Thursday, October 20, 2011

Besom making

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop at one of my favorite bead shops. The workshop
was for Besom making. The word besom means: a broom made of twigs tied round a stick

The bristles can be made of twigs, straw, or herbs. In my broom I used eucalyptus because it is a symbol for protection. I added wheat to symbolize abundance. I am uncertain what the bushy grass is in the main part of the broom. All the supplies were provided. 
Most of the women chose to add ribbon and bows but, I wanted to wait and add some beading and fabric scraps. You can see the jute that was wrapped twice to hold the "sticks" and grass in place.

The broom has been associated with sweeping away negative energies and protection. If you think
about it the fact that a home is swept clean changes the feeling of a room.

During the burning times in Europe the broom was an important tool for witches. It was something that was common and was used daily by everyone. So being a common item witches were able to use the broom quietly for clearing an area for ritual work. It could hide one of their most important tools, the wand. Some ancient brooms contained hidden compartments in the handle.

At this time of year near Halloween we begin to see that image of a crone riding a broom and one explanation for that coming about could be that witches would go into an altered state of consciousness  and astral project themselves in spirit. Hence they were metaphorically "flying" and the broom was added because it was a tool of importance. There is so much written on this so I will not even try to address all the possibilities and I am certainly no expert.

The broom has been used for marriage ceremonies, called "jumping the broom". Again, there is a lot written on this.

Lastly, I thought it was interesting that the word besom can be found in the Bible under:

I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.
— Isaiah 14:23 (KJV translation)

Love this:



  1. ..a delightful post Marie!

    Interesting and informative.

    A friend left us two bags of willow cutting yesterday....great for handles......

    Maybe I'll go out gathering later :-)

  2. The broom was fun to make but I think it would be a lot of fun to make a shaker broom : )

  3. Hi Chris,

    Yes, I was told willow is great for besom making and ash too!
    Happy gathering : )

  4. What a fun broom! I like the look of the eucalyptus in there, so different :)

  5. Love your besom, Marie, it's so earthily, magically, artfully wonderful! And you made it! I like that you're going to add your own embellishments too -- I'm the same way with stuff like that... Hope you show how it evolves.

    That broom website is wonderful, too, their brooms have so much soul.

  6. Hi Nancy,

    It smells good too! : )

    It was really easy to make. I think making the shaker brooms that are on the link above would be fun.
    Thanks. <3

  7. Hi Woman with wings,

    I wanted mine to look natural and the bows were a little "cheese-ee to me. I think a piece of torn ragged fabric would be nice...but that is just me wanting a more rustic worn look.

    I will share my tassel once I get it list of "wanna-dos" is L-o-n-g : )

  8. Love this Marie! Instantly had me thinking what I had in the garden that could be used to make one...

  9. Beautiful besom and interesting information. Thank you Marie for sharing your lovely day. I like the eucalypt leaves, don't they smell good ?

  10. Hi Deb,

    I bet you have a lot in the garden that could become a lovely broom. I learned that you could add different herbs, grasses, and sticks. It was so easy to make. :)

  11. Hi Isabelle,
    The eucalyptus smells so good. The teacher recommended to change it out every 6 months. I forgot to mention that she said not to store the broom base down. It should always be stored handle down for positive energy :)

  12. Marie, eucalyptus is one of my faves! I love the look and smell of it, and you can get it in so many colors now. remember the year we put it in Christmas trees along with baby's breath at the LA shop? So simple, ladylike, beautiful. I think you did a nice job on your broom!

  13. HI Gina,

    I had forgotten that we used the baby's breath and eucalyptus in the Christmas tree. That was the sweetest shop! From the music, (every time I hear the Pachelbel Cannon, I think of LA...) china, clothes and home furnishings. I miss LA #1 fragrance! It was my absolute favorite.
    The smell of the eucalyptus in the broom is nice.

  14. What a great way to celebrate the season. Beautiful broom, Marie, and very interesting history of the broom. It is nice to have a memory of a fragrance.

  15. Hi Cosmic Arcata,

    I just wish I had that fragrance :)

    Have you ever made one of those brooms? So easy...