Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

It is the Solstice and that means it is the day with the most daylight in the Northern Hemisphere.  Where I live that means some ridiculous amount akin to “all day and all night” so the sun starved locals like to get together and do some solstice-y things.  For pagans, this will include out-of-doors workings and circles, and that means more than a few will be using the herb broom in their rituals.

While brooms proper, in the form of household cleaning items, are popular curios in hoodoo, the plant known as broom (or Scotch broom) is not much considered.  Wiccans, however, find many uses for broom whose pretty, yellow flowers are a troublesome source of hay fever for many of us.

Broom is especially prevalent in rainy, temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, so its use in British magick and folk remedies is probably most familiar.  As an example, old wives in Wales and Cornwall advised hanging broom to dry not in the drying house but in the barn where it would protect the animals through the cold winter months.  Broom stalks were (and are) actually used to make brooms for the same result: protection from and sweeping away of evil.  Because of this connection to wise women/witches, broom is sometimes known as Hag Weed.

Tea brewed from broom was drunk at one time to improve psychic powers.  As Scott Cunningham notes this is ill advised; broom can be poisonous depending on a person’s allergic reaction to it.  He suggests carrying it on one’s person to achieve the same result.

Broom is used in protections spells and is hung in the home to keep out evil.  This herb is thought to be particularly helpful in alleviating poltergeist activity.  Broom is also used in weather spells.  Thrown into the air, dried broom will call up the wind; burned and the ashes buried, it will calm the wind down.

Finally, some Wiccans use fresh broom to sweep clean the area where an outdoor spell or ritual will be performed.  This is said to be particularly effective if the broom is a local plant, and more so if it grows nearby.  Bonne chance ~

Header: Woman with a Broom by Vincent van Gogh c 1882


Timmy! said...

Happy Solstice, Pauline!

Pauline said...

And to you and all the folks who stop by as well.