I was at home this week waiting delivery of a new vacuum cleaner (yep I know how to live…) when it got me thinking about sweeping the house and how impractical that is sometimes.
My home is nearly all carpets so although it gets vacuumed regularly it doesn’t get swept with a broom.
There is an age-old practice of sweeping to not only clean but also to clear out negative energy and bad spirits. Is my house now full of both because I don’t use a broom? Well no…
Brooms & sweeping
A witch will always have a broom! They are used to sweep the floors as well as sweeping people. To cleanse the house or dispel negative energy the broom is used to sweep from the back of the house to the front. For cleansing a person, they are swept from their head down to their feet. Bringing positive energy in - the house is swept from the front to the back. The same goes for a person they are swept from their feet up to their head usually with a smaller hand held broom often made from chicken feathers.
The sweeping action is specific, the broom is used in one direction only. Do one sweep then pick up the broom and sweep again in the same direction. And whilst the sweeping is being done focus must be made, concentration is set on the intent as the broom makes its moves.
Sprinkle salt on your floors then sweep it out from the back of the house to the front to dispel negativity from your home.
If you have a guest that you really don’t ever want to return to your house again, once they leave sprinkle salt on your porch and then sweep it quickly out away from your house, cursing the person as you do so.
In the practice of hoodoo and folk magic if you realise that someone has laid crossing marks against you (often chalk marks) the easiest way to counteract them is simply to sweep them away with a broom.
Sweeping in ritual
The besom is used before a ritual to sweep away negative energies, it is only symbolic as the broom bristles never actually touch the floor (otherwise the besom would just get full up with dust and rubbish).
Although I do wash the floors in my kitchen and conservatory (they aren’t carpet obviously) I add a herbal tea bag or some essential oil to the water for clearing out bad stuff and to bring in the good. I had to figure something else out for my carpeted rooms.
My house gets ‘swept’ using the vacuum, sometimes I just visualise the vacuum sucking up all the negative energy and occasionally I might even chant (you can do this whilst you are dusting too). You can still start at the back of the house and vacuum through to the front.
To add positive energy into the house I pop a cotton wool ball or a folded piece of kitchen towel into the cylinder of the vacuum (it is a bagless one) that I have added a few drops of charged essential oil too. As you vacuum the scent fills the rooms.
Obviously, you can’t really vacuum a person, you will have to stick to a broom for that one unless you use the hose attachment on a very low setting (Disclaimer: I hold no responsibility for buttons, laces and necklaces being sucked into the vacuum). But you can sprinkle salt and use the vacuum to pick it up and get rid of chalk marks in the same way.
You could carry a vacuum around in ritual but it would be a bit heavy and there isn’t usually anywhere to put the plug in the middle of a field although you could use one of the hand held mini vacuums as a symbolic gesture!
The thing is…in an ideal world I would have lots of spare time to do all the brilliant magical and ceremonial stuff, I could spend all my day in meditation, creating potions and generally swanning about in a kaftan doing magical things. But this is reality and I am a working wife and mother and it ain’t gonna happen. I have to work magic into my daily routine and combine it with the chores and jobs that need to be done. It doesn’t make me any less of a witch, in fact I take it as a challenge to find new mundane chores to make magical without adding to my ever growing schedule.
You have to make the magic work for you and you don't have to be perfect.