Saturday, September 7, 2013

Make Your Own Magickal Broom

Here is how I made my own Broomstick.  I am sure you can find different tutorials online for different ways of doing it, I didn't look at any of those I just pretty much made this up as I went along and it turned out pretty good!  It was fun and simple!

What you will need;
* A long stick or tree branch found in nature, or a wooden dowel you can find at a craft store.
* Long straw, thin branches, or Raffia to use as the bristles.  (I used a combination of Raffia and the dry needles that fall off my Palo Verde tree)
* String, cord, or yarn for wrapping the bristles to the broom handle.  Lots of it!
* Hot Glue gun or super glue to help hold things in place.
* Scissors
* Optionally you can use ribbon, bells, feathers, and charms for decorating your broom.
* If desired some paint or markers to decorate the handle.

To begin;
Cut the Raffia into the length you desire for bristles.  Gather a hand full of the Raffia, straw, or whatever you are using for bristles and wrap string tightly around one end to make a small bundle, like this;

You will need 5 or 6 of these bundles for your broom.  Make them bigger or make more of them if you want the bristle part of your broom to be more full.

When your bundles are ready, take one of them and apply glue to the end of your broomstick.  Then use another long length of string to wrap and tie (tightly) the bundle to the bottom of the broomstick.  Repeat this process for each bundle, all the way around your broom.  When you have all the bundles attached, you may want to wrap more string, or ribbon around the entire base of the broomstick, again applying glue just to make sure everything stays in place nicely.

You may wish to wrap more ribbon or string to the top few inches of the broom handle, for decoration.  If desired, hang bells, charms, or feathers from string to the top of the broomstick.  You can also add these to the bottom to hang around the bristles.  Additionally, you can paint or draw. designs, symbols, words, or runes onto your broom handle.

My son's decorated broom.

my decorated broom, bristle end

My decorated broom handle, complete with butterfly ribbon, bells, and faerie & feather charms
You will want to bless and consecrate your broom if you plan on using it for ritual or household magick.  It is also traditional to name your broom, give her a name that makes you feel happy and peaceful!  For blessing I would suggest smudging your broom with sage, perhaps anointing with some blessing oil, and a quick and simple prayer or chant in which you dedicate the purpose of the broom to be used for positivity.

My little wizard with his new broom and wand! 

Air Magick - Broomsticks

Brooms have long been associated with Witches and Witchcraft.  Everyone has seen the images of a Witch flying through a moonlit night on her broomstick.  While most of these stories can probably be traced back to the old days of Witch Hunting and The Burning Times as stories meant to scare children and help people "identify" witches, there are many magical uses for brooms that are very much alive and well for the modern witch.  Broomsticks, also called "besoms", are traditionally used to purify and cleanse a sacred space before ritual.  Sweeping away the negative energy in a circle to help create a sacred and protected place for rituals, and meditation.  They are also commonly used for energetic cleansing of a home, sweeping away any negativity that may have gathered in your house.  Broomsticks are also associated with dreaming and Astral travel, which is probably how they became associated with "flying".

The broom can be used for cleaning, decoration, magick, and ritual. It is suggested that you have more than one broom for your home; one for the daily cleaning and sweeping, and one or more others for rituals or magick. (Though the first, for cleaning, can also be magickal, it is not the same one you would use during ritual, but both can be used for sweeping away negative energy.)

The broom is commonly seen as the symbol of the female witch and represents her vehicle for traveling into dreamtime, astral travel, and her power over her realm - the Home and Hearth. Since it is mainly used in purification and blessing, the broom is commonly associated with the element of water; thus is also used in all types of spells including love, dreams, astral travel, and psychic workings. Yet others see the broom as associated with the element of Air and align it more with masculine energy because of it's phallic appearance.

Generally the most common use for a broom or "besom" is to ritualistically cleanse and area for magick. In many Wiccan traditions (though not limited to such), a ritual is begun by gently sweeping the area (the circle) before the altar is set up - sweeping away any negative astral energy. For more, see the *Broom Purification of Space Before Ritual * post

It is customary for a witch to name her broom - thus imbuing it with personal energy by respecting it as an intimate familiar. If you have a permanent altar, the customary placement for your magickal broom's "Home" would be the left side of your altar. (stored bristle side up for luck) If you don't have a permanent altar set up, your broom can be stored behind a door, hanging on a door or wall, under your bed, or wrapped in a cloth and stored in a closet; somewhere that it can be untouched and undisturbed between ritual uses.

The simple act of sweeping can be very magickal. When using a new broom for the first time, you should sweep something into the home, otherwise, you may sweep your luck right out the door.
If you have a fireplace, you should always sweep towards the fireplace. Otherwise, you can sweep in any direction except for towards the door. Some people choose to sweep the room's perimeters in a clockwise circle, beginning at either the East or the West, to enhance the cleansing energy of sweeping. It is also believed that sweeping at night may bring bad luck or prevent good fortune. This belief seems to be based on ancient folklore that says sweeping disturbs the spirits that walk the floors at night time. More on broom folklore can be found in this post- Broomsticks ~ Many Uses and Lore ~

Making or decorating your own Broom
A traditional magickal broom is crafted from a wooden staff (preferably Ash), Birch twigs, and Willow binding. Though other materials can be used such as Straw, Pine Needles, Lemon Balm, Elder Stalks, Mallow Stalks, etc. You may want to decorate the handle with sacred symbols such as a crescent moon, runes, or sigils of protection or cleansing. Feathers, bells, other herbs, or shells, can also be hung from your broom to further empower it for magickal cleansing and blessing purposes. If a broom cannot be made, you can decorate a store-bought one with any of these suggested items, and cleanse it or bless it for your purpose. The following inscription is suggested in the book "The Magical Household" by Cunningham and Harrington;

On one side of the broom, with the words traveling toward the bristles, write "I sweep in Luck, Blessings, and Prosperity." On the other side of the broom, with the words traveling away from the bristles, "I Sweep away Negativity, Evil, and Poverty."

Here is a list of some Lore, Beliefs, and Magickal Uses associated with Broomsticks (Besoms)

•It is considered unlucky to buy a broomstick in the month of August.

•Bringing an old broom into a new house is bad luck. If you are moving, buy a new broom and leave the old broom at the old residence. (this applies to the brooms you clan with, but you can take your magickal brooms or decorative brooms with you... just cleanse them or bless them before using them in your new home.)

•When you first use a new broom, you should first sweep something into the house. This invites luck and fortune into your home. Otherwise, you just may be sweeping away your luck! It is also believed that if you make wish the first time you use a new broom, it will come true.

•If a broom falls from your hands while you sweep, make a wish before you pick it up.

•Sweeping at night is considered unlucky, as it disturbs the spirits who roam the floors as others sleep.

•If a broom falls across a doorway, you will soon go on a journey. Pick it up quickly without stepping over it for a safe journey.

•If a broom falls anywhere else in your home, you can expect company.

•To bring rain, stand outside and swing a broom in the air over your head.

•Place our broom on your front porch during a lightning storm to protect from lightning stikes.

•If you want to get married, jump over a broomstick nine times - you will be exchanging vows within the next year.

•Placing a broom across the top of any doorway in your home allows your departed friends and family to speak to you if they so choose.

•For protection while you sleep, lay a broom beneath you bed. a small broom tucked under your pillow is said to protect against nightmares.

•If you must be away from home for some time, and want to return home to an energetically clean and safe bed, tuck a broom into it, laying the bristles on the pillow.

•Two brooms crossed and hung on a wall or nailed to a door guard the house, as does a broom placed on the ground before the door. A broom standing behind a door (bristles up will guard and protect your home and prevent from unwanted visitors.

"To Ride a Silver Broomstick" by Silver Raven Wolf
"Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham
"The Magical Household" by Scott Cunningham and David Harrington

I found this beautiful Sweeping Spell online, but I don't know it's original source or author
This is a Sweeping spell I wrote;

While sweeping Widdershins (counterclockwise) and finishing by sweeping out the door, chant and repeat;
"Sweep, sweep, away from here
Anger, worry, negativity, fear.
Sweep, sweep, sweep away
negativity now kept at bay!"

Then sweeping in from the door and clockwise around the room, chant and repeat;
"Sweep, sweep, welcome in
Love and Health to stay within.
Sweep, sweep, sweep again
Prosperity and Blessings now begin!"

Here is a photo of my hand-made Magickal Broom.  In the next post I am going to show a tutorial on how to make one of your own!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spirit-Guide Sunday; Orangutan

I recently got a new deck of Oracle cards; "Animal Messages" by Susie Green.  It's a beautiful and fun deck with many different animals and the spiritual messages of each.  Today I was part of an online conversation with some friends about Spirit-Animals, Animal Totems, and spirit guides, so I thought it would be a perfect day to pull a card from this deck and share it on my blog.  Also, if you follow FlyLady, you know that Sundays are "Renew Your Spirit Day" when you are encouraged to take some time for yourself.  This is similar to pampering day; pampering can be a way to renew your spirit; but also a day to focus on doing something that rewards, relaxes, and renews you on the inside as well as the outside.  With all that in mind, I decided to draw a card from the Animal Messages oracle deck.  I asked for an animal Spirit-Guide to present itself, not only to me but to my friends who read my blog.  I asked for this animal to bring us all a message that will help us through this coming week.


"Working to live joyously, not living to work."

"Orangutan, utterly content in his lush rain forest, sees no pressing need to swing on agile limbs from his soft arboreal bed at dawn.  He rises when refreshed, stretching great arms before breakfasting unhurriedly on ripe fruits, and only then carrying on with the business of his day.  For Orangutan understands the true value of time and counsels that you use it wisely.  Are you working to live, or living merely to work?  Adjust your priorities lest time slips silently away, taking pleasure with it."

For me, the sentence on the card really hit home.  How often am I living to work, rather than working to live?  I tend to base my entire day's schedule on whether I am working or not, often choosing to put off doing things I enjoy because "I have to work later", or "I just got off work."  That's not right!  Yes, work is a necessity, but I can't continue to put off what I enjoy just because I work, the whole point of working should be so to support the life and the joys that come before & after I clock out!
Another thought I am having here; Orangutan is telling me that I should take more joy and pleasure in the work that I do at home.  Yep, the housework.  Because it should be a joy to take care of my home and family... because I love them!  And when I get the basic and necessary things done, I will have more time for leisure!  Not that I need to rush around to get things done... (I don't think I have ever seen or heard of an orangutan being in a hurry for anything)... but more to simply enjoy each moment and live fully in the moment for each task that I undertake.  It's not about being lazy or slow, it's about being in the moment and really living each moment with joy and pleasure.  Even when we have an unpleasant task to do, we can take joy in it by remembering that; 1) it won't take forever, and 2) we will feel better and have time to relax once it is done.

Here are some tasks for you to undertake this week to embrace the message of Orangutan.

  • Go to bed earlier!  You need your sleep!  Don't deprive yourself of this!
  • If you need to, sleep in late!
  • Eat more fresh fruits.  Take time to really be in the moment when you eat.  Let yourself be aware of the sensations and tastes of eating and nurturing your body.  Try not to be thinking about what you need to do next while you are eating; be aware.
  • Turn on some fun and happy music while you are working or doing housework.  Just like with eating, try to live in the moment and be aware of the task at hand rather than thinking or worrying too much about what you have to do next.  Allow yourself to feel joy and pride at the completion of each of your tasks.
  • Take pleasure in some simple pampering and self-care.  Nurture your body and spirit so that you can nurture others in your life.  When you reward yourself with relaxation and leisure, really enjoy it!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and allow yourself to Work To Live Joyously!  In the words of the Discworld's most famous Orangutan; The Librarian, "Oook."

Friday, July 5, 2013

Air Magick - Insect Guides

Like birds, Flying Insects are Spirit Guides and Totem animals that are related to the element of Air.  Many people have a strong dislike of these animal allies, but if you can put aside your fears and "icky" feelings you may find that we actually have a lot to learn from the amazing lives of insects!  Similar to the suggested exercise of bird observing, take some time to notice and observe the types of insects that you encounter on a regular basis.  Learn about their life cycles and how they live and interact with their environment and other insects and animals.  You might find that the insects around you on a daily basis have a message for you!!


Most insects go through some kind of major transformation.  A caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly.  Flies transform from maggots to flies.  Cicadas and Locusts go through a metamorphosis that can actually take up to 10 years to complete.  When you encounter flying insects, ask yourself what kind of transformation you are going through.  What stage of your transformation are you in?  Are you still a caterpillar, preparing to make a chrysalis?  Are you inside your cocoon, undergoing dramatic changes in solitude?  Are you emerging from your cocoon and learning how to spread your wings and fly?  Keep in mind that sometimes it's hard to recognize that we are undergoing a period of change, and even harder to see the end result when we are going through pain or hard times.  The caterpillar probably doesn't know that it will one day become a butterfly... it just knows when it is time to go into a cocoon.  The transformation of insects can teach us a lot about faith and trust in our own instincts and intuition.  If we fight the change and just continue along our path, ignoring our inner urges to transform, we might miss out on our chance to become a butterfly!


Insects like Bees and Wasps can teach us a lot about community and communication.  Insects that live in colonies have a complex yet beautiful and simple structure in which each insect has a specific job.  They may be scouts, harvesters, protectors, or breeders.  We all have roles we play in our lives, sometimes for just a short period of time and sometimes for extended periods.  Think about the roles you play in your life and whether you are giving those roles the attention, dedication, and energy they need.  Colony insects also have a lot to teach us about communication.  A scout bee will locate a food source, fly back to the hive and communicate with the harvesting bees with a series of body movements and touch.  In a beautiful dance the scout bee will give exact directions to the other bees, who will then fly out to collect the pollen to bring back to the hive.  If you are encountering bees or other colony type insects, think about your own methods of communication, and how you are vocalizing or expressing yourself to the people in your family or work place.  Proper communication can make all the difference in our group interactions!

Insect Totem & Spirit Guide Meanings

If you are interested in learning about the spiritual messages of some insects, check out this page I found!  Remember to pay attention to your surroundings and you will find that the element of Air is speaking to you quite clearly and frequently, with the air, the wind, the weather, birds, and insects!