THE CARE AND FEEDING OF THE WITCH BROOM.
As Witches, we need to be aware of the Ancient Broom Lore
that has been passed down to us from those wonderful Crones of the past.
1- Never leave home for long periods of time without telling your broom.
2- Treat your broom as you would any other member of your family, with honor,
reverence, and respect.
3- Magickal Brooms are not regular cleaning brooms and should not be used for
such mundane tasks.
4- Never leave your Magickal Broom outside your cast circle.
5- Speak with your broom as you would speak to other members of your family or coven.
6- Never leave your Magickal Broom outside in the weather unless you ask the Broom.
7- Oil your broomstick with every turn of the wheel.
Brooms have long been known for their magickal ways, probably due to its shape,
use in purification rites and kinship with magickal wands and staffs.
The common household tool has been known to be so sacred that in many parts of
the world there are Broom Deities.
Sao Ching Niang – The lady with the broom who lives in the Broom Star.
When there is too much rain and the crops are threatened, it is not
uncommon in China to see pictures of Brooms hanging on the front door or
fences to bring clear and sunny weather to the field.
As this is invoking the Great Earth Goddess herself, the Broom Star is the
fertile womb of our Great Goddess, and thus, she gives us life of the
fields that are represented by the Corn Fields. Hence, the broom is brought into
our homes from the womb of the Goddess.
In Mexico, the Witch Goddess Tlazoiteotl is depicted riding on a broom.
This symbolizes the coming of the night, the dark part of ourselves, the
growing darkness of the winter.
The priests in South America have been known to burn offerings of owls and
snakes. These were offered at the dark moon. Through these offerings, the people
were calling upon the Broom Witch to sweep away their transgressions.
My grandmother was a Broom Witch. Here are some of the old backward things that
can be done with a broom. On a hot summers day, I would watch her go out on the
front porch and swing the broom over her head. Grandma would just tell me to be
quiet, the rain was coming. And if fact she was right. A few hours later we
always had rain. So Granny would call the rain with her broom by swinging it
clockwise over her head.
In turn, if it was raining too much, she would go out and talk with her broom
for a while on the front porch. She would sing “Rain, rain, go away, come again
some other day”. Then she would raise her broom and swing it over her head
counter-clockwise to stop the rain, and again, a few hours later the rain would stop.
With some practice, I know have mastered this little broom lore spell. I find it
handy to tell the broom what I want it to do before I do it, then I say my incantation
and swing the broom.
THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A MAGICKAL BROOM
When you first get your broom, always greet it by rubbing
your hand over the entire staff of the broom. Learn the body of your broom,
inspect it’s divets and curves. Use anointing oil to open and activate your broom.
A good oil is made from rosemary, thyme, myrrh and lavender in the base oil. Make
this oil by the full moon and then open your broom on the first day of the new
When getting a new broom, it’s always good to talk with it awhile. I
usually carry mine along with me in my car, and I sleep with it by
Talk with your broom, it’s amazing how much these magickal tools have
to say to us and how lonely they become when cast to the side.
After your broom has been chosen and spoken to, then start
using it to call in your circle. I point the broom in the direction that I’m
casting and use this to focalize the energy.
Once the circle is cast, then I lay the broom to the east to
guard the entrance until my magickal work is done. I also sprinkle
salt in the east over the broom to strengthen the seal, especially if I find
myself doing some intense spell casting.
Once I’m done with casting my magickal work, I thank my broom and
lift it from east and dismiss the quarters. A broom can also be used to
cast a circle in a hurry, much the same way a staff can be used. If I know I
need immediate protection, I point my broom to east and cast a circle with
my broom pointed to the earth, moving in a clockwise direction. This really
works if you are in a hurry and need to have some sacred space like NOW.
I also oil my broom handle with my anointing oil 4 times a year
during each turn of the wheel. This helps recharge the broom and helps you
reconnect with it. It likes to be stroked and caressed. Your broom is a sensuous
creature and likes to be part of the Divine Feminine.
The “Come to Me” Broom Spell
On a warm night (or turn the heater up), put on some
feminine), put on some soothing music that makes you want
your broom as if it were your beloved and dance with the
flying into the arms of your beloved. Whisper this four
By night’s light we shine bright
By sunlight we are right
By days end we are together by sacred rite.
Now cast your circle by laying your broom in each quarter.
broom to the
east and jump clockwise over it. Lay the broom in the south
over it. Lay the broom in the west and jump clockwise over
lay it in
the north and jump over it. Once you have completed your
will come to you within 24 hours. Use this spell to mend
if you don’t
have a mate, use this to call a mate to you.
SWEEPING SPELLS AND LORE
If you feel your life is in chaos, take a look around at
front walkway. If the front walks is cluttered with leaves
your walkway and front porch clean with your magickal broom
your life is in order and that all that comes to your will
When you move from one house to another, it’s always good
workaday broom. Either burn your old one, or make sure that
honor. Always bring a new broom into the new house, but
dirt from the
outside in before you sweep the dirt from the inside out.
This is to
good luck from the beginning and not push your luck out the
Always hang a broom by the front door for protection.
keep the bad
things out and the good things in. I have a broom at every
the door of my
keep it in the corner. Always stand a broom on end with the
This helps the wear and tear on the brush and it’s also
bring love from
the earth through the broomstick and given up to the
If your broom falls from your hand while you are sweeping
make a wish before you pick it up. It’s also said that if a
it’s kept place, company is coming and it’s not good news.
pick up your
broom after something like this happens, sweep the energy
door and bid
it adue not to return again.
If you or your kin are having recurrent nightmares or night
hauntings, sweep the
room clockwise while stating that all that lies between
here and the
be gone and back whence you came.
Hither, hither, hither gone.
Hither, hither, hither gone
Hither, hither, thither gone
So Mote It Be.
Now stand the broom outside the bedroom door and place a
HANDFASTING AND MARRIAGE BROOM LORE
As a Priestess and Wiccan Minister, I perform several
year. One of the main things I encourage Wiccan engaged
couples to do
is to find
a broom together. This is the symbol of hearth and home.
broom has been
found, then it is anointed as I stated above, then some of
pulled from the stem. That brush is then woven together and
wedding altar. The broom is present during our counseling
and then the
wife-to-be is usually the keeper of the broom until the
that she is the keeper of the home and keeps peace and
goes out to work. It also means that she is the keeper of
Magickal power of
the home. As it seems in these modern times that this is
sexed roles, this is Celtic lore from more than 600 years
The night before the wedding, the couple will dress the
a strand of colored ribbon around the handle. What this
twining of their lives and they themselves are no longer
part of each other. The broom is then placed either
standing by the
placed lying under the altar during the ceremony as the
promises made, that hands fasted. They are pronounced
wife and the
broom is then put before them as the final test of love.
steps, or in the old tradition, jumps, over the broom. This is
end of the
ceremony. Then it is recommended that the couple takes the
makes love with the broom under the bed. This seals the
Your broom can be your best friend and your magickal ally.
honor, reverence and respect and you will have a life-long
And then there is this…….
The traditional companion of the witches was the enchanted broomstick, used for their wild and unholy flights through the night and probably to some distant Witches’ Sabbat. This is one of the first images you get to see as a child and this was doubtlessly believed by the prominent rulers of Europe. The number of actual confessions of witches doing so is remarkably small. Usually confessions state that they went to the Sabbat on foot or on horseback.
Legends of witches flying on brooms go back as far as the beginning of the Common Era. The earliest known confession of a Witch flying on a broom was in 1453, when Guillaume Edelin of St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, stated that he had done so. In 1563, Martin Tulouff of Guernsey said to have seen his aged mother straddle a broomstick and whisk up the chimney and out of the house on it, saying “Go in the name of the Devil and Lucifer over rocks and thorns”. In 1598 Claudine Boban and her mother, witches of the province of Franche-Comte, in eastern France, also spoke of flying up the chimney of a stick. The belief of flying off through the chimney became firmly embedded in popular tradition, although only a few people ever mentioned doing so. It has been suggested that this idea was connected with the old custom of pushing a broom up the chimney to indicate the absence of the housewife. The Germanic Goddess Holda or Holle is also connected with the chimney.
Other indications that lead to the popular belief that witches actually flew on broomsticks can be found in an old custom of dancing with a broom between the legs, leaping high in the air. In Reginald Scot’s book, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, published in 1584, we find a similar description:
“At these magical assemblies, the witches never failed to dance; and in their dance they sing these words, ‘Har, har, dive dive, dance here dance here, play here play here, Sabbath, Sabbath’. And whiles they sing and dance, ever one hath a broom in her hand, and holdeth it up aloft.” Scot quoted these descriptions of Witch rites from a French demonologist, Jean Bodin, who made observations of a kind of jumping dance, riding on staffs. These customs might have contributed to the popular picture of broomstick-riding witches through the air.
In 1665, from the confession of Julian Cox, one of the Somerset coven, mentioned “that one evening she walks out about a Mile from her own House and there came riding towards her three persons upon three Broom-staves, born up about a years and a half from the ground. Two of them she formerly knew, which was a Witch and a Wizard”.
Some authors claim that the oldest known source of witches flying on broomsticks is a manuscript called Le Champion des Dames by Martin Lefranc, 1440. This might be one of the oldest images representing a hag on a broomstick, but it is certainly not the first. A wall painting from the 12th century in Schleswig Cathedral (Germany) shows the Norse deity Frigg riding her staff.
If we really dig a bit deeper into history, we’ll find that from the Roman world there are reports that mention witches flying on broomsticks as well as having used ointments, as early as the first century. They were called Straight (Barn owl) and the Lamiae from Greek culture had similar characteristics. Later in Roman history, the goddess Diana was the leader of the Wild Hunt:
“It is also not to be omitted that some wicked women, perverted by the Devil, seduced by illusions and phantasm of demons, believe and profess themselves in the hours of the night to ride upon certain beasts with Diana, the goddess of pagans, and an innumerable multitude of women, and in the silence of the dead of the night to traverse great spaces of earth, and to obey her commands as of their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on certain nights”. (See: Canon Episcopi).
Similar beliefs existed in many parts of Europe. From Norse mythology, we know that the army of women, lead by Odin (Wodan), called the Valkyries, was said to ride through the skies on horses, collecting the souls of the dead. In continental Germanic areas, the goddess Holda or Holle was also said to lead the Wild Hunt and is connected to chimneys and witchcraft. Berchta or Perchta, another Germanic goddess, which can be identified with Holda, has similar characteristics.
Again in Celtic Traditions, the Horned God Cernunnos, and/or Herne the Hunter was leader of the Wild Hunt and the Scottish Witch Goddess Nicneven was also said to fly through the night with her followers. Eastern Europe sources also have a wealth of folklore about witches flying through the air. So flying through the air, evidently, was a deeply rooted mythological theme, associated with the free roaming of the spirit, the separation of soul and body.
The broomstick is a female and male symbol, “the rod which penetrated the bush”. Its symbolism and interpretation is therefore purely sexual.
There are hints of its use as an artificial penis or dildo. In a curious old book, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon and Cant, by Albert BarrSre and Charles Godfrey Leland (1897-1899), we are told that the slang term in those days for a dildo or artificial penis was “a broom-handle”, and the female genitals were known vulgarly as “the broom”. To “have a brush” was to have sexual intercourse. Noteworthy is the evidence from Witch trials mentioning the “cold hard member of the Devil himself”. In 1662, Isabel Gowdie, accused of witchcraft, made a confession which could suggest that some sort of artificial phallus of horn or leather may have been used:
“His members are exceeding great and long; no man’s members are so long and big as they are….(he is) a meikle, black, rough man, very cold, and I found his nature as cold within me as spring-well water…He is abler for us that way than any man can be, only he is heavy like a malt-sack, a huge nature, very cold, as ice.
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 insight
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.
Broomstick Or Besom, The
The broomstick has come to be the traditional companion to the witch, and the enchanted steed for her wild and unholy night-flights through the air. Even Walt Disney paid tribute to its legendary magical character, in his film “Fantasia”, when he drew Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with a bewitched broomstick that did its work only too well.
However, the broomstick was only one of the means witches were supposed to use for the purpose of flight. Its frequent occurrence in folklore points to the fact that it possessed some special significance.
This significance is in fact a phallic one. In Yorkshire folk-belief, it was unlucky for an unmarried girl to step over a broomstick, because it meant that she would be a mother before she was a wife. Is Sussex, the May-Pole, which was itself a phallic symbol, used to be topped with a large birch broom. A ‘besom’ is a dialect term for a shameless, immoral female.
‘To marry over the broomstick’. ‘jump the besom’, was an old-time form of irregular marriage, in which both parties jumped over a broomstick, to signify that they were joined in common-law union. At gypsy wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom jump backwards and forwards over a broomstick; further evidence of the broom’s connection with sex and fertility.
In a curious and interesting old book, “A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Chant”, by Albert Barrere and Charles Godfrey Leland (London, 1899 and 1897, also Gale Research, Detroit, 1889), we are told that a slang term in those days for a ‘dildo’ or artificial penis was ‘a broom handle’; and the female genitals were known vulgarly as ‘the broom’. To ‘have a brush’ was to have sexual intercourse. This throws considerable light on the real significance of the broomstick in witch rituals, and in old folk-dances, in which it often plays a part.
The original household broom was a bunch of the actual broom plant,”Planta genista”, tied round a stick. “Broom! Green broom!” was old street cry, used by vendors of broom-bunches for this purpose. The “Planta genista” was the badge of the “Plantagenet” family, who derived their name from it. They were rumored to favor the Old Religion.
At one time of the year, the broom plant was unlucky. The old saying goes: “If you sweep he house with blossomed broom in May, you will sweep the head of the house away.” This could perhaps have some connection with old sacrificial rites at the commencement of summer.
Sometimes the broomstick was regarded as having power to repel witches; perhaps with the idea of turning their own magic against them. At any rate, a broomstick placed across the threshold of a house was supposed to keep witches out.
A broomstick could also be a luck symbol. When alterations were being made to an old house at Blandford in Dorset in 1930, a broomstick was found walled up in the structure. It was recognized as having been put there for luck, and it was allowed to remain in its hiding-place.
These additional meanings of the broomstick are in accord with its phallic significance. Things which are sex symbols are life symbols, and hence luck bringers and protectors against the Evil Eye.
In Reginald Scot’s “Discovery of Witchcraft” (London, 1584, and edited by Hugh Ross Williamson, Centaur, Southern Illinois University Press, 1964), he says of the witches’ Sabbats:” At these magical assemblies, the witches never faile to dance; and in their danse they sing these words, Har, har, dive divell, danse here dance here, plaoe here plaie here, Sabbath, sabbath. And whiles they sing and danse, everie one hath a broom in hir hand, and holdeth it up aloft.” He was quoting from the descriptions of witch rites given by a French demonologist, Jean Bodin. It appears from the other old description that witches also performed a kind of jumping dance, riding on staffs; and if broomsticks were used for this purpose, too, it is easy to see how this dance, combined with the witches’ experience of wild visions and dreams of flying while in a stage of magical trance, gave rise to the popular picture of broomstick-rising witches in flight through the air.
When broomsticks or besoms began to be made of more durable materials than the broom plant, the usual combination of woods for them was birch twigs for the brush, and ashen stake for the handle, and osier willow for the binding. However, in the Wyre Forest area of Worcestershire, the traditional woods are oak twigs for the sprays, which is the makers’ term for the broom part; hazel for the staff; and birch for the binding. All of these trees are full of magical meanings of their own, and feature in the old Druidic tree alphabets of Ancient Britain. The ash is a sacred and magical tree; the oak is the king of the woods; the hazel is the tree of wisdom; the willow is a tree of moon-magic; and the birch is a symbol of purification.
There are many beliefs based on the Broom as it made its genesis from medicine staff to symbol of Rebirth. The wedding broom represents a joining of souls working together as they jump over the Broom into their new life together. When a bride and groom moved into a new house, a new broom was be used to sweep a little dust into the door. Then this swept dust was placed onto the hearthstone to retain blessings.
Here is some of the folklore surrounding the Broom:
1) Never step over a broom laying on the floor, if you do & are unmarried you will stay that way.
2) When moving into a new home, a loaf of bread & a new broom should be sent in first for good luck.
3) It is bad luck to take a broom across the water.
4) Never lean a broom against a bed.
5) To keep a ghost out, lean a broom against the door jam.
6) To drop a broom means the company is coming.
7) To give away a used broom is bad luck.
8) A broom should never be used to sweep dust out of the front door because it sweeps the luck out with it.
9) Never sweep a house at night. It is an insult to the faeries & the spirits of the dead.
10) A broom standing outside the front door says that the lady of the house is away & the men of the house are at liberty to entertain guests.
Even MORE Broom Lore……
A broom dropping in front of the door means company before the day is over.
Always pick up, for luck, a broom that is lying on the floor or ground.
Always sweep dirt out the back door or you will sweep away your best friend.
Bad luck will befall you all year, if you sweep on New Year’s Day.
Burn up the rubbish when you sweep on New Year’s Day and you will have money throughout the new year.
Carry a broom under your arm for luck.
Carrying a broom over your shoulder will give you bad luck.
Do not sweep immediately after the departure of a guest or you will sweep him bad luck.
Dropping a broom while sweeping is the sign of a new carpet.
Hitting someone with a broom means that he will go to jail before a week has passed.
If a broom falls as you are passing it, you will have bad luck.
If a broom falls in front of you and you step on it before picking it up, you will have a “bed of sickness.”
If dirt is swept out a door before sunrise, you may expect bad luck.
If dirt is swept out of the house on Friday, the house will burn.
If someone comes in to see you and you pick up a broom and go to sweeping in front of them, that is the sign they are not wanted and you want them to go home.
If you go to someone’s house and have to step over a broom, it shows that the mistress of that household is an untidy housekeeper.
If you hand a broom through a window to someone, you may expect bad luck.
If you hit a person with a broom just before he starts “uptown,” he will have trouble before returning.
If you let a broom fall and do not step back over it immediately, someone dirtier than you will come.
If you must borrow a broom, take it without the owner’s knowledge, and you will not have bad luck.
If you must sweep on New Year’s Day, you can avert bad luck by not taking up the dirt and leaving it in a pile on the floor.
If you must sweep your kitchen after sunset, you can avert bad luck by burning the dirt.
If you step over a broom you will be arrested.
If you sweep after dark/ You will bring sorrow to your heart.
If you sweep after dark, you will sweep out the money made that day.
If you sweep in front of someone, you are sweeping them off the earth.
If you sweep under someone while he is sitting on a chair, you are giving him bad luck.
It causes bad luck to sweep a porch after dark.
It is a sign of good luck to have a broom drop in front of you.
It is a sign of misfortune, to lay a broom on the bed.
It is unlucky to borrow a broom.
It is unlucky to sweep dirt out a door at any time. Pick up the dirt and carry it outdoors for luck.
It is unlucky to sweep on Monday.
It means bad luck when a broom falls across the derail
It signifies bad luck, if you sweep under a bed on which someone is lying.
It signifies bad luck, to carry a broom through the house from the front door to the back door.
Keep the corners of your broom square or even for luck.
Lean a broom against a bed and you will be unlucky.
Lending a broom will cause you bad luck.
Let the broom rest with the straws up and you will be lucky.
Letting the sweeping edge of a broom wear off at the two corners will bring you bad luck.
Never burn up a broom; it will bring you bad luck.
Never sweep dirt out the front door; it will bring you bad luck.
Never sweep the kitchen after supper, whether daylight or dark, or you will sweep out all your money.
Never sweep your kitchen early in the morning before sunrise, or you will be unlucky.
Stand a broom on its handle and you will always be poor.
Step over a broom and you will break your mother’s back.
Stepping over a broom is a sign of slovenliness.
Stepping over a broom will bring sorrow to your heart.
Stumbling over a brook handle will bring you good luck.
Sweep after dark and you will never be rich.
Sweep dirt out of the house on Friday and it will cause you bad luck.
Sweep on the third day after Easter and you will have bugs in the house.
Sweep the top of a bed and you will have bad luck.
Sweep under a person’s feet while he is sitting in a chair and he will not grow any more.
Sweeping after dark means you will lose a friend.
Sweeping dirt over a doorstep after six o’clock in the evening will bring bad luck.
Sweeping on New Year’s Day means that you will sweep out the money made during the coming year.
Sweeping under chair upon which someone is sitting will make you unlucky.
The child who steps over a broom will get a whipping.
The one who is hit by a broom will soon be arrested.
The person under whose feet you sweep will always be poor.
The person who is hit on the top of the head with a broom will be arrested.
To avert bad luck after you have walked over a fallen broom, step backward across the broom.
To brush your boot with the broom while your are sweeping will give you bad luck for a week.
To have good luck, place the broom on its handle in a corner.
To set a broom in the corner with the brush up shows that you are an untidy housekeeper.
To step over a broom will start a quarrel in the house.
To sweep after dark will bring trouble to the house.
To sweep dirt out the door is a sign of a slovenly housekeeper.
Touching anyone with a broom while you are sweeping causes bad luck.
Walking over a fallen broom will cause you bad luck.
When a broom falls across the door, it indicates that you will walk on the strange ground.
When a small child takes a broom and begins to sweep, the company is coming.
When someone is hit with a broom, he should spit on the broom and take ten steps backwards so he will neither have bad luck or be arrested.
When you sweep after dark, you sweep away your friends and let enemies in.
You sweep away your best friend by sweeping after dark.
You will be unlucky if you do not pick up a fallen broom at once.
Your luck will be swept away, if you sweep your kitchen after sunset.