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To Make a Besom

To Make a Besom

   The iconic Witch’s Broom, known as a besom, is the sort of project that takes a bit of time but is well worth the effort.  Ruled by Air, Besoms are used for Handfastings, ritual sweeping of the Circle area, and home protection.  A Besom’s magick encompasses both the Masculine (the handle) and the Feminine (the broom part).  As with any item to be used for magickal purposes, make your Besom in Circle after calling on your deity.

   You will need a branch of comfortable length, cut or gathered during the appropriate Moon phase and magickal hour.  The wood ideally should be of a type that is useful for the Besom’s purpose, such as hawthorn, apple, oak, rowan, or hazel.  The broom part can be made from rushes, or of straw, or any long wild grass that will be flexible enough when dry to be useful without crumbling too much.  Collect your rushes or grass while the plants are green; the branch can be collected as a dead one that has dropped from the tree, or cut as a green one, but if green you will need to thoroughly dry it out first.  Either way, carefully remove the branch bark so the Besom handle will be smooth.  Sand the branch if you wish. You will also need a length of hemp twine at least 18”-20” long.

   When all is ready, make a slip knot with a large loop in the twine.   Take the green grass or straw and layer it carefully around the end of the branch to completely cover the wood.  The ends of the grasses should encompass about 4” or 5” of branch end.  Hold the material in place and slip the twine loop over the other end and bring it down over the grass ends.  Pull the twine tight to hold the material in place.  Wrap the ends of the twine around the grass and tie it snug.  Tuck in the ends if you wish, or add beads, charms, or dried flowers to the ends.

   Tie a length of twine to the other end of the branch, and then hang up the finished piece to allow the grasses to dry out.  If you like, you can cut a slender branch of red willow and wrap it tightly over the twine to hide it, tying the branch in a nice hitch knot.  Again, if you want to add decorative touches feel free to do so.


   Your Besom can be hung horizontally over your front door to guard against evil; used in Handfastings for the couple to jump over to ward away bad luck from their union; and to ritually sweep away any lurking negative energy from a ritual space as part of the cleansing process.

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Lady Eva Michenet has been a practicing Witch for more than thirty years. She has authored articles for various publications including SageWoman's newsletter, the eZine Rending the Veil, two Pagan Writers Community Sabbat anthologies, and Witches' Voice.


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