Here is it, my first submission for Witch-Crafting!
How to create a broom!
Traditionally used to sweep away negative energies, to cleanse a space, and to protect the home, there is plenty of folklore surrounding the broom. It represents both the ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, projective and receptive magic, and has dozens of folkloric taboos and recommendations. It is used to banish little beasties, hung above the door it keeps out unwanted guests. Jumped over at a wedding it bestows blessings and luck. It hides a stang, stave, or wand in plain sight. It is one of the witch’s most iconic tools!
I made this broom on Samhain about 5 years ago after all the pieces necessary to make it fell into my lap during a trip to the Dollarama while I was trying to make my costume!
Originally I intended for it to be an ‘all natural’ creation. That is to say that I didn’t want to use many plastics, and I wanted its construction to be as by-hand and non-synthetic as possible. In the end, due to some minor frustrations and some time restrictions I ended up using a small amount of hot glue to keep me from trashing the whole project.
To make one just like mine you will need:
- long dowel/s (I used bamboo rods)
- bristles (I used an unidentified bushel of twigs meant for decorative bouquets, though I came upon them by chance and you might be better just finding real broom shrub, or taking a cheap ‘natural’ broom apart and repurposing it)
- charms (I’ll describe mine below)
- thread, string, or ribbon of your choice
- Wax or hot glue, should you choose
You can use a single dowel or sick for this, or bind several together as I have. Make sure that their is enough bulk that the broom handle doesn’t feel flimsy in your hands. It should feel sturdy and substantial. I started by binding two sticks of bamboo together with thread. I was lucky in that both sticks had a subtle twist to them, so they interlocked nicely and gave me a sturdier handle. I used the string made for friendship bracelets, as well as thread, to wrap them together every foot or so. The length of these sticks will depend on your tradition, but after attaching the bristles my completed broom is almost exactly shoulder height. Once your dowels have been bound, put them aside.
Next, gather your bristles. My bristles are more like sticks than the more ‘fluffy’ branches you’d find from broom shrubs, but they worked beautifully. In my case I gathered the sticks in bundles of about 20-30, and then bound those together using string and thread again. I made just enough bundles to snuggly surround my broom’s handle (7, incase you were wondering).
It is at this point that I used a bit of hot glue. I had originally intended to use thread to bind the bundles to the handle one by one, but it proved impossible to do by myself at the time. I’m sure you guys can figure out how to do it, but I’m impatient. An alternative to hot glue, should you choose to leave it out, is to use wax to hold things in place. It’s a tenuous bond, but might be all you need to bind them into place.
Start by binding or gluing the bundles to your broom handle, one at a time, allowing for roughly 6 inches of the handle to be hidden within the bristles. This ensures that as you sweep, the bristles will not bend right off the handle. After all of the bundles are bound or glued to the stick, secure them with thread or string or ribbon. I found the most secure way was to very tightly wrap the very top of the bundles, and then bind them again where the broom handle ends inside the bristles.
You can see these bindings in my photos; the large black bindings show you how far into the bristles my broom handle goes.
You’ve just finished the basic form of your broom!
Afterwards you can use coloured threads or ribbons and charms to consecrate, bless, or charge your broom. I personally used black, silver, and purple thread as black is a banishing colour, purple represents my personal spiritual strength, and silver is pretty! I also attached buttons (which I often use a charged charms the way some people use crystals), a thimble (which in my UPG represents protection, love, and hard work), and a bundle of beads and bells to ward off negative energies and unwanted spirits.
I don’t use my broom often; I use it as my ‘serious witchy business’ tool. I will ‘shoo’ out negativity from my home and use it to cleanse before guests arrive for parties, right after a big clean. However, most often it is used like a weapon for protection. Like I said, serious business. I will walk through my apartment with it like a spear, shaking it vigorously to ring the bells, scattering negativity like cockroaches. I’ll swat at the baseboards and shout, and I’ll knock the ceiling with it, casting out unwanted guests. I’ve used it to banish a spirit who was killing plants and shattering glass in my bathroom (it was getting bad enough to make the cat upset), and I used it in our first big clean at this new apartment when we moved in.
Other things to consider when creating your broom (these things won’t be important to everyone);
- what kind of wood do you want to use? Traditional woods include ash, birch, hazel, and willow
- do you want to include herbs? You can use stalks of rosemary for banishing and protection, or mint for energizing and purification, for example.
- what size do you want? hand brooms are easier to store or hide than full sized ones like mine, and they also give you the chance to have several for different uses!
- What will you use to bless or consecrate your broom? Blessed water? Essential oils? Fragrance oils? The last two will leave a lingering scent that will waft from the broom when you use it
I hope this is helpful for some of you who are a bit more into the ‘crafty’ side of witchcraft. If any of you have questions, feel free to stop by my blog and leave me an Ask!