In my last study of A Witches broom I dealt with a specific design of broom. Here I will deal with the general principles that govern brooms in general.
The Broom in traditional Craft is primally an instrument for working with Earth Energies.
Firstly the broom its self can be used as a dowsing device. In his book “The Divining hand” Christopher Bird reproduces a series of illustrations from a German book from 1700 CE illustrating different “divining” instruments amongst which is a broom.
This usage of a broom for dowsing is important because at the date when the book was printed the witchcraft trials where just ending and it was finally safe to write about such matters as dowsing safely.
Bearing this in mind it is significant that the illustration “modifies” the picture of the broom to show only the besom and omits the shaft. The reason for this is clear when we consider the tradition in the Craft that the broom often hid a phallic tip. If a complete broom was used for divining in the manner shown in the illustration with the besom separated to make two “handles” the shaft of the broom would “stick out” in front of the person to make an obvious phallic symbol. Moreover when the broom: discovered what was being searched for it would suddenly depress the shaft downward, as the person continues to walk the broom will be pulled upwards again. This mimics sexual intercourse in a very obvious way.
It seems clear that the author (or illustrator or both) of the German book knew these facts and modified the illustration to disguise the phallic analogy. We must also ask ourselves where the Author derived the idea of using a broom in dowsing. It seems from the argument above that the Author had firsthand experience of having watched a Witch's broom being used for dowsing which would imply that he knew at least one witch. Moreover the author was not hostile to the broom using dowsers as he modified the illustration to shield them. It is also possible that the use of brooms in this fashion for dowsing was known in the popular culture of the time. If that were the case then the author may have also been shielding himself and not just his informants by modifying the broom illustration.
The sexual symbolism of the broom when used in Dowsing was used to highlight the fact (well known in Chinese tradition) that the sexual energy, the Earth energy and the “Defensive Chi” (the energy of the immune system) are one and the same.
Some Brooms however, such as that of Gavin and Yvonne Frost do not have phallic tips, but rather have ash tips that are fire hardened, and were used for defensive purposes. These Brooms still have a second secret purpose in relationship to the earth energies. Driving the stake into the ground at the location of an earth energy vortex (which can be located by using the broom as a dowsing instrument as described above) will cause the vortex to freeze into a “solid” protective barrier. A broom of such a design could also be used to manipulate the earth energy in various ways and also to “call” underground water, but of these uses, I may not speak further.
Vivaxis energy is a variety of earth energies that was rediscovered by the Canadian researcher. I say rediscovered because the energy has always been known and utilized by Traditional witches and Druids, it is part of the energy of the Lunar grid. Nixon found that when the energy becomes stagnant and does not move correctly that the health and well-being of persons in the environment of the energy suffer. She tried many ways of getting the energy to move and refresh its self and eventually found that making a “paper broom out of a cylinder of rolled up paper was sufficient. She had previously tried “flat brooms” (the only available modern type) and found that they did not work. She found that old fashioned circular brooms (as traditionally used by witches) were most efficient for stirring the energy back to life, but she was forced to use the paper cylinders as a substitute because of the unavailability and expense of using the traditional brooms. Traditional witches who have used this methodology will know that different woods used for the broom can be used to tune this energy in subtle ways for Magical purposes, but of this I cannot elaborate further here.
While all witches are aware of the purificatory function of the broom as a way of removing negative influences, (which is related to the effects on the vivaxis energy as described above)
Most are unaware that the broom can also be used for the opposite purpose to sweep in positive energy. In the Irish witchcraft trial of Dame Alice Kyteler She was accused of using a broom to sweep all the wealth of Dublin into the house of her son. She is recorded as starting to sweep with her broom outside the houses of various wealthy merchants and sweeping with continuous sweeps while singing “All the wealth of Dublin town into the house of my son”. When she reached the doorstep of her son she swept over the front doorstep and into the house.
For our purposes here it is not necessary to enquire whether Dame Alice was innocent or guilty, all we need to know is that her accusers have given us an insight into another way of utilizing the broom.
These reflections serve to demonstrate that the Broom when properly used is a sophisticated tool for the manipulation of Earth Energy and for a complex and nuanced form of Magick. The Broom when properly utilized is a sophisticated magical machine.