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I am an Ordained Minister, a Shaman, a Reiki Master Teacher, an Aromatherapist, a Massage Therapist, an Herbalist in training, & a Crystal Healer in training! I am also a Writer! I am one of the Neo- Celí Dé (a form of Celtic christian mysticism based on original early Christianity, & certain Celtic philosophies, perspectives, & certain Druidic elements). I am also a proud member of Clan MacKay. NO PARTIES, JUST PATRIOTISM!

These are a few of my favorite things!;

  • The Harry Potter series! both the movies and the books by J.K. Rowling!
  • Twilight book saga, and movie series by Stephanie Meyer's!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On The Care and Lore of The Besum;

Besum or Besom; 

(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.) 

The Besum is the ritual broom. It is commonly used to cleanse both sacred and mundane space. Sometimes used to sweep across front door stoops to cleanse the way for good and bar the path of evil.

 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.

                                            ~Besum Lore~

When a broom falls to the floor expect a knock upon your door.

To keep unwanted guests away, hang your broom; with bristles facing where heavens lay.

To keep evil things at bay over your door your broom should stay.

Sweep your circles thrice about, to keep that which is unwanted out.

Sweep your space from east to west, a Sunwise path doth banish best.

Sweep your space in Widdershins sway, to send negative things away.

Cleanse your space good and clear, and cleanse your broom year after year.

Fly them high and fly them low, and cleanse the sky where you may go.

Sweep your tracks good and clear; when in Spirit-flight hold to no fear.

Thus the broom does much for thee, a tool to clear your path so none may see.

A ritual teaching poem adapted by Rev. Loush O’Raven
This version was written in the year of our Lord 1996

Educational notes;

for those that do not know, the term Widdershins means to work backwards or counter clockwise in order to banish negative energies. Also in my tradition which differs from many ritual traditions…Nemetons or sacred ritual circles are cast counter-clockwise and not clockwise. Part of the idea of creating a ritual circle is to create a space outside of mundane time or ordinary time; and ordinary reality. The goal is a shamanic one…to enter into what has been called Non-oridnary reality, and Non-oridnary time or rather a place of eternity where there is no liner time. Most things seem to move in a clockwise pattern of motion. So how can one truly step out of time energetically speaking if one is creating space moving in the usual or mundane direction? It seems to me that one can not. So in my tradition circles are created using a counter clockwise pattern, and when we want to end the circles we move in a clockwise pattern thus bringing us back into ordinary time.

Astral flight for those that do not know is a ritual form of astral projection. Sometimes ritual practitioners use the visualization or riding or carrying a broom for the purpose of hiding themselves energetically when in astral form. This is because it is believed that on or within the astral plains there are all sorts of beings. Not all of them are good or benevolent. Some are malicious. During the burning times when witch hysteria was running rampant it was believed that witches flew in this manner in order to appear to only their supposed intended would be victims; so that only their victims could see them. In the case of the Salem witch trials this was very prominent. Many of the young idiot girls involved in the trails would scream and claim to see visions of the accused “witch” or person coming or flying at them, or appearing to them and no one else. Of course this may also have been a case where demons took the forms of familiar people in order to spread the evil hate, and fear, and get innocent people murdered by these  pseudo-christian puritans.

The broom is hung or moved or placed in different ways in order to accomplish different purposes. Many times the broom is placed in the corner of a room and if it falls by itself then it is believed you should get your house clean as quickly as possible because company is coming. Sometimes this means spiritual company and sometimes physical company. The broom falling is a message to “Get your house in order”. This is why sometimes in ritual speak when someone is dying or passing over as it is commonly called, it is sad… “Your Broom has fallen”. I have witnessed this occurrence before several times first hand and it always amazes me how it happens. I have stood there and had a broom fall in my house and twenty minutes later someone showed up unexpectedly. I have also seen this in the house of several friends. Once it was a warning about a spiritual visitation. Sometimes two brooms are crossed as a stronger ward against evil. Sometimes nemetons are formed using brooms so that around thirteen brooms or so form a ritual circle.

It is a good idea to keep your broom clean even if it is mundane. If it is ritual it just makes sense to clean all of your tools so that certain energies are not carried from one ritual usage to the next. In the mundane world if you do not clean your brooms you often just end up endlessly spreading around dirtiness which renders the act of sweeping pointless. Cleaning the ritual broom usually involves smudging it. Many ritual practitioners keep two or three brooms. One that is a ritual only besum, one that you bless and use to keep your house swept, and one to bless and then sweep outside with.

Often the broom is used in place of a staff in ritual. It can also hold the east corner or the place of air. Usually if it is used as an air tool than it has feathers attached to it or bells.

There are many styles of besum including short hand brooms and often these are used in place of feather smudging fans to do smudging on people. Smudging for those that do not know; is the act of using sacred smoke from various ritual herbs to cleanse the energies of a person, object, or space. It is not unique to any one culture. Almost all cultures have a version of smudging and almost all religions that I am aware of have a similar type of ritual. The Hebrews did it in the old testament temple of God with cedar, frankincense, and later christians used frankincense, myrrh, rose, spikenard, and other various oils, herbs, and plant substances. Catholics use incense which is common in other religions and cultures as well. Pagans are particularly fond of this as are “Native Americans”, druids, shamanic practitioners, and it is gaining popularity among yoga and reiki practitioners as well. Native Americans as they are now being called use white sage and sweet grass and many ritual practitioners have taken on this habit. Celts and druids used and still use Juniper, Lavender, and other various plant substances. Many times herbs are put onto or into the besum to make it more powerful. For the same purpose other items might be put onto or into a broom.

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.

Well I hope you enjoyed learning a little about this fascinating ritual tool. Perhaps you might even get yourself one to use, even if only to sweep out the dust from your house and cleanse your personal space like the Hebrews of old.





 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;

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