The Bean Tighe (pronounced ban tig) is a helpful spirit that is likely one of the inspirations for the "fairy godmother" type donor/patron from faerie and folk tales. She is the one who makes it possible for others to achieve their potential ... whether it be helping with the maintenance of one's home, one's finances, or the ability to make one's dreams come true.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

PBP: Week 4 - Broom ...

I had the opportunity to hie myself over to the Grandville Island Broom Company on Thursday and managed to make a little dream of mine come true. This store is run by the daughters of the owners of the North Woven Broom Company, the company that created and provided the brooms for the Harry Potter movies (if you're into that stuff, I'm not but it's a neat factual tidbit). I have been aware of the NWBC near Creston, BC for many years, having found them back around 2000 but never having had an opportunity to make the trip for a handcrafted broom. When I learned that the daughters and a friend of theirs had opened their own shop at Grandville Island in 2010, I was estatic but (being in Calgary at that time) didn't really have opportunity to make the trip back to go there. Having moved back to the coast this past May, I made up my mind to finally go and see it.

I remember being a little girl, when my parents carried us "Home" (Ireland) to introduce my sister (who was barely more than a toddler) to the Family.  I can vividly recall my mother's mother, wee Nanny, sweeping the courtyard of the big house in Donegal with a "proper broom" ... in that I mean a bundle of sticks tied to a slightly crooked branch. She had a fancy store-bought one that my grandfather had gotten for her, and which she used inside the house, but she preferred the old one for cleaning up outside as it had the ability to move a lot of small debris quickly. I can also remember playing hobby-horse with that broom ... it was so different than the vacuum-cleaner Mum had at home.

I'm guessing that is likely where my love for brooms came from and, as I aged and learned about this "witchy" stuff, I learned to incorporate them into my spiritual practices. I have never, however, owned what I would consider a "proper broom" ... I'm sorry but, as reliable as he is, Oskar just doesn't qualify. I have often seen pictures of the witch's besom (well ... what came to be called a besom as Wicca became popular, anyhow) and have had my little *sigh* moments.

I subscribe to a few fairly common superstitions concerning a broom ... such as not to carry a used broom with me when I move. I never leave a broom sitting on it's bristles (not only bad for the broom, but it allows a gradual dissipating of the household luck as built up and stored in the broom during use), and I never sweep towards an exterior door. Few things can raise energy as quickly or as well as giving the area the individual will be using for ritual or spell-craft purposes an enthusiastic sweeping. 

A broom, to me, is likely the single-most indispensable tool  for a witch. With most of my tools all safely wrapped up in Rubbermaid containers in my storage locker, The one thing I could not do without, in either my daily mundane or my spiritual life, is a broom. Multipurpose, it can serve the household by being an instrument of clearing and cleansing. Sweeping away not only physical dirt and debris, but also setting to rights the energetic qualities in the household (I'll get more detailed about that end of things when we reach the letter "S"). I more readily can do without my books, my crystals, my herbs, oils and candles ... so long as I have a broom in the house.

I felt like a little child wandering around the store looking at all the lovingly handmade beauties hanging about me, or leaning in corners. Such variety! Flat brooms, round brooms (besom), matrimonial brooms, dowel brooms, natural branch brooms, car whisks, floor whisks, small brooms with beautifully crafted wrought iron handles, even a veggie scrubber broom ... and with the workshop open to the sales floor, I was able to see many different types of brooms at various stages in their construction.

All the while I was oogling the brooms (and grinning from ear to ear like an idiot, no doubt), one of the young ladies who run the shop sat in a corner braiding bundles of broomcorn onto a branch of sanded and oiled Manzanita wood. She was deft and quickly turning a bundle of bristles into a completed broom. At one point, she asked me if I was looking for anything in particular to which I hesitated, realizing I hadn't the foggiest idea what I was looking for. I replied with "I'm not sure ... I'll know it when I see it, I suppose". And she was gracious enough to not say anything, either she's accustomed to such oddball answers or she had enough self-restraint to not react.

After wandering a bit more, stopping to try this one or that for its feel in my hands and the energy in its swing, I found the besom (a besom is an untrimmed round broom who's purpose is to sweep outdoors and move large quantities of debris quickly) but I knew I wasn't done. Something was still calling to me. I kept looking until I found a flat broom (a broom with the bristles trimmed to a straight line which makes it great at maneuvering into corners and around furniture indoors). It wasn't until I brought the pair together that it struck me that they were a matched set (or as near as can happen randomly). I remarked upon it and even the owner had to agree that they looked as though they belonged together.

I also picked up a car whisk, a lovely hand crafted wooden dustpan, a gift for my little brother who is getting married in September, and a little broom for my car's rear-view mirror. All in all, I likely overspent but it was all worth it, and I'll happily give Mastercard what their fair due until they are paid off.

Since it is looking like, with luck and good energies, I may have the opportunity to begin looking for a house in as little as two months time ... it is entirely possible that I may be in a real home of my own by the May fire festival. That being the case, and having admitted to being superstitious regarding my brooms, I cannot bring myself to use either of them until such time and I am into a place where I won't be moving again until the nice men come to take me to the nursing home.

My new broom and it's besom companion, carefully wrapped and stored bristles up
to prevent them taking any damage or absorbing any energy
from this dwelling. 
Being that I can't bring myself to open my pair of lovelies until after I have moved into my permanent residence ... I also picked up a little fridge magnet broom that will serve me well until it is time to leave this suite. It is my consolation for resisting the temptation to tear the packaging off the new brooms and for waiting somewhat impatiently for the next step in my life.

My little fridge magnet broom.


  1. Llyn - I have to get a new broom. I try to do this once a year. Thank you for your demonstration of de-cluttering. Beautiful. I just finished the living room and my son comments - you made it smell all lemon like.


    1. Thank you for your comment. I'm very grateful if I motivated you to do a little decluttering of your own. And I just love that you shared your son's comment ^_^.

      Aren't kids just the best for saying wonderful things?