The Spring Equinox is almost here! This means I was up bright and early today with a mission, to craft one of the most hallowed objects of spring cleaning – the Besom. I’ve been so busy with my cookbook and creating rewards for Patrons, my home is a mess! According to the famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, our homes are the exterior projections of our inner psyche, a manifestation of our soul in the world. Well, let me tell you, it ain’t looking very pretty around here! I’m ready to sweep away psychic clutter and get my house in order. And today is the perfect time to begin!
Spring cleaning is a ritual deeply rooted in the lore of the Vernal Equinox, a time to purify the home of stagnant energies and prepare it for the vitalizing energy of spring and summer. In Bulgaria, Baba Marta (Grandmother Mother) is in charge of ushering in spring and if your house isn’t clean -she’ll send more wintry weather!
No spring cleaning could begin without the creation of the sacred broom, the besom. Not meant for everyday use, these hallowed tools were used to sweep out the old and sweep prosperity and happiness back in. Besoms were considered so powerful that making a wish when a new broom was first used would cause it to come true.
Differing woods and branches like hawthorn, cherry, willow and ash (all with their own magical purposes) were used as a handle. Around this were bound reeds, grasses, broom and long-stemmed herbs such as lavender, bay laurel, eucalyptus. Coloured ribbons were often added for magical intent, green and yellow for abundance, pinks and red for love.
Small bells were often added to help clear energy with their tinkling sounds. It was traditional to name your besom and consecrate it in a special ceremony. Afterwards, the besom was used to “sweep finish” each room after it is cleaned. Moving clockwise cleanses, and moving counterclockwise banishes. Besoms were placed above doors and windows as protective charms to keep bad energies out!
For our ancestors, the home was a magical place, everything inside and outside its walls could be magically influenced to invite in the good and keep out the bad. So on this glorious morning in preparation of new beginnings, I started the day by making my besom. And out into the sunshine, I went!
I headed for an abundant patch of Scotch Broom. Not only because it’s a profuse invasive or a traditional choice for brooms – but because it is a long-standing symbol of the capacity to root and thrive. Scotch Broom is a symbol of courage, was a crest of French and English royal families and revered for its magical properties. Jane Gifford writes in The Wisdom of Trees “Broom reminds us of the importance of caring for our own personal well-being on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual… In short, the broom is symbolic of all the benefits of cleaning up your act.”
To this, I added a sprig of Eucalyptus. Commonly used in protection magic, it removes negative influences, brings fresh energy, and improves mental clarity. Eucalyptus is in the Myrtle family, and Myrtle is sacred to Venus and associated with Moon. ( The aroma is said to improve the vividness of dreams.)
Besoms don’t have to be fancy and are simple to make, just use one central strong stem or branch as the central handle then bind the plant materials around tightly with twine, string etc. Use whatever plants are is meaningful to you and adorn as you like. And don’t forget to make a wish!
Anyways it’s time for me to move away from the computer. Now I’ve got my besom, I’m going to open up the windows and let the fresh air in. Time to grab a bucket of soapy water and roll up my shirtsleeves. I’m going to wash and sweep all those dusty dark corners and afterwards everything will be ordered, peaceful and beautiful. Then I’m going to bring armfuls of fresh flowers and blossoms inside. Off to work!