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8957Broom lore

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  • Kiara
    Oct 25, 2011
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      Broom Lore and Superstitions

      ~Lisa L. Fetcher


      *Certainly, the most common superstition connected with brooms is
      that they were used by witches to fly on... However, did you know
      that it was in the fourteenth century that brooms were first
      regarded as a vehicle for witches' transportation? This tradition
      may stem from the fact that, in many of their ceremonies, witches
      did dance with a stick between their legs, jumping high in the air.
      Toward the end of the eighteenth century, the question of witches
      flying was settled once and for all in an English law court. Lord
      Mansfield declared that he knew of no law that prohibited flying
      and, therefore, anyone so inclined was perfectly free to do so.
      Shortly thereafter, reports of witches flying on broomsticks ceased
      (except for isolated reports of East Anglian witches skimming across
      church spires).

      *It is said that a new broom should sweep dirt out of a house only
      after it has swept something in.

      *An ole English Rhyme....."Buy a broom in May, and you will sweep
      your friends away."

      *Also never sweep after sunset since so doing will chase away
      happiness or hurt a wandering soul.

      *According to Yorkshire belief, should a young girl inadvertently
      step over a broom handle she will become a mother before a wife.....
      (I will add here....this belief is also Appalachia and rural country
      folk)

      *Among the Dyak people of Indonesia brooms made out of the leaves of
      a certain plant (doesn't say which plant) are sprinkled with rice
      water and blood. These are used to sweep one's house, and the
      sweepings are placed into a toy house made of bamboo. The toy house
      is then set adrift on a river. It is believed that bad luck will be
      carried out to sea with it.

      *In Africa, should a man be struck by a broom, he will grab hold of
      it and hit the broomstick seven times, or he will become impotent.

      *In Sicily, on Midsummer's Eve, people often put a broom outside
      their homes to ward off any wickedness that might come knocking.

      *In Wales, among the Gypsies, an old custom of the broomstick
      wedding persisted for some time. The couple solemnized their rites
      before witnesses by leaping over a broom placed in a doorway,
      without dislodging the broom. Should they wish to dissolve the
      marriage, they simply had to reverse the process, jumping backwards
      out of the house, over the broom, before the same witnesses.

      *American country folk say no good can come of carrying a broom
      across water, leaning a broom against the bed, or burning one. Good
      luck can be had by sending a new broom and a loaf of bread into a
      new home before entering it.

      *Likewise, brooms laid across the doorways are believed to keep out
      bad...

      *And a few more traditional ones....
      Never use a broom when there is a dead person in the house.
      Never use a broom to sweep outside the house, unless the inside of
      the house has been cleaned first. (oops!)
      Never walk on a broom.
      Never sweep upstairs rooms in the afternoon.
      Never sweep the room of a departing guest until he has been gone for
      some time, or else your sweeping will bring him back
      Never bring old brooms into new houses...(remember a broom becomes
      attached to houses...always leave the old one behind....)
      Finally..... ....always sweep dustballs into the middle of a
      room.....they will protect against bad luck

      *One old wart cure consists of measuring a wart crosswise with a
      broom straw, then burying the straw The straw, so intimately
      connected with the wart, will decay, and so too should the blemish.

      *Placing a broom across any doorway allows your departed friends and
      family to speak to you if they so choose. As long as the broom
      remains in place, they can communicate freely.

      *If you feel as though you are being followed and haunted by
      unfriendly ghosts, stepping over a broomstick will prevent them from
      disturbing you

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