For the Full Moon Women’s Circle at the beginning of March, we made magickal altar brooms to help clear away those things that no longer serve us, sort of an energetic spring cleaning. This altar broom is mine – it has
Everything except the ribbons, raffia, and wheat were from my garden.
You can make your own altar broom. You will need
The more of these you grew or at least harvested yourself, the better.
Timing counts. I like to make things for releasing at the Full Moon, things for learning or wisdom on the quarter moons, anything for shadow work or heavy duty banishing at the dark moon, and things for new beginnings and growth at the New Moon. If you have a particular deity with which you work, figuring out what day of the week is theirs can also be helpful (Hindu, European) .
Hold the herbs and broom materials you want to attach against the stick, a few inches up, in the manner you want them arranged. You can have everything the same length, or you can have the herbs shorter and the actual sweepy bits (totally a technical term) longer. You may need to trim the back ends of the sweepy bits so they don’t extend past the holding end of the stick. I generally tie all of this down with raffia or something before I start wrapping with ribbon, so my hands don’t cramp up holding everything in place. If your hands do cramp though, there are some traditions, especially Native American, that hold that helper spirits feed off of physical pain (part of Sundance Ceremony is actually feeding the spirits), so you can allow the discomfort to feed and charge your altar broom.
I start wrapping from the holding end of the stick, much as I would with a wand, to focus the energy towards the working end. Others might start at the working end, because the tool is for releasing. I address that at the end of the process, though. What I’m saying is that, there is more than one way to do this, listen to your intuition and guidance. It’s your tool. As I am wrapping, if there are things you intend to bind into the handle, add them as you wrap. I find, when I get to the working end, there are frequently a few last things I wanted to add that I forgot or that fell out. So I add those in, and wrap back down towards the holding end. Affixing the ribbon or other wrapping material when I’m done can be a bit of a challenge. I tend to just wrap the end in raffia or something easy to tie, and get it to stay that way.
You can feed/charge your altar broom by putting it on your altar, putting it in the moonlight, spraying it with rum or mint water you’ve put in your mouth (I don’t do booze, so I’m always looking for alternatives for feeding magickal items), or any other method your tradition might suggest.
Your altar broom can be used in spells, to clean off your altar, clear energy in your home or office (or even a hotel room!) instead of burning things, sweep the edges of your property, clear space for a sacred circle, or even create a sacred circle. I burn a lot of things on my altar, so there’s always bits of soot and ash, and I actively use my main altar every morning, so there are always a lot of things to clear or even just whisk off.