The Broom is one of the main attributes of the archetypical witch. On Halloween no witch comes out without her broom. In Folklore the witches fly on brooms through the night sky, or to the the sabbath.
And in folklore and folk magic the broom is surrounded by much lore.
Brooms can be used to protect the home against thieves an evil spirits, it can be used to bless, to banish negative energies or troublesome spirits. A broom that is standing before the front door is a protective amulet and something like a sign for modern witches: Hey in this house lives a witch.
But why is the broom so much connected to witches in folklore and in our modern witch archetype?
In old times a broom made from brush (and later from straw) was an everyday thing. Every household had a broom. The broom was (and is) a tool to clean the home. And the broom got a symbol for the home in general over time. But at the same time the broom is made from things that grew outside of the home, in the hedges or in the woods. So the broom is a ambivalent symbol, made from the things outside of the home (and outside the man made world) and at the same time a tool that got a symbol for the home and domestic life. The broom was also a symbol for a threshold, because with the broom the dirt was cast out of the home over the threshold. The broom stood in many homes near the hearth- another symbol strongly connected to witchcraft in folklore and the hearth had the same symbolism. It represents the home and the spirit of the home, but at the same time it is a meeting place, a doorway to the spirit world, a threshold to the world outside of the home (and a gate to the realms outside of the man made world).
And the witch herself is strongly weaved into this symbolism. She is is connected to the thresholds, between the worlds of humans and spirits, between the man made world and nature, between the village and the wilderness between life and death. So for me the Witch Queen (Goddess of witchcraft) is strongly connecteod to the broom, too. She is the mistress of all thresholds, mediating between the worlds.
On old woodcuts witches were depicted riding on brooms in their flight, but they used also other things like stangs, pitchforks or animals.
In modern witchcraft the broom can be a all-round working tool. It can be used to clean the home from negative energies and spirits, to weave protective magic around the home, to direct energies (like the wand is used in ceremonial magic), as a focal point for familiar spirits and the good spirits of the home, as a tool to evoke spirits (like the wand is used by magicians), as a tool to bless the home and to draw the witch circle (as a threshold between the worlds).
And as a tool in witches flights (the leaving of the body in mental-, astral- or etheric projections of the spirit) you can ride the astral reflection of the broom on your flights. The broom can be seen as the world tree, or as a symbol of the witches hedge. Because the broom is made from things that grew in the hedge (a symbol of the threshold between the worlds). And it can be a very protective tool in the otherworld, if you use the astral reflection of it in your flights and journeys.
I have several brooms. One broom for rites, spells and witcheries. This broom is my working tool. For me this broom has a spirit of her own, because of this i write about this broom as her- not as it. Her handle is made from alder tree, her brush is made from apple twigs, willow and birch. I use this broom in my magic, i ride her astral reflection when i leave my body, i use her as weapon in my otherworld journeys and with her i cast my witch circles. For me the broom is my main working tool when i am in my home or my garden.
Then i have a broom made from birch that stands before our front door. This broom is a amulet to protect our home and the threshold. And i have a third broom that stands near my hearth shrine in my ritual room. It is made from willow wood and willow twigs and the twigs of dogwood. I have worked the skull of a fox into this broom, twigs of thorny hedge roses, snake skin and runes. This broom protects the threshold between the mundane and spiritual realms and is a focus point of the spirits i work with. And I have several straw brooms that I use for mundane cleansing in my home.
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I should have read this before commenting on the stang post, lol. My late teacher also said the besom was used to protect one from wild animals when going through the woods in the dark to Sabbat. A stang’s shape can also be used in this way to immobilize an animal, or attacking human, and a smaller stang can be used to catch a snake. My elder Priestess, who does card readings so has a lot of strangers coming through her door, lays her broom horizontal on her step so one has to step over it, which is even disconcerting to me her priest, lol. I have also seen them used to seal the temple door once the temple is readies before the coven enters.