What does a witch do with her broom?
She sweeps the floor with it, of course! Isn’t that disappointing? We all see the images at Halloween, of the old lady on her Nimbus 2000 as she sweeps across the moon. You wouldn’t believe how many letters I get asking about Quidditch, and how to make a real broomstick really fly. Sadly, I have to tell you that witches buy a ticket and get on an airplane, just like everyone else.
What is more interesting to me, though- why broomsticks at all?
Perhaps it was because witches were so often women, and brooms, or besoms, were so often in the hands of women.
Many mundane tasks can be made magical. It’s more a matter of HOW you do what you are doing. The traditional tools of housewifery have all found a place in the casting of spells. Cooking herbs are also healing herbs. You can put a charm into the yarn you spin, or stitch a spell into the fabric of a shirt, or change the luck at the table, by washing joy into the dishes- and I don’t mean the detergent!
Cleaning the home is important.
Dirt and dust harbor germs, clutter confuses the mind. When you clean your home you are performing a magical service for your family- every time!
After you have swept the dirt from the floor, use your broom to sweep unwanted energy away. This is important if you are going to raise a circle in the room.
Start in the center of the room. Sweep across your body, from left to right. Step back on your right foot, so that you’ve turned a little towards your right, and sweep again. Step back on your right foot again, and sweep. You are moving DEOSIL, or in a clockwise circle. When you have completed the small circle in the center of the room, step forward and begin to sweep in ever-widening cirles, always to your right, till you reach the edges of the room. You are creating a magic circle of protection, sweeping the room free of any malign spirits or influences. You can see that the dirt has to be swept up first- because you are not sweeping into heaps to be picked up, you are dispersing to the outside edges. The dirt would be piled up against the walls!
DEOSIL is the direction the world turns, if you were looking down at it from the North Pole. It is the direction the hands move on a clock. For most magical purposes, we move in harmony with the Earth. When we call the quarters, we begin in the East, then face South, then West, then North- clockwise.
WIDDERSHINS is anti-clockwise, the opposite way that the world moves. We don’t move widdershins very often. Sometimes you might end your circle widershins. If you were casting a spell against the disease of Cancer, you might ‘move against the world’, because cancer is an excess of life. Most of the time, though, you can find a way that your desire is in line with the natural laws. You have a much better chance of achieving your desire, when you are not fighting the universe!