Broomsticks and Besoms

Merry Meet All,

Mabon and Samhain truly are the Witches’ seasons. A chill is in the air, leaves turn lovely colors, and the sky is a dazzling blue. Pumpkins decorate storefronts and black cats prowl the streets.

Earlier in the posts I discussed how to create your own Witch costume and hat. Now I will show you how to decorate a besom. A besom is a traditional Witch’s broom. A witch uses a besom to sweep away negative energy and purify a space before performing a ritual. The bristles do not touch the floor. A regular broomstick sweeps away physical dirt.

You can choose to purchase an inexpensive dowel at a crafts store or find a sturdy willow, oak, birch, apple, or a maple tree branch outside. Make sure the branch is solid. I once found a branch outside and as I was scraping the dead wood away, the branch fell apart. Needless to say, I did not complete making the besom. A dowel rod is a good substitute.

The branch should be a length of four feet for the handle. Use branches for the bristles or use mugwort, lavender, rosemary, or thyme for bristles. Willow, twine, or heavy cord to bind the bristles together. You also need scissors and a bucket of warm water. Soak the willow or what you are using for the bristles in the warm water overnight.

Line up the handle on a table or a floor and put the bristles alongside it. Line them up about four inches from the bottom. Now point the bottom of the bristles or herbs towards the tip of the broom. Use the willow branches, twine, or cord to wrap the bristles snug around the besom. Add as many as you need to make the besom full. Tie the cord or willow securely to avoid having the bristles pop out later.

Take the bristles- tied tightly- in your hands and fold down over the binding so they now point towards the bottom of the besom. Tie them securely again at the besom base. Wrap the cord around the bristles again. This is a good time to visualize your intent for your besom. Are you planning to use it for handfastings or for spiritually clearing a room of negative chi? Let the besom air dry and dedicate it as one of your magical tools. Use glue, if you need to.

If you choose to use a broomstick from a store, or a dowel rod and attach bound twigs and/ or herbs to make your besom, here are some decorating tips.

I found a broomstick at a crafts store. The bristles of the broomstick crumbled to the floor. To fix that, I found pretty fabric in a complementary color to the broom and made a type of pretty ‘pouch’ to hold in the loose bristles. I saved an extra scrap of fabric and tied a bow on the front of the broom. See photo above.

You can paint a dowel rod a desired color and add a triquetra, pentagram, or a spiral onto the dowel rod. Tie a sprig of herbs onto the broom. Or string corresponding crystals, bells, or a talisman or charm to the besom. Drill a hole into the handle and attach a string to hang your besom.

Empower, cleanse, consecrate, and dedicate your besom to your magickal workings. I do not use the besom with the bundled bristles at all. It decorates my altar but I love my choice of fabric to cover the loose bristles. The besom looks pretty. I hope you find this post helpful. Create a beautiful besom and feel proud of it this autumn season.

Blessed be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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