~ BESOM CHANT ~
Besom, besom, Lady's broom
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom
Rid ye Lady's hallowed ground
Of demons, imps and Hell's red hound;
Then set ye down on Her green earth
By running stream or Mistress' hearth,
'Till called once more on Sabbath night
To cleanse once more the dancing site.
~ Author Unknown ~
Besom brooms are the broom traditionally associated with witches and are traditionally made of twigs tied to a larger pole. As a result, the besom is rounded instead of flat. The bristles can be made of many materials including, but not limited to straw, herbs, or twigs. Supposedly, an upward pointed besom (bristles up), especially over or near a doorway, will help protect the house from evil spirits or negative energies.
A besom is one of the tools used in Wicca. A traditional Wiccan besom is an ash stave handle with bristles made from birch twigs. These twigs are tied on using thin pieces of willow wood. It is used to cleanse the ritual area before circle casting.
To cleanse your ritual area, start in the centre and moving deosil (clockwise) sweep the circle from the centre to the outer edges, all the while envisioning and chanting that negativity is being swept out and the circle is being purified.
As a tool, the besom is usually thought of as masculine in nature due to its phallic shape and symbolism. However the besom's components are of both masculine and feminine orientation. The handle, an ash stave, is masculine in nature while the birch used for the bristles is thought of as feminine in nature.
The use of the besom as a tool in witchcraft might have begun when there was much fear and hatred toward witches. A broomstick was a common household item and therefore could not be used as evidence that a person was a witch.