In common with most religions, certain objects are used in Wicca for ritual purposes.  These objects are used to invoke the Deities, banish negativity, and direct energy through our thought and intention.

To practice Wicca, you MAY want to collect some of the objects listed here, but it is not absolutely necessary.  Again it depends on the path you follow and the yearnings of your heart.  You may purchase these items in your local occult shop, but surprisingly enough they also can be found in a variety of places ~ antique and junk shops, swap meets, yard sales and flea markets.  In this age of the internet, there are numerous online shops too.  It makes the tool no more right or special if you swap for it than if you buy it new.  In any case, any time and effort you expend searching for your tools are well worth it.  It has been said that we should use magical tools until we no longer need them, but as long as you feel comfortable, use them for as long as you like.  (Sometimes tools that you have outgrown can be *passed on* to someone else who is practicing the Craft, that again is up to you.)

The Broom

Witches use brooms in magic and ritual, and is a tool that is sacred to both the Goddess and God.  Probably because of it's phallic shape, it became a powerful tool against curses and practitioners of evil magic.  (Note from Athena: I do not believe there is actually "evil" and "good" magic, it really depends on what your perspective is) Laid across a threshold, the broom halted all spells sent to the house or to those who resided within.  Placed under the pillow, it brought pleasant dreams and guarded the dreamer at the same time.

European Witches became identified with the broom because both were infused with magic in religious and popular thought.  Witches were accused of flying on broomsticks, and this was considered proof of their alliance with "dark powers."  Such an act, if it could be performed, would indeed be supernatural, and therefore, of the Devil in their eyes, in contrast to the simple healing and love spells that Witches actually performed.  Of *course* the tale was invented by Witch persecutors.

Today, the broom is still used in Wicca.  A Wicca may begin a ritual by sweeping the area (indoors or out) lightly with the magic broom.  After this, the altar is set up, the tools carried out, and the ritual is ready to begin.  This sweeping is more than a physical cleansing.  In fact, the broom's bristles needn't touch the ground.  While brushing, the Wiccan visualizes the broom sweeping up the astral buildup that occurs where humans live.  This purifies the area to allow smoother ritual workings.

Since it is a purifier, the broom is linked with the element of Water.  Thus it is also used in all types of water spells including those of love and psychic workings.  If you wish to make your magic broom, you might try the old magical formula of an ash staff, birch twigs and a willow binding.  The ash is protective, the birch purifying, and the willow is sacred to the Goddess.  Of course, a branch from any tree or bush can be used in place of the broom (while cutting it, make sure to thank the tree for it's sacrifice).   A tiny broom of pine needles can be used also.

The broom is used for magic, and as with all magical tools, should be reserved for this purpose only.  If you decide to buy a broom, try to find a round one; the flat Shaker-type brooms just don't seem to have the same effect.

Text taken from "Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham