This blog is with myself. Looking at how I can improve my connection with the dieties and spiritual practise.
Yesterday I was able to download to the Kindle a number of booklets from Amazon for free. This is great- that they are free- but a little unsure how I am going with reading them as I really like my books. Speaking of books I just finished a fiction novel about Druids? and Stonehenge. It had everyone involved from the lonely reformed druggie to a high ranked army officer, of course murder etc. I just couldnt get my head around the inconsistences with the religion/spiritual acts.
I am also reading Titania’s Book of White Magic. This is very Northern Hempisphere but looking for inspiration. All books are worth a read and it doesnt matter if you agree or disagree.
So on to the study- Birch Tree
Birch: (Betula pendula, B. pubescens, B. lenta, B. alba) Also known as beithe, bereza, berke, beth, lady of the woods. Magickally- Protection, exorcism, purification, health, beginnings, prosperity, cleansing.. The witch’s broom was traditionally made from birch twigs. It’s renowned for its purifying nature. It is also highly protective. Planet: Venus Element: Water Deities: Thor.
Coleridge the English poet of 1772 – 1834 called the Silver Birch the “Lady of the Woods” because of the way she gentle sways with the wind as it blows through it’s branches. Should you have any Birch around where you live maybe go to her and ask if she could help you with any healing or blessings, but don’t forget to leave her some treats. If not, just sit and watch her sway and dance with the wind. It’s a peaceful feeling. This silver also apperance also creates a connection with the moon. Often a witches broom will be made from silvery Birch. Diana can also be connected to the birch.
How to make a besom
Things You’ll Need
- One length of Ash wood. It should reach from the ground to just below your navel and range from an inch and a half to two and a quarter inches in diameter.
- Birch twigs, as many as you want in your broom. Notes on choosing and length are included below in “tips”.
- Thin strips of willow bark, to bind your birch twigs with.
- Work within a sacred area: As with any sacred tool, a besom should be made within sacred space. You should begin as a normal ritual, by casting a circle and giving thanks. Purify and dedicate the wood before you begin construction. ‘Charging’ the broom to any specific purpose should be done after the broom is completed, or while weaving the twigs to the stave.
Place the strips of birch into the water and leave them to soften for at least 10 minutes. The longer you leave them, the easier it will be to work with.
- Preparing the Handle: Anoint and bless your ash wood stave with the essential oil. Sigil/rune carvings or any other ornamentation of the handle should be done at this point. If the besom is to be dedicated to a specific purpose or deity, you may ask them to bless it as you begin crafting.
Weaving the bristles: Gather all of your birch twigs and arrange them into small, even groups. Remove two pieces of the willow bark and lay them side by side on a flat surface. Tie the two bark pieces together by wrapping a short length of thread around the end several times and knotting it off. Take the first group of birch twigs and crisscross the willow strips back and forth between each piece to bind them together (this is weaving). Tie off the other end of the willow strips with thread. Do not worry, the thread will not show in the finished broom. Repeat with the remaining groups of birch twigs. The thread may be omitted, but it makes the weaving considerably more difficult.
Attaching to the broom: There are multiple ways to do this. Some drill a small hole in the end of the ash stave and thread yarn through it, then wrap the yarn around each bundle of twigs. A second method is to tie together each willow strip so that the birch twigs form one continuous panel. The panel is then wound tightly around the end of the stave, and secured by tying additional willow bark around it.A third method is to wrap each small group of twigs directly to the handle with yarn or thread.Whatever your method, you will want to “finish” the broom by weaving an additional two inch swath of willow bark about one inch from the top of the bristles. Some traditions attach small charms, or weave herbs and sea salt in amongst the bristles before attaching the “finishing” layer of willow bark.Once you have “finished” the besom, you may dedicate it to a spirit or deity of your choice, or charge it with protective energies. Traditionally, it can be hung over a doorway or stood with bristles facing upwards to protect a home. It is also used to “sweep away” residual psychic energies and negativity in a circle.Continue with the remainder of your ritual and close/ground the circle as normal.
Read more: How to Make a Besom | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2308391_make-besom.html#ixzz1rm7b7qCL
- Tips & Warnings
- Choosing your birch twigs:
- Traditionally, the twigs are at minimum the length of your forearm and no wider than your pinkie finger. Some more modern covens use extremely thin, long twigs that are bent over double before being woven (twice as long and half as wide as traditional branches). You want the twigs to be fresh (green) when you work with them. If they are too dry and brittle, they will crack during the weaving.
- For a rougher look, you may want to leave the birch twigs on a branch and bind the branches themselves to the ash handle.
- Of course being in the Southern Hempshere I would use local trees, I do lke the birch. There are some lovely trees in Canberra.
To honour the birch- we have the Birch Moon which is the first full moon after Yule, so for me that will be late July or early August. This also means it is associated with the witches New Year.
So that will do for now until next time.