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Saturday, 8 May 2010

How To Make A Besom

How To Make A Besom Cover
The Witch's Broom is an icon of Witchcraft and Magick, as well as a Samhain & Halloween staple. With these holidays right around the corner, I thought that this would be a good time to share with you all how to craft your own Witch's Broom, known as a Besom.

Technically speaking, a broom is the flat ended sort of object that we generally use for physical cleaning; while a Besom is a round shaped bunch of straw (or other plant material) bundled around the center handle, and is used to cleanse an area of negative enegy, usually in the preparation of ritual or magickal work.

While you can buy a besom, and there are many lovely ones to choose from -it's also pretty easy to make one of your own. The bonus of making it yourself, is the addition of your own energy tied to it's creation. Although the items that follow are for the more traditional style of besom, you can use nearly any types of branches and plant materials available to you. Even a wooden dowel from the Hardware Store can be used. Another alternatve is to purchase a Dollar Store Broom for its twist off handle.

It is a good idea to match the materials to the type of magick to be worked with it. The traditional magical formula includes a bundle of birch twigs, a staff of ash or oak, and a binding made from willow wands. This makes for a besom that incorporates both the male energy of the God- in the oak or ash; and the female energy of the Goddess- in the willow. A besom to be used primarily in Healing Rituals might be made of birch & lavender; and one for Kitchen Witchery might be made of cinnamon.

After the basic construction of the Besom, there are innumerable way to decorate it. Handles can be carved, wrapped or painted; and all sorts of embellishments can be attatched to it. Things such as feathers, crystals, coins, beads, bone and other totems can adorn it and enhance the work you plan to do with the Besom itself.

You'll need:
- A four-foot length of ash or oak for the handle
- Thin branches of birch for the bristle part (you can substitute a woody herb like mugwort or thyme for the bristles if you like. I have also seen wondefull besoms made from aromatic herbs, such as lavender or cinnamon. )
- Lengths of willow or heavy cord to bind everything together
- You'll also need scissors and a bucket of warm water. Whatever you'll be using for the bristles -- whether it's birch, an herb, or some other wood -- should be soaked in the warm water overnight to make them pliable, as should the willow binding, if you're using it.

Line up your broom handle and bristles, with the bottoms of the bristles pointing towards the top of the handle. Lay the handle on a table or the floor, and place the bristles alongside it, lined up about four inches from the bottom. Point the bottom of the bristles towards the top of the broom, because you're going to flip the bristles in a minute

Tie the bristles in place around the handle. Use the willow branches or cording to wrap the bristles around the broom. Add as many as you want to make the broom full. Make sure you tie the cording off securely so your bristles don't come popping out later.

Finally, fold the bristles down over the inner tie, and then tie on the outside. Now, take the bristles and fold them down over the willow binding or cording so that they're pointing towards the bottom of the broom. Tie them down again at the base of the broomstick to secure them As you're wrapping the cord in place, visualize your intent for this besom. Will it be strictly decorative? Are you going to hang it in place over a door? Perhaps you'll use it ceremonially, or maybe even for physical cleaning. Focus on what you're going to be doing it, and charge it with energy.

The Final Step

- Let your broom dry for a day or two, and when it's all done, consecrate it as one of your magical tools.
- If you will be doing any decorative work on it, such as carving, painting or wrapping it with fiber-this can be done either before or after the initial consecration, and should be done with magickal intention.
- Then, when all decorative work is finished, you can reconsecrate it and begin woking with your very own handcrafted Witch's Besom.

One last word- I wouldn't try to use it for flying purposes! I'm sure you all have seen the results of some of the other Neigborhood Witches flying attempts!

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Out Of The Aeons
Aristotle - On The Soul
Ann Groa Sheffield - Groa Top Nine Heathen Books

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