The broom might be, along with the cauldron, the most famous tool connected popularly with witches. Traditionally an element symbolising the union of the masculine and feminin principles, was used not for flying, but for the ritual cleaning of the working space, and protection and fertility rites. Some authors suggest the broom was the perfect place to hide the wand during the Witch Hunt, disguising it as an element of daily use.
Sir James Frazer in “The Golden Bough” gathers multiple examples of rituals that involved the use of a broom, generally as a symbol of fertility or fecunding energy. According to one of those, to assest the fertility of the fields a young woman had to circle them once they were sown, naked and riding a broomstick. In these rituals might be seen the remains of the primal fertility rituals, where the High Priest and the High Priestess symbolised the marriage of Earth and Sky, the Goddess and the God, renewing the fertility of the land.
Another version suggests that if we want a cleansing broom, it should be made of willow wands, which was believed of old to cast off evil spirits. This was believed to the point of considering the whipping with willow wands a sure method of exorcism.
The truth is, our ritual broom must be of the old style, made of wigs or straw, and it must be reserved to a symbolic pass to cleanse the place of any type of energies before starting any ritual, and as every tool named so far, must be kept for this purpose only. The best results will be achieved if we make it ourselves, but due to the difficulty of this task, we can safely leave it in someone else’s hands, if we’re careful enough to do the energetical cleansing before using it.
It’s use is not strictly necesary, so let us not despair if we can’t find a broom maker where we are: we can easily go on with our celebrations without the broom, as long as we replace the cleansing action with a similar one.