How to Fly a Broomstick

Firstly, make or purchase your broomstick.

Traditionally a broomstick, or besom, is made from three different woods, Ash for the shaft, Birch twigs for the bristles and Willow strands for the binding cord. Ash is protective and has command over the four elements, Birch is purifying and draws spirits to one’s service, while Willow is sacred to the Goddess and binds them all together.  Personalise your broom to suit yourself, follow your heart.  You could use another kind of wood if you choose, or straw for the bristles.  Add herbs or wild flowers to the bristles if you like.  Lavender, thyme and sage all work well and dried flowers look magical.

Handmade Besoms
Handmade Besoms

 

Alternatively, you can buy traditional besoms.  My favourite broomstick maker is The Hen and Hammock – makers of handmade besoms in Oxfordshire.

 

Blessing a New Broom

It’s important to bless and cleanse all your witchy paraphernalia and your besom is no exception.  To bless your broom you will need;

A white candle
Some incense of your choice
A small dish of water (preferably water touched by moonlight)
Some sea salt.

Light the candle and incense.

Breathe in deeply through your nose and visualize grounding positive energy filling your body. Breathe out through your mouth ridding yourself of all negativity.  Repeat this process until you are completely relaxed and grounded.  Pass the besom through the incense smoke and say,

“With scented air light and free, I give you breath.”

Pass the besom quickly through the candle flame (without setting fire to it!) and say,

“With fire dancing wild and free, I give you passion.”

Sprinkle the besom with a little water and say,

“With water pure I give to thee, the blood of life.”

Sprinkle the besom with a little salt and say,

“Salt of earth I give to thee, roots in magick.”

Hold the besom close to you. Caress it lovingly and say,

“I am yours and you are mine henceforth until the end of time.
Life I give you willingly as I will so mote it be!”

 

Flying Ointments

There are several recipes for flying ointments.  I wouldn’t recommend any of them. Look to your inner child and use your imagination instead.

Take acarum vulgare (sweet flag), parsley, cinquefoil, yellow watercress, the blood of a flittermouse (bat), aconite, belladonna and oil.  Stamp all these together and then rub all parts of the body until they look red and feel hot, so as the pores are open and the flesh loose and soluble.

Crumble together aconite, hemlock and poplar leaves.  Mix with enough soot to bind them together well and rub briskly over the limbs.

Gather belladonna, aconite, cinquefoil and water parsnip.  Mix them together well and add them to soot from the hearth and fat of a babe from the pot.  Rub it on as you need it.

So now you’ve blessed your broom, smothered yourself in goodness only knows what, you’re ready fly!  Don’t forget the cat, ferret, dog, witchling etc.

nb: As well as being environmentally sound, witch’s broomsticks are exempt from tax, insurance and MOTs.

Witch Flying Her Broomstick
First Flight by Ron Byrum

Decorating Broomsticks

When conducting ceremonies, Handfasting, Baby Naming Ceremonies and Memorials, I like to embellish my broomstick to match the occasion.

Broomstick for Ceremonies             

Broomsticks are often used in pagan rituals to cleanse and bless the sacred space before conducting ceremonies for protection and purification.

While casting a circle, I walk clockwise (deosil) around the circle space, and holding the besom a few inches off the ground I sweep outward from the centre while chanting. The chant varies depending on the ritual, whether it be a Handfasting, a Moon Ceremony, a Naming Ceremony or a Spellcasting.

During Handfastings, the newly wed couple, jump over the broomstick for luck and fertility.

Handfasting Ceremony
Sweeping the circle.

A Besom Chant.

Besom, besom long and lithe
Made from ash and willow withe
Tied with thongs of willow bark
In running stream at moonset dark.
With a pentagram indighted
As the ritual fire is lighted;
Sweep ye circle, deosil,
Sweep out evil, sweep out ill,
Make the round of the ground
Where we do the Lady’s will.
Besom, besom, Lady’s broom
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom
Rid ye Lady’s hallowed ground
Of demons, imps and Hell’s red hound;
Then set ye down on Her green earth
By running stream or Mistress hearth,
Till called once more on Sabbath night
To cleanse once more the dancing site.”

Guidance for Broomstick Owners

Place a besom outside the door, when you are working. This tells other witches not to disturb.

Broomsticks should be placed by the door, bristles up, to ward off evil spirits.

If the broom falls across the threshold expect visitors.

A new broom should sweep dirt out of a house only after it has swept something in.

sweeping the hearthstone by Ruth Sanderson
Sweeping the Hearth by Ruth Sanderson

Buy a broom in May, and you will sweep your friends away.

Never sweep after sunset, doing so will chase away happiness or hurt a wandering soul.

If a young girl steps over a broom handle she will become a mother before a wife.

Women should always do the sweeping. If a man is struck by a broom, he must grab hold of it and hit the broomstick against the wall 3 times or he will become impotent.

Good luck can be had by sending a new broom and a loaf of bread into a new home before entering it.

To cure a wart measure it crosswise with a broom straw, then burying the straw. The straw will decay and so too will the wart.

If you feel as though you are being followed and haunted by unfriendly ghosts, stepping over a broomstick will prevent them from disturbing you.

Dropping a broom while sweeping is the sign of a new carpet.

Wendy Witch
17th-century woodcut of a witch and the devil on broomsticks.

 Hitting someone with a broom means that he will go to jail before a week has passed.

If a broom falls in front of you and you step over it before picking it up, you will have a “bed of sickness.”

If you hand a broom through a window to someone, you may expect bad luck.

It is unlucky to borrow a broom.

Never burn a broom; it will bring you bad luck.

Wendy Witch
Flying Witch by Susan Brack

 

And Mr. O’Sophical’s view on the subject?  “Grab a pint of milk while you’re out please.”

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“I Still Have Those People in the Freezer.”

Actually, I don’t have a freezer, let alone one big enough for people.  This was part of a conversation I had with a dear friend and customer who was being bullied at work.  If you’re being affected by an emotional vampire (someone who is sucking your energy, your enthusiasm, even your happiness) you can stop them.

I’m not talking murder here, although it may have crossed your mind.  I’m talking about Banishing Spells.  If you need to remove someone from your psyche so that you can concentrate on more important issues, just banish them to your freezer and literally freeze them out of your life.

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The Banishing Spell

Simply write their name on a piece of paper, fold or roll it up and pop it in the freezer.  It sounds too easy to be true I know but it really does work.  For extra power, tie a knot in a piece of ribbon (any colour) and tuck the ribbon inside.  As with any Magic Spell, always cast when you’re in a fair mood.  Be careful not to think negative thoughts about this person.  Think about making yourself happier instead.  Leave the paper in the freezer for as long as you want.

Simply write their name on a piece of paper, fold or roll it up and pop it in the freezer.

Emotional Vampires

Emotional vampires drain the emotional energy out of everyone they come in contact with. They’re exhausting. They need constant attention. They always have some crisis or major life event. They lie, manipulate and blame everyone except themselves.  If you encounter an emotional vampire you may;

Become depressed or bad tempered.

Want to binge on comfort foods or lose your appetite.

Feel anxious, lose sleep and suffer nightmares.

Find yourself thinking about the vampire constantly.

According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of the 2010 bestseller Emotional Freedom. “You’ll know you’ve encountered one if you’re immediately tired after talking to them, like you need a nap, or if you’re feeling anxious, worse off than you were before,” she says. “Your eyelids will feel heavy, you’ll feel drained, and any negative physical symptoms you have will be exacerbated.”

You feel anxious, lose sleep and may suffer nightmares
Thomas Burke, The Vampire.

And Mr. O’Sophical’s comment on the matter…

“Can you grab me a choc ice while you’re there?”

If you’d like more information about magic spells and rituals, visit

http://www.wendywitch.uk

facebook: Wendy Witch

The Girl and the Tower

I have witnessed a little girl take a leap of faith.  A skinny child, aged around 7, she was standing on a 40 foot high platform, harnessed to a wire which would bring her safely back to earth.  She had completed the high-rope adventure course and this was her grand finale.  All she had to do was step off.

Her instructor whispered words of encouragement while far, far below friends and family were shouting,  “You can do it! It’s ok, jump!”

She peered down at them, one gangly leg stretched out.  She wanted to jump, she really did, but this was scary.  40 feet is a long way.  She stepped back to safety.

By now a crowd had gathered as is usually the case when people stand still and look skyward.  Runners, dog walkers, cyclists, all transfixed by the spectacle, all willing her on.

5 minutes passed.  Her instructor spoke gently to her, the crowd grew larger, she moved closer to the edge.  We all shouted,  “3 … 2 … 1 … go!”  She giggled nervously.  Again we shouted,  “3 ….. 2 ….. 1 ….. go!”  She stepped forward, more confident this time, went to step off…….. and again retreated.

Another 5 minutes passed.  Some of the crowd had made themselves comfortable on the grass, bicycles abandoned, dogs pacified with toys and treats.  We began a slow clap, gradually upping the tempo, cheering, encouraging her.

crowd-looking-up-600x399

The girl’s father stood below her on the soft landing mat, his big arms outstretched.  “Don’t worry, I will catch you.  Jump Sweetheart, jump!”   She pulled herself up to her full height, took a deep breath, strode purposefully forward and stopped.  Friends, family and strangers all fell silent, save for the odd whisper, ‘Come on, you can do it.’

Another 5 minutes and it was decided that Dad should harness up and climb the steps to join his sweetheart at the top.  He didn’t look too happy at the prospect but he climbed up the tower nevertheless, slowing as he neared the summit.  He sat beside her, spoke to her gently and nodded.

She stepped off.

The crowd went wild. We clapped and whooped, some of us cried, for we had witnessed a huge event in this little one’s life.  We turned to each other, complete strangers and smiled.  We had all bonded for a few moments.  The crowd dispersed to walk the dogs, buy ice cream, back to their day.

And Dad? Well he jumped too, how could he not? He landed softly but ungainly on his bottom much to his Sweetheart’s delight and was rewarded with a huge hug.

The End

Fancy a go?

http://www.aerialextreme.co.uk/locations/milton-keynes/

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Otter Spotter

Half past ten on a cold night, I heard screeching and thrashing about in the canal outside my boat.  I grabbed my torch expecting to see a muntjac maybe, a dog or even a person in trouble.

I shone the torch onto the water and two heads popped up right outside the galley window.  My first thought was, ‘seals!’  Well they looked like seals with their rounded wet heads.

Of course they weren’t seals, but two male otters having a punch up outside my boat.  They were fiercely biting, clawing and screaming at each other, quite oblivious to me or my torchlight.  Until, that is I called Mr. O to come and look, when they suddenly realised I was there and dived off in different directions.

otters

Otters are a rare sight, especially on the canal and I have only seen one before during the summer, lazily swimming and rolling in the water without a care in the world.  These adult males were probably fighting over territory.  Maybe there’s a lady otter in the area and they might have babies.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Otter Folklore

In popular Korean mythology, it is told that people who see an otter  will attract ‘rain clouds’ for the rest of their lives. Hmmm..

The mischievous god Loki killed the dwarf Otr while the latter was in the form of an otter. The dwarves were furious, and demanded compensation from the gods who gave them the otter skin filled with gold.

In ancient Persia the otter  (known as the ‘water dog’), was esteemed above all other animals, and a severe penalty was imposed on anyone who killed one.

Awww…

Sea otters hold hands while they’re sleeping so that they don’t float away.

otters-holding-hands-3
Awwww…..

 

Falling in.

A poo based story.

I have been in the canal 5 times now, twice accidentally, thrice by design.

I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s not cool and fresh like a free flowing river. It’s tepid and stagnant in most places and it’s full of poo, swan poo, duck poo, moorhen poo, dog poo….you get the idea.  By far the worst dip was by design.

We were moored near Wolverton which has lots of railway bridges above the towpath.  They’re old, and dank and usually inhabited by pigeons.  There is one particular bridge which is disgusting.  Pigeon poo all over the bridge, the towpath and in the water.  It stinks.  We always scurry underneath as quickly as possible when walking the Henry the dog.

We were tiptoeing under said bridge when Henry ran towards the pigeons and a baby one landed in the water.  It was too young to fly and just bobbed about looking at us.  Mr. O’Sophical said, “That’s going to die now.”
Bloody hell.  I can’t just walk away after he’d said that, so I took off my jeans, sat on the poo covered towpath and gently got down into the pooey water.   It was deeper than I thought and came up to my waist.  The bottom felt very soft, squishy (and pooey) between my toes, I still shudder when thinking about it.  I reached out and picked up Stupid Pigeon and gently put him back onto the towpath.  Then, I had to haul myself out which involved jumping up and down a few times so that I could climb out.  This just mixed the yukky water up even more.  Nice.

Pigeon Poo Bridge
Pigeon Poo Bridge

I stood on the towpath in just my t-shirt and knickers, dripping with canal water and pigeon poo and gently shooed Stupid Pigeon into a safe place.  Then I swore, a lot, while Mr. O’Sophical and Henry looked at me, Henry with a bemused expression and Mr. O with a grin.  A hot shower and a nice cup of tea helped me to regain my usual placid demeanour.

The next day.

Of course we had to go back to check on Stupid Pigeon and there he was, sitting next to his mummy, looking as if he hadn’t a care in the world.

Blessings to all our wildlife, stupid or not.

The Biggest Secret

I have been keeping a secret since 9th November 2015, the biggest secret I have ever had to keep.  I have laughed, cried and stared into space with a huge grin on my face.  I had to tell someone; so I told the lady in the Body Shop and the lady in Marks and Spencers too. (They’re good at keeping secrets.) Now, before I burst;

My daughter is having a baby.

Happy Couple
Mummy and Daddy to be.

I wanted to climb onto the boat roof and shout, ‘I’m going to be a Granny!’ but it was early days and scans were booked and relatives had to be told before I could let myself loose with the news.

As a Granny and a witch, I will be taking my new responsibilities very seriously.  As well as the babysitting I will be teaching my grandchild all about the changing seasons, the plants and flowers, and the wonders of nature.

We’ll be chasing rainbows, hugging trees, stuffing our pockets with magical stones and feathers as well as jumping in puddles, dragging sticks along railings and singing good old fashioned rhymes about dogs, moons, and spoons.

It’s too early to tell the gender, fairy or pixie, so for the moment it’s a baby pirate.

Baby at 13 weeks.
Baby Pirate

As a practising witch, I already have Baby Pirate’s first magic spell prepared. To cast it I will light a candle and then place nine bay leaves into a little bag one by one whilst reciting an ancient rhyme.

 “One to shine upon your face, Two to keep you in good grace,

Three to make your heart to sing, Four good fortune so to bring,

Five for strength in any danger, Six for kindness from a stranger,

Seven for good wisdom’s crown, Eight for gathering high renown,

Nine by which this spell is bound.”

Then I’ll tie it to baby’s crib.

Bay Leaf Magic Spell
Bay Leaf Cradle Charm

There are also lots of family sayings to pass on;

‘It’s black over Will’s Mother’s.’

‘If the wind changes you’ll stay like that.’ I might add, ‘That’s what happened to your Grandad.’

‘Eat your crusts, it will make your hair curl.’

‘Don’t tell lies, you’ll get ulcers.’

‘Your eyes are bigger than your belly.’

‘Put that down, you don’t know where it’s been.’

and so on.

And then, of course, there are hundreds and hundreds of fairy stories to be read.

Once Upon a Time
‘Are you a Gog? Listen carefully then.’

So, what does Mr. O’Sophical have to say on the matter…..?

“I don’t really do babies but it can come to me when it’s had enough of you lot.”

If you would like to know more about my magic spells please visit my website. 

http://wendywitch.webs.com/themagicspells.htm

Virgin Blogger

Yes please!   I would very much like to publish my first post.

I have spent most of the day looking at themes and colours, scratching my head and have found that everything I wanted to say has completely disappeared from my thoughts.

It would have been hilarious, interesting and inspiring had I remembered.

So, what do you think of it so far?

I’m tempted to add pictures. Yes, pictures. This is where I live.

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The Outside
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The Inside

This is the first of many blogs. The rest will be full of witchcraft, wildlife and water gypsies (they’re an eclectic bunch.)

There will also be infinite wisdom from Mr. Phil O’Sophical;

‘Bubblewrap is being phased out because it stores too much air and we might run out.’