Axis Mundi
The beginning of a circle is also its end. Not I, but the world says it: all is one. And yet everything comes in season.
- Heraklietos of Ephesos

How to make a besom ...the easy way!

by Jenwytch

Here's some photos and step-by-step instructions on how to turn an ordinary domestic straw or millet broom into a witches broom or besom, based on the one I made for SOL's Beltane Gathering at Berry, NSW in 2006.

Start with an ordinary domestic straw/millet broom.

The cheaper the broom, the better, as the expensive well-made brooms are much harder to pull apart - they have wire binding inside as well as the twine stitching.

Cut away the stitching which holds the broom in shape, and place the broom in a large tub of water (or bathtub) to soak for a couple of hours.

The broom will tend to float so something heavy like a brick can be used to weight it down to keep all the straw submerged.

Salt may be added to the water to cleanse the previous energies of the broom.

Remove the broom from the water - it will look something like this...

After soaking, the millet strands are now pliable enough to carefully squeeze together to re-shape the broom. If you try to re-shape a dry broom the millet strands may tend to crack and break.

Bundle the broom together as tightly as possible and use strong twine to tightly tie the top of the broom. Next, loosely tie the bottom part of the broom so the millet maintains its shape while drying.

Hang the broom somewhere to dry. The millet strands will have expanded somewhat in the water so drying and shrinking is necessary so the binding can be tightened (or replaced with tie wire) before the broom is finally decorated. Thorough drying will take a week or more.

The drying process can be accelerated by hanging the broom from a clothesline in sunny weather or hanging indoors near a heater or fireplace during cold, damp weather.

After a few days when the broom is partially dried tie another band of strong twine or tie wire around the top of the broom alongside the first binding and pull it as tight as possible. Discard the twine and remove the loose binding from the bottom of the broom as well.

Secure with more wire by twisting the ends of the wire together using a pair of pliers. Trim off the excess wire and use the pliers to bend the ends of the wire into the broom so no sharp edges are exposed.

Using sharp scissors or a knife, trim any uneven edges along the bottom of the broom, then decorate as desired.

Repaint the handle if the colour is not to your liking, or decorate with ribbons. You can also engrave symbols on it, your magical name, or whatever you like.

Here two different coloured ribbons were tied together through the hanging loop at the top of the broom and wrapped alternately down the length of the handle and secured by tying them tightly at the bottom of the broom handle.

The working end of the broom can be left plain, or perhaps decorated with items such as ribbons, dried flowers and herbs, sea shells, crystals, feathers etc - the possibilities are endless!

Dried or fresh flowers or herbs from the garden can be tied securely to the broom for decoration. Fresh lavender sprigs were used for this broom so a further drying period was necessary before attaching the final ribbons and ties around the outside of the broom - lavender and other herbs also shrink as they dry so the initial ties securing the herbs will also need to be tightened or replaced. The final ribbons are secured by stitching into place to prevent them coming untied.

Ritually cleanse and consecrate your new besom.


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