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Tuesday, 3 May 2005

The Broom

The Broom Cover The broom stick was an important fixture in ancient homes through out Europe. Most homes were made of wood, straw and dirt floors. The only way to keep a home clean was to sweep out the old.

This concept is even documented in the Bible.
In Isaiah 14:23 (KJV translation) I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.
In Luke 15:8 "The Parable of the Lost Coin": "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?"

One of the earliest forms of the broom is known as the Besom Broom. They were made of twigs tied to a handle. The bristles can be made of various materials such as straw, herbs, or twigs. The shaft is round to represent the branch of a tree. This associates the broom with the Tree of Life which was an important symbol in ancient pagan Europe. Traditionally a Besom broom is made from hazel wood and the bristles are birch twigs.

These brooms were often found just inside a dwelling hanging with bristles up to ward off evil spirits, negative energies and to protect the home and all who dwell within it. It could also be found hanging over a door with the bristles facing in the direction of opening of the door.

They were relatively inefficient as a cleaning implement and needed constant repair or recreation. Today Besom Brooms are still crafted and sold at garden centers as an outdoor broom. You can also find decorated and scented versions (ie: cinnamon besom brooms) in craft stores for indoor decorations.

The brooms Relation to sweeping away negative energies and use for Protection makes it a wonderful tool for magikal Practices and rituals. Consequently it wasn't a big leap for European pagans to use the broom as a tool.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Meshafi Resh - The Black Book
Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - The Hermit
Aleister Crowley - The Necronomicon
Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers - The Tarot