Wiccan Ritual Tools: The Besom
Tools are often a part of Wiccan ritual practices. The Besom is one such tool that is used in magic and religious observances. The Besom, or broom, is sacred to both the God and the Goddess and it has a long history of use in witchcraft and Wicca.
The besom is one of the first things that spring to mind when we think of the stereotypical "witch". Who hasn't seen the portrayal of the ugly witch flying on her broom stick? This modern interpretation of the witch's broom, or besom, stems from the history of the tool as used in magic and religion for ages.
The broom has long been used to promote fertility, bring protection against curses and evil magic, and promote pleasant dreams and a host of other magical purposes. Today, the besom is used to purify ritual space.
A modern day Wiccan will use the besom to sweep the ritual area while visualizing the broom sweeping out negativity and impurities that have built up in the area. This is done for indoor or outdoor ritual space and creates a spiritually cleansed space to practice magic or perform Wiccan rituals.
Because of its use as a purifier, the besom is thought to correspond to the element of water amongst practitioners of Wicca. Most Wiccan ritual tools are related to a certain element. Because of its association to water, the besom is often used in Wiccan water spells such as love spells and psychic spells. It is especially useful in spells of psychic protection because of its qualities of both protection and water.
Many who walk the Wiccan path prefer to make their own besom, as well as any other tools they may use. This helps to infuse the tool with personal power and makes it that much more powerful when used in personal spells and Wiccan rituals. The traditional formula for making a besom is to use a staff made of ash with birch twigs and a willow binding.
Of course, this formula may not always be practical. My besom is made form the branch of an old oak tree from my backyard and broom straw that I procured from a local shop. Any tree can be used to make the besom but make sure you ask permission before taking a live cutting from any tree. If you decide to purchase your besom for use in Wiccan ritual, make sure to purify and consecrate it in some way prior to using it.
The besom, when used for Wiccan ritual purposes or magic, should only be used for this purpose. Once it is consecrated as a magical tool, it should be used for nothing else. A besom is a wonderful tool to have for use in Wiccan ritual and can be quite fun to make as well.