Custom Handmade Besom
A besom is a tool used in Wicca to cleanse and purify a space which will be used for ritual. A traditional Wiccan besom is a hawthorn stave handle with bristles made from birch twigs. These twigs are tied on using thin pieces of willow wood. It is used to cleanse the ritual area before circle casting. While it does not usually touch the ground, it is used to "sweep out" the negative energies in a room, and is often held a few inches above the ground to do so. As a tool, the besom is usually thought of as masculine in nature due to its phallic shape and symbolism. However the besom's components are of both masculine and feminine orientation. The handle, an ash stave, is masculine in nature while the birch used for the bristles is thought of as feminine in nature. The besom is thought to be involved with fairies.
The besom is an important part of Wiccan handfasting ceremonies in some traditions. The couple jump over the besom during the ceremony. Alternatively, the couple may jump over a small bonfire.