protection for the coming year. Nine is the sacred number of the hazelnut in the Celtic Tree Calendar. Save some of the nuts to bury during the Spring Equinox, to attune yourself with the cycle of birth and death.

  • Collect milkweed pods to decorate at Yuletide and attract the faeries.
  • Call upon the elementals and honor them for their help with (my personal associations for elements differ from those listed here…)
    • (N-earth) the home and finances
    • (E-air) school and knowledg
    • (S-fire) careers and accomplishments
    • (W-water) emotional balance and fruitful relationships
  • Make a Witch’s Broom.
    • dried corn husk
    • broom
    • cedar
    • fennel
    • lavender
    • peppermint
    • rosemary

Tie around a relatively straight branch of your choice

Apples are sacred symbols of the witch. Our holy land, Avalon, means Apple-land or Island of Apples.

Sources:
Celebrate the Earth by Laurie Cabot

Green Witchcraft by Ann Moura

Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar 1998 (The link is to the 2009 version)
The Witches’ God by Janet and Stewart Farrar

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Sunday Surprise – Broom Lore & Magic

May 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm (Besom, Broom, Cleansing, Crafts, Home, Magic, pagan, Spell, Sunday, Witch)

Besom
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.

The Broom
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.

Broom Blessing
author unknown

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 Chant
by Anon

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.

Broom Magic
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.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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