(Pronounced several ways depending on dialect; I personally learned to pronounce it as bay-shum. The most common pronunciation is probably bee-zum or be-zoom. What I believe about the way I was taught is that it is southern slang from a particular locale. Historically however it is usually besom pronounced bee-zum.)
It is used to aid in astral flight many times. It is thought that during the burning times as witches call the era from the European inquisitions till the end of the American inquisition, that the bristles of the besum hid the power staff of ritual practitioners.
Brooms have been used ritually all over the world. The three primary cultures that truly perfected it’s ritual use in ancient times are The Hebrews, The Africans, and The Europeans…though these are not the only cultures to have used the besum whatever it may be called in other cultures.
It is thought that if you use the besum and sweep from east to west traveling the same path as the sun in it’s cycle that you will block evil from entering whatever space you are trying to cleanse and protect. The broom is now used in both Celtic and African wedding rituals to cleanse the first steps of the newlyweds, and this usually involves the couple jumping over the broom together; this is called jumping the broom...though sometimes it is just a step over the broom instead of a leap.
There are many beliefs surrounding most of the ritual tools. These beliefs are called Lore. This simple poem offers part of the Lore of The Besum.
During a certain part f history it is said that Witches used Parasols and Umbrellas instead of Brooms to fly and also to conceal their tracks and Identities. The exact era this is supposed to have been popular in legends about witches is debated. I have heard the Victorian ear quoted many times. It may have been this idea that inspired a unique aspect of the famous literary and film character Mary Poppins. A wonderful depictions of witches using this method of flying can be found in the film Practical Magic.
Just remember…If you see someone fly by you through the air on a broom…ask them how they learned to do that because I for one sure want to know! lol
I found a neat article written by a witch on broom lore and I thought it was relevant and that I should share. So here is the link;