Besom

Besom

A Symbol of Imbolc — Broom or Besom

Besom
Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun.
The besom, or broom, is one of the main ritual tools of the witch and is sacred to both the Goddess and God.  The God – through its symbolic phallic shape, the Goddess – through its three-piece make up, the shaft, the bristles and the binding cord, three being the triform aspect of the Goddess. Traditionally a besom was made from three different woods, Ash for the shaft, Birch twigs for the bristles and Willow strands for the binding cord.  Ash is protective and has command over the four elements, Birch is purifying and draws spirits to one’s service, while Willow is sacred to the Goddess and binds them all together.  In modern times, while the traditional besom still takes pride of place, other woods are used for special purposes:  Oak for added power and protection, Pine for luck and health, Redwood for longevity, Maple for love and money, Walnut for health and wisdom, and Cinnamon for spirituality.
The age-old image of witches flying around on broomsticks casting baneful spells is believed to have come from old fertility rites associated with nature and agricultural.  As part of the seasonal Spring rites to aid the growth of newly planted crops, women from local villages would gather around fields with their besoms.  Placed between their legs as they circled the field, much like riding on a hobby-horse, the idea was the higher they leapt, the higher the crop would grow.
Magically, a besom is used for a variety of purposes, but more generally they are used to purify and protect.  In ritual they are used to cleanse sacred space before magick is performed by visually sweeping away negative energies and astral build up.  Sweeping the area with a besom can be done in addition to or in place of incense to purify ritual space.  When not being used in ritual place your magical besom by the door to protect the home from evil spirits and negative energies.  When standing a besom, always place the bristles up, with the shaft on the floor.  This not only makes the bristles last longer, it will also bring you good luck.
Compiled by: Kamberlyn 
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients to bring about the life, relationship, finances and career that their soul desires for them.  She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyndivinelove or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.