One of the Witch's magickal tools is a besom, or broom. It actually is more than a tool, it is a hard-working cleaner and protector, a sacred helper for ritual. Before circle casting, ritual or spell casting, the besom is used to sweep negative energies away. In case you were wondering, witches do not use their brooms for transportation. (I do enjoy the sight, though, in that scene from the movie "Hocus Pocus" where the three sister witches jump on their broom, mop, and vacuum cleaner!!)
Here are some old beliefs, stories and facts about the besom:
When you move to a new house, leave the old broom behind...you will not have good luck if you bring the old broom with you.
Make a wish when you use a new broom for the first time...the wish will come true.
If you drop a broom, make a wish before picking it up.
Jump over a broom nine times to be married within a year.
Swing a broom over your head outside to bring rain.
Your broom will act as a lightning rod if you place it on the porch during a thunderstorm.
To keep the evil eye away at night while you sleep, place a small broom under your pillow.
To protect your house, place a broom on the ground in front of the door, or hang two crossed brooms on a wall.
Another way to guard your home: take two needles, make an equal-armed cross with them, and place this cross in a broom....place the broom behind a door.
Stepping over a broomstick will prevent ghosts from haunting you.
Hang a broom on your bedroom door to prevent nightmares.
Use a new broom to sweep something into the house, before using it to sweep dirt out. If you do not, your luck will go out the door.
Do not sweep floors at night...this will prevent good fortune.
Sweep towards the fireplace. If you do not have a fireplace, sweep in any direction except towards the front door, which will remove your luck.
When you stand your broom in a corner, put it bristles up, handle on the floor. This will keep the luck from running out of the broom.
These adages and more can be found in Scott Cunningham's The Magical Household, published by Llewellyn.
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