The Besom – Good Witches Homestead

The besom, or broom, is one of the main ritual tools of the witch and is sacred to both the Goddess and God.  The God – through its symbolic phallic shape, the Goddess – through its three-piece makeup, the shaft, the bristles and the binding cord, three being the triform aspect of the Goddess.  While besom and broom are two names used interchangeably, there is a small difference in their definition.  The brush of a besom is usually made of twigs and is, therefore, more rounded in shape, whereas the brush of a broom is primarily made of straw, which is flatter in shape. 

Traditionally a besom was made from three different kinds of wood, Ash for the shaft, Birch twigs for the bristles and Willow strands for the binding cord.  Ash is protective and has command over the four elements, Birch is purifying and draws spirits to one’s service, while Willow is sacred to the Goddess and binds them all together.  In modern witchcraft today, while the traditional besom still takes pride of place, other woods are used for special purposes:  Oak for added power and protection, Pine for luck and health, Redwood for longevity, Maple for love and money, Walnut for health and wisdom, and Cinnamon for spirituality.

Magically, a besom is used for a variety of purposes, but more generally they are used to purify and protect.  In ritual, they are used to cleanse sacred space before magick is performed by visually sweeping away negative energies and astral build up.  Before casting the circle, the Priest or Priestess will walk clockwise (deosil) around the circle space, and hold the besom a few inches off the ground sweep outward from the center while chanting the Besom Chant: 

Besom Chant 

“Besom, besom, sacred broom

Sweep out darkness, sweep out gloom

Rid this sacred hallowed ground

Of demons, imps and hell bent hounds;

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 this sacred site.”


(Author unknown) 

Sweeping the area with a besom can be done in addition to or in place of incense, to purify ritual space, and is often used for such when rituals are conducted in smoke-free areas.  When not being used in ritual, place your magical besom by the door to protect the home from evil spirits and negative energies.  When standing a besom, always place the bristles up, with the shaft on the floor.  This not only makes the bristles last longer, it will also bring you good luck.  Another old custom was to place a besom outside the door, this as an indication to other witches that the occupants are out, or working, and didn’t wish to be disturbed.

To make your own traditional besom you will need the following: 

A length of Ash approximately 4ft long and about 1in

thick for the shaft.

Birch twigs (about 1-2 ft. in length) to act as the bristles.

Several strands of Willow for binding the bristles to the

end of the shaft.

A pair of Scissors.

Water and salt. 

Soak the Birch twigs and Willow strands overnight in warm lightly salted water (to make them pliable) and allow them to dry slightly before using.  They need to be damp and pliable before binding them to the Ash shaft.  Arrange the twigs alongside the shaft about 3-6 inches from the bottom, larger twigs form the center of the brush with shorter ones around the outside, then bind them with the Willow strands.  Be sure to tie them very securely.  Use as many layers of twigs as you like depending on how full you want the brush to be.  Leave overnight to dry. 

Whether you make your own besom in the traditional way “as above,” or purchase a ready made one, you may then wish to decorate is it with a magickal name or other meaningful symbols or sigils.  Once decorated, the besom should then be consecrated ready for use in your magickal workings.  To do this anoint the besom with oil while reciting the following chant: 

Consecration Chant 

“Besom of birch and willow tied,

Be my companion and my guide.

On ashen shaft by moonlight pale

My spirit rides the windy gale

To magickal realms beyond both space and time.

To magickal lands, my soul will sail.

In the company of the crone, I’ll ride

This besom of birch with willow tied

So do I consecrate this magickal tree.

As I will it, so mote it be.”


(Author unknown) 

Once consecrated for use in the magick circle, it should not be used for any other purpose.  When making a besom for normal household usage, it can still be magically charged for that use.  On one side of the shaft (from the bristles traveling upwards) carve the following words while visualizing your intent:  “I sweep out evil and poverty.”  On the opposite side of the shaft (from the top traveling down to the bristles, carve “I sweep in money and luck.”  When sweeping, visualize the same intent, but sweep towards the fireplace if you have one.  If not sweep in any direction except towards the front door, so as not sweep out and lose your good luck.

Myths and Folklore

Most people identify the besom with the old wedding ceremonies performed by Gypsies and early American slaves when couples “Jumped the Broom” to cross the threshold of their new homes ensuring fertility, domestic harmony, and longevity.  This custom continues today in modern handfasting rituals when as part of the ceremony, the bridal couple will jump across a decorated besom as confirmation of their commitment to each other.  Should the marriage not work, or end in divorce, jumping the broom backward will break that commitment. 

The age-old image of witches flying around on broomsticks casting baneful spells is believed to have come from old fertility rites associated with nature and agricultural.  As part of the seasonal Spring rites to aid the growth of newly planted crops, women from local villages would gather around fields with their besoms.  Placed between their legs as they circled the field, much like riding on a hobby horse, the idea was the higher they leaped, the higher the crop would grow. 

In renaissance times, according to the demonologists, the Devil himself presented brooms and flying ointment to newly initiated witches so they could fly to the Sabbats.  Often they carried with them familiars in the shape of demons or animals.  They were also said to fly across fields blasting their neighbor’s crops or ride out to sea in order to rise up storms.  However, such concocted myths were generally forced from the poor tortured victims of the persecutions, and should not be taken seriously. 

Other Magickal Uses

Placing a broom across a doorway allows your departed friends and family to speak to you if they so choose.  As long as the broom remains, they can communicate freely.  To bring rain, stand outside and swing a broom in the air over your head.  If lightning blows your way put a broom on your porch to act as a lightening rod.  Electricity and lightning are thought to be attracted to brooms.  Another way to safeguard a house against lightning strikes is to cross a spade and a broom outside the main entrance. 

A besom placed under the bed or beneath the pillows at night, will protect the sleeper from nightmares and ensure a peacefully sleep.  Similarly, it is not wise to leave a bed empty for too long.  If you are going away for any length of time, place a besom in your bed, laying the bristles on the pillow.  This will guard the bed against evil spirits until you return. 

Two crossed besoms hung on a wall or the back of a door will protect the house from unwanted influences.  With the exception of those used exclusively for magickal purposes, moving an old besom into a new house will result in bad luck. 

Source: The Besom – Good Witches Homestead

How To Make A Besom {Plan 1}

I thought that this would be a good time to share with you all how to craft your own Witch’s Broom, known as a Besom.

Technically speaking, a broom is the flat ended sort of object that we generally use for physical cleaning; while a Besom is a round shaped bunch of straw (or other plant material) bundled around the center handle, and is used to cleanse an area of negative energy, usually in the preparation of ritual or magickal work.

While you can buy a besom, and there are many lovely ones to choose from -it’s also pretty easy to make one of your own. The bonus of making it yourself is the addition of your own energy tied to its creation. Although the items that follow are for the more traditional style of besom, you can use nearly any types of branches and plant materials available to you. Even a wooden dowel from the Hardware Store can be used.

t is a good idea to match the materials to the type of magick to be worked with it. The traditional magical formula includes a bundle of birch twigs, a staff of ash or oak, and a binding made from willow wands. This makes for a besom that incorporates both the male energy of the God- in the oak or ash; and the female energy of the Goddess- in the willow. A besom to be used primarily in Healing Rituals might be made of birch & lavender, and one for kitchen might be made of cinnamon.
After the basic construction of the Besom, there is innumerable way to decorate it. Handles can be carved, wrapped or painted; and all sorts of embellishments can be attached to it. Things such as feathers, crystals, coins, beads, bone and other totems can adorn it and enhance the work you plan to do with the Besom itself.
You’ll need:
A four-foot length of ash or oak for the handle
Thin branches of birch for the bristle part (you can substitute a woody herb like mugwort or thyme for the bristles if you like. I have also seen wonderful besoms made from aromatic herbs, such as lavender or cinnamon. )
Lengths of willow or heavy cord to bind everything together
You’ll also need scissors and a bucket of warm water. Whatever you’ll be using for the bristles — whether it’s birch, a herb, or some other wood — should be soaked in the warm water overnight to make them pliable, as should the willow binding, if you’re using it.FIGURE 1

~Line up your broom handle and bristles, with the bottoms of the bristles pointing towards the top of the handle.

~Lay the handle on a table or the floor and place the bristles alongside it, lined up about four inches from the bottom. Point the bottom of the bristles towards the top of the broom, because you’re going to flip the bristles in a minute (see Fig. 1).

Wrapping the Bristles~Tie the bristles in place around the handle.
~Use the willow branches or cording to wrap the bristles around the broom (Fig. 2). Add as many as you want to make the broom full. Make sure you tie the cording off securely so your bristles don’t come popping out later.
Tying the Magic in Place

~Finally, fold the bristles down over the inner tie and then tie on the outside.

~Now, take the bristles and fold them down over the willow binding or cording so that they’re pointing towards the bottom of the broom. Tie them down again at the base of the broomstick to secure them(Fig. 3).
~As you’re wrapping the cord in place, visualize your intent for this besom. Will it be strictly decorative? Are you going to hang it in place over a door? Perhaps you’ll use it ceremonially, or maybe even for physical cleaning. Focus on what you’re going to be doing it, and charge it with energy.


The Final Step
~Let your broom dry for a day or two, and when it’s all done, consecrate it as one of your magical tools.
~If you will be doing any decorative work on it, such as carving, painting or wrapping it with fiber this can be done either before or after the initial consecration and should be done with magickal intention.
~Then, when all decorative work is finished, you can reconsecrate it and begin working with your very own handcrafted Witch’s Besom.

Source: How To Make A Besom {Plan 1}

Scientists Agree: It’s Time To End The War On Wildlife | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

By Collette Adkins, Contributor as published on The Huffington Post

“Wild horses and burros survived centuries in perfect balance and harmony without the intervention of humans.  The removal of natural predators upsets the natural balance and the crisis rolls downhill initiating even more violent intervention by humans.  If we, as humans, would step back and cease attempting to manage something that does not require to be controlled the world would be a much better place to live for humans and animals alike.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

“Today’s predator control is widespread in the American West…”

coyote-crueltyKilling large predators to reduce livestock conflicts or benefit game populations has long been thought to be ineffective — and devastating for ecosystems — and a growing body of scientific literature criticizing the widespread practice is confirming those fears.

Most recently, this month, the Journal of Mammalogy — a highly respected international scientific journal and flagship publication for the American Society of Mammalogists — published a special collection of articles criticizing lethal control of predators such as wolves and grizzlies.

Today’s predator control is widespread in the American West and has its origins in barbaric 20th century, government-sponsored predator eradication programs. Those utilized poisons and bounties to drive grizzly bears and wolves to the brink of extinction.

Thanks to the protection of the Endangered Species Act — which has saved more than 99 percent of the plants and animals under its protection and put hundreds on the road to recovery — the grizzly bear and wolf have begun to recover. But as these large carnivores expand their population size and range, people have once again called for lethal control to address livestock depredations and inflate game populations.

In states where gray wolves have lost their federal protections, such as Idaho, state managers dead set on killing the predators established aggressive hunting seasons and lethal depredation controls. After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing Yellowstone grizzly bears from the list of federally protected species, states like Montana moved quickly to establish hunting seasons.

Then there’s the coyote, a predator lacking protection at state or federal levels and a primary target of predator control programs across the U.S. Tens of thousands of these resilient predators are killed each year by a highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as Wildlife Services.

The numbers of predators killed by Wildlife Services is staggering. The latest kill report shows Wildlife Services in fiscal year 2015 killed more than 3.2 million animals, including 68,905 coyotes (plus an unknown number of pups in 492 destroyed dens), 385 gray wolves, 284 mountain lions, 731 bobcats and 3,437 foxes.

This level of human-caused mammalian predator mortality is damaging native ecosystems and biodiversity. The lead article in the Journal of Mammalogy’s special feature on lethal control — “Carnivore conservation: shifting the paradigm from control to coexistence” — summarizes studies on the essential role of apex predators like wolves and grizzlies and mesopredators like coyotes and foxes in maintaining ecosystem function. A well-known example is how wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone created a trophic cascade that enriched riparian songbird communities.

Given the ecological importance of wolves and other predators, scientists are calling for implementation of nonlethal methods to prevent livestock depredations.

The authors of “Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf-sheep conflict in Idaho” in the special feature document a seven-year pilot project in prime Idaho wolf habitat, highlighting the adaptive use of a suite of nonlethal deterrents to protect sheep. Those nonlethal methods reduced sheep depredation by more than three times the reductions seen on sheep allotments in Idaho that used lethal control.

Another study featured, “Cattle mortality on a predator friendly station in central Australia,” found that ending lethal control may in itself — even without implementing nonlethal methods — reduce livestock losses by simply enabling the predator’s social structure to stabilize.

Not only are aggressive lethal controls ineffective, they have actually been found to increase livestock losses, as was found among gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. Scientists demonstrated similar results from aggressive lethal control of cougars, which replaces adult males with immigrating adolescent males that are more likely to depredate. Other studies show that lethal control of wolves may be merely shifting depredation from cattle to sheep because coyotes replace the wolves and target smaller livestock.

As for predator control to benefit game populations, a meta-analysis of 113 predator removal experiments found that the intended beneficiary prey population actually declined in 54 of them.

In addition to the ecological and wildlife policy concerns with lethal control of predators, public acceptance of lethal predator control methods appears to be declining. While the public supports the need for livestock producers to protect their animals, foot or leghold traps, snares and poisons are viewed by the majority of the public to be so inhumane their use should not be allowed.

With all the issues surrounding lethal predator control, one would hope livestock producers would have help in implementing nonlethal alternatives. Yet very few states have any permanent programs to protect livestock from depredations using nonlethal methods comparable to the federal Wildlife Services lethal control program.

With scientific evidence against carnivore controls mounting, it is time to finally stop the cruel, senseless killing and start utilizing smart, nonlethal methods that actually work, benefiting both livestock and these majestic wild animals.

Source: Scientists Agree: It’s Time To End The War On Wildlife | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Crystal of the Week: Onyx – Holistic Experiment

In ancient times, Onyx was thought as a demon that was imprisoned in the stone that would awaken at night, creating issues, especially between lovers.

Nowadays, it’s a stone that is used for protection and from dark nights and lonely places, providing strength to its user. As a stone of separation, it banishes old habits and it’s extremely useful when a relationship needs stabilizing or when it has past its time and needs releasing.

Onyx assists in keeping your own counsel and holds memories of what happened to the user and can often be used for psychometry.

Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Purposes

On a physical level, it’s often used to promote stamina, vigor, and steadfastness. It helps quell sexual desires and works on issues that involves the bones, bone marrow, blood disorders, and feet. When placed in the stomach of a pregnant woman, it can reduce labor pains and bring an earlier delivery.

It is also believed to aid in ailments such as epilepsy or glaucoma and is known to have powers to rectify damage done to cells. Onyx is often recommended to athletes because it can increase strength, endurance, perseverance, and explosivity, especially if it’s placed on the Solar Plexus.

Emotionally, Onyx is used for promoting wise decisions and self-confidence. It’s centering and helps those who are suffering grief and any overwhelming fear. It alleviates worry, tension, and nervousness and eliminates confusion and nightmares

On a Spiritual level, it balances the ying and yang energy and is effecting in past-life work for healing old injuries and physical trauma that is affecting the present light. It’s connected to to the Base chakra and the Crown chakra and balances total energy along the chakras.

Disclaimer: Crystal of the Week are a spiritual support to healing and are not prescription or healthcare information.

Source:  Crystal of the Week: Onyx

Shoymanas, Rusallias and Sfinte Soimane – Elder Mountain Dreaming

On Friday, February 3rd, 2012 Neptune moved into Pisces and will be in its own sign until the beginning of 2026 and will close the door it had opened 2,200 years before in the great circle, which started around 220 bce. What does the weaving of the “Order of the Sphinx”, a bunch of “Balkan Grandmothers,” the planet “Neptune” and a “Hawk” speak folk and myth legends weaves together? We dreamers, empaths and artists must understand the outside influences pressuring down on our emotional body and our sensitive nature in order to understand our path with clarity… Well, let me put forth, the soul’s language together for you…


Continue reading “Shoymanas, Rusallias and Sfinte Soimane – Elder Mountain Dreaming”

Lucid & Sober Dreaming – Elder Mountain Dreaming

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – The word Lucid, in the 1500s was written down and meant a person who was “bright and shining” a sense that is now obsolete or restricted.  Lucid comes from the Latin word lucidus meaning “light” “bright” and “clear” and figuratively from lucere “to shine” from lux (genitive lucis) and “light” from its root *leuk- “to shine and be bright.” It was marked though early on and lost its Soul context from then on and within 200 years, the new meanings of Lucid was then referred to as intellectual clarity, first recorded in 1786.

This was the new context of Lucid in intervals of the “period of calm or temporary sanity” which is from the Medieval Latin lucida intervalla (plural), common in medieval legal documents (non est compos mentis, sed gaudet lucidis intervallis, etc.). The notion probably meant a period of calm and clear before the insanity or the storm hits in legal matters.

After the 1930s it was and still is referred to an unstable state of being that is associated with being (high) or mental issues associated with medications that have strong drugs effects. Recently after the 2000s its now associated with “dream/drugging” and the false visions especially from the uses of shamanic drug/plants and pot which nowadays, has superpowers from streamlined genetic organic altering when growing …

Read in its entirety at the Source: Lucid & Sober Dreaming – Elder Mountain Dreaming